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Refrigerators

GE Appliances gets trendy with a door-in-door fridge

One of our least favorite fridge features claims another appliance brand.

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Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Since LG debuted the door-in-door fridge years ago, the concept has been appealing enough to lure their competitors to follow suit with similar models. Now, GE Appliances is getting in on the door-in-door game, just a week after Whirlpool showed off its own new version of the feature at CES.

From LG's original to Samsung's Food Showcase, all door-in-door fridges are essentially the same -- an outer panel grants access to the food on the shelves of the door without opening the bigger fridge door. GEA's will use a small mechanism hidden on the handle of the main door to trigger the smaller compartment to open.

It's a somewhat useful feature -- you can grab a snack quickly without letting out all of the cold air -- that's better in theory than practice. The LG and Samsung models we've tested with these smaller doors tend to have warmer door bins. Thus, the door-in-door feature has led to worse fridge performance and occasionally makes accessing the food from inside the fridge more tedious.

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Whirlpool will try to mitigate the performance problem with dedicated cooling for those compartments adjacent to the extra panel. Details are scarce on GEA's model, so hopefully they'll do something similar.

We'll hope to find out much more about GEA's door-in-door fridges in the coming weeks. As of now, the company hasn't disclosed prices or whether or not the feature will be available overseas -- perhaps through Chinese appliance maker Haier, which recently acquired GE Appliances. GEA's door-in-door models will be available this July.