Frigidaire Custom-Flex refrigerator review

What Frigidaire’s Custom-Flex Refrigerator lacks in size it makes up for with creative storage options

While it offers interesting features in its door design, Frigidaire’s Custom-Flex is minimalist in a lot of other places.
While it offers interesting features in its door design, Frigidaire’s Custom-Flex is minimalist in a lot of other places.
While it offers interesting features in its door design, Frigidaire’s Custom-Flex is minimalist in a lot of other places.

Highs

  • Smudge proof
  • Quiet
  • Space saver
  • Unique storage options on the door

Lows

  • Runs warm
  • Limited options
  • No bells and whistles

DT Editors' Rating

I’d get spoiled testing out French door refrigerators all the time, if I didn’t go home to the postage stamp-sized fridge at my apartment. It’s European. I say that not to sound fancy but to explain how small it is. The only kind of frozen pizza I can fit into it is the French bread variety.

At 18.3 cubic feet, Frigidaire’s FGHT1846QF is somewhere inbetween the cavernous double-door models that can have nearly 30 cubic feet of capacity and the 10-cubic-foot European fridge that sits in my tiny kitchen. Goldilocks preferred the middle ground, but how does it work out for this fridge?

The looks

At 30 inches wide and just over 66 inches tall, this freezer-topped fridge won’t dominate your kitchen like a Sub-Zero would. The outside is unassuming yet sleek, especially the stainless steel version I tested. It impressively lived up to its smudge-proof claims, except on the handles, which displayed new fingerprints every time I opened the door.

Inside, everything’s illuminated by one LED on both the left and right side. Two see-through crisper drawers sit at the bottom of the fridge. They’re tall but have slanted backs to make room for the compressor. Above is a deli drawer, or what I like to call the home for wayward cheeses, which spans the width of the fridge. The other shelf is supposed to both slide under and flip up, though I didn’t get to try it, as it didn’t come with the review unit.

Things get interesting on the door, where you get five bins. Whereas quite a few fridges come with a diagram detailing exactly where to put door bins (don’t tell me how to live, diagram!), Frigidaire mostly leaves it up to you. You get one full-width bin; a dairy bin; and one each of the small, medium, and large sizes, which are all deep enough to handle a gallon of milk. The bins pop out and snap in fairly easily, and all but the full-width one are interchangeable along the four rails. If you have the dairy bin sitting solo and suddenly need extra room for a two-liter bottle, shove it over to the left and pop in the soda. There are also optional mini bins and can dispensers for the door.

The size

It impressively lived up to its smudge-proof claims.

There’s no way of getting around the 18.3 cubic feet of space. If you’re looking for something that will fit a large family’s week’s worth of groceries, this may not cut it. Case in point: I didn’t even try to use this as the sole fridge for Digital Trends. Too many people try to stuff our test fridges with leftovers, gallons of milk, and bags of mystery meat. The shelves are wide enough to hold a 16-by-22-inch cookie sheet, or four 12-packs of soda.

Compared to fridges with similar cubic footage, the Frigidaire model sacrifices a little of its freezer space to give you a little more fresh-food capacity: 4.1 cubic feet for the freezer and 14.2 for the fridge versus 5.1 and 13.0 on others. It’s something to consider, based on your cooking habits.

The performance

I found the flex-door fridge held its temperature pretty well, but unfortunately, that temperature was a little warmer than it should have been. You may never notice that, of course — short of using your own thermometer, there aren’t a lot of ways to tell just how cold this fridge is. Its temperature control consists of an adjuster for the fridge that has four settings: off, cold, recommended, and coldest. A similar setup in the freezer has all of these, minus the off setting.

Frigidaire FGHT1846QF controls
Bill Roberson/Digital Trends
Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

The recommended setting was warmer than it should have been — not warm enough to be unsafe but not the 37 degrees Fahrenheit promised in the manual. It would be nice if you got a little more insight than the slider provides, especially considering a similarly priced side-by-side from Frigidaire gives you temperature control to the degree. Unlike some fridges we’ve tested, you can control the humidity level in the crisper drawers, though the slider felt a little flimsy and got a little sticky during sliding.

The entire unit is covered by a one-year warranty, and there is no mention of an extended warranty for the compressor. Maytag, for example, covers its compressors for 10 years. For support, you can call from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday, or you can email.

Conclusion

Frigidaire’s flex-door fridge is not too big, not too flashy. While it offers some interesting features in its door design, it’s minimalist in other places, like the temperature controls and optional ice maker. There are a few nods to higher-end machines, like the gallon-sized bins you can arrange in an array of configurations, the slide-under shelf, and LED lights. Unfortunately, it ran a bit warm, and there was only one option to make it colder. You might want something with a little less sizzle and fizzle, but the $800 price tag still makes it attractive.

Highs

  • Smudge proof
  • Quiet
  • Space saver
  • Unique storage options on the door

Lows

  • Runs warm
  • Limited options
  • No bells and whistles
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