Skip to main content

Digital Trends may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site. Why trust us?

Samsung DW80h9970US review

Samsung consulted chefs for its WaterWall dishwasher, should have consulted busboys

Samsung DW80h9970US
Samsung DW80h9970US
MSRP $1,599.00
“Samsung’s WaterWall technique seems ingenious, but left dishes unevenly washed.”
Pros
  • Powerful cleaning
  • Almost silent
  • Useful LED display on door
  • Feature-packed
  • Flexible design and cycles
Cons
  • No locking mechanism for door
  • Cleaning wasn’t uniform
  • Some features are unintuitive

Recently, a study came out in which the authors outlined the best way to load the appliance and explained that their spray arms should be redesigned to get dishes cleaner. Timing is everything, because we were right in the middle of reviewing the Samsung Chef Collection Dishwasher, which boasts a unique feature that does away with the arm in favor of its WaterWall technology.

At $1,599, the DW80H9970US is definitely high-end. Samsung collaborated with chefs working in Michelin-star restaurants for its Chef Collection, the idea being that people who spend all day in the kitchen probably have some insight into what makes a quality appliance.

Do chefs know as much about cleaning dishes as they do about preparing them? Maybe Samsung should have consulted some busboys when it came to designing a dishwasher. As we found out, this high-end dishwasher looks a lot better than it performs.

Hands on video

Anyway you want it

Before you can run the dishwasher, you have to load it, and that’s one task Samsung makes easy in this model thanks to a variety of customizable racks.

Big enough to hold 12 plate settings, the dishwasher also includes a third rack meant for silverware and cooking utensils. It includes a FlexTray, which is a rubber mat that makes it easy to scoop up all the silverware at once and carry it to the drawer — provided you don’t forget you loaded the third tray, as many staffers did. You can take the whole rack out if you need more room, and raise and lower the second rack, depending on the height of the pots and pans you have in the lower rack. Many of the tines are adjustable to different angles, too. Taken together, all these features make the DW80H9970US pretty customizable.

What’s going on in there?

This washer gives you five cycles to choose from, including Auto, Normal, Heavy, Delicate, and Express 60’. The Auto cycle determines how dirty the dishes are and choose the best cycle itself; it’s cool technology, but probably not something most people will use often. After all, you probably just loaded the dishwasher and know the grossness level of your plates and cups. If the dishwasher turns off before you hit start, it does recall the settings you keyed in last.

The dishwasher can confine its cleaning to just the upper or lower rack, using less resources and taking less time.

We’ve seen many modern dishwashers with hidden control panels that leave you clueless as to what’s going on inside, because the display is hidden at the top of the door. Samsung’s Chef Collection cleverly adds an LED display on the outside of the door, too. In addition to the time remaining in the cycle, three arrows indicate where in the process you are: wash, rinse, or dry. If all three arrows are illuminated, it’s drying the dishes and there’s no point in sticking in that stray cup that was hiding out on the nightstand.

Not that you can trust the timer for much of anything. The regular cycle finished in just under two hours, though the timer started counting down from two hours and 24 minutes. Meanwhile, the Express 60’ cycle took 17 minutes longer than its promised one hour.

There are all sorts of other buttons included on the panel as well. The Zone Booster options crank up the power during the wash cycle. If only one pot is badly soiled, the Zone Booster can be localized to either the left or right side of the lower rack; selecting both Boosters supplies more power to both sides. Obviously, these add-ons take more time, water, and power.

However, this washer also has a few options that are more energy-efficient. In the office, we often have an upper rack full of mugs and nothing in the lower rack. Instead of waiting to fill the bottom, you can confine cleaning to just the upper or lower rack, using less resources and taking less time. Of course, because the Normal cycle was actually taking about two hours, the same as just doing the upper and lower separately, the time wasn’t actually any shorter.

Samsung DW80h9970US
Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

With all these options on the control panel, first-time users could be a little confused. It was easy enough to select the “Normal” option and hit start, but taking advantage of the more advanced features required spending some time with the manual. A few staffers kept managing to accidentally set the “Delay Start” option, too.

One thing that left some of us baffled was the seeming lack of a feature: the pre-wash tray. In many dishwashers, there’s an extra, open slot next to the detergent dispenser. An extra couple squirts of liquid or shakes of powder provides detergent for the prewash cycle that comes before the main event. The Chef Collection dishwasher lacks this second tray, and the manual recommends just squirting the detergent directly onto the door. It was fine when we used liquid but a bit awkward with powder. Also, some staffers just assumed there was no need for the extra detergent and skipped this step.

Is your dishwasher running?

When everything was firing on all cylinders, the Chef Collection dishwasher hummed along without actually humming at all. It was so quiet that during the first week, staffers would stand around after starting it, waiting to see if it was actually working. Luckily, the attractive, light-blue LED display showed the time remaining in the cycle ticking down. In addition to its near silence, there was another reason we weren’t sure if the dishwasher was running: Its door kept popping open and stopping the cycle.

The problem was fixed once the machine was perfectly level, but the door’s latching mechanism seemed a bit finicky. There was no real satisfactory sound or feel to indicate the door was securely shut. This was true even when the door stayed closed through the entire cycle.

And after all, it’s a WaterWall

The DT Accessory Pack

Up your game and the get the most out of your gear with the following extras, hand-picked by our editors:

Finish Jet-Dry Rinse Aid  ($10)

Cascade Platinum ActionPacs  ($16)

InterDesign Clean & Dirty Dishwasher Indicator  ($5)

The new WaterWall tech inside Samsung’s dishwasher is pretty amazing. A nozzle at the top of the appliance spins like a traditional spray arm, but on the bottom of the machine, a second bar with jets moves from the front of the dishwasher to the back. It’s meant to supply water to every dish in every nook and cranny. In theory, the setup is ingenious. In practice, the dishes taking the full force of the spray ended up extremely clean. Crusted-on eggs and overcooked spaghetti sauce that had been left overnight vanished almost without a trace. Even the Express cycle proved powerful enough to dislodge the majority of the stuck-on food. But not everything got the same rock-star treatment.

A few spots just never seemed to get the full benefit of the WaterWall. For example, the glasses we put in the very front of the top rack, on both the left and the right, remained dirty during several cycles. It wasn’t as if they were untouched by the water, but they just didn’t get the same attention. Sometimes they also had residue from other dishes, as well. The top of the door also occasionally had food on it, which led to some confusion about whether the dishes had just gone through a cycle.

Conclusion

We were expecting miracles from the Samsung Chef Collection DW80H9970US. Its WaterWall technology seemed like it would guarantee sparkling dishes, free of foodstuffs, no matter how they were loaded. The premise is solid, but the execution needs a bit of work.

There are a few nice touches that prove why this is a high-end machine. Its front-of-door LED display is attractive and useful; the little jingle it plays at the cycles’ end is much preferred to irritating beeping; and the look, feel, and flexibility of its design put it well in line with the rest of Samsung’s Chef Collection. However, at the end of the day, what we want most is clean dishes and reliable function, and the DW80H9970US just didn’t consistently deliver that.

Highs

  • Powerful cleaning
  • Almost silent
  • Useful LED display on door
  • Feature-packed
  • Flexible design and cycles

Lows

  • No locking mechanism for door
  • Cleaning wasn’t uniform
  • Some features are unintuitive
Jenny McGrath
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Jenny McGrath is a senior writer at Digital Trends covering the intersection of tech and the arts and the environment. Before…
Best Treadmill Deals: Get fit from the comfort of your home from $270
NordicTrack T 9.5 S Treadmill

If you're trying to stay fit, cardio exercise is probably one of the best ways to go about it, especially if you also want to cut some weight. Luckily, treadmills are also one of the best ways to help with cardio, and while they can get pretty pricey, there are a lot of great deals you can take advantage of to make them more affordable. We've collected some of our favorite treadmill deals below, but you may want to check out some of these other fitness deals, such as NordicTrack deals and elliptical machine deals
Costway 800W Folding Treadmill — $270, was $310

This one is a bit smaller in size (and can get even smaller by folding) but if it is the right size for you then this could easily qualify as your personal best fitness deal of the moment. The Costway 800W Folding Treadmill has a running area of 39 x 14 inches and a weight capacity of up to 220 pounds. If you can fit it, you'll enjoy its LCD display, where you can find out information like your heart rate, current speed (this treadmill goes up to 6.5 MPH), total distance, and calories burned.

Read more
How to clean the Dreame X40 Ultra
The Dreame X40 Ultra vacuuming the floor.

The Dreame X40 Ultra is a highly automated robot vacuum that is capable of tackling your dirtiest floors while you kick back and keep your hands clean. However, even the best robot vacuums require regular maintenance, and the Dreame X40 Ultra is no exception. For it to continue working at its best, you'll need to clean both the robot and its docking station. There's nothing too terrible about the task -- though it can be time-consuming and needs to be handled regularly (most parts should be cleaned monthly).

Unsure where to start? Here's a comprehensive look at how to clean the Dreame X40 Ultra robot vacuum, including how to clean its brushes, mops, and sensors, as well as how to keep its docking station in top form.
Cleaning the Dreame X40 Ultra robot vacuum

Read more
Best Nespresso deals: cheap espresso machines starting at $120
Breville-Nespresso USA Nespresso Creatista Plus Coffee Espresso Machine

Every coffee lover needs a little help starting the day, and one brand that stands out when it comes to coffee makers is Nespresso. Nespresso’s single-serve espresso machines and coffee makers brew high quality coffee and espresso easily, conveniently, and with little mess. But they also offer some decent savings, and if you’re on the lookout for the best Nespresso deals going on right now, we’ve organized them all below for your shopping convenience. They compare really well to the best espresso machine deals going on right now and any one of them will pair well with one of the best smart mugs. But if you aren’t finding what you’re looking for you should also check out the best Keurig deals and best coffee maker deals, and if you’d like to add some other appliances to your kitchen don’t miss out on everything that’s going on among the best air fryer deals, best Instant Pot deals, and best Ninja Foodi deals.
Nespresso Vertuo Next Coffee and Espresso Machine — $129, was $179

Available with an aerator (sold separately) this model is the machine only, and it's ready to prepare single-serve espressos or coffees. It has a fast heat-up time, taking just 25 seconds. It's versatile too, with three brew sizes, including five and eight-ounce increments. It's an excellent way to brew gourmet-quality coffees at home, without the expensive price tags you'd pay at your average coffee shops. Give it a try if you haven't! You'll be pleasantly surprised.

Read more