Haier’s A2FE635 is a unique fridge freezer in both features and for its bold looks. It’s available in several colours, including silver (A2FE635CFJ, £549), white (A2FE635CCJ, £699) and a very striking deep red edition (A2F635CRJ, £699) – we were sent the red version to test. The massive fridge section includes a separate temperature adjustable 50-litre ‘My Zone’ compartment that, among other things, has a specific setting for de-frosting frozen food and quickly chilling drinks – handy.
We also like the two, easy access pullout freezer drawers, which don’t have a separate freezer door to block them, humidity controlled salad drawer. Everything's controlled by a touch-sensitive LCD display on the front door. At under £700 for the red and white versions, the A2FE635 offers plenty of style and features for the money, even more so if you opt for the silver version that’s available for as little as £549 at Currys.
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The A2FE635 is a fridge freezer than demands to get noticed. On the red version, the bold finish is a textured ‘orange peel’ that hides finger marks very well and is easy to wipe clean when it does get mucky. The black plastic inset handle for the fridge is concealed on the side of the door. This may create an issue with finger access if your appliance is very tight up against a left hand side wall, but the door is reversible should this be the case.
The same black plastic inset handles are used for the freezer drawers, inset into the top of the drawer fronts to give a very slick and clutter free look. The sleek look is only punctuated by the LCD control panel and stylish embossed Haier badge.
The control panel is touch sensitive and operates most of the functions of the appliance. The LCD turns off after a few seconds leaving just a black panel. This Haier is does not sit on the fence cosmetically, so you are going to either love it or loathe it. Having just tested a dozen white or stainless steel finish fridges in a row – we love it!
Open the fridge door and the massive fridge compartment is no less impressive, punching well above its price in terms of fixtures and features. The glass shelves, clear plastic door pockets and lower drawers are trimmed with brushed chrome strips that complement the chrome hanging wine rack.
The clever My Zone compartment at the bottom is very flexible – see following section for more detail – and the salad drawer has its own humidity control. The ‘wow’ feature is the interior lighting. This is a bold column of bright white LEDs that come on slowly to a fearsome brightness that illuminates the fridge compartment better than any other model we have tested. Never again will you lose a cherry tomato in the dark recesses of the fridge.
The red (A2F635CRJ) and white (A2FE635CCJ) versions are nice but they cost more currently
This Haier model offers a spectacular 248-litre fridge capacity and reasonable 99 litres of freezer space, which is very good overall volume for a 190cm tall appliance. The freezer drawers take some getting used to if you are familiar with a traditional door and plastic internal drawers. Once you have, though, you may wonder why few other brands make drawers like this because you don’t have to bend down to investigate the contents of the freezer.
A lift out tray on top of the draw is ideal for ice cubes and smaller items and, if you really have lost some old peas, both plastic inner compartments lift clean out of the main drawers so you can have a frosty rummage on the kitchen worktop. Together the freezer drawers don’t crest the 100 litres capacity, so larger families might find this a little on the small side unless you have a second freezer somewhere.
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The fridge space will be ideal for larger families or those who keep a lot of chilled foods and beverages. The four shelves are wipe clean glass, one splits and folds over so you can stand larger bottles on the lower shelf. The wine rack simply folds up out of the way if you don’t want to use it.
The three main door pockets are nicely deep front-to-back and the lowest is taller to stop bottles falling out if you open the door quickly. A central smaller door storage box is handy, albeit less than the width of the door. The upper of the two plastic drawers is the salad draw with a humidity control dial. Haier recommends turning it to a higher humidity for the likes of cucumbers, grapes, gooseberries and persimmons (we had to look them up too) and a lower humidity for soft fruits like strawberries and tomatoes, beans and, strangely, garlic. It’s a nice feature to have, though, as it will help keep your fruit and veg fresher for longer.
Below this draw is a larger full-depth drawer labelled My Zone, which can be set to three different modes using the front door controls. Q-Cool is designed to quickly chill fresh foods or drinks; D-Frost slowly defrosts frozen food without moisture build up; and Chiller keeps the compartment around zero degrees, a level that’s ideal for meat and fish. It’s a useful feature that’s easy to setup and use.