If you're looking to bring smart technology into your home, you might very well consider LG's line of Smart ThinQ appliances, including the Smart ThinQ SteamDryer for your laundry room. With its impressive array of features, it certainly fits the mold of a top-of-the-line dryer. Of course, at $1,599 for an electric unit and $1,699 for the gas model, it comes with a top-of-the-line price tag, too. It's a substantially higher cost than what you'll pay for an otherwise fully-loaded machine that lacks smart functionality, and we wonder if the tech really merits that kind of jump just yet. Still, this pricing is right on par with what we've seen from the two other major smart dryers on the market, the Samsung DV457 and Whirlpool's WEL98HEBU with 6th Sense Live.Design and features
With its graphite steel finish and strikingly vivid 7-inch LCD touchscreen, the Smart ThinQ SteamDryer boasts one of the best designs of any dryer that we've seen, and manages to stand out amid a crowded field of high-end machines. This is largely thanks to its unique, attention-grabbing appearance, one that practically screams out "smart." If you put twenty dryers in a room and told me to pick the smartest on looks alone, I'd point to the Smart ThinQ. (Sure, it has the word "smart" stamped on it a few times, but that's beside the point.)
The Smart ThinQ's smart features stack up fairly evenly with what Whirlpool and Samsung are offering, with a few subtle differences. All three will allow you to track the progress of a cycle from your smartphone, though while Samsung and Whirlpool offer actual control of their dryers through their respective apps, LG does not. Like the Samsung DV457, the SmartThinQ SteamDryer features smart diagnostic capabilities, allowing it to identify problems as they occur and walk you through the solutions. As far as displays go, all three offer full-color LCD screens, though Whirlpool's isn't a touchscreen.
The Smart ThinQ dryer features a 7.3 cubic foot drum. That's marginally less capacity than Whirlpool and Samsung's smart offerings, but still plenty of room to handle super-sized loads. Like the Whirlpool and Samsung smart dryers, the Smart ThinQ offers steam cycles capable of eliminating wrinkles and sanitizing hard-to-clean items, but it sets itself apart with the SmartAdapt feature, which allows you to download custom drying cycles to handle specific fabrics.
Is it worth the money?
We're wondering the same thing, especially considering the fact that LG's own DLEY1201V non-smart dryer retails for just $899, yet compares nicely to the Smart ThinQ given that it boasts an equally roomy 7.3 cubic foot drum, a similarly luxurious graphite steel look, the same steam cycle capabilities, and even the Smart ThinQ's own Smart Diagnosis feature. You can even save another $100 if you're willing to sacrifice the graphite steel finish and go with plain old white.
Essentially, the LG Smart ThinQ SteamDryer would have you pay $700 more for a touchscreen, smartphone alerts, and the ability to download custom cycles, and that leaves us a bit skeptical of the value it offers. We'll have an even better sense of what the Smat ThinQ is worth in the coming weeks, as we'll be putting it through its paces with our slate of comprehensive tests. Watch for our full review to see how it fares, and in the meantime, take a look at our dryer buying guide, including its full breakdown of the current laundry room smart offerings competing for your business.