The Samsung RF27T5200SR (available at AppliancesConnection for $1,255.10) is the rare modern fridge by the mega brand that isn't taking advantage of its own trademark smart fridge software, Family Hub. Instead, this side-by-side refrigerator focuses on offering customers a different kind of smart feature: It uses a multi-vent system to keep temperatures more evenly distributed throughout the unit. We love this interesting innovation; it keeps temperatures relatively consistent throughout the fridge compartment. Also, the RF27T5200SR has more storage space than the average side-by-side fridge, which is a boon for consumers who want freezer space (although at 12 inches wide it still won't fit most standard 14-inch frozen pizza boxes). These two features might not have the flashy "wow" factor as some other modern fridges, but you don't need a gimmick to be great: The RF27T5200SR is quietly one of the best side-by-sides we've tested. If you're looking to buy a new fridge, another great side-by-side is the LG LSXS26366S, which provides high-performance at an excellent value.
The RF27T5200SR features a standard side-by-side design, with the fridge compartment on the right and freezer on the left. The left door also houses the through-the-door dispenser.
Opening up the right-hand compartment reveals a standard side-by-side layout: lots of locked-in shelving plus two crisper drawers at the bottom.
The left-hand compartment houses the ice maker, which takes up the majority of the door’s interior.
About the Samsung RF27T5200SR side-by-side refrigerator
Dimensions: 70.06" x 35.88" x 33.5" (H x W x D)
Measured capacity: 12.7-cubic-foot refrigerator compartment; 5.7-cubic-foot freezer compartment
Finishes: Stainless steel, black stainless steel ($100 extra)
Dispensers: Through-the-door water and ice (cubed and crushed)
User manual: Samsung RF27T5200SR side-by-side refrigerator manual
What we like
Multi-vent technology keeps fridge temps remarkably steady
One of the key features of the RF27T5200SR is its multi-vent system that stood up remarkably well to the tests we put it through in our controlled lab.
For starters, the RF27T5200SR doesn't show a temperature gradient at all. For context, most fridges typically have a single vent that pipes in cold air, and is located at the top of the rear wall. This can lead to items on higher shelves getting colder than items lower down, running the risk of cutting off air circulation from entire shelves that are too cramped, and items at the bottom to getting warm enough to spoil prematurely.
The RF27T5200SR aims to remedy this situation by using multiple vents at different heights, in order to more evenly disperse cold air throughout the fridge.
In the RF27T5200SR, we measured the top shelves averaging a near-perfect 36°F, dropping to 34°F in the middle shelves, then increasing to 36°F again at the bottom. Where the average fridge may have a 3°F to 6°F difference between the top and bottom, here we see only a couple degrees of difference between the vent zones, and the top is actually the same temperature as the bottom.
Furthermore, during testing the temperatures remained consistent over time and throughout normal use. Despite defrost cycles and regular use during our testing run, temperatures in the fridge wavered by less than 1°F. This is some impressive temperature stability.
There’s more room to store your favorite foods than most side-by-sides
While not as spacious as its cousin, the RS27T5561SR, the RF27T5200SR still packs more storage area than the average side-by-side. We measured its fridge compartment at 12.67 cubic feet, which is exactly 1.75 cubic feet larger than the average side-by-side. For context, 1 cubic foot is about the size of four basketballs: We're talking about a significant difference here.
The freezer is also bigger than average, if only by slightly. We measured the freezer at 5.7 cubic feet, which is 0.35 cubic feet larger than average. Every little bit helps, though, especially for a side-by-side, which often has difficulty accommodating bulkier items into its relatively narrow column.
For the frozen pizza lovers among us, the RF27T5200SR can snugly accommodate your favorite CPK Crispy Thin Crust variety, which, in-box, measures 12-inches square. But, for brands that use the standard 14-inch packaging, you'll have to tilt that pizza to make it fit, which means less space for your favorite frozen pies and, consequently, more grocery-store runs.
A minimalist through-the-door dispenser for convenient refilling
We love a good through-the-door dispenser, and the Samsung RF27T5200SR's feels great to use. The activation paddle put forth just the right amount of resistance so we didn't feel in danger of accidentally activating the dispenser, but also didn't have to fight with it.
The dispenser supports both cubed and crushed ice, with its transparent reservoir visible inside the freezer compartment, which makes it easy to eyeball your ice reserves at a glance.
What we don’t like
The crispers underwhelm
Chances are nobody is ever in danger of being overwhelmed by a particularly elegant display of humidity control, but when it comes to the RF27T5200SR the low points aren't particularly low.
Our measurements show that the RF27T5200SR's crispers are letting moisture escape at rates roughly 10% faster than the average fridge. This means your fresh veggies may not last as long in the RF27T5200SR as they would in a different fridge.
Storage has few customization options
Due to their design, side-by-side fridges often don't have many options for repositioning shelves. While the RF27T5200SR does have more raw storage space than the average side-by-side, you're stuck with the fridge's layout. All of its shelving is molded into its walls, and there's no additional slots available to slot shelves at a different height.
The freezer can feel especially cramped, with a shelf width of 12" just barely being enough to fit some common frozen foods. This is not a fridge that's accommodating to oversized items.
What owners are saying
Owners like the Samsung RF27T5200SR, awarding it an average of 4.1 out of 5 stars across major retailers. Many users appreciate how much extra storage space the RF27T5200SR provides, in addition to its sleek design, quiet operation, and through-the-door dispenser.
The most common negative criticisms revolve around the ice dispenser being slow to replenish and lack of repositioning options for shelves. We didn’t run into any issues with the ice maker during tests, and the ice reservoir can hold 4.4 pounds of ice, which should be enough for most users (though more and more people are stepping up their ice game recently).
Samsung's warranty covers parts and labor for one year. The sealed refrigeration system (compressor, evaporator, condenser, drier, and connecting tubing) is covered for up to five years, for both parts and labor. The digital inverter compressor is covered 10 years for parts and five years for labor.
Typically, warranties will only cover the first year, so we're happy to see Samsung guarantees selected parts further into the refrigerator’s lifespan. This is one of the better warranties in the business, so you can feel confident in your purchase.
Should you buy the Samsung RF27T5200SR refrigerator?
If you're not in the market for a smart fridge, the RF27T5200SR offers a sleek, understated design and more storage space than we'd expect from a side-by-side. We liked the through-the-door dispenser with a transparent ice bucket so you can easily check its levels. The multi-vent system works wonderfully, keeping temperatures from getting warmer lower down in the fridge. Temperatures this consistent are rare and will keep your food fresh for a long time.
If you are looking for a fridge that supports Samsung's popular Family Hub smart home system, definitely look into the RS27T5561SR, which we think is one of the best entry points to having a smart home.
If you're in the market for another upscale option without smart features, we also recommend researching the LG LSXS26366S, which does cost a bit more, but has some equally-impressive performance.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.