Bertazzoni REF90X

Score

Pros

  • Stunning good-looks and build quality
  • Versatile fridge storage
  • Excellent LED fridge lighting
  • Stable temperatures
  • Enormous door pockets

Cons

  • A little noisy at 43dB
  • Ineffective freezer lighting

Key Features

  • Review Price: £2199.00
  • A+ energy rating
  • 412-litre fridge capacity
  • 120-litre freezer capacity
  • Stainless-steel finish
  • Dual air cooling
  • Spilt, height-adjustable shelves
  • Ice-maker with storage
  • Electronic touch controls
  • 2-year guarantee
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What is the Bertazzoni REF90X?

Italian flare for design and a long history of engineering underpin all Bertazzoni products, especially the imposing Bertazzoni REF90X four-door fridge freezer. With an enormous 400-litre-plus fridge capacity, versatile furniture and lush stainless-steel finish, it easily mixes practicality with style.

We love the split-shelf design and additional shallow drawer in the fridge, which together deliver exceptional space flexibility. The REF90X tests very well, keeps temperatures stable and won’t cost a fortune to run.

It isn’t the quietest four-door we’ve tested, and the door pockets are arguably too big. Yet for practicality with panache, the Bertazzoni is the hottest Italian in the kitchen since Gino D’Acampo.

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Bertazzoni REF90X – How does it look?

Bertazzoni is probably the longest established kitchen appliance brand you’ve never heard of. This family-run Italian company has just celebrated its 135th birthday and is now bringing a range of luxurious cookers, hobs, extractors and refrigerators to the UK.

The REF90X is an A+ rated, four-door fridge freezer that ticks all the premium appliance boxes. It’s frost-free, has digital controls and dual, circulated air-cooling for even temperatures.

The chunky build quality, stainless-steel doors and the bold handles make for quite a statement in the kitchen. Those handles are available in three designs, allowing the REF90X to look professional, contemporary or more rustic. The look coordinates perfectly with other Bertazzoni appliances, but the bold style works just as well on its own.

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The luxury finish does have a drawback, however. The stainless steel is a bit of a fingerprint magnet. The bold steel handles do help avoid touching the main surface, but for homes with kids, you’ll want to keep a polishing cloth handy.

The upper doors release with a firm tug and glide open with a weighty presence, even when the capacious door pockets are empty. A turnover bar between the doors is gently heated to ensure there’s no sticking or suction. The lower two freezer drawers pull out smoothly on large roller-bearing runners. Even when fully loaded, they glide in and out with ease.

The inside of the Bertazzoni has no less of a premium feel. Vivid LED lighting in the full-width fridge comes from the top and both sides, ensuring every corner of the compartment is illuminated. Controls and the temperature displays are on a high, stainless-steel finished panel, and the Bertazzoni badge at the rear of the compartment is neat.

Breaking the mould of almost all other four-door fridge compartments we’ve seen, you get four adjustable glass shelves on lugged supports. The slotted rails at the rear of the fridge do look a little more industrial/garden shed, but they’re brilliant in use.

Each shelf lifts out easily and slots back onto the support rail securely. They’re super-easy to remove for cleaning, and the split left/right shelves offer unrivalled storage versatility.

You get two good-sized vegetable bins with a humidity control slider for each. Below that is a large, flat storage compartment with a full-width lid that flips open as it’s pulled forward. All three drawers roll out smoothly on wheeled runners.

The door pocket arrangement is symmetrical and offers vast space, possibly too much. The main four door pockets are geared up for US-style gallon milk and juice cartons, so will happily fit six-pint plastic milk bottles end-on. The two flip-top containers at the top would keep a big family in dairy for a while, and the lower door pockets are ideal for small bits and pieces.

The freezer drawers are no less well-appointed, complete with dividers, manual-fill ice maker and a little ice scoop. Both drawers are lit by an LED in the ceiling of the freezer compartment. That works okay for the upper drawer when it’s half pulled out, but is ineffective when the drawer is fully out.

The light doesn’t illuminate the lower drawer at all, but does strangely back-light the freezer compartment behind.

Bertazzoni REF90X – How much can you fit in?

At a smidgeon over 91cm wide and 177cm tall, the REF90X is a large four-door appliance. Its capacity is further enhanced by a depth of over 78cm. That gives 120 litres of freezer space and a whopping 412 litres of capacity in the fridge.

The trade-off is that those doors will protrude over 18cm proud of a standard UK 60cm depth worktop. Still, it all adds to the Bertazzoni’s focal point effect.

Storage versatility in the fridge is outstanding. The split-shelf design allows a plethora of shelf options that other four-door models just can’t match. The dual salad bins benefit from independent humidity controls, and both plastic-fronted bins pull out completely for a worktop rummage.

The flat lower drawer has a three-position divider and is very handy. Packs of cold meats, bacon, cheese and small plastic containers all fit in here a treat, freeing up space for bigger items in the open fridge space up top.

The four main door pockets are huge. Yet their shape means they’ll only fit two four-pint milk cartons in each, with a gap to the sides and front. You could stuff some other items in here to fill the gap, but not without making access to your milk a bit tricky.

Quite why only the right-hand door offers multiple door-bin positions is a bit of a mystery, too. Either way, there isn’t the room for tall bottles in the upper and lower bins simultaneously. The door bin shape and size isn’t a major issue, but we can’t help thinking there’s a little storage space going to waste here.

We have no complaints with the two flip-over dairy compartments on top. These are plenty big enough for a variety of dairy products and easily accessed. Below the main door bins are two small trays, truncated half way along to make way for the lower drawer to open. That made it ideal for small items such as tubes of tomato puree, garlic paste and maybe the odd bar of chocolate.

The upper of the two freezer drawers is a shallower, full-width bin with a two-position divider. The divider neatly annexes the ice cube maker and ice storage box. A little plastic jug is supplied to fill the trays, which twist to release ice into the bin below. The little ice scoop is a neat touch and saves frosty fingers. The inner liner of the drawer comes out for cleaning when empty, but won’t easily shift when full.

The deep freezer drawer is big enough for a turkey and still has room for a bulk bag of sprouts. Its limited front to back due to the compressor, but you get a three-position divider to help you keep order.  The liner is held in place with clips and can be cajoled out for cleaning.

The front, top edge of both drawers is a plastic trim piece. That helps avoid scuffing up your stainless steel when getting items in and out. The roller mechanism for both drawers was faultless.

The 120-litre freezer capacity perhaps isn’t as impressive as the exterior dimensions might suggest, though. It gives away perhaps 15-20 litres on some similarly sized four-door models.

Bertazzoni REF90X – How noisy is it?

It’s been a long time since we’ve seen 45dB on a premium fridge freezer energy label. Okay, that’s still relatively quiet in the kitchen – but by modern refrigerator standards, the REF90X is quite noisy.

With the compressor running you can certainly hear this luxury four-door in action – but, thankfully, not to the 45dB the label suggests. We regularly measured around 43dB, which is only a few decibels louder than the quietest fridges. While the REF90X certainly isn’t a super-silent fridge freezer, it makes an innocuous hum noise with no major pops, clicks or clunks. As such, it isn’t too obtrusive.

Bertazzoni REF90X – How well does it perform?

With over 400 litres of usable fridge space, it took a serious shop and a rummage through our cupboards to fill the REF90X. We loaded the fridge to our standard 0.5kg/10-litre claimed capacity, grossing over 20kg of produce. The freezer swallowed 12kg of frozen food (@1kg/10 litres), including a 2-litre bowl of room-temperature water to test freeze and defrost times.

We set the fridge to 4ºC and the freezer to -18ºC. The REF90X was kept in an environmental chamber at a constant 18-19ºC, and the doors were opened around half-a-dozen times a day.

As befits a premium A+ rated appliance, cooling is speedy, set temperatures accurate and temperature stability very good. Average fridge temperatures ranged from 5ºC at the top to 1ºC in the bottom drawer. The lowest shelf run at 3ºC and both salad crispers kept at around 2.5ºC. We couldn’t ask for better.

Stability through the compressor cycle was also good, with the top shelf varying most at +/- 2ºC. The lower half of the fridge was more consistent still. All three drawers moved just a degree or so either side of their average temperatures. That’s a great set of results. Very few large fridges perform much better when it comes to temperature accuracy or consistency.

The freezer was almost as impressive and very good for a drawer freezer where air can circulate freely. Both drawers averaged -19ºC with a fluctuation of just +/- 3ºC. Freeze-down of our water sample was a speedy 18 hours. There was no average temperature drift in any compartment over a three-week test.

The Bertazzoni won’t let you down in the event of a power failure, either. Thanks to excellent insulation, three hours without power only caused air temperatures in both freezer drawers to nudge up to -10ºC. The frozen food sample remained a few degrees below that. The REF90X easily passed our three-hour fail test and would comfortably keep your frozen food good for well over 12 hours without power.

That’s a very good set of technical test results, proving the REF90X isn’t just a pretty face.

Bertazzoni REF90X – How much will it cost to run?

With its super-large capacity, the Bertazzoni is never going to be as frugal in running costs as a standard 60cm-wide fridge freezer. It isn’t bad, though. Over the course of our three-week test, it used just over 25kWh of electricity.

Extrapolated out over a year, that would be around 435kW. That compares fairly closely with the energy label’s stated 409kWh. At the current UK rate of 15p/kWh, the REF90X will cost you around £65 per year to run.

That isn’t the cheapest big-capacity freeing freezer we’ve tested, but it doesn’t give too much away to the very best in class. It’s comfortably A+ rated and, given its family-sized capacity, scores well in cost per litre of cooling or freezing space.

Why buy the Bertazzoni REF90X?

Stylish, well built, versatile and boasting very good technical performance, Bertazzoni’s gorgeous REF90X can be warmly recommended.

The capacity and adaptable storage make for a great chiller space, even if the door pockets are a little too big for UK-sized bottles. The interior lighting is top-notch. The two-drawer freezer is rather compact by comparison and its lighting does little of use. However, its freezing and fail-test performance are outstanding, and the ice cube maker is a nice touch.

Overall running costs are commensurate with its capacity and A+ energy rating. If you’re looking for a luxurious, four-door fridge freezer to be the focal point of your kitchen, the REF90X fits the bill perfectly. Bellissimo.

Verdict

This luxurious, Italian four-door fridge freezer more than justifies its premium price thanks to great cooling, versatile storage and sumptuous style.

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Key Features

Dimensions HxWxD (cm) 1775mm x 911mm x782mm
Energy Rating A+
Freezer Capacity 120litres
Fridge Capacity 412litres

Test Results

Approx. Annual Power Consumption (KWh) 435kWh
Approx. Annual Running Cost £65
Running Noise (A weighted) 43dB
Max. freezer air temp. after 3-hour fail (Celsius) -10
Max. freezer food temp. after 3-hour fail (Celsius) -12
Frozen safety limit (food to zero degrees) 12 hours +
Recovery time to -20 after 3-hour fail 30mins
Average freezer temp. variation +/- 3 degrees
Average fridge temp. variation +/- 1 degree
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