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Samsung's $999 WF45M5500AZ got the second best stain removal score of any front-load washing machine we've tested. I recommend it if you're looking for a midrange model with excellent performance. You can stack it under (or install it next to) the corresponding dryer.
A random combination of buttons, touch controls and a knob make the washer's display a bit chaotic, but its digital screen is easy to read from a distance. The Samsung Smart Washer app is supposed to help you troubleshoot potential problems with your washer, but it's outdated and glitchy. I'd suggest calling customer service instead.
Even with its slightly cluttered display and annoying app, the WF45M5500AZ is a strong contender alongside other washers in the $1,000 range.
I like the look of the WF45M5500AZ. The blue finish manages to be different without being too much. You can also opt for the same washer in either platinum (also $999) or white ($899). You'll find all of the settings you need on the display panel, but its assorted buttons and touch controls are a little messy. The Samsung Smart Washer app is glitchy, too. It's supposed to help you diagnose washer issues, but I'd skip the app altogether and just contact customer service or a repair person instead.
|Samsung WF45M5500AZ||Electrolux EFLS617S||Whirlpool WFW87HEDW|
|Color finish||Azure blue, platinum, white (for $899)||White, titanium (for $1,199)||Chrome shadow, white (for $1,099)|
|Capacity||4.5 cubic feet||4.4 cubic feet||4.3 cubic feet|
|# of cycles||10||9||10|
|Energy consumption||105 kWh/year||85 kWh/year||109 kWh/year|
|Dimensions (width, height, depth)||27 x 38.7 x 33.8 inches||27 x 38 x 31.5 inches||27 x 38.75 x 33.13 inches|
|App||Samsung Smart Washer||No||No|
We score a washer's performance based on how well it removes stains and how gentle it is on clothes. To do this, we run new stain strips and "mechanical action" strips through three identical 'normal' cleaning cycles (see our how we test washers article for more details).
Stain strips are long strips of fabric covered in skin oil (sebum), mineral oil (carbon), pig's blood, cocoa and aged red wine. Mechanical action strips are thin pieces of fabric with five holes punched in the shape of an X across the width of the square. After each cleaning cycle, we calculate the percentage of original stains left on each fabric strip. We also count the number of attached, frayed threads on each mechanical action strip.
The lower the stain score percentage and the frayed fiber count, the better the washer performed.
Samsung's WF45M5500AZ got an excellent stain removal score; just 44 percent of its original stains were left on average after each cleaning cycle. Even though Samsung did extremely well, the EFLS617S had just 40 percent of its original stains remaining. Check out the graphic to see how its stain removal compares to Electrolux's EFLS617S and Whirlpool's WFW87HEDW by stain.
The WF45M5500AZ was fairly tough on clothes, though. It had an average of 294 attached, frayed threads. The Electrolux EFLS617S had a similar wear and tear score with a 295-count; Whirlpool's WFW87HEDW had a 263-count, making it more gentle than the other two models.
Samsung's $999 WF45M5500AZ front-load washing machine does a great job removing stains. I wish its display was more streamlined and that the Samsung Smart Washer app worked better. But even so, the Samsung WF45M5500AZ is well worth your consideration -- especially if you're in the market for a stackable midrange front-loader with excellent performance.