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LG makes an awful lot of refrigerators with "Door-in-Door" compartments. Most of those Door-in-Door models are French door fridges, but this one is a side-by-side that costs a lot less.

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Elegant design

The LG Door-in-Door Side-by-Side features a good-looking black stainless-steel finish and subtle, white-tinted touch controls.

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Better than before

That's an improvement over earlier LG designs like this one from last year, which look a little bit garish by comparison.

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Magic button

Now for the Door-in-Door compartment. You'll open it by pushing this button on the refrigerator handle.

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Open sesame

Once you do, the front panel of the door will unlock and come open.

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Extra access

With Door-in-Door, you can access those in-door shelves (along with the extra shelves on the back of that front panel) without actually opening the fridge.

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A different story inside

One problem: you get less access on the inside of the fridge, where LG encases those in-door shelves with a plastic barrier. You can get to some by opening a door or reaching in through a little window, but not the top shelf -- it's completely blocked off. The only way to get to it is by going in through the Door-in-Door compartment.

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For comparison

Compare that with the Samsung RH25H5611SR, a similar side-by-side that also lets you open the front panel to access the in-door shelves. It doesn't block anything off on the inside -- and it performed better in our tests than LG, too.

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Storage space

LG's fridge offers 26.1 cubic feet of storage space, 16.9 of which are allocated to fridge. That's a good number for a side-by-side, and one that gave us enough space for all of our test groceries, along with five out of six large-sized stress test items (the extra large, extra wide pizza box was an obvious no-go).

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Performance

At the default, 37-degree setting, LG's Door-in-Door Side-by-Side gave us hit and miss performance. The temperature on the refrigerator's main shelves -- the most important part of the fridge -- were right on the money, averaging out to 36.6 degrees. But the in-door shelves ran a little hot, as did the bottom crisper bin, with multiple shelves averaging temperatures above 40 degrees.

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Coldest setting

Things were a lot better at the coldest setting -- though the fridge obviously becomes less energy efficient as you dial it down.

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