If you like sparkling water or homemade soft drinks flavored with syrup, the Samsung RF31FMESBSR four-door refrigerator might deserve a spot in your kitchen. The $3,900 French-door bottom-freezer is the first of its kind to feature a built-in carbonated-water dispenser. We bought one to see how the dispenser works, and to compare the refrigerator's temperature performance, energy efficiency, and convenience with the other 300-plus models in our refrigerator tests.
Samsung partnered with Sodastream, manufacturer of the countertop soda makers that have become popular in recent years. The refrigerator's dispenser uses the same CO2 cylinders as the countertop devices. Simply screw the cylinder into the concealed compartment located in the refrigerator door, choose from one of three carbonation levels, and you'll be good to go for between 20 and 74 liters, depending on how bubbly you like your seltzer. The cost of the sparkling water works out to about 25 cents per liter, if you get 60 liters to the cylinder, according to Sodastream. Syrups, available in more than 60 regular and diet flavors, are an additional cost. The cylinders and syrups are available online and at 10,000 locations, so you shouldn't have to travel far for replacements.
The Samsung RF31FMESBSR also features a counter-height middle drawer with customizable temperature settings that range from 29 degrees F for meats up to 42 degrees F for party platters. Adjustable shelves and gallon door storage help keep food organized and the high-efficiency LED lighting lets you find what you're looking for quickly.
When testing of this innovative refrigerator is complete, we'll add it to our refrigerator Ratings. Right now our top-rated French-door refrigerator is the LG LFX28991[ST], $3,000. Its temperature performance and energy efficiency scores were excellent and it costs only $54 a year to run. Alas, it only dispenses regular water.