Samsung's Flex Duo insert has the power to elevate so-so models like the $1,600 Samsung NE59M6850 to the top of your wish list. The Flex Duo is a divider you put into the oven's single cavity that divides it into two separate cooking zones, so you have the flexibility of being able to cook two dishes at different temperatures at the same time without the investment of a built-in double oven.
If you take away the Flex Duo insert from the Samsung NE59M6850, you're left with an appliance that's good, but not great. Its cooking times and performance during testing were decent, even if they lagged behind what we've seen with other ranges. The stove's ability to connect to Wi-Fi is also a useful feature, but it's not a must-have. The Samsung NE59M6850 is a good choice if you need the flexibility that comes with Flex Duo, especially since this model is one of the cheaper ones that includes this feature. But shop around if you don't need a double oven.
The Samsung NE59M6850 is a black stainless steel, 30-inch wide electric range. The smooth cooktop is equipped with four burners and a warming zone to keep dishes ready-to-serve. The oven cavity, which contains 5.9 cubic feet of space, has two convection fans in the back wall which circulate hot air to bake your food faster and more evenly.
The black stainless steel is a nice alternative to the ever-present traditional stainless steel finish we see on appliances. The overall design is simple and unassuming, so the range will probably look fine with other appliances in a similar finish. The most distracting aspect is the control panel, which has a lot of buttons to control the oven when you use the Flex Duo divider to split the oven into an upper and lower cavity.
To turn the single oven cavity into two different cooking zones, you slide the Flex Duo insert onto the fifth oven rack. With the insert in place, you can set different temperatures for each section and cook dishes simultaneously -- useful when you have to cook a lot of food at once.
You can also use the Flex Duo insert if you don't want to use the entire oven to cook one dish; for example, you could use just the top cavity to heat a frozen pizza rather than heating the whole oven. And you can use the oven door two ways: You can open the entire door or, when the Flex Duo divider is inserted, you can open just the top portion of the oven.
The range can also connect to Wi-Fi to give you some limited ability to control the appliance through Samsung's app. Once you connect the range to Wi-Fi (an easy process through which the app guides you), you can use the app to preheat your oven remotely and check to see if you accidentally left a burner on. This is a useful feature if you want to have a hot oven when you get home or suspect that you might have left on a burner. However, you have to make sure you've enabled the Samsung NE59M6850 to receive commands through the app before you leave the house. And you can't control the cooktop through the app -- you can only see if burners are use.