We typically see lots of new large appliances in February, when manufacturers trot out their latest models at the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show in Las Vegas. It's that time of year again, and Bosch is getting into the mix with a new lineup of French door refrigerators slated to sell in the US later in 2019.
No word on what the new free-standing fridges will sell for, but Bosch tells us to expect them to hit the market by midyear. The number of new models and their specific model numbers are also still to be determined, but the German manufacturer says that it'll all add up to "the broadest refrigeration portfolio in Bosch's US history."
"The new line is truly refrigeration, reinvented," adds Anja Prescher, Bosch director of brand marketing.
At first glance, I'd respectfully beg to differ. Although Bosch does sell, these American models, available in regular or black stainless steel, appear to be pretty standard-looking French door fridges that don't do much to think outside the icebox.
Built to exemplify existing counter-depth stylings, Bosch's new 800 Series refrigerators all line up flush with your countertops, leaving only the doors sticking out any farther. Other high-end touches include steel-rimmed glass shelving and a stainless steel back wall. None of those features are unique to Bosch.
Note also that there's no in-door water or ice dispenser with any of the new models we've seen thus far. Instead, you'll find the automatic ice-maker in the freezer down below, along with a water dispenser that's tucked away inside of the fridge. It seems a bit impractical to need to open the doors and navigate around your groceries to fill up a glass, but it also gives the fridge a clean, minimalist exterior, which is what Bosch really seemed to be going for here.
Inside, things get more interesting. For starters, you can store groceries on little shelves on the back wall, just above the top shelf. Bosch calls those shelves the "FlexBar," and they promise to help you get more out of the usable space in the back of the fridge. Not a bad idea in theory -- I just wonder if they'll make the top shelf feel cramped and shallow, since counter-depth fridges are a couple of inches less deep than standard refrigerators to begin with.
Between the fridge compartment and the freezer is a fully separate "VitaFreshPro" drawer with its own distinct temperature and humidity settings. You won't be able to dial it down all the way into freezer mode like you can with a similar drawer in, but temperature-adjustable drawers like this one are still a very welcome little luxury. They're a good place for delicate ingredients like meats and cheeses that would benefit from a temperature setting that's a little higher or lower than the rest of the fridge.
We'll know more about the new French door lineup from Bosch a little closer to this summer, when the fridges are expected to hit the market. Stay tuned.