Samsung’s new smart fridge is a $6,000 moonshot for the connected kitchen

The Samsung Family Hub Refrigerator is the Korean manufacturer’s latest and boldest attempt at selling us on the smart fridge. With a 21.5-inch touchscreen on the door and cameras on the inside that keep watch over your leftovers, it’s arguably the smartest — and inarguably the smartest-looking — smart fridge to date.

And with a retail price starting at $5,600 (or $6,000 for a counter-depth model in black stainless steel like the one seen here) it’s the most expensive one yet, too. It isn’t available outside of the US yet like some of Samsung’s other four-door fridges, but that starting price comes out to roughly £3,900 or AU$7,500.

However you convert it, $6,000 is a hell of a lot to spend on a fridge, even one that looks as nice as this one does. Take the Samsung RF32FMQDBSR, for instance. It offers the same, attractive four-door build, the same luxurious recessed handles, and the same “Flex Zone” in the bottom right quadrant that you can dial between fridge and freezer settings — all for at least two thousand bucks less than the Family Hub fridge. The only differences between the two? The touchscreen, the cameras and the admittedly slick-looking black stainless steel finish.
So here’s the basic question with this thing: Is that king-sized touchscreen (and the smarts that go with it) really worth the two thousand-dollar upcharge? Is this the fridge of the future, or a fridge too far?

To find out, we installed the Family Hub Refrigerator in the CNET Smart Home’s kitchen. We’ll save our full review for after we get our hands on a full production model. For now, here are our first impressions after spending about a week with a pre-production unit.