Smart functionality has become popular in refrigerators, especially for Café and Samsung.
It's also likely been ten or more years since that last time you've shopped for a refrigerator.
You can now monitor and change the temperature from your work or your child's soccer game.
Refrigerators not only have different configurations, sizes, finishes, and different levels of refrigeration. They also have different types of Smart features.
You will see a comparison of two brands offering unique refrigerators, Café and Samsung Family Hub.
Both are excellent, but you will probably buy these refrigerators for features other than smart.
Let's look at both brands and then compare.
Overview of the Brands
Café Appliances is GE's best-selling premium line. GE, of course, is not owned by GE anymore, but by Haier of China.
Most of Café Appliances' products are still produced in the US. However, like the rest of GE's appliance division, Café has benefitted from Haier's appliance-only focus.
Café Appliances Best Smart Refrigerators
CFE28UP2MS1 - $3,266 | CQE28DM5NS5 - $3,959 | CYE22UP2MS - $3,266
Samsung is one of the largest companies in the world based in Korea. You probably knew that.
However, Samsung is also the number 1 sold brand in the US as well. They were the first to offer style, technology at an affordable price.
Samsung's Best Smart Refrigerators
RF28T5F01SR - $2,429 | RF29A9771SR - $3,699 | RS28A5F61SR - $1,889
Café Appliances vs. Samsung Family Hub Smart Refrigerators
What They Have in Common
First, both are available in French door, four-door French doors, and side-by-side in either full or counter depth.
Both have twin evaporators to maintain better temperatures. The refrigerator and freezer air doesn't blend so that tastes and odors don't cross over.
Think smoked cheese from your refrigerator wafting into your Brighams (still the best) vanilla ice cream in your freezer.
Both brands in their second drawers can be switched back and forth from freezer to refrigerator based on your current needs.
Basic Wi-Fi and Smart Functionality
Both can set the temperature remotely and receive texts like your door being open from an app on your phone.
Where Café and Samsung Differ
The Smart Hub (shown) emulates your smartphone and more. You have all your apps from music to shopping, plus updates from weather and news.
The whiteboard allows you to place notes on your family as well. The options are limitless.
You also have three cameras inside the refrigerator to see into the refrigerator from the grocery store.
You won't buy that second jar of pickles or extra ketchup, knowing you already have one in the refrigerator.
You can also run your Ring cameras onto your refrigerator. That's pretty amazing.
It's all powered by Bixby, the Samsung voice attendant.
The Café with a Keurig (shown above) allows you to set the coffee brewing time to have your coffee waiting for you in the morning.
Our techs can plug into your Café refrigerator to see what's wrong as well as diagnostics.
Maybe because we are in the service business, but this is extremely helpful (almost exciting).
I am not normally a fan of lighting, but the light wall in the back of the Café is impressive and will illuminate all your items, even in the back of the refrigerator.
Both have stainless steel.
Samsung has two trend-ending finishes in Black steel and Tuscan bronze.
Café has Matte Black in addition to the more popular white (shown above) and contemporary mirrored finish (shown below).
You also have three choices for handles stainless, copper, and brass in the Café versus just stainless for the Samsung.
Café has a neat dispenser with a feature called autofill, so it senses the amount of water in any bottle or cup with your intervention versus the more traditional dispenser from Samsung.
Counter Depth Refrigerator Reliability December 2019-November 2020
|Fisher & Paykel
These figures are based on a minimum of 20 sold per brand and over 3,000 total pieces.
Numbers look similar yet are a bit deceptive.
The 21.1% for Samsung includes all their refrigerators, including basic top mounts and side-by-side sides, not just their more complicated Family Hub.
The Café number is all the more elaborate pieces. GE Profile and GE are their more basic refrigerators at 12.8% and 18.2%.
The Café is more reliable than Samsung for high-end refrigeration.
Equally important is what happens when you have a problem.
Quick note: You will have a problem within five years with either brand.
Icemakers are the single biggest service problem for appliances in general. It's our number 1 single service call.
GE has a nationwide network of service techs and parts. It's probably not ideal but better than any other brand.
Samsung is spotty at best. In some locations, there is no service. In most places, it's far from optimal, as many readers of this blog frequently angrily point out.
Wherever you are located, service should be part of your buying process, especially with refrigerators.
Which Refrigerator Should You Buy?
Both are good options.
The Family Hub is inspired and allows you so many options, from music to the Ring with tons of apps as well as a whiteboard with notes for your family.
The knock-on Samsung will lack any type of help with problems.
Also, as inspired as the Family Hub is, you have the same functionality on your cell phone in your pocket.
The Café is more basic without the screen. However, you have better design options and a better service experience after the fact.
Café vs. Samsung is about options and flexibility versus design options and better support after the fact.
Download the Yale Counter Depth Refrigerator Buying Guide with features, specs, and inside buying tips for regular, pro, and integrated counter-depth refrigerators. Well over 900,000 people have read a Yale Guide.