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Five fridge gimmicks you'll actually love

Want your fridge to do more, but need help separating the gimmicks from the good stuff? You've come to the right place.

Ry Crist
Originally hailing from Troy, Ohio, Ry Crist is a writer, a text-based adventure connoisseur, a lover of terrible movies and an enthusiastic yet mediocre cook. A CNET editor since 2013, Ry's beats include smart home tech, lighting, appliances, broadband and home networking.
Ry Crist
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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.

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Automatic fill-ups

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.

3 of 16 Chris Monroe/CNET

Autofill Pitcher

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

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Sparkling water, anyone?

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.

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Fingerprint resistance

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.

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Black stainless steel

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

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How about slate?

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.

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Flexible temperatures

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.

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Color-coding

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.

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Dedicated drawers

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.

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Whirlpool doubles down

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

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Flexible storage

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.

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In the door, too

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.

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Smarts!

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.

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Coffee smarts

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.

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Whirlpool works with Nest

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.

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