The RB5000 is one of Samsung’s premium 60cm wide fridge freezers, using cutting-edge motor technology and high-tech insulation to give huge capacity and A+ energy efficiency. At 2.1m tall and over 70cm deep, it offers a whopping 269 litres fridge space with a wide variety of storage options and a more compact 98 litres of freezer space in three drawers.
With its real stainless steel finish, touch control panel with LED display and bright white LED interior lighting, it’s a bit of a looker too. Boasting forced air cooling for even temperatures throughout the fridge and completely frost-free operation in the freezer, this super-tall refrigerator is as practical as it is imposing.
We have been mighty impressed with the stainless steel finishes on Samsung’s home appliances and the RB5000 is no exception. It’s a great looking finish that resists fingerprints well and is fairly easy to clean even, as we discovered after a mid-test toast incident, difficult stains like jam and butter are no problem. The handles are big, chunky affairs bolted onto the side, and the doors and handles can be reversed if you need them to open the other way.
The heavy bias towards fridge capacity does make the top door significantly bigger than the lower. Thankfully the top door’s sheer slab-like size is broken up by the touch control panel and an elegant Samsung badge, stopping the whole thing look a bit top-heavy. The controls are simple, yet strangely you can only set odd temperatures (3, 5, 7 in the fridge, -17, -19, -15 in the freezer, etc.)
This is certainly not a fridge freezer for vertically challenged users. The control panel is head-height or above for even average height people, although it is pretty much set and forget.
The first thing you notice on opening the doors is the incredibly thin walls on this appliance. Samsung’s high-tech insulation allows wall thickness to be reduced, increasing useable capacity, in both the fridge and freezer. It is most obvious in the freezer where we are used to seeing A+ appliances have really thick walls to keep the cold in and energy costs low.
The fridge compartment is just huge. This is a fridge for big families, budding Master Chefs, or people who really stock up on fresh produce. This section is lit from above by bright white LEDs that are far enough forward not to get too obscured even if the top shelf is well loaded. The drawers and six door pockets are made from crisp, clear plastic and feel very solid indeed. The lower shelf has a sliding section that adds extra flexibility if you need to store very tall bottles or bulky containers.
There is less to write home about in the relatively compact freezer department. It is a fairly simple three drawer compartment and… no, that’s it. There is no light in the freezer compartment either, so midnight ice cream raids will require a torch.
You can store an absolutely monstrous amount of produce in the fridge and a whole lot less in the freezer. The RB5000 is split almost three quarters of its capacity in favour of the fridge, which will no doubt find favour with some users more than others. If it was your only refrigerator in the house, you would definitely struggle if you like frozen ready meals or use big bags of frozen veggies. If, you are lucky enough to have perhaps a small chest freezer in the garage, then the RB5000 would be perfect for a large family.
The fridge is really the star of the show here, starting with the produce-specific drawers. The upper of the two is Samsung’s Fresh Zone, kept cooler and hence ideal for best preserving meat and fish, while the bottom drawer is larger, extending all the way to the front edge of the compartment. This is slightly warmer than the meat draw and kept at a more consistent temperature to best preserve the nutrients and vitamins in fruit and veg. It’s also big enough to store more than your five a day for the entire family for a week!
Having only three shelves in the remaining fairly large fridge space actually works out well, particularly if you use the wine rack which truncates the height in the middle zone. This can be removed if you need more space. There is some limited adjustment on shelf height and the front half of the lowest shelf can slide backwards to accommodate really tall bottles or stacks of containers. You can see the air vents for the air circulation cooling at the back of the compartment, promising an even temperature throughout this area.
The lowest door pocket starts a little way up to allow for the full-depth vegetable drawer and is suitably capacious. It can easily accommodate six-pint milk bottles and has tall enough sides to stop them falling out. The middle four door pockets are half size, with six possible positions in total. By moving these around or taking one or two out completely, this offers very flexible door storage. If you like your boutique sauces and jams, with their trendy designer bottles, this fridge will be ideal.
The dairy pocket at the very top is something of a challenge, being so high up. We experimented with a 5-foot-tall octogenarian test subject (aka my mum), who declared she would need a stepladder to get the butter out. Even if you’re a little taller than that, the potential for egg-juggling comedy is mighty high.
At just under 100 litres, the freezer compartment is certainly on the bijou side for such a large appliance. Samsung describes the drawers as full open box design, meaning they pull out a good way to ensure a large opening. If that fails, you can take the drawers out completely using the side handles for a good rummage on the worktop. The compartment is a total no frost design with forced air cooling to keep packaging free of frost. That should help to identify some of those mysterious unlabelled bags that seem to loiter at the back of the drawers.
Digital inverter motors, like the one found on this RB5000, are very efficient and very quiet. In fact, we have recently invested in much more sensitive test equipment to actually hear how much noise these modern high-tech fridges are making – or not as case may be. True to form, and indeed the EU energy label, the RB5000 measured just 38dB while running.
That is stupendously quiet and you will be hard pushed to hear it running unless you put your ear against appliance (ear marks wipe off the stainless steel surface fairly easily too). Similarly, this modern technology, using a variable speed motor and soft start-up, means there are no additional noises when the compressor kicks in and no pops, clicks or gurgles. For open plan living spaces, or kitchens where toddlers like to take the odd power nap, the RB5000 is ideal.