Our latest tests turned up another dazzling couple, a matching washer and dryer from Samsung that performed so well they made our recommended list. The Samsung WF457ARGS[GR] front-loading washer and the electric dryer, DV457EVGS[GR], both $1,550, are like most new couples—full of promise and swagger. Samsung claims you can control these appliances from your smart phone with its free app. Consumer Reports put these claims to the test.
The claims. No more running back to check your laundry or forgetting to transfer loads to the dryer, says Samsung. The app allows you to "monitor your laundry's progress from your upstairs bedroom, while you're cooking dinner or even while you're out running errands."
The check. The app was easy to download on an iPhone 4S and Motorola Droid Razr, then we started talking to our washer and dryer.
CR's take. The app works but was limited. The estimated finish time on our phone and the washer's touch screen differed significantly. We couldn't turn the dryer on remotely—unless we had turned the power button on beforehand. We couldn't change options when beginning a wash or dry cycle and couldn't adjust the time when using the timed dry cycle.
This app was interesting to use but its value is questionable. You still have to load, unload, and fold laundry and the one real benefit—indicating when laundry is done—didn't appear to be in sync with the machines. The washer and dryer, on the other hand, are standout performers. Tops in our Ratings, the WF457ARGS[GR] washer was excellent at getting clothes clean and at saving both energy and water. Drying performance was also excellent as was the DV457EVGS[GR] dryer's capacity and convenience. If you want a gas dryer, the model number is DV457GVGS[GR].
Safety tip. Dryers and to a lesser degree, washers, were responsible for an estimated 16,800 reported home fires in 2010, according to the National Fire Protection Association. "Generally speaking we discourage people from having these appliances on while they're out. If something goes wrong you're not there to catch it," says Dr. John Hall, director of NFPA's Fire Analysis and Research Division.
Check our full Ratings and recommendations to see how the Samsung machines compared to other models in our washing machine and clothes dryer tests.