We go hands-on with the Samsung WF457 washer

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/ Updated: September 13, 2013 11:46 AM PDT

Samsung is looking to make your laundry room a lot smarter with the WF457, a washing machine that boasts Wi-Fi connectivity with your smartphone, not to mention an 8-inch LCD touch screen. At $1,499, the WF457 certainly isn’t cheap -- a midrange, nonconnected washer costs half as much -- but it still comes in at a lower price than competitors like LG’s Smart ThinQ Washer, or Whirlpool’s smart washing machine.

Our full review of the WF457, along with the other smart washers in its class, is coming soon. For now, let’s take an early look at some of the claims and features we’ll be putting to the test.

Designed to impress The WF457 is an undeniably gorgeous machine, especially once you switch on the touch screen. Everything about it connotes luxury, from its pearly white finish to the gentle chime that plays as the main menu boots up. Samsung calls the WF457’s stainless steel tub a "diamond drum," which sounds fancy, but really just means a drum with diamond-shaped drainage holes.

Colin West McDonald/CNET

Speaking of the drum, it’s a roomy 4.5 cubic feet, which puts it just above the Whirlpool's 4.3 cubic feet, and just below the LG's 4.7 cubic feet. Samsung claims that it's capable of washing 2.4 laundry baskets worth of clothing in a single cycle. The interior features LED lighting, which you can turn on and off via the touch screen, along with a child safety lock to keep young ones from opening the front-facing door.

Custom cleaning, cleaner clothes Aside from the basic washer cycles (normal, heavy duty, permanent press, etc.), the WF457 features customized cycles designed for specific types of fabric, or even for specific types of stains. You get cycles specifically for things like bedding, active wear, and wool, and also cycles geared toward grass and mud stains, or the kinds of food stains a home chef might commonly need to combat.

All in all, the WF457 has 21 wash cycles for you to choose from, and each one of these is easily customizable. Using the washer’s My Cycle feature, you can create and save custom cycle settings and easily use them again in the future. There’s also the added functionality of a dedicated deep-steam mode that should help eliminate the need to pretreat stains.

Colin West McDonald/CNET

You’ll control all of this through the machine’s LCD touch screen. Samsung packages quite a bit into those 8 inches, and the surplus of options might feel a little overwhelming at first glance. However, the menu is actually very well organized, with the main cycle options on the left, general setting options on the right, and cycle-specific customizations in the center. As touch screens go though, it’s just a little bit laggy, especially when you scroll up and down the long lists of options and settings. It’s a very minor thing, not enough of an issue to make the touch screen any less usable, but it’s just noticeable enough to be annoying.

A washer with a brain The WF457’s smart features keep it competitive with the other brands’ top offerings. Using Samsung’s app, available on iOS and on Samsung Galaxy Android devices, you’ll be able to use your smartphone to view the washer’s progress midcycle or even stop, start, or pause a cycle. You can also set the WF457 to send your phone a handy little notification when the cycle is complete, so you can say goodbye to forgotten washer loads sitting drenched and abandoned in the basement overnight.

Ry Crist/CNET

Another feature you’ll be able to access from your smartphone is Smart Care, a self-diagnosis mode that the washer will use whenever something goes wrong. With Smart Care, you should be able to figure out exactly what’s stopping your washer from working, and then be able to fix the problem, or communicate it to a technician, using the app’s step-by-step directions.

Is it worth it? At $1,499, that’s the big question -- it’s definitely a high bar to clear. Stay tuned for a complete review of the WF457, along with the other smart washers in its class, not to mention our review of the WF457’s matching smart dryer, the DV457. Until then, check out our washer buying guide for tips on selecting the perfect machine for your laundry needs, as well as an in-depth look at your current smart washer options, the WF457 included.

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Where to Buy See all prices

Samsung 4.5 cu. ft. Front-Load Washer w/VRT Plus (White)

Part Number: WF457ARGSWR
MSRP: $1,499.99 Low Price: $1,399.88 See all prices

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