Boasting big-capacity cooling with a fine stainless steel finish, the BSNF 9152 OX is a tall, frost-free fridge freezer featuring Whirlpool’s 6th Sense technology. Through a raft of innovations this appliance promises to keep your food fresher for longer thanks to even temperatures and consistent humidity.
Touches of design class include ultra-thin doors that allow the drawers to be removed even if the door opening is restricted, antibacterial filtration for the air-circulation cooling, and a dedicated 0oC drawer that's ideal for meat and fish. Adding twin-cooling systems, fast freezing and speedy temperature recovery, the BSNF 9152 OX comes to the TrustedReviews test bench for a pretty cool £549.99.
At more than 2m tall and 60cm wide, the BSNF 9152 OX merges a smoothly brushed stainless steel finish with contrasting dark horizontal handles. The stainless steel is vertically brushed for texture, and resisted finger marks fairly well for this type of finish. Even the Whirlpool badge on the upper door is a high-class, two-tone metal-effect affair. The overall look is a bold design statement – although we found the handles felt rather plasticky to the touch.
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The doors open smoothly and have been designed so that it's possible to pull out drawers and shelves even if you can’t open the door past 90 degrees. In fact, you need only to open the door to 86.5 degrees for full access. This makes the BSNF 9152 OX ideal for those who have to put their fridge freezer in a corner where a wall restricts door opening. The big 70:30 split in favour of fridge capacity makes the upper door the larger of the two.
There's quite a visual feast on the inside too. The huge fridge compartment is lit by a single but very bright white LED light, which sits about three-quarters of the way up on the right side. It's very good when there isn’t much in the fridge, but you need to be careful loading the second shelf down or you'll cast big shadows over the rest of the compartment.
The space is properly loaded with fridge furniture offering a cornucopia of storage options across four shelves, two large bins, a bottle rack and more capacity in the door pockets than many small fridges offer in total.
You also get a cheese box, fridge drawer dividers and a bottle separator for the main door pocket. If anything, Jackie noted that there were just too many shelves and furnishings to be practical if you need to chill tall or bulky items. I don’t really see this being an issue, considering all can be removed if required; I prefer having the flexibility of choice.
Most noticeable at the top of the compartment is Whirlpool’s NoFrost fan, plus several air-outlet vents lower in the compartment. The grille over the fan can be removed, allowing you to fit the supplied anti-bacterial air filter – and replace it when it becomes clogged. There's no data on how frequently this would have to be done; our advice would be to check it every month or so and replace if it's beginning to look grubby.
The fan-forced airflow combines with a Fresh Control sensor, positioned on the right above the upper drawer, so that BSNF 9152 OX constantly monitors temperature and humidity, controlling performance accordingly. Which brings us nicely onto the temperature controls… because there really aren't any in the traditional sense.
The control panel offers just three standard settings, shown as cool, cooler and coldest by thermometer icons, and a fast-cooling option. The idea is that you pick one of the three options and the 6th Sense technology sorts out the actual ideal temperatures in both the fridge and freezer.
This Whirlpool appliance offers as much fridge space as you can get in a 60cm appliance, short of going for a separate tall fridge and freezer – such as Whirlpool’s outstanding WME36562 X and WVE26552 NFX, which we tested last year. Of course, being more than 2m tall can pose some problems, and our resident vertically challenged octogenarian (well under 5ft-tall in high heels) noted that the top shelf probably required a ladder.
The fridge itself offers a whopping 252 litres of capacity, with four glass shelves and a bottle rack in the main area. I might lose one of those shelves for the extra shelf height. At the bottom you get a properly cavernous fruit and vegetable drawer that's not only quite deep, but also extends right out to the door thanks to a highly set door pocket.
A smaller upper drawer that's kept cooler than the rest of the fridge – promising near-zero temperatures for maximum food freshness and longevity – is ideal for meat, fish and cheese. A small glass shelf area in front of this drawer will make for handy temporary storage with the door open while you're putting things away.
The door pockets themselves are mighty. They're deep and four out of the five are the full width of the door. The sliding divider in the lowest is useful for keeping bottles in place when the pocket isn’t full, and the top one is both capacious and has a flip-over lid. It's ideal for butter, or – since it’s so high up – keeping refrigerated goodies out of the reach of anyone small (I’m thinking kids and not my octogenarian mother here).
The freezer section is a healthy 94 litres, which should be adequate for all but the largest families – or those who really max out on those frozen ready-meal two-for-one deals.
The space is divided neatly into three drawers and offers more features than many competitor models at this price. The drawers themselves run on wide nylon sliders, which allow them to pull in and out easily even when loaded to the brim, and there is a glass shelf between each. This allows you to store much larger items by simply removing the drawer and placing the items on the shelf.
The mid-drawer has a divider to help accurately file your contents, and the top drawer has a front-access rack for the ice-cube trays. All very neat and practical.
The BSNF 9150 OX has a compressor cycle of nearly two hours, which is even longer than is typical of modern energy-efficient machines. Cutting-edge refrigerators such as this Whirlpool can cool down quickly and the outstanding insulation (vital for the A++ efficiency rating) means that the compressor doesn’t have to come back on for some time.
The result is that this Whirlpool will only run for about 40 minutes or so, every couple of hours. When running it outputs pretty much exactly the 42dB claimed on the energy label for around 30 minutes, followed by 10 minutes of being slightly quieter – there appears to be a change in tone, presumably as the cooling fans change mode.
Then it switches off for more than a hour of silence. While 42dB isn't super-silent by flagship refrigerator standards, it's still ridiculously quiet – about that of a library.
Like all cooling appliances on test, we loaded the fridge with 0.5kg of mixed fresh food per 10 litres of fridge capacity and the freezer at 1kg per 10 litres of space. With such a big fridge on offer, this amounted to a whopping 12.5kg of fresh food; our local green grocer thought it Christmas had come early. The freezer load included 2 litres of water at room temperature to test the machine’s ability to freeze down bulk fresh food.
While we usually set the refrigerator to 4oC and the freezer to -18oC, the Whirlpool’s controls didn’t allow us to set it up with such accuracy. We plumped for the middle of the three settings and let the BSNF 9152 OX’s 6th Sense technology do its thing over the course of a week.
If there's one thing we can say about Whirlpool’s 6th Sense cooling technology is that it delivers very even temperature throughout the fridge compartment.
Aside from the meat drawer, the average temperature remained the same from the very top shelf to the salad drawer at the bottom, demonstrating exceptionally good air-circulation cooling. Shame, then, that it was the wrong temperature.
The compartment was consistently and evenly 6oC throughout, rather than the 4oC we'd class as ideal. The meat drawer was a degree or so cooler, but was still a fair way off its promised near-0oC.
Briefly skipping forward a week at this point, we reset the controls to the third-coolest setting – and hey presto! The compartment hit 4oC, with the meat drawer around 1-2oC. So while the Whirlpool is more than capable of delivering the perfect temperature, you do have to put it on the lowest of the three temperature settings to achieve that.
Back to the main test then, and we were impressed with the Whirlpool’s temperature consistency in the fridge. The top shelf displayed the most fluctuation at just +/- 2oC throughout the near two-hour-long compressor cycle, with the other shelves and meat drawer measuring just +/- 1.5oC either side of average temperature. The salad drawer almost flat-lined, with barely a ripple in the temperature. This will genuinely keep your food fresher for longer, backing up Whirlpool's claims.
Given the high-ish temperature in the fridge, it was a bit of a surprise to discover that the freezer was running very chilly indeed on the same "mid" setting. The top drawer stabilised at an average temperature of -20oC, but the lower two drawers and our food sample were cooler still at -22oC.
Consistency of temperature was fairly respectable, with the top shelf (nearest to the air outlet) showing +/- 5oC variation, while the other drawers were a more stable at +/-3oC. All very good then – if it wasn’t quite so cold. For food storage and longevity, a lower temperature isn't a problem at all. However, it does mean slightly higher than necessary running costs as the freezer compressor works harder to keep the compartment cooler than it needs.
The three-hour fail test delivered mixed results. Our key frozen food sample and the lower two drawers gained around 9-10oC. This is a little below average for an A++ machine, but given the lower starting point (-20/-22) it isn’t far off the mark.
However, the top shelf warmed considerably quicker when the power went down, shooting up six degrees before settling down into stable warming. While it did reach a fairly high -7oC in the three hours, largely due to the power going off at the warmest part of the compressor cycle, the warming rate was then very slow. This ensures that the freezer would be good for at least nine hours of power outage before the air temperature reached above zero degrees. Good, if not outstanding.
The better news is that Whirlpool delivers on its promise of quick temperature recovery and food is chilled down super-fast once the power returns.
So, overall, a slightly mixed bag of results – with good temperature consistency and stability, albeit with the fridge being a little warm and the freezer a little too cool.
Measurements were taken with the BSNF 9152 OX running on the "mid" setting, which is what most users are likely to opt for. Over a week of testing, loaded as noted above and opening the doors six times per day, Whirlpool's appliance consumed 4.7kWh of electricity – which equates to 248kWh for the year.
That is almost exactly the figure stated by Whirlpool on the energy label. At an average of 15p per kWh, that would cost you around £37 per year in electricity. However, we'd recommend putting this model on its coldest setting to achieve perfect fridge temperature, which would add a couple of extra pounds to your annual electricity bill.
For big-capacity cooling with style, Whirlpool's BSNF 9152 OX is a great product. Comprehensive storage options, simplified controls and stable cooling throughout score high – although a lack of temperature fine-tuning means that the fridge runs a little warm and the freezer a little cool on the "mid" setting.
Energy-efficient and a great looker inside and out, if you don’t mind the rather plasticky handles then the Whirlpool BSNF 9152 OX delivers solid performance and solid style.