Samsung’s 4-Door Flex Refrigerator’s 21.5-inch touchscreen has it all

For a few years, Samsung has been hoping to make the fridge more than just a fridge by adding touchscreens on the front. The model we tested out in 2014 had Wi-Fi capabilities and an 8-inch LCD display. It had calendar and weather widgets and worked with the Epicurious app, allowing you to find recipes. Fun and useful but not necessarily something that everyone was going to go out and buy — especially with its $3,000-plus price tag. Now Samsung is hoping its 4-Door Flex Refrigerator with Family Hub, with its larger 21.5-inch HD LCD screen — will make a bigger impact.

Debuting at CES 2016, the fridge is meant to bring more than a little convenience to the kitchen. Samsung says it has improved the calendar app with the help of startup Sticki. You’ll be able to sync it with your other calendars, and you’ll also be able to choose what shows up (dinner with the neighbors instead of your noon work meeting, for example). Whereas typical stainless steel fridges, with their non-magnetic faces, don’t really have a place for photos and other paraphernalia of familial life, the Family Hub can display your phone’s pics or a memo (“dinner at 8”). “There isn’t that public space anymore,” said Justin Reinke, Director of Refrigeration Product Marketing at Samsung, in a call with reporters. He says the screen lets you add a bit of personalization back onto the silver surface.

Samsung-4-Door-Flex-Refrigerator-with-Family-Hub--

These features aren’t so different from the older touchscreen fridges, but the large display makes it a little more suitable for entertainment. It can mirror your Samsung TV, so you can keep watching the game if it comes back on while you’re still making your snack. If you walk out of the kitchen, the screen will go to sleep, and will then turn back on when you come back in, thanks to proximity sensors. While it has a browser and some third-party capabilities, the fridge, which runs on Samsung’s Tizen platform, also has a lot of features that are controlled through the appliance’s app.

Some of those third-party functions include grocery ordering. The Instacart app will be available on the touchscreen, as will a new offering, Groceries by MasterCard. Through FreshDirect or ShopRite, users will be able to get food delivered from the app when the fridge rolls out in the northeast in May. The advantage there is that you can compare between the stores; if one doesn’t have your favorite brand of almond milk, the other might.

The companion app will let you do a barcode scan to add items as well, and while your child might seek to pile on one Gogurt after another, as the master controller, you can approve or deny the additions. And while your child may not learn her lesson, the “intelligent cart” might. “It will start to build intelligence about what your habits are, and start to make recommendations as well for you,” Betty DeVita, chief commercial officer of MasterCard Labs, told Digital Trends.

With a price of over $5,000, Samsung wanted it to be more than just a smart fridge combined with a tablet. “We don’t want to take a tablet and glue it to a refrigerator,” said Reinke. “We want to make this useful and have a reason to be on the refrigerator.”

Mobile

Apple applies for a patent on a wrap-around iPhone display

Previously, Apple was awarded a patent for a foldable phone, and the company has been rumored to be working on one. But it's not at all similar to other concepts. Here's everything we know about a folding iPhone.
Gaming

'Pokémon: Let's Go' is a different kind of Pokémon game. Here's how to master it

Pokémon: Let's Go is a mashup of traditional Pokémon RPGs and Pokémon Go. Still, new mechanics will make it feel somewhat new for even seasoned trainers. To help you on your journey to Victory Road, check out these tips and tricks in our…
Mobile

5G version of upcoming Galaxy S10 may feature 6.7-inch display, six cameras

While we still may be months away from an announcement, there's no doubt about it: Samsung is working hard on its successor to the Galaxy S9. Here's everything we know about the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S10.
Gaming

How to become a master assassin and perfect the art of execution in 'Hitman 2'

'Hitman 2' introduces new and improved story missions with a scale that can feel overwhelming if you're not prepared. Learn everything you need to know to obtain a high score while remaining unnoticed.
Smart Home

Want the perfect turkey? Here's how to make it sous vide

Thinking of trying something different this Thanksgiving? Don't want to set your yard on fire trying to fry that bird? Try turkey sous vide. Here's our favorite way to sous vide a Turkey.
Deals

Make your smart home even more intelligent with a smart plug for under $20

Smart lighting keeps your home connected, helps you saves energy, and makes for an overall convenient living space. If you're ready to step up your smart home game this holiday season, take advantage of this sweet deal on the Wemo Mini…
Emerging Tech

From tornado flushes to remote controls, modern toilets are flush with tech

With the global observance of World Toilet Day on November 19, we take a look at how the modern toilet in our homes and businesses have evolved, and how they are becoming smarter tools in the future.
Smart Home

How to deep fry a turkey

Want to learn how to deep fry a turkey? Our guide will cover what you need, what type of deep frying will work, why safety is so important, and how to know when your turkey is the perfect level of deep-fried deliciousness.
Smart Home

You can now make Skype calls on Amazon Echo devices

Amazon's Alexa can now make video and voice calls with Microsoft's Skype audio and video calling. Alexa-enabled devices can make voice calls. Alexa devices with video can make video calls to computers, mobile devices, and Xboxes.
Emerging Tech

Toilet-scrubbing robot takes over one of the world’s crappiest jobs

When it comes to jobs that none of us enjoy, scrubbing the toilet would have to rank pretty highly. So why not hand the job over to robots? Very soon you might be able to do exactly that.
Smart Home

All the best Amazon Black Friday deals for 2018

Amazon may be an online-only retailer, but that doesn’t mean its Black Friday sales are anything to sniff at. In fact, due to its online status, Amazon has huge flexibility with the range of products and deals it can offer. Here's our…
Deals

The best Target Black Friday deals for 2018

The mega-retailer opens its doors to the most competitive shoppers at 6 p.m. on Thursday, November 22, and signs indicate that the retailer means business this year. We've sifted through all of the deals, from consumer electronics to small…
Deals

Cyber Monday 2018: When it takes place and where to find the best deals

Cyber Monday is still a ways off, but it's never too early to start planning ahead. With so many different deals to choose from during one of the biggest shopping holidays of the year, going in with a little know-how makes all the…
Smart Home

Smoke it, BBQ it, or try sous vide! 6 alternatives to roasting turkey

Tie on your apron – here are the best ways to cook a turkey without opening an oven. These alternative cooking methods can produce a delicious Thanksgiving turkey without the need for an oven.