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HolidayBuyer's Guide

Automatic fill-ups

Autofill Pitcher

Sparkling water, anyone?

Fingerprint resistance

Black stainless steel

How about slate?

Flexible temperatures


Dedicated drawers

Whirlpool doubles down

Flexible storage

In the door, too


Coffee smarts

Whirlpool works with Nest

We all use our refrigerators each and every day, so it's worth having one you really like in your kitchen. With a wide range of fridge features available from different manufacturers, you've got a lot of options when it comes to bells and whistles, and we've spent countless hours testing them all out. Click through for a rundown of our favorites thus far.

Caption by / Photo by Tyler Lizenby/CNET

First up: fancy water dispensers. Fridges have long offered the convenience of fresh, filtered water on demand, but GE takes it to the next level with water dispensers that'll automatically fill your glass, pitcher, or pot to the brim, or dispense a specific amount of water.

Caption by / Photo by Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Certain new models even offer automatic pitcher fill-ups inside of the fridge.

Caption by / Photo by Chris Monroe/CNET

If you're really feeling fancy, you could splurge on Samsung's Chef Collection fridge. You can load a soda cylinder right into the door for sparkling water on demand.

Caption by / Photo by Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Up next: smudge-proof finishes. Stainless steel is still all the rage, but it's often smudgy as hell. Enter Frigidaire, which offers a wide range of "smudge-proof" stainless steel refrigerators with a grained finish that does wonders to repel those ugly fingerprints.

Caption by / Photo by Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Smudge resistance is a benefit of black stainless steel finishes, too. This four-door LG model is a prime example.

Caption by / Photo by Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Of course, if black stainless steel is too pricey for your tastes, you could consider GE's lineup of slate-finished fridges. They aren't as shiny as true stainless steel, but they still look classy, and they hardly smudge at all.

Caption by / Photo by Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Next up: adjustable temperature zones. More and more, we're seeing fridges that offer a dedicated space with its own set of temperature presets, allowing you to dial things up or down as needed to better chill sensitive ingredients like meats and cheeses. Samsung's four-door models take it a step further with a "Flex Zone" that you can switch between fridge and freezer modes.

Caption by / Photo by Tyler Lizenby/CNET

GE's high-end French door models have a drawer with color-coded temperature presets designed to offer a distinct visual cue as to what preset you're using.

Caption by / Photo by Chris Monroe/CNET

Some higher-end models, like this LG French door fridge, have special drawers that are kept totally separate from the body of the fridge, complete with temperature presets.

Caption by / Photo by Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Whirlpool even offers two of these drawers in some models (though only one drawer comes with adjustable temperatures).

Caption by / Photo by Tyler Lizenby/CNET

There's room for flexibility when it comes to storage, too -- which brings us to favorite fridge feature no. 4: movable shelving. This Samsung model has shelves that slide in, slide out and fold up -- all of them make it easier to find a place for large size items, or to reach items stashed in the back of the fridge.

Caption by / Photo by Tyler Lizenby/CNET

We like flexibility from our in-door shelves, too. This Frigidaire model takes a modular approach and lets you easily swap in specialty shelves, like this can dispenser.

Caption by / Photo by Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Finally, we'd be remiss not to mention smart refrigerators, which have taken a big step forward this year. That's largely thanks to the Samsung Family Hub Refrigerator, a high-profile, can't-miss smart fridge with a whole host of features you won't find anywhere else. That includes a 21.5-inch touchscreen loaded with apps and special cameras inside the fridge that help you keep track of ingredients on hand. It's damned expensive, but it's still the first smart fridge that really wowed us.

Caption by / Photo by Chris Monroe/CNET

GE's got an interesting new smart fridge, too. The ace up its sleeve? A built-in K-cup coffeemaker, complete with Wi-Fi smarts that'll let you start heating the water for a brew while you're still in bed.

Caption by / Photo by Chris Monroe/CNET

The year isn't over yet, either. We're still awaiting the debut of Whirlpool's new smart French door refrigerator. Among other neat tricks, it promises to work with the Nest Learning Thermostat to automatically run defrost cycles when energy rates are at their lowest.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
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