The Samsung Family Hub Refrigerator is the refrigerator you probably had no idea you needed until now.
Yes, it’s a fridge for storing food like any other, except it’s a “smart fridge” with a 21.5 inch, 1080p touch screen built into the door that runs on Tizen – the same OS that power Samsung TV.
Ok, so that all sounds impressive, but what’s so great about the Samsung Family Hub refrigerator that could make it worth the £3,381 that its currently retailing for in the US?
Well, like most great innovative products, the “smart fridge” solves problems you didn’t even know needed solving.
For instance, it’s a pain when you get to the supermarket and realise you’re not sure whether you needed carrots or not, because you forgot to check on your carrot situation before you left home.
On the one hand, you might have plenty – you might have carrots spilling out of your vegetable drawer; on the other hand, you might be completely out of carrots and that won’t make for a very good carrot cake at all.
There have been plenty of times where I ended up buying an item while shopping, only to get home, open my fridge and discover I actually have plenty of it.
Someone at Samsung has obviously experienced something very similar for themselves, because one of the coolest features on the Samsung Family Hub is that there are collapsible cameras built into the door; when you open the fridge, they fold into the door, and when you close the fridge, they open and take a picture of your food inside.
The result is that every time you close your fridge doors, you have an up to date picture of whatever food you have in your fridge which is synced to your phone.
At the supermarket and can’t remember how many carrots you have? No problem with the Samsung Family Hub, because there’s a picture synced to your phone of the last known amount of carrots in your fridge.
Another cool feature is that MasterCard have partnered with apps such as freshdirect and ShopRite so that you can actually do your shopping, online, from the touch screen on your fridge.
The Samsung Family Hub comes with built-in apps, and while it’s a little bit of a draw back that you can’t download your own apps, it comes with a surprising amount of variety.
There’s Pandora and TuneIn Radio, which will allow you to play music through the speakers on your fridge.
There are apps for recipes and web browsers which allow you to surf the internet, albeit in mobile browsing mode, all from your fridge’s touch screen.
You can also sync your fridge with your Samsung TV so that you can watch shows or movies on your 21.5 inch screen while doing the cooking.
Another feature that’s good about the Samsung Family Hub is that you can micro-manage your fridge, if you’re so inclined.
You can set a door alarm to keep out unwanted hands or to keep those on a diet honest. You can turn the ice machine on and off. You can even manage the temperature in certain areas of the fridge to keep some areas cold and some slightly colder, depending on the needs of particular foods – your lettuce will no longer freeze and become soggy at the expense of having ice-cold milk for your cereal!
But what really makes the Samsung Family Hub so great is the little touches they’ve included to really earn the title of a “family” hub.
There’s a calendar that will sync with all the phones in your household so your family’s calendars are all the same. They can be edited from the fridge or any device, so you always know what’s going on and make sure you don’t miss any important events.
They’ve also included what Samsung calls a “sticky pad”. It’s basically the ability to add pictures, notes and drawings – doodled directly onto the fridge’s touch screen in what seems to have been inspired by a cross between traditional children’s-pictures hung on a fridge and something from Microsoft Paint.
You can post these pictures, doodles and notes to your fridge’s home screen to give it that feel of truly being something that is your own, while keeping your fridge free from becoming cluttered and tacky-looking.
What’s so great about the Samsung Family Hub Refrigerator? Well, everything basically.