Frigidaire's Professional line of high-end appliances comes imbued with promises of the style and substance you can find in gourmet kitchens. Specifically, the Frigidaire Pro site touts "more power, greater precision, and heavy-duty design." After spending a good deal of time with the Frigidaire Professional FPBC2277RF, the promises of professionalism from the line feel more aspirational than fully realized, at least on this particular model. For one, the performance isn't that precise. The doors missed the set temperature of the fridge by several degrees, and even the middle and top shelf of the main compartment spent lots of hours on the warm side.
The performance isn't bad, but if we're holding this Frigidaire to a professional level of quality, it doesn't measure up to the similarly priced. This Frigidaire is counter depth, and that LG model isn't. But for the most part, we've found counter-depth machines to be variations of standard fridges, rather than entirely new models. I also find the high-end fridges in counter depth and standard depth from both LG and to be more stylish. To be fair, this Frigidaire model is a fine fridge, but the $3,500 cost puts it at the upper end of the consumer spectrum, where fine just doesn't cut it.
The pieces of a Professional
The Frigidaire Professional FPBC2277RF separates itself from low-end, $1,500 to $1,800 French door models with touch controls on an LCD panel, a stainless steel finish, counter-depth dimensions for that built-in look without the exorbitant price of a custom made fridge, an indoor dispenser with a light, and both a folding shelf and one that flips up to help you manage the space in the fridge.
The FPBC2277RF doesn't come to the high-end table empty handed. Combine all of the above with interior LEDs that gently fade up when you open the door, drawers that can be rearranged, and an extra ice bin in the freezer, and this Frigidaire Professional Fridge makes a convincing argument that it deserves a lofty price point.
At $3,500, though, it has to compete with the likes of the excellent $4,000 LG LMXS30776S. That fridge offers a Custom Chill Drawer you can set separately from the temperature of the main compartment. It has a door-in-door panel that allows quick access to the shelves. And the ice bin for the dispenser sits inside the left door, keeping the main fridge free for your groceries. LG offers counter-depth variations with the same features.
To be fair, I didn't find the door-in-door feature to be that helpful, but it helps the LG gain a level of polish that this Frigidaire Professional has trouble reaching. The LG even has a similar folding shelf that changes position just a little more smoothly.
The Frigidaire Professional has trouble outdoing it's own, cheapercounterpart, let alone matching the $4,000 LG heavyweight. The interior of the $2,600 Frigidaire Gallery FGHB2866PF9A we reviewed previously and this $3,500 Frigidaire Professional look almost exactly the same.
A 4-pound ice bin meant for the in-door dispenser sits in the top left corner. It's a 6-pound bin in the Gallery -- the Gallery isn't counter depth, so it can stretch farther back. The flip-up shelf sits next to that. You can adjust its position as you can with the other three shelves, but not as freely, since it's half the width of the rest to allow space for the ice bin.
It flips outward, toward the bin, allowing you to place taller items on the shelf below. You lose the space on the flipping shelf itself when it's in the up position, but since it's the smallest shelf, it's the easiest one to sacrifice.
The folding shelf has an extra set of gliders resting under it. Pull the front half away from the back to get it onto those gliders, and then push it under. Do the opposite to bring it back out. Both the flipping and folding features are simple and handy enough that even if you never rearrange the actual shelves of your fridge after you set it up, you can quickly make these adjustments to help you accommodate for unusual items or occasions.
Again, though, this is nothing new. The Frigidaire Gallery has the same pieces and features. The rest of the interior of both fridges is filled out by two fresh drawers with sliders for humidity adjustment, and a full width cool drawer. The deeper fresh drawers adjust via hooks in the back -- the same device that braces the shelves, so you move them the same way.
From the shelves to the drawers, rearranging the fridge works easily enough, and because you can move the drawers on top of each other or out of the way entirely, you can almost fully customize the interior of your fridge.
You can't move the cool drawer. Other than sitting at the bottom of the fridge where it's naturally cooler because heat rises, it doesn't offer any other features. It's just an extra place to store meats and cheeses and have them closed off from the rest of the compartment.
The doors of the fridge offer a few more spots for items and again, they're almost identical to those of the Frigidaire Gallery. The left side has two bins and a small spot about the size of a soda can at the top. The right side, unburdened by the ice dispenser, has three normal-size bins, a butter bin with a pivoting plastic lid and an air filter.
The freezer keeps the structural pieces to a minimum. A sliding drawer that holds the secondary ice bin sits above the main, deep freezer compartment. An adjustable divider runs the length of the lower basket. Squeezing its top lets you move it to one side or the other, letting you split the compartment as you see fit.
The only major difference in the interior of the Frigidaire Professional and the Frigidaire Gallery is the extra ice bin in the top left corner of the freezer. It holds 7 pounds of ice, giving you plenty when combined with the 4 in the fridge.
The ice bin in the freezer suffers from the same usability quirk as on. Electrolux owns Frigidaire, so where this Frigidaire Pro deviates from its Gallery compatriot, it falls in step with high-end models from Electrolux. With the ice bin, that's not a good thing. It's easy to set it in the wrong spot, where it feels snug, less than an inch away from where it needs to be.
Oddly, it feels looser in the correct spot, but if you mistakenly put the bin too far forward, you won't get any ice, even though it looks like the arm of the ice maker is in the "on" position.
There's nothing wrong with the fact that the Frigidaire Professional looks like another Frigidaire or an Electrolux. Plenty of manufacturers stick with the structural pieces that work for them. And both the Frigidaire Pro and the Frigidaire Gallery are easy enough to use and have pleasant interiors.
Still, the high-end Frigidaire Professional should be an upgrade over the midlevel Frigidaire Gallery. The price reflects that, but the interior of the fridge doesn't.
Moving to the exterior, the difference becomes much clearer, though I hesitate to call those differences an upgrade. Both have a smudge-proof stainless finish that does a good job of resisting fingerprints, but I actually find the rounded handles and slightly convex surface of the Frigidaire Gallery more appealing than the squared off sides and rigid metal bars of the Frigidaire Professional.
It does strike the note of a more "heavy-duty design" as promised by the Frigidaire Professional Series as a whole. I'm not a big fan, but some will find the crisper angles and neater look more to their tastes.
The display by the dispenser is simplified, and I did find that more appealing than the slightly cluttered controls above the Gallery's dispenser. The Professional keeps it to four buttons -- water, crushed, cubes and a light bulb. Select what you'd like to dispense and the button lights up blue and stays lit. Press the bulb for a dim but pleasant light to guide your glass if you're getting some water at night.
The panel can also display warning messages telling you when to replace the water or air filter, or letting you know if the fridge temp is getting too high for any reason. Most of the time, those letters stay blackened and you have to look closely to see them dimly outlined against the background. It's a neat touch, as it brings warnings you need to pay attention to front and center, but keeps them from cluttering an otherwise streamlined display most of the time.
The majority of the controls for the Frigidaire Professional have been moved to a vertical panel inside the left fridge door, similar to the layout of the Electrolux EI28BS80KS4A. The Frigidaire Gallery puts them all on the dispenser. Again, I thought it took away from the exterior appearance a bit, but the Gallery does make it easier to adjust the settings without keeping the door open.
Fortunately, the Frigidaire Professional panel, like the one on the Electrolux, is responsive and intuitive so you'll be able to make any settings changes quickly. You'll find a button to turn cooling on and off -- helpful when you need to clean the fridge -- a button to control power to the ice-maker, as well as one to put the freezer in turbo mode for after you get home with a big load of groceries that need cooling.
You can control the fridge and freezer temps, and you'll see a display showing the status of your air and water filter with an option to reset each after you've made a replacement. Finally, the fridge will sound a beeping alarm should the door be left open, should the power fail, or the temperature get too high due to either of those reasons.
On the panel, you'll see a red light illuminating any of those three warnings should they happen, and you can press the button next to the warning to acknowledge the issue and silence the alarm.
Frigidaire made a trade-off for its Professional line, keeping the fridge exterior simpler by moving the controls inside the door. It's a fine solution because the panel works well and making adjustments will be suitably quick. Again, though, I prefer the balance struck by the LG LMXS30776S.
LG put all of the controls on the front of the fridge by the dispenser, but it did so in a way that makes it look elegant and high-tech instead of clunky, and the controls fade away when not in use to keep the exterior pleasingly simplified.