September 7

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First Refrigerator with True Nugget Ice? – Samsung Flex Fridge Review

By Michael

September 7, 2021

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Many superfans of nugget ice were excited to hear that the Samsung Smart 4-Door Flex refrigerator can produce “nugget-style ice bites." Unfortunately, those little pellets aren’t actual restaurant-style nugget ice. The Smart 4-Door Flex has a lot to offer--it’s well-designed and roomy, with lots of different options for arranging the space inside. But if your main interest is in the promise of on-demand nugget ice, you’ll be sadly disappointed.

Samsung Flex Refrigerator with Nugget Ice Maker

3.5 / 5

Likes

  • Spacious interior
  • Great reviews for performance
  • Sleek design
  • Deodorizing filter
  • Solid wi-fi capabilities

Dislikes

  • Doesn’t produce true nugget ice
  • Expensive
  • Limited fingerprint resistance

They sure packed a lot of features into a small package! While the shorter depth reduces the storage capacity, you still have great organization with the shelves to make the most of the available space. It's a well engineered product that will fit specific space limitations while still giving you a super nice and functional fridge.

Best Buy Customer

Our 2 Cents

two-pennies

The Samsung Smart 4-Door Flex is most definitely a high-end model, but its hefty price buys plenty of space and several handy features. It’s especially great for those who like the ability to tweak their fridge settings; there are a couple of adjustable compartments that can store different kinds of perishables depending on where you set the dial.

And this refrigerator’s clean, modern appearance will look great in a wide variety of kitchens. The main drawback of the Smart 4-Door Flex is that it can’t satisfy your craving for crunchable nugget ice. You’ll have to buy a separate appliance if you want “the good ice” on demand.

For true nugget ice, check out the 10 Best Nugget and Sonic Ice Makers of 2021 for some great options.

What We Liked


1) Spacious Interior 

The Samsung Smart 4-Door Flex comes in a “Counter Depth” size with 23 cubic feet of storage, as well as a heftier 29-foot size. Both options make great use of their available space, thanks to an interior layout that makes the fridge feel roomier than it looks from the outside.

Part of that spacious feel comes from the racks inside the doors, which are big enough to hold multiple gallon-sized jugs of milk. And part of it is due to the shelves inside the main compartment, which can be quickly folded back to make room for taller items. But the biggest space-enhancing factor is the design of the freezers.

Instead of a large pull-out freezer drawer, the bottom half of the Smart 4-Door Flex consists of two separate compartments with vertical shelving. You might think that splitting the freezer would cut down on the storage capacity, but between both halves, you get a robust 8.8 cubic feet of space. And many customers have noted that the shelves and door bins are easier to organize than a single big drawer.

On top of all that, the lower-right compartment is a “Flex Zone” with five different temperature settings, making your storage setup even more adjustable. Need some extra shelf space for Thanksgiving leftovers? You can toggle the Flex Zone to a refrigerator setting. Time to stock up on ice for an upcoming party? Switch it back to a freezer. There are specific modes for chilling beverages, storing fruits and vegetables, and extending the freshness of meat and fish.

2) Sleek Design 

The attractive, minimalist style of this refrigerator should blend right into most kitchens. Its four-panel French Door design is available in gray or black stainless steel, and the lack of protruding handles reinforces the stripped-down look -- the grips are hidden in the seams between the doors.

Instead of putting a water spout on the front, where it would break up the clean lines of the fridge, the designers concealed it behind a shallow panel in the top left compartment. This “Beverage Center” also contains an auto-filling water pitcher that slots in beside the tap.

The ice maker is tucked into the freezer -- it’s separate from the water dispenser, which will come as a relief to any customers who’ve struggled with leaking and freezing issues in past Samsung models. This does mean you have to bend down when you want to scoop out some ice, but it eliminates a common failure point of modern refrigerators. You can also turn off the ice maker and remove the drawers anytime you need a little extra freezer space.

3) Deodorizing Filter 

No one likes to open their fridge and catch a whiff of funky odor from something that’s been sitting on the shelf a little too long. It’s even worse when you have to scrub out mold that’s claimed squatter’s rights on your shelves while you were out of town.

There’s no substitute for regular cleaning to prevent these issues, but the Samsung Smart 4-Door Flex provides a little extra protection. Its deodorizing filter keeps air circulating inside the fridge, reducing nasty smells and creating a less welcoming environment for fungus. To avoid spreading spores and bacteria, the filter sanitizes itself continuously with UV radiation.

This doesn’t kill germs inside the refrigerator, but it does keep the air fresher and reduce odor issues. It may also help fruit last a bit longer by dispersing the ethylene gas that speeds up the ripening process.

4) App Connectivity 

Not everyone is interested in connecting their appliances to the internet. But if you do like the idea of controlling your fridge from your phone, it’s important to know whether the app and the Wi-Fi connectivity actually work. Luckily, the Samsung Smart 4-Door Flex appears to perform well as a smart fridge.

We couldn’t find a single review complaining about the performance of the app or the fridge’s ability to link up with it. If you’ve ever looked into buying a smart device, you know how rare that is. Of course, this is a relatively new model, and there could be bugs that aren’t yet obvious. But the lack of negative reviews is an encouraging sign.

The Samsung Smart Things app lets you control the fridge’s temperature settings and turn the ice makers and water dispensers on and off. It also alerts you when the ice trays are empty, the water pitcher is full, or someone has left the fridge door open. If you spring for the Family Hub touchscreen, you’ll get even more options, including the ability to view the inside of the fridge through internal cameras to see if anything is running low.

What We Didn't Like


1) Not True Nugget Ice 

Plenty of customers bought this item in hopes of scooping crispy nugget ice right from their kitchen fridge. They were sorely disappointed.

It’s not hard to see why they were confused; Samsung’s descriptions of the Smart 4-Door Flex mention “new nugget-style ice bites." Some early press coverage went even further, saying that this “nugget-style” ice was just like the chewable pellets you’d get in a drink from Sonic.

Let’s be perfectly clear: Ice bites are not nugget ice. The soft but crunchy consistency of Sonic ice pellets comes from dozens of thin, flaky layers that are smushed together into a single piece. The Smart 4-Door Flex doesn’t make ice like that. It just produces ordinary cubes in two different sizes.

The small Ice Bites might be easier to pop in your mouth or pack into your drink, but they’re not any softer than a standard-sized cube. Calling them “nugget-style” seems like a slightly weaselly marketing ploy, and it’s clear from the online reviews that many customers feel they were deceived. If your main interest in this fridge was the promise of at-home nugget ice, you should steer clear.

2) High Price Tag 

There’s no getting around it: this is an expensive fridge. The exact cost will depend on the features you select, but the cheapest option still has a list price of over $3200. That’s going to put it beyond the budget of many consumers.

Even if you can afford it, you may want to consider whether you’ll make use of all of the bonus features. If you’re not going to take advantage of the adjustable storage or the Wi-Fi controls, are you really getting your money’s worth?

3) Limited Fingerprint Resistance

Smooth metal surfaces tend to pick up smudges, especially when they’re within the reach of young children. Samsung says the stainless steel of the Smart 4-Door Flex is fingerprint-resistant, but many reviewers have raised their eyebrows at this claim, noting that their refrigerator seems to get covered with prints quite easily.

It’s hard to nail down exactly what “fingerprint-resistant” means, but clearly, it doesn’t translate to “fingerprint-proof." Don’t expect this fridge to repel smudges. If everyone in your home is careful about using the recessed handles, the doors should stay clean. Otherwise, you’ll need to wipe the surface down regularly to keep it fingerprint-free.

Suggestions Before You Buy


  • Measure the space in your kitchen where you’re planning to put this fridge. Including the upper hinges, the Smart 4-Door Flex is nearly 72 inches tall, and the doors need roughly 4 inches of clearance on each side to open fully.
  • Look up the features that come with the Family Hub and decide if they’re worth the extra price.
  • If you’re crazy about nugget ice, consider choosing a less expensive fridge and leaving room in your budget for a countertop ice machine. Check out the 10 Best Nugget and Sonic Ice Makers of 2021 for some great options. 

Overall Product Rating

Overall, we're a bit sad that this refrigerator doesn't produce actual nugget ice, but we can't say that this isn't a high-quality piece of equipment. As a smart-fridge with lots of space and a sleek look, its awesome. For true nugget ice, not so much. 

Quality

Nugget Ice

Customer Service

Cost

Design

Storage Capacity

Concluding


Someday, we may get a home refrigerator with a quality nugget ice maker, but the Samsung Smart 4-Door Hub doesn’t fit the bill. However, it is a high-performance, multifunctional smart fridge with lots of flexible storage space. If nugget ice isn’t your main concern, and you’re willing to pay top dollar for a stylish and well-engineered refrigerator, this one is worth a serious look.

Please don't hesitate to contact us with any questions or comments. We would love to hear from you!

Cheers,

Michael

Founder of Robust Kitchen

About the author

Michael spends his days eating, drinking and studying the fascinating world of food. He received his Bachelors Degree in Food Science and Technology at the University of California, Davis and spent much of his time at the school brewery. While school proved to be an invaluable experience, his true passion lies in exposing the hidden crannies of food for the cooking laymen.

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