This is a funky retro-styled fridge freezer available in a cornucopia of often eye-watering colours. Jet black, cream, chilli red, tangerine orange and pistachio green should suit or most likely contrast with most kitchens. It’s aimed squarely at a retro-style market championed by Smeg, and comes in considerably less expensive too.
It is more fridge than freezer, with a 70/30 split and a vast 237 litres of fridge space. This is partnered with an ample 98 litres of freezer room, which is probably ideal for a small family. It comes with no frost technology, which blows cold air around both compartments to cool food quickly and evenly, which means defrosting the freezer is one retro feature we are glad to see the back of.
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With its retro chunky doors and curved edges, this really does make a great centrepiece to the kitchen. We opted for the rather safe black option, but the coloured variants will add a huge splash of vibrancy to any kitchen. The attention to ‘retro’ detail is obvious, with two large chrome door handles, chrome door surround and the Servis name proudly in bold chrome lettering on the front of the fridge door. Think 1950s Cadillac with the ability to keep your milk chilled and peas frozen and you are not far from the mark. The looks are undoubtable going to polarise opinion, but what good design doesn’t?
The interior is rather less eye-candy and more functional. It’s a simple and straightforward lay-out with a few nice touches. We made extensive use of the full width adjustable five bottle wine rack and the easy-grip egg rack. The control dial is conveniently placed in full view, just above the salad drawers, but runs arbitrary numbers rather than specific temperature. So the higher you set the dial the lower the temperature of the fridge, which if nothing else is certainly retro. The Servis C60185NF freezer compartment has three frosted plastic drawers with integrated handles and comes with an ice tray as standard.
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With three adjustable tempered glass shelves, four door pockets and two large salad drawers, the fridge ensures that you can use every square centimetre of its 237 litres of storage space. The shelves are easy-clean glass and the door pockets include one especially designed for larger milk or juice bottles. The freezer, despite being a smaller 98 litres, is still capacious enough for most families with multi air-flow cooling to ensure a speedy and even freeze throughout.
The three drawers make use of all the available space by being wide, deep and easily removed for cleaning or loading. As is usual for 60cm upright fridge freezers the bottom drawer suffers a reduction in capacity to allow for the compressor on the back. The manual advises freezing room-temperature food in the top drawer but there is no specific fast freeze function.
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This Servis C60185NF is retro in name alone, not in build or engineering. As with most modern fridge freezers this Servis C60185NF is incredibly quiet, measuring just 39dB in our tests (A-weighted to best replicate the sensitivity of human hearing).
That is way less than the 45dB figures published by Servis. Our model was in open space rather than back-to-wall, which may have accounted for a few dB of difference, but sub 40dB remains a very good result however you measure it. For context, that’s about the same as most libraries when everyone is well-behaved.
You can summarise the C60185NF’s performance up simply by the term ‘average’. It showed no major anomalies and, thanks to the air-flow cooling, the temperature difference between shelves in the fridge was minimal. The variation in air temperature through the compressor’s on-off cycle was a little on the high side for an upright fridge freezer at this price point, though.
All three temperature positions in the refrigerator (top, mid shelf and drawer) bounced from 4.0 degrees to -1.0 degrees and back to 4.0 degrees every two hours as regular as clockwork. That is a fairly high 2.5 degree variation on the average 1.5 degree temperature with the thermostat set to position 4 (of 1 to 6). Realistically, that is not going to affect most foods as the average temp is well below the accepted 4.0 degree maximum for the fridge, but likewise the constantly bouncing temperature is not ideal.
In the freezer the shelf-to-shelf variance was a little more noticeable. While all three drawers averaged -20 degrees throughout the test, the top draw registered a hefty 5-degree variation, the mid draw three degrees and the bottom draw two degrees through the compressor’s two-hour cycles. Two litres of water went from room temperature to -18 degrees in a swift 15 hours and showed just /-1 degree variation throughout the two-day test.
Interestingly the results of the 3-hour fail test are going to be very dependent on where the Servis is in its cycle when the lights go out. The top freezer draw will gain some 10 degrees over this period, so will end up somewhere between -15 degree and -5 degrees. Most importantly, however our food sample, only gained 6 degrees over the fail, which is a good result.
The air circulation cooling will certainly stop frost build up and this method also tends to show very good recovery after a power fail. Sure enough the air temperature in all areas of the freezer shot back down to -20 degrees in less than 35 minutes once the power was back on.
The air circulation cooling does allow the Servis to get away with a rather lengthy cycle time because it is capable of bringing the air temperature in the compartments back down pretty sharpish when it has been allowed to rise while the compressor is not running.
While the fluctuation in temperature is not ideal, it’s not a major concern for the majority of foodstuffs and it does keep the running costs low. We calculate that it would use just 228KWh per year in an average UK household, which at current cost of electricity equates to just over 9p per day. For this amount of storage with the ability to fit neatly into a standard 60cm wide gap, and coming in with bags of retro style, the Servis C60185NF offers great value.
If you are looking for a retro fridge freezer but don’t want to break the bank this could be the one for you. At half the price of the most popular retro brand, the Servis C60185NF looks the part and combines the appeal of the old with the practicalities of the new.
There are other fridge freezers around that will offer more gadgets and slightly more stable temperature, but not with the retro look and appealing price.
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|Approx. annual power consumption||228KWh|
|Approx. annual running cost||£34.20|
|Running Noise (A weighted)||39dB|
|Max freezer (air)temp after 3hr fail||-5 degrees (worst possible case)|
|Max freezer (food) temp after 3hr fail||-14°C|
|Frozen safety limit (food to 0 °C)||Approx 12 hours|
|Recovery time to -20 (air) after 3hr fail||34 minutes|
|Average Freezer temp variation||-19° to -21°C|
|Average Fridge temp variation||-1° to 4°C|