In the market for a new refrigerator and considering the Samsung RF261BEAESR? In this in-depth review, I break down the design, functionality, pros, and cons, so you’ll know all the important information before you buy.
Let’s get right into it. Click the links to go straight to a section:
- Quick Overview: The Pros
- Quick Overview: The Cons
- A Closer Look at the Pros and Cons
- Bottom Line
When my 10-year-old refrigerator died a year ago, I immediately went into research mode. My goal was to find a stainless steel fridge with French doors and a freezer on the bottom that looked high-end but wouldn’t break the bank. After hours of Googling and visits to BestBuy, Home Depot, Lowe’s, Amazon, and local appliance stores, I landed on the Samsung RF261BEAESR.
The Samsung RF261BEAESR is a sleek yet spacious fridge with high-end design and features but a very reasonable price tag.
Note: Almost everything in this review also applies to the Samsung RF260BEAESR refrigerator. The one difference is that the RF260BEAESR model does not include an internal water dispenser.
- Beautiful, modern design. The stainless steel exterior is pleasant on the eyes and gives my kitchen a modern, clean look, especially without a water and ice dispenser on the outside. The interior is also very stylish and bright with energy-efficient lighting.
- It’s very functional. It is incredibly spacious at 25.5 cubic feet (17.5 in the fridge and 8 in the freezer) and stands 70 inches high, 35.75 inches wide, and 35.75 inches deep. It comes with helpful features like an ice maker and filtered water dispenser on the inside, a pantry drawer with separate temperature controls, an alarm that beeps when the door is open too long, and adjustable shelves.
- The price was right. Compared to similar models from brands like GE, Maytag, and Whirlpool, the Samsung RF261BEAESR cost significantly less. Prices are always changing, so check the latest price on BestBuy.com, Home Depot, and Lowes.
- It makes weird noises. I notice some sounds when the ice maker is running, but otherwise, it has been very quiet.
- It is highly susceptible to fingerprints and smudges.
- There can be issues with the freezer door getting jammed or breaking when it’s pulled on aggressively.
- There are reports of issues with the ice maker overfilling, leaks, and frost/ice build-up, although I haven’t experienced any of that in the first year.
For more details about the pros and cons of the Samsung RF261BEAESR refrigerator, plus a deep dive into the design and functionality, keep reading. Let’s first start with the design.
My house was built in the 1960s, but I prefer modern and simple design like light-colored walls, smooth stained hardwoods, and clean lines. Besides finding a fridge in my price range that was functional, another main priority was to find one that fits the style of my home, enter the Samsung RF261BEAESR.
The entire front surface of this fridge is smooth, shiny stainless steel, including the door handles. If you are not into the classic polished stainless steel, you can buy it in white or fingerprint-resistant black stainless steel.
When it comes to refrigerators, there are many different styles to choose from, including freezer on top, freezer and fridge side by side, and gaining popularity is the fridge with French doors on top, freezer on the bottom.
This one has the fridge on top with French doors and a slide-out freezer on the bottom. This style not only looks beautiful, but it is more functional too. You are likely accessing the fridge portion much more often than the freezer, so it makes sense to put the freezer below and keep the entire fridge closer to eye level.
One of the things I like the most about this fridge is the fact that the water dispenser and ice are hidden inside. There are a few reasons why I see this as a plus:
- The design is cleaner and simpler compared to other refrigerators that have water spouts and buttons on the outside of the door.
- What you gain with the cleaner design, you don’t lose in functionality because it still features a filtered water dispenser right inside the door and ice maker on the top shelf of the freezer.
- You don’t lose storage space on the inside of the door to the water and ice dispenser. In most refrigerators with water and ice on the door, the inside of the door has very little or no space for storage since it needs that space to fit the technology and plumbing to operate the dispenser.
The interior is white plastic with tempered glass shelves lit up with a high efficiency LED light. From a design perspective, nothing special on the interior but also nothing to complain about.
When it comes to deciding on what refrigerator to buy, the design is important, but functionality is critical. This is an appliance that you will use and rely on every day to keep your food cold and fresh. The Samsung RF261BEAESR accomplishes that core task well but also comes with several convenient extra features.
These are the top features:
- Spacious – This fridge is exceptionally spacious, allowing for a ton of storage. The exact specs are:
- 25.5 cubic feet of storage inside (17.5 in the fridge and 8 in the freezer).
- 70 inches tall
- 35.75 inches wide
- 35.75 inches deep (front to back)
- Twin Cooling Plus Technology – The Twin Cooling Plus technology means that this appliance has two evaporators that control the temperature of the fridge and freezer separately. This helps reduce temperature fluctuation and control humidity, which is critical to preserving food. (Related Guide: How Long Does It Take for a Refrigerator to Cool?)
- CoolSelect Pantry™– The CoolSelect Pantry is a full-width drawer that is perfect for storing meats, cheeses, fruits, and vegetables.
It has a separate temperature control with three settings:
- Deli – 41 degrees Fahrenheit, ideal for pineapple, lemon, avocado, and potatoes.
- Fresh – 38 degrees Fahrenheit, ideal for cucumbers, apples, oranges, and grapes.
- Chilled – 34 degrees Fahrenheit, ideal for steaks, hard cheeses, cold cuts, bacon, and fish.
- Auto Pull-out Freezer Drawer – The handle on the freezer drawer pops up when you pull on it, releasing the freezer door and enabling you to open it effortlessly. Samsung calls this their EZ-Open Handle ™.At first, I didn’t like this feature because I thought the added functionality on the handle would make it more likely to break. However, after using it for several months, it makes opening the freezer and digging into ice cream just a tad easier, and I’ve had no problems with it breaking, so no complaints.
- Slide in and Slide-out Shelves – The shelves slide out when you pull on them, making it easy to grab things deep in the back of the fridge. They are also designed to contain spills, so one little mishap doesn’t turn into a huge mess. It also features a half shelf that you can slide under to create room for taller items.
- Humidity-Controlled Crisper Drawers – You can adjust the humidity levels on the two crisper drawers. The experts recommend high humidity for vegetables and low humidity for fruits.
- Ice Maker and Water Dispenser On The Inside – I love the convenience of having a filtered water dispenser and an automatic icemaker, but I hate how the dispenser looks on the door of most fridges. Fortunately, this fridge hides those two things on the inside. It’s still very convenient but results in a cleaner look.
- ENERGY STAR® Certified – Like most appliances these days, this refrigerator is ENERGY STAR Certified, which means it’s not going to tax the environment or your wallet. It uses approximately 620 kW per year of energy, and the estimated annual energy cost to run this fridge is $80. That will vary based on energy rates in your area and your usage.
- Electronic Touchpad to Adjust Temperature – The electronic touchpad makes it easy to adjust the temperature inside your fridge or freezer, although I wouldn’t change it from the recommended settings (37 degrees Fahrenheit for the refrigerator, 0 for the freezer). You can also turn the ice maker on and off from this panel, although it will automatically stop making ice when the ice storage box is full.
- Door Open Alarm – If you leave the door open for 2 minutes, it will beep and remind you to close the door. This saved me a few times already.
One of the best things about this refrigerator is the price. The cost varies on where you buy it and what type of sales are going on at the time. I bought it from a local appliance store, and, at the time, it was $1,200, including installation. I’ve since seen it anywhere from $1,000 to $2,200.
Even at the high end of that range, it is significantly less expensive than comparable models from other brands like Maytag, Whirlpool, and others. My best recommendation is to check the following stores:
Samsung refrigerators come with a standard warranty that covers defects in materials and workmanship.
For the first year, it covers parts and labor on the refrigerator.
For the first five years, you’re covered on the sealed refrigeration system, which includes the compressor, evaporator, condenser, drier, and connecting tube.
For the first ten years, you’re covered for the digital inverter compressor. For more details, read the official warranty page on Samsung.com.
Now that you have a good idea of the design, functionality, price, and warranty, let’s summarize the pros and cons of this refrigerator.
- Attractive, simple design with water and ice on the inside.
- Extremely spacious and well laid out to fit all the ingredients you need to feed a large family, including shelves that pull out and slide under for added flexibility.
- Convenient and helpful features like separate compartments that allow you to control temperature, an easy release freezer handle, and a two-minute door alarm.
- Affordable price compared to other brands. Energy-efficient to keep the monthly bills low.
- Very susceptible to fingerprints and smudging, although we wrote an entire article on how to clean stainless steel without streaking, so check that out if you’re worried about cleaning it. You also have the option to buy the fingerprint resistance black stainless steel version.
- It can make noise when the ice maker is running. This is pretty standard for most freezers, but it’s worth pointing out. Some people complain that the fridge makes noise, but so far, mine has been very quiet.
- It doesn’t have a water and ice dispenser on the outside. I see this as a ‘pro,’ but some prefer the convenience of not having to open the fridge to get water. If you’re one of those people, this fridge is not for you.
- There is no crushed ice option. Unfortunately, you’ll have to deal with full ice cubes with this fridge.
Bottom line: The Samsung RF261BEAESR is a highly functional refrigerator with a modern and simple design
I know how frustrating it can be to shop for a fridge since I recently went through the process myself. There are so many options, and the reviews online for almost all fridges are mixed. It’s hard to tell if people are just unlucky with the particular unit they purchased or if there are real issues with it.
I own the Samsung RF261BEAESR, and this review is based purely on my experience. I hope the details in this article shed help clarify any questions you have about this particular appliance. If you have any other specific questions, feel free to post a comment or contact me directly.