About a month ago, I had the pleasure of delivering a shiny new Bosch 100 series dishwasher to a friend on behalf of Lowe's. While that made me quite happy, I was anticipating what was next. Well… now it's my turn!! This time being a #LowesPartner is getting me spoiled rotten! A few days ago, I was blessed with a beautiful new Samsung Family Hub 3.0 refrigerator! It looks sooo good in my kitchen!
When I say that I have been drooling over one of these for a long time… I mean from the moment I first laid eyes on one. I mean really…. a fridge that talks to me? Necessary? Probably not. But… being the tech geek that I am, you know that I wanted it! I didn't think that I needed it right away, but I decided to watch and wait. I knew that one day it would be mine.
Just about 3 years ago, I had the pleasure of receiving and reviewing a Samsung Showcase Side-by-side Refrigerator. And I loved it! I thought that I would never give it up, but… then this happened 🙂
The Layout & Space
The Samsung Family Hub 3.0 comes in many different models. You can check them all out on the Lowe's website. After studying them all I chose the full French door version. I mentioned in my other review that I did not like my previous French door fridge, but this one has a greatly improved design over that one. My old French door fridge had a large freezer drawer that pulled out. Things would just get piled inside, getting lost, never to be seen again… kind of like a deep freezer. And forget being able to clean under the drawer! It was impossible to get in there. But, the Samsung Family Hub 3.0 bottom area is actually 2 doors that open pretty much like a fridge! And inside are shelves and drawers for major organization. And there are plenty of door shelves. NOTHING WILL GET LOST!!
The fridge on top is very roomy and full of space. Although, I do feel that my Samsung Showcase Side-by-Side may have had more space overall. But, technically these fridges aren't that different in size. The Showcase was 28.7 cu ft, and the Family Hub is 27.9 cu feet. It must be the way that space was laid out. In the side-by-side, I had a lot of inner door space for items such as condiment bottles and drinks. The Family Hub goes deep but loses out on some door space because the ice maker is actually in the door of the refrigerator. However, the space around this area is utilized in full with unique sized and shaped door shelves.
But… the Samsung Family Hub 3.0 has one very unique feature that I may use often… especially after Thanksgiving! If you don't need to keep that much stuff in the freezer, or you have another freezer that you can utilize at certain times, like I do in the garage… you can do something that I consider a game changer! The bottom right side of the Family Hub is a flex space. It can be easily converted from freezer space to fridge space!
This is perfect for storing leftovers after Thanksgiving! Or… are you ready for this?? That space can be used as a wine fridge! This sets the compartment at 41 degrees. It even comes with a removal wine rack that fits easily at the top. Or, you can set it to the Soft Freeze setting which is perfect for ice cream. My kids and husband eat a lot of ice cream, so this may just get used quite a bit. Or, if you are planning a big party with hor d'oeuvres, use the cheese and vegetables setting. And lastly, planning a BBQ and want to keep your meat thawed, but fresh? Use the Meat and Fish setting which adjusts the compartment to 30 degrees. Having so many options for that space may just change the way that I store food.
Favorite Samsung Family Hub 3.0 Tech Features
The basis of the Samsung Family Hub 3.0 is a 19″ tablet the sits in the right door. This will remind you of your Android phone. It's where you open apps, set fridge options, add things to your list, or even play music. It does so much! Below are some of my favorite features.
I was considering putting a chalkboard on the wall outside my kitchen to keep track of family appointments, tasks, and other useful notes. I mean face it, when you have a large family it's sometimes hard to keep up with what the family is doing. With the Samsung Family Hub, we can view our calendar right on the fridge door. It's like having a living chalkboard right there.
To accomplish this, I recommend setting up a Gmail account just for your family. Once created, go into the calendar settings, and change it to automatically accept appointments.
So now, if you create an appointment on your own Google calendar that should be shared with the family, you can invite the shared account and the appointment will show up on your calendar. And of course, the whole family can configure this calendar on their mobile devices as well. No one will be left wondering what the family is up to, or what time they need to be at soccer practice.
I have noticed that syncing with the calendar on the Family Hub sometimes takes a little time, but it does work. This is a game changer for family appointments.
Have you ever been at the grocery store and wondered if you had eggs in the fridge? Well, wonder no more! With the Samsung Family Hub 3.0, you can view your fridge when away from home using the Family Hub app. You can also use the same feature on the fridge itself. But, of course, if you are going to do that you can just open the fridge. 🙂 There are three cameras mounted on edge of the inside left door to accomplish this. But, the feature is not perfect. While you do get a nice view of the 3 shelves inside the fridge, you do not get a view of the doors. However, the picture is very clear, and as long as it is on those 3 shelves, you will probably see it.
The Allrecipes App
I've been a user of Allrecipes for quite a long time. In fact, back in 2003 during one of my visits to Seattle as a Microsoft Office Champion, we visited the Allrecipes office and got hands-on with some of the workers who curate and create recipes. Since then I have visited the Allrecipes site over and over again for recipe ideas. I also have the app installed on my smartphone. I hardly ever follow a recipe to a T. Ok… I never do. But, I do use recipes for inspiration. I find one that I like and add my own spin. With the Allrecipes app right on my refrigerator, I can view recipes, save them to my favorites and even send the ingredients list right to my shopping list, or the included meal planner.
The Meal Planner
The meal planner is pretty awesome! I've never been one to plan many meals ahead of time. In the summer we usually just decide to grill spur of the moment. But, now that school has started again and the weather will start to change I will be cooking more indoors… which means shopping and planning! I don't like shopping as much in the winter, so I will do more planning and shopping ahead of time. With the Meal Planner app, I can have all meals laid out on my calendar, add all of the necessary items to my shopping list, and sync the list with my phone. I love this!
I have been using SmartThings since we moved into our house in February 2017. I have a hub, and I have several compatible items hooked up to it all over the house. And now, if I am standing in front of my fridge I can access the included SmartThings app to turn off lights, check Ring cameras, and more. The Family Hub even gets added as a device in the SmartThings app on my phone. I can then monitor the temperature, turn off the ice maker, get an alert if the door is left open, view inside, or turn features off and on.
Instead of looking at the default stock images and backgrounds that come on the Family Hub, you can upload up to 10 photos from your smartphone using the Family Hub app to personalize the look of your fridge. I quickly uploaded a few photos from our recent family vacation.
Bixby was first introduced to us on the Samsung Galaxy S8. If you are not familiar, it's a smart assistant. It's Samsung's version of Alexa, Siri, and the Google Assistant. I have two of those other smart assistants available in my kitchen, so I do not use Bixby much yet. However, since it ties in with my Samsung Galaxy Note 9 smartphone, I just may give it a try. Using Bixby, you can quickly say things like “Hi Bixby, play Pandora” and next thing you know, you will have music. BTW… the AKG speaker built into the fridge is pretty good!
The Ring App
Ring is one of the more popular doorbell cameras available. I used to have one and I loved it. I now use a Vivint doorbell camera, but I recently picked up a couple of Ring Spotlight Cameras which are being installed on the outside of our house. Once they are installed I will be able to view them right from my fridge. I would love to see Samsung add support for other camera brands.
Samsung Family Hub 3.0 Issues
When I first configured my Family Hub I did have a bit of trouble getting everything working. There were issues with getting Pandora working, calendar syncing was not working, and the Allrecipes app was reporting a server error. It all seemed to be network related to since it was connectivity issues. I fooled around for a bit, and reset the network and everything started working. I have gotten an occasional connection error from Allrecipes and Pandora, but closing the app and reopening it seems to do the trick. Hopefully, this is something that will soon be fixed with an update. And I would love to see more apps, or the ability to add additional apps soon.
For a busy household like mine, this refrigerator is awesome! We spend a lot of time in the kitchen. And with 6 people, sometimes 7… wait… sometimes 9! (yikes!) in the home, being able to keep track of the integrated calendar, message board, and shopping list means less back and forth about who forgot to do what. I am loving that! While this refrigerator is considered high-end, for those families with a bustling home life, the Samsung Family Hub 3.0 Refrigerator would be worth the investment! If your kitchen is the center of your home life, and you have a busy family, you just might need a Samsung Family Hub 3.0 Refrigerator. With prices ranging from $2299 to $4319 at Lowes, you can find one to fit your budget. If you are looking for the latest in smart home tech… this is it!
Disclosure: The Samsung Family Hub 3.0 Refrigerator was provided to me by Lowes in exchange for this review. All opinions are my own.