2016 is the year of the smart home, and within it sits the new genre of the smart fridge. Amongst the headline acts is the new LG Signature Range, which we’re comparing to the Samsung ‘Family Hub’ smart fridge today.
The smart fridge space looks set to be a war between LG and Samsung, the company whose SmartThings acquisition has set them up to be the leaders in the smart home space. Indeed, if its smart home related, you can bet your bottom dollar that Samsung will be at the races, but today we want to focus on comparing the new world of LED screened fridges, including the slightly less smart yet very chic LG offering.
LG have unveiled a double doored, American style fridge at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), which is held annually in Las Vegas to kick start the year of consumer technology. This year was all about the smart home, but interestingly, just when it had appeared like the ‘tech at home’ play would be all about 4K TVs, other gadgets stole the show. The theme now is much more of a home ecosystem, with rafts of connected devices, all interlinked by the Internet of Things, into a remote controlled system.
Fridge technology is getting interesting fast. These devices are no longer deemed cool if they have some nifty compartments for your eggs, and now need to have interior cameras, LED screens and other such gizmos to really catch the eye. That’s what Samsung have in market, but LG have taken a slightly different approach with their new smart-fridge. LG have gone with darkened glass verses the 21.5 inch LED on the Samsung smart fridge
The idea behind the LG darkened glass is to enable you to see inside the fridge when you need to, without always having a transparent window pane for when you don’t want to. So rather than having to open the door to see what is inside, instead you tap on the glass and the glass colour lightens, giving you a view of what you have left inside. Its nifty and well executed, but the value proposition is not immediately there to be seen – I mean how much time does this save and how effective is the window at letting you really see what is inside verses quickly opening the door to check? we’re yet to be fully sold on this LG feature, and actually the Samsung offering is probably better with the LED interactive screen. The latter has some value, with the ability to pull up recipes verses a feature on the former which feels a fraction gimmicky.
In reality, when you compare the LG smart Fridge with the Samsung Family Hub Smart fridge, it becomes quite clear that the LG one is built simpler and they have not ‘gone to town’ in the same way that Samsung have. This is probably endemic of the fact that Samsung are really going after this space, where LG are still dipping their tow in the water.
So the lG smart fridge leaves you with functions like an automatically opening door, which uses a smart-sensor with a projector which sits at the bottom of the door, recognising when your foot is nearby and then popping the door open. This tool is more useful, especially when you’re cooking and have food stuff on your hands. We’re a fan of any home gizmos which help you prevent having to touch things whilst cooking.
What we do like about the LG fridge verses the Samsung offering is the elegant design. The stainless steel finish, huge capacity and misted black glass lend a very chic and cool look to it. It therefore acts as a baby step into the world of smart-fridges, without having to go the full hog with the Samsung connected device. However do not mistake less functionality for less cost – as the LG solution is punchy in price. LG have not disclosed their price point yet, but they have stated they will be at the top end of the market.