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Electrolux EFLS617S review: This cool, uncomplicated washer performs well under pressure

Electrolux's $1,099 EFLS617S washing machine is the complete package -- it works well, it's easy to use, and it looks nice, too.

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Megan Wollerton
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Megan Wollerton

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Megan Wollerton has covered technology for CNET since 2013. Before that, she wrote for NBC's Dvice.com (now SyFy). Megan has a master's degree from the University of Louisville and a bachelor's degree from Connecticut College, both in international relations. She is a board member of the Louisville chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. When Megan isn't writing, she's planning far-flung adventures.

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The $1,099 Electrolux EFLS617S Front Load Perfect Steam Washer with LuxCare Wash and SmartBoost may not have an app or any other connected home integrations, but this affordable appliance is definitely smart.

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8.1

Electrolux EFLS617S

The Good

The Electrolux EFLS617S washer excels at stain removal for just $1,099.

The Bad

It doesn't have an app or any other smart features.

The Bottom Line

Get the Electrolux EFLS617S for its reasonable price and top-notch performance.

The SmartBoost performance feature the Electrolux team touted when its new 600-series washers were first announced in January really does clean clothes better. The EFLS617S, a flagship 600-series washing machine, also has intuitive controls and is easy on the eyes. If you're in the market for a reasonably priced front-load washer with impressive stain-fighting power, I'd give this Electrolux model a close look.

This Electrolux washer scares stains away (pictures)

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The basics

For a full-size washer priced at just $1,099, the Electrolux EFLS617S has a lot to offer. Available in a white or dark gray finish (gray costs an extra 100 bucks), it has a competitive 4.4-cubic-foot capacity, an unfussy display, and a variety of features.

Some of them include:

While I wouldn't expect to see a steam feature like Perfect Steam or a system designed to monitor and control water temperatures and sense load size like LuxCare for $1,099, SmartBoost is the real standout here. As Electrolux claims, SmartBoost offers "The most effective stain removal."

Here are some of its other key features:

Electrolux EFLS617SSamsung WF457ARGSWR
Price $1,099 $1,399
# of cycles 921
Energy consumption 85 kWh/year148 kWh/yr
Dimensions (width, height, depth) 27 inches x 38 inches x 31.5 inches27 inches x 39 inches x 34 inches
Warranty 1 year, parts and labor1 year, parts and labor
Voltage rating 120V 60Hz120V 60Hz
App NoYes, Android and iPhone

Performance

SmartBoost definitely sounds like a PR buzzword, something designed to seem fancy that might not actually improve a washer's performance -- or make doing laundry any easier. But in this particular case, it delivers.

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Tyler Lizenby/CNET

The feature relies on a third pump to mix the water and the laundry detergent together before they hit your clothes. It sounds simple enough, but the premixed soapy water will distribute more evenly for a more consistent overall clean (check out the video demonstration below). That was our experience, at least.

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Watch this: Fancy washer mixes soap and water first for extra cleaning power

Compared with the $1,399 Samsung WF457ARGSWR's 48 percent stain remaining score, the EFLS617S had only 40 percent of its stains left over, on average. That may not sound like a huge leap, but it is in washing-machine land.

When you break down the score by each individual stain, 44 percent of the sebum (skin oil) remained, 50 percent of the carbon (ash) remained, 19 percent of the blood remained, and 45 percent each of the cocoa and red wine remained.

A better stain removal score typically translates to a washer that's a little tougher on clothes. That was true here, too. We measure the number of attached, but frayed fabric strings that are at or over 2 millimeters long after a cleaning cycle. The higher the number, the worse a washer scores in terms of overall wear and tear.

The EFLS617S had an average of 295 attached frayed strings at or over 2 millimeters long -- not great if you're concerned about the lifespan of a favorite shirt. In contrast, the Samsung WF457ARGSWR had a slightly better wear and tear score with only 274 attached frayed strings.

33 washing machines to revolutionize your laundry routine

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The verdict

With impressive performance, a long list of features, an intuitive display and a reasonable price, Electrolux's $1,099 EFLS617S has a lot going for it. It can combat everything from the red wine stain on your favorite blouse to your kid's cocoa-stained T-shirts -- and more. And it outperformed the pricier Samsung WF457ARGSWR, making this budget-friendly Electrolux washer a superior value that's easy to recommend.

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Electrolux EFLS617S

Score Breakdown

Design 7Usability 7Features 8Performance 9