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HolidayBuyer's Guide

Samsung RF23M8090SG Counter-Depth 4-Door French Door Refrigerator review:

One of the best French door fridges we've tested

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The Good The Samsung RF23M8090SG is a good-looking fridge with useful features like an auto-filling water pitcher and a temperature-adjustable "FlexZone" drawer. It was a near-flawless performer in our cooling tests.

The Bad The "polygon handles" on the fridge are a meaningless gimmick. The crisper bins feel a bit flimsy.

The Bottom Line This is a very good refrigerator, and worthy of a splurge if you're looking for a modern-looking upgrade.

CNET Editors' Rating

8.6 Overall
  • Features 8.0
  • Design 8.5
  • Performance 9.5
  • Usability 8.0

If you're thinking about upgrading your kitchen appliances for the holidays, Samsung hopes you'll consider the RF23M8090SG, one of its newest and fanciest French door models. Priced at $4,200, the fridge features an updated design with metallic accents, an autofilling water pitcher and a slick-looking exterior with a dedicated "FlexZone" drawer and recessed handles.

All of that adds up to a fridge that looks and feels like a modern luxury, and to Samsung's credit, the RF23M8090SG performed brilliantly in our cooling tests, too. 

Yes, the suggested retail price is a staggering $4,200, but suggested retail prices don't actually mean very much in the world of appliances. In fact, the RF23M8090 is currently on sale for $2,600 at a number of major retailers, including Best Buy and Home Depot. That's a pretty decent value for a fridge as nice as this one.

A new design, sans salsa moat

Yep, you read that header right -- the salsa moat is gone.

You'll find an autofilling water pitcher and a butter bin-style compartment where the infamous "salsa moat" once sat.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Let me back up a bit in case you're (rightfully) somewhat confused. Previous generations of Samsung's high-end French door models have all shared an annoying design quirk -- a narrow little shelf in the door that sits directly beneath the bulging ice maker. We couldn't figure out what you were possibly supposed to fit in such an awkward shelf, so I took suggestions from Twitter. The winner: loose salsa for easy dipping. The salsa moat was born.

Well, now it's dead. Samsung stripped it out and replaced it with a butter bin-style compartment and a dock for the new autofilling water pitcher. The new compartment is still a little cramped, but it's definitely an improvement -- I could even fit a whole, unopened jar of salsa inside (sort of).

As for the pitcher, it's a pretty nifty new feature (or new-ish, anyway -- GE started selling fridges with autofill pitchers over a year ago). Just dock the thing into place inside the door, and the fridge will automatically fill it back up with fresh, filtered water. When it's full, the flow of water will automatically stop.

After several test fill-ups, I never saw it spill a single drop. I also appreciated that Samsung found a spot for it that doesn't take up too much room that you'd otherwise use to store your groceries. By comparison, the pitcher in GE's fridge is larger, and it eats up valuable shelf space in the body of the fridge.

Other design improvements are more subtle. New, recessed handles line the tops of the freezer and the FlexZone drawer, giving the fridge more of a modern aesthetic. For the fridge, you get what Samsung terms "polygon handles," which literally just means handles that aren't tube-shaped (they're more like rounded triangles). They look and feel fine, and they don't detract from the overall design, but they're still a hollow gimmick, and I award Samsung exactly zero fridge points for including them.

The FlexZone drawer offers an extra 3.1 cubic feet of storage space along with its own, dedicated temperature presets and a sliding divider to section things off.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Inside, you'll find metallic trim around the edges of the shelves and lining the walls, the inside of the FlexZone drawer, and the front of the ice maker. It's a little thing, but it definitely helps this fridge feel less ordinary.

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