To say that smart refrigerators have been mostly high-end so far is an understatement. These whales have been appearing at CES and in appliance reviews for years, but always as concepts or with ridiculous price tags. You certainly don’t see them installed in many new suburbs. But Samsung is trying to change that with its new Family Hub smart fridge. Samsung is among the best refrigerator brands for good reason.

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Like most smart fridges we see, this one has a touchscreen, but it’s particularly massive at 21.5 inches, larger than most laptops and equipped with a variety of apps as well as a speaker system. In fact, it may as well be a laptop attached to your fridge, because Samsung reports it can be used to post notes, share calendar updates, pin photos or share images, stream music, connect to Bluetooth speakers, view TV programs with Samsung smart TV, and more.

Samsung Fridge
A smart fridge for the masses?

In addition to all the traditional computer activities, the Family Hub smart fridge also includes a few features specific to its job as a kitchen appliance. It has cameras that snap pictures of food every time the fridge is closed and then sends them to your phone so you can see what’s there and what isn’t. The fridge uses both the Samsung Smart Home app and Groceries by MasterCard to create grocery lists and buy from FreshDirect and ShopRite, among others (hopefully with options for using some of the excellent third-party shopping apps out there).

There are also rumors of other partnerships in the mix to add even more features after the fridge launches. It is due in the United States this Spring in several different models, but prices will start at a surprisingly affordable $5,000, putting it in the range of many consumers who wouldn’t look twice at smart fridges before.

Will this be the refrigerator that finally makes keep food cool easier with smart tech than without? Well, let’s put it this way: If you wanted a smart fridge before, the Family Hub is probably the best option you’re going to find for a while. But for Samsung’s apparent target market – busy young families without the time or budget for a big smart appliance with apps they may already have – the product seems a lot weaker. That’s the problem with smart fridges: They’re still a little too superfluous to be a common household object.

What do you think? Is this smart fridge destined to make it big or be forgotten along with all the rest? What would it take for you to buy one?

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Tyler Lacoma

When he isn't enjoying the beautiful Northwest outdoors, you can find Tyler on business and tech sites, writing about the latest news, analyzing trends, and generally making the Internet a more interesting place.

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