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Samsung DV5500 dryer review: Speed alone doesn't make this dryer a good deal

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The Good The Samsung DV5500 dryer runs through its loads quickly. It comes with many cycles and steam modes.

The Bad Its drum is smaller than what some other dryers offer for the same price. Its control panel is cluttered and confusing. Its screen is small, dim and hard to read.

The Bottom Line Samsung's DV5500 dryer runs fast but feels cramped and costs more than it should.

7.1 Overall
  • Design 6.0
  • Usability 6.0
  • Features 7.0
  • Performance 8.0

If you're in the market for a high-end, front-loading clothes dryer, the Samsung DV5500 might sound tempting. This $1,000 dryer powers through wet loads quickly. It also has plenty of special cycles and steam modes. And to match adventurous interior designs it comes in a distinctive azure blue.

Unfortunately, the DV5500's flaws are hard to forgive. Its small, secondary control panel is cluttered and confusing. The dryer's tiny display is blurry, dim and looks dated. The DV5500 is no bargain either. For $649, Samsung's own DV7750 performs better, has comparable features, and is easier on the eyes. The $1,099 Electrolux Perfect Steam is a sweeter deal as well. While not as powerful, it's stylish and offers a larger capacity for not much more cash.

Cluttered controls for many cycles

Besides its distinctive blue exterior (it's also available in white and platinum), the Samsung DV5500 has a conventional appearance. Its front-loading design is built to match washing machines with similar layouts. Its official laundry pair is the $999 Samsung WF45M5500AZ front-loading washer.

The control panel has cluttered buttons and small text.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Both machines are essentially steel cubes with circular doors on their faces. In the case of the DV5500 dryer, its drum size is a modest 7.5 cubic feet. That's a hair bigger than the standard 7.4 cubic foot capacity you'll find on most budget and midrange dryers. The $649 Samsung DV7750 (7.4 cubic feet), for example, fits this mold.  

The 7.5 cubic foot capacity drum on the Samsung DV5500 is cramped considering its price.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

If you're willing to spend $100 extra, you can score a dryer with more elbow room. Case in point: the $1,099 Electrolux EFME617S Perfect Steam (8 cubic feet) and the $1,100 Kenmore 69133 (8.8 cubic feet). I also prefer the modern aesthetic of both of these appliances. Even their control panels are sleek and streamlined compared with the DV5500's cluttered button layout. The DV5500's minuscule screen is dim, and tough to read from any angle too. Worse, the screen's text blurs when you view the display from the side.

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