Samsung Family Hub vs. LG Instaview fridges

The Samsung Family Hub vs. LG's InstaView: Which smart fridge is right for you?

The Samsung Family Hub and the LG InstaView are two of the smartest refrigerators around. Both these fridge series offer users a complete smart experience, including multiple sensors, touchscreens, connections with your phone, and many other features that will make your kitchen feel like living in the 22nd century.

But if you don’t have a particular brand preference, you may not be sure which type of refrigerator to choose for your smart kitchen. To help out, we’re going to take a deeper look at the details of both the Family Hub and the InstaView, and see just how they’re different — and which may work best for you.

Design

Samsung Family Hub Refrigerator review
Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

Both refrigerators have a modern, stainless steel design that offers multiple options for doors, drawers, and control. Both fridge series offer high-tech water and ice dispensaries, and built-in panels for accessing more information or controlling apps/fridge settings. Both even offer coatings that help resist fingerprints.

There’s not a lot of significant different here, thanks to the multiple model options. However, it’s worth noting that the Family Hub primarily comes in a slightly dark, gray stainless steel, while the InstaView comes in a darker black stainless steel, with a few brighter options. Overall, the Family Hub will match traditional stainless a little better, whereas the InstaView has limited bright steel options.

Model options and size

LG Instaview Fridge
LG

Fortunately, both Samsung and LG offer their fridges in a variety of sizes and types, so no matter your preference you should be able to find a model that works. Samsung offers the Family Hub in 22-, 24-, and 28-cubic-foot models. These models can vary between a three-door French door style, a four-door French door style, and a 4-door flex door (which is four traditional-shaped doors that open outward, two on the top and two on the bottom).

LG, meanwhile, offers 22, 23, 24, 26, 28, and 30 cubic feet for its models, making the InstaView a slightly better pick if you need a really huge fridge or like to customize size a little more. The InstaView designs offer side-by-side, three-door French door, and four-door French door designs.

Smart features

Smart features can vary based on the particular model that you pick out! However, overall the Samsung’s Family Hub comes with a right side, 21-inch touchscreen that acts a lot like a smart display. You can look up recipes, make shopping lists, send info to apps (including friends and family), control connected smart devices, search the internet for answers, play music, complete online grocery orders, and take a look at what’s in the fridge thanks to the connected interior cameras. That’s a lot, and as a result, the fridge can also connect to multiple third-party apps for greater connectivity.

Various Family Hub models also include Bixby, Samsung’s own alternative voice assistant for asking questions and giving commands. When it comes to the sheer number of smart options, the Family Hub is the easy winner.

The InstaView fridge, on the other hand, takes a more limited approach. It connects to LG’s SmartThingQ app instead of offering a full touchscreen. Using the app, you can change temperatures in the fridge, check to see if the water filter needs to be replaced, and get alerts if anything goes wrong (malfunctions, door left open, etc.). InstaView also has a more subtle feature up its sleeve: The right-side LCD panel may not be like Samsung’s touchscreen, but if you knock twice on it, it will turn transparent, allowing you to get a quick look at what’s inside (also available via app). Advanced models include a panorama camera for a better look, the ability to connect to the Alexa voice assistant, and somewhat limited access to a series of apps that allow you to look up recipes, order off Amazon, check the weather, and so on.

Extra design features

LG Instaview Refrigerator 2017 front mid door open
Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

Some features go beyond technology and affect how you interact with the fridge itself. For the Family Hub, one of the most interesting is the “FlexZone” option, which allows you to switch a particular door on the fridge to a freezer or a refrigerator, based on what temperature range you need most. Family Hubs also include adjustable shelves for creating extra room as necessary.

LG is more inventive in this department. There’s an EasyReach bin, shelves with built-in LED lights, and many models include the ability to quickly open the InstaView panel and select objects right from the shelf without fully opening the door itself. There’s also auto open and auto close features that use sensors to open and close the doors/drawers for you if your hands are full, as well as child locks and alarms for additional safety.

Temperature

Samsung Family Hub Smart Refrigerator
Will Fulton/Digital Trends

They may use different terms, but both the Family Hub and the InstaView have similar temperature designs. Both use a dual-evaporator design that allows more independent cooling and humidity control for both freezer and refrigerator compartments. Samsung does add a little extra with its FlexZone drawer, but that’s the biggest difference between the two models.

Pricing

Pricing will vary greatly depending on the model and features that you choose. However, the InstaView starts around $1,900 and the Family Hub starts around $2,499, so if you are concerned about prices then the InstaView has a much better price range to offer you, although you may not get access to some of the more advanced features. However, while Samsung’s Family Hub models tend to top out at around $3,500, all the elite InstaView features can quickly go past $6,000, so researching specifications is important.

Conclusion

If you’re looking for a fridge with the most advanced smart features and best touchscreen option, then the Samsung Family Hub is the best for you. If you’re looking for a refrigerator that offers the best functionality, the LG InstaView is a better pick— but the price can quickly skyrocket with all the smart features added on.

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