Samsung RT18M6215SG/AA Black stainless steel top freezer refrigerator review
Good value, unique features and contemporary style
Your refrigerator could be the king of the kitchen. You can live without a dishwasher, and you may not even remember the last time you baked anything, but if your old fridge breaks down, or if you’re planning a brand-new kitchen, you’re going to deal with the refrigerator first thing.
Consider the Samsung RT18M6215SG/AA (MSRP $949). This 18-cubic foot top freezer refrigerator offers functionality, versatility, with a freezer that can convert to additional fridge space, and high style at a better-than-average value. We’ve seen retail prices for this model as low as $749.
It isn’t the right size fridge for a family with major food storage needs, but it could be a good choice for a smaller condo kitchen, a vacation home by the lake, or as a secondary refrigerator that resides in the basement or the garage.
More fridge space when you need it
Keep an open mind about the top freezer. This model features twin evaporators, one for the fridge and one for the freezer. They control the humidity for each compartment separately, so your fruits and vegetables stay fresh and delicious, and your frozen food avoids freezer burn.
That’s the intent, anyway. Our tests showed that they don’t always do the job as well as you’d hope.
I think the most innovative thing about this refrigerator is its versatility. You can leave it as is, with the freezer on top, and refrigerator on the bottom, or, by pressing a button, you can set both compartments to fridge mode.
It’s a great feature, say, if you’re throwing a party and need extra beverage space, and Samsung is among the first of the brands to integrate it. Be aware that the freezer conversion isn’t effortless, though the unit’s User Manual offers a decent explanation of the process.
How does it look? How does it work?
Let’s talk style, since you’ll be making eye contact with your new fridge every day. This one looks modern: it has a pocket handle, so it doesn’t conflict with the handles on the other appliances in your work triangle.
This handle makes the doors easy to open, and it’s lot less trouble than a typical handle if you need to reverse the door to open on the left side.
And this fridge looks snazzy, sporting a contemporary, sleek-looking black stainless finish. It’s very attractive, a big win if it matches your other appliances. But the real upside to it is that it minimizes the appearance of fingerprints, a big value-add.
Of course, if you prefer a regular stainless-steel exterior, or a white one, those are available in this model too, at a lesser cost.
This unit’s sense of design extends to the interior. The icemaker has cute snowflake perforations on the outside, adding a unique design touch to a prosaic function.
It looks pretty, but getting the icemaker set up with your plumbing could present a bit of a challenge, since the connector isn’t standard. The model comes with a hose, but you’ll have to purchase a separate connector to hook it up to the water supply.
That’s a one-time issue, but it’s an added expense if you have to hire a plumber, or an inconvenience if you’re doing the work yourself. If you don’t need an icemaker, or don’t want to give up the freezer space, Samsung offers model 6213SR, which comes without one.
Energy use and storage space
High-efficiency LED lighting saves energy and helps you find what you’re looking for. Top freezer models tend to be more energy efficient, and they’re cheaper to run over the course of the year.
This one is no exception, and our tests showed it will cost you about $22 a year to run it.
We found you could actually use 82% of the claimed capacity. The plastic shelves and bins are numerous enough to organize your groceries, and there’s a special pantry drawer for foods you grab often.
The crispers are at the bottom, lower than most refrigerators, and you need to bend over to get something. That’s an inconvenience, even if you’re not particularly tall. And once you reach them, those drawers don’t open very smoothly.
With a single shelf, the freezer doesn’t offer much in the way of organization, but you can reposition the shelf to accommodate larger packaging.
The bottom line
Overall, this refrigerator offers flexible space and stylish design at a relatively inexpensive price point. It’s one of our highest scoring top freezer models, so for a small kitchen, or as an extra fridge in another part of the home, it’s strong contender.
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