If you want a design-led kitchen, with something other than a standard fridge-freezer and you don’t want to go retro, you may be considering a Samsung Bespoke appliance.
These appliances are modular and come in a range of door colour and finish options. You could position two or more side-by-side in the same, contrasting or complementary colours. Alternatively, you could create a bank in a Mondrian-style design or have two matching appliances bookend a sweep of cabinetry.
In the UK, the range comprises a full-size larder fridge (with no freezer section); a full-size freezer; and a fridge-freezer. All are perfectly flat, come in a range of door panel colours and finishes, and all are 185cm tall, so you can combine them however you want. There’s also an attachment kit to fix the appliances together.
Bespoke colour and finish options
So far in the UK, there are two panel finishes available in the customisable Bespoke Studio range: glass, and a matt metal finish called “cotta”.
For the larder fridge and the freezer, there are five glass colours and three cotta colours. For the fridge freezer, you have seven glass colours and five cotta colours. Various glass colours have a different level of refraction: “satin” is a soft silky glass, “glam” is a glossy glass, and “clean” is a high-gloss glass.
But not all colours and finishes are available for all models. And it’s confusing and difficult to find out which colour options are currently available. You’ll also have to bear in mind that there are different price points for different finishes and colours.
The fridge and freezer have glass door options in Clean Black, Clean White, Satin Beige, Satin Sky Blue and Glam Navy. The cotta door options are Beige, Lavender and Sky Blue.
However, the Bespoke fridge-freezer has additional colours in both finishes. As well as the colours in the glass range, there’s also Glam Peach and Glam Lavender, and the cotta range also features a Cotta White.
It appears that Samsung is planning on extending the colour range to include a grey glass and a rose pink glass, and various steel finish options in champagne, navy, and matt black.
The Bespoke Tall One Door Fridge
We’re reviewing the Bespoke Tall One Door Fridge in Glam Navy Glass. As this is a larder fridge, it has no freezer compartment or ice box.
The door is flat and streamlined. There are no curves or no rounded corners; it’s a sheet of coloured glass that is fundamentally a dark mirror. Extremely reflective, the navy is more earthy than vivid, with a definite putty undertone: a very Farrow & Ball shade.
Interestingly, it didn’t finger-mark easily and seemed to be a lower maintenance surface than a stainless-steel finish.
The reversible door has a long handle that you can choose to attach or not. If you don’t use it – perhaps to preserve its minimal lines – you can open the door by pulling it from the edge. The sides of the fridge are a gunmetal grey. Our model was narrow at 59cm, with a depth of 67cm, which gave it a very slim feel.
The power cord sprouts from the top of the appliance. We didn’t find this top tether to be a problem but be aware it’s a consideration if your plug point isn’t directly behind the appliance.
Samsung states that the operating sound level of the fridge is 39dB, or the equivalent of a quiet computer. This seemed high to us, as we couldn’t really discern any operational noise. The door alarm consists of three sets of unobtrusive double pings and isn’t the kind of sound that would grate if you have the fridge door open while you’re browsing.
This larder fridge has an E rating on the new 2021 energy rating scale (A++ on the old scale), and the total annual energy consumption is 120KWh/pa. We calculate that it would cost roughly £18 a year to run the appliance, although this depends on your payment scheme, supplier, and where you live in the UK.
The fridge is controlled via an easy to reach touchscreen panel at the top of the cabinet. The fridge has a minimum to maximum temperature of 1°C to 7°C. There’s also a power cool setting, which means the fan runs at maximum for two and a half hours to chill recently bought goods.
Via the touchscreen, you can also turn the door alarm off; set vacation mode, which keeps the fridge under 17°C; and lock the touchscreen itself.
Cool down & warm up
The fridge has Samsung’s “All-Around Cooling” system, which means that every part of the cabinet is kept equally chilled. This consistency is evident – there was no temperature difference between the top and bottom of the fridge.
As our atmospheric temperatures were winter low, the cool down time was tricky to test but the fridge hit 5°C within the hour. Again, bearing the cool ambient temperature in mind, the fridge was still at 1°C 24 hours after being switched off.
The interior cabinet is lit with three LEDs: one at the top of the cabinet and two at the sides, all 15cm by 3.5cm. Although they light the interior well, we felt the side lights could have been a little longer for more consistent illumination throughout the interior.
The fridge has 387 litres of grocery capacity, which equates to 19 20-litre bags of shopping. Samsung employs its “SpaceMax technology” to eke out the most space from the fridge footprint by making the cabinet walls as thin as possible.
There are four cabinet shelves, plus the top of the vegetable box. The third shelf down is foldable, which means half of it slides back to allow for taller objects to stand on the shelf below. There’s also a metal wine rack with five bottle grooves.
We didn’t love the fact that you can’t adjust the shelves up or down; you’re limited to Samsung’s configuration.
Underneath the shelves are two vegetable drawers. The top one has a manual humidity dial, which feels a bit basic. Ideally, we’d like to see a more precise digital control at this price point.
However, each of these drawers has substantial storage capacity. We made the top drawer to be about 23.6 litres and the bottom to be 24 litres.
In a test, we fit 1kg of carrots, 2kg of potatoes, two little gem lettuces, a pack of piccolo tomatoes and a bunch of celery into the top drawer and still had about 60% of the capacity spare.
Although it’s slightly larger, the bottom bin had about 40% spare capacity. This seems counterintuitive, but it’s deeper and narrower to allow for the compressor at the back, so the dimensions don’t work quite as well.
At the top of the door, there’s a full-width lidded dairy balcony, with another full-width balcony underneath. Both are easy to reach by someone of below average adult height.
Then there are two sets of half-width balconies, the upper set adjustable downwards by 15cm and the lower set adjustable upwards by the same. At the bottom is another full-width balcony.
The bottom balcony can hold two supermarket 6-pinters of milk, or four 4-pinters. The lower set of half-width balconies each take a 6-pinter or two 4-pinters. In total, you could fit 32 pints of milk in this door.
The higher set of half-width balconies can take three 450g jars with room to manoeuvre and more height if you need it for taller jars.
The fridge is supplied with one six-egg tray.
The Bespoke fridge and freezer range in the US
In the US, the tall fridge isn’t available to buy but the very similar Bespoke Flex Column refrigerator in navy glass costs $1,169. It has many of the same features, including all-around cooling and a reversible door. In addition, it’s a flex appliance, which means it can be used either as a fridge or a freezer. A four-door fridge will soon be added to the US range.
There are currently glass and steel finish options in a range of eight colours. However, it does not appear that all options are currently available from the Samsung site.
The Samsung Bespoke tall one-door fridge in Glam Navy Glass is a beautiful appliance that will add an interior design flourish to your kitchen. Its storage capacity is excellent, its energy consumption is low and it’s efficient. However, if you’re looking for the latest refrigeration tech, with fridge/ freezer switch zones or digital humidity control, you won’t find it here.
For more buying options, have a look at our round-up of the best fridges and fridge freezers we’ve tested.