A smart fridge from Whirlpool with features you might actually use (first take)

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/ Updated: 9 September 2013, 12:11 pm AEST
Whirlpool

The Whirlpool WRL767SIAM Side-by-Side Refrigerator is the debut refrigerator in Whirlpool’s 6th Sense Live appliance line. At $1,999, the WRL767SIAM has a reasonable price tag, at least compared with smart fridges we've seen from LG and Samsung. If its performance and the utility of its smartphone and tablet app live up to Whirlpool’s promises, it may be hard to recommend those more expensive models.

The WRL767SIAM is a side-by-side refrigerator. Per the product page, it has a 16.6 cubic foot space for the fridge, and 9.9 cubic feet on the left half for the freezer. That's 27.3 cubic feet total, so it's not what you would call small, but it doesn't quite match the $3,499, 30.7-cubic foot LG Smart ThinQ LFX31995ST, either.

Then again, the Whirlpool fridge only costs $1,999.

Whirlpool's smart fridge features five door bins, three free-standing shelves, one temperature-controlled drawer, one humidity-controlled drawer, and one standard drawer. This configuration offers you several storage options though it lacks some of the flexibility of French door models.

Whirlpool

The freezer has three fixed-width shelves, one adjustable-width shelf, three door bins, and a slide-out freezer basket. Again, the WRL767SIAM has fairly standard features for this style of freezer.

But the hallmark of this refrigerator doesn't appear to be its outward design. Its real stand-out feature comes by way of Whirlpool’s utilitarian 6th Sense Live app.

We say utilitarian because Whirlpool seems to mostly focus its smart features on maintenance. Its Smart Stats, for example, lets you check on the status of your fridge, showing temperature and other settings, and also gives you data on how many days it has been in use, online, and functioning normally. Smart Energy connects the fridge to Smart Grid (if it is available in your area) to help track and optimize energy usage.

Smart Nudges will alert you if you left the refrigerator or freezer doors open, or if you need to change a filter. Similarly, Smart Alerts notify you of a power outage. Finally, Whirlpool’s Smart Store allows you to order replacement parts, such as filters, right from the app.

LG’s Smart ThinQ refrigerator can perform diagnostic scans and status checks as well, but it also has a full blown touchscreen, complete with inventory app. Samsung's high-end smart fridge has those features and also includes apps for Pandora and Twitter.

Whirlpool

With no grocery or content apps, or even a touchscreen, the Whirlpool WRL767SIAM won't give you that kind lifestyle-oriented interaction. I’m not convinced, though, that I would take the time to manage my refrigerator inventory or even use my app to make grocery lists.

We will treat the WRL767SIAM to a full review once we get our hands on a unit in the coming months. And even though it is a high-end unit given its $1,999 price tag, it still feels like a great value compared with the other connected refrigerators.

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Where to Buy

Whirlpool WRL767SIAM

Part Number: WRL767SIAM
Pricing is currently unavailable.