Review: Samsung RF23J9011SR, Flex-Door Refrigerator

Samsung refrigeratorWe recently bought a Samsung refrigerator with Flex-door, an optional quadrant of the refrigerator that can be programmed from freezing to cool. It took us months of research to finally decide on this one.

Price: We were lucky too since I had months to check on prices and watch them fluctuate. It’s amazing the games retailers play. For the record, major appliances generally go on sale around a major holiday, then glide back up to their original price. While other appliances drop significantly after summer, refrigerators stay consistent in price and only drop during major holidays.

The price? $2498. But then we got a 5% discount for using the store credit card bringing it down to $2373.  The price jumped back up when we added the 5 year warranty for $150.

Warranty: Normally we don’t buy the extended warranties, but today with these gadgets running on so many electronics, we made the exception.

Pros: I really like the Flex-door. Flex-door means that it has four quadrants. Two (the top ones) are for refrigerated items, one is the freezer, and the fourth door can be readjusted from freezing to cool. I leave it on ‘soft freeze’ to keep my drinks icy cold. I also store cheeses there.

It’s pretty. It looks nice with my other stainless steel appliances, but it isn’t smudge proof like my old Sub Zero, so I’m constantly wiping hand prints.

It has a lot of room considering it’s quite a bit smaller than my old fridge. This is because it takes one quadrant away from the freezer, yet it can still be used as a freezer if you so desire. Since I have two stand alone freezers I don’t need another one with the fridge. I keep ice cream and pie shells in there. Things I don’t want schmooshed or broken.

Cons: This is a biggie and it might steer you away from this model. The ice maker makes a lot of noise. It’s not the noise of it making ice. It’s the sound of running water.

I was frantic the first couple of days because I kept hearing water running, expecting a puddle on the floor, but it was nothing. We learned that it’s the air pushing the water through the tubing. It doesn’t do it 24/7 but I seem to hear it constantly. That and I have sensitive hearing so I’m more aware of it.

In time, I’m sure I’ll learn to ignore it. It’s not a deal breaker for me. Overall, I’m quite happy with this appliance. I like the advantage of the four quadrants.

There is a three door model with a Flex-zone drawer, but the capacity was much smaller and I didn’t like the feel of the handles. It felt like they might eventually get loose or break. The model I bought is much more streamlined and it felt sturdier to me.

There is one more con which has more to do with my kitchen than the appliance. The old Sub Zero was huge, really HUGE, and it left a big gap within the built-in space it occupied. To counter this, Greg is building me a full sized pull out drawer.

I’ll do a tutorial on this once it’s complete. He’s already completed the guts of the mechanism. I wasn’t quite sure what I would store there, but he’s made it sturdy enough to hold almost anything. It’s really pretty nice!

Time will tell how long this fridge will last. Every salesperson I spoke to said that no refrigerator, even the high end ones are as durable as the old ones. Planned obsolescence.

I miss the old mechanical appliances without all the electronic gizmos. That’s when they were reliable workhorses. I still have my 25 year old fridge that we keep as a spare. I sold my 25 year old washer and dryer at the last garage sale. I would’ve gladly kept those if they had been big enough to handle comforters. I hate my current washing machine.

What’s your oldest appliance?

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  1. I think our dishwasher is our oldest appliance. It’s the same age as the house – about 35 years. I’m sure it’s totally inefficient, and it’s really LOUD, but we only use it once a week. That’s all we’d use a new one, too, so I don’t see the point in replacing it. Really, the only reason I run it at all is to keep it from souring. We use it as a drying rack all week, then on Sunday I run it, throwing in the dish sponge, vegetable scrubber, and sink stoppers. Even if we wanted to use it all the time, we couldn’t. That’s because our plates are too big – the spinning arm hits against them, so it’s a no go.

    We are looking into replacing the refrigerator. It’s at least 20 years old and the rubber seals are cracking and constantly growing mold. I’m pretty sure I want a Samsung model too. I want a bottom freezer, French door type, just because, and I think I want the extra drawer for drinks and stuff. Unlike you, I don’t have an extra freezer, so there’s no reason to get the convertible model that you have. I’d just use it as a freezer all the time, especially since I buy meat in bulk from local ranchers and use the freezer to preserve lots of vegetables and extra meals.

    We’ve been following prices for the last year, like you did. The model I want seems to hover around $2500. Labor Day it was down to $2000, which is the lowest I’ve seen it. I don’t know when Himself is going to finally take the leap – he’s incredibly patient about this kind of thing. Hates to spend money. Sometimes he waits so long that we end up spending more because the thing finally breaks and we have to get it at whatever price we can find it. He never learns, though.

    • Marlene: 🙂 That was me with our first dishwasher. I used it as extra storage space too. We had guests once and they laughed at us.

      re: Samsung
      I hope your fridge can last until next Labor Day. I read (after the fact) that fridges will be at their lowest on Labor Day. But if you can catch it after any other holiday, you’ll save then too, just not as much.

  2. JackieBCentralTexas

    The longest we have kept any of our appliances has been a Maytag glass cooktop stove I bought before we moved to Central Texas and the only reason after having it for almost 15 years was it burned up in our house fire in 2011.

    The longest lived used appliance we have had however was a 50-year-old refrigerator we started out with in Sinton when we were first married. It belonged to out landlady who passed away and her son sold it to us when we moved to a different rental.

    For us it lasted about a year and a half before the compressor went out, we had no money to fix it so gave it to a friend of Karl’s who then promptly sold it for $50 bucks to someone else.

    Now we have, like you, a refrigerator with an ice maker and the water running through the hose still freaks me out too at times Maria so you are not alone in thinking that is a con against the appliance.

    BTW have had that refrigerator for about 4 years and still not used to the sound of running water when know we have all the faucets off. Of course occasionally have to think about why I can hear it and then remember and feel somewhat irritated that it is so loud to only me.

    • Jackie: Your story reminded me of the stove of my first house. It was a real antique. You had to light the pilots. At the time I didn’t appreciate its quality. All I saw was the inconvenience of lighting the pilots.

      It was pristine though and we sold it at our first garage sale minutes within opening.

      re: fridge
      I’m sorry to hear you still hear the ‘running water’. I guess that’ll be me too.

  3. Good review! I normally don’t like to apply for store credit cards, but we recently did when we were buying the grill, lawn mower, etc., a few months ago. Saved a lot of money by charging it and then we paid it off right when the bill came. Good use of money I think 🙂

    Isn’t it sad that we have to consider buying warranties? I remember the good old days when things were built to last.

    I am going to say our oldest appliance is the fridge, but I’m not sure how old it is. It came with the house and is working fine still. We bought new washer/dryer since we were going all electric in this house and had a gas dryer. We gave away the pair before we moved, but I have found it is harder to just sell one of the them (washer versus dryer) than selling the pair.


  4. Our house is between 15-20 years old and still has all of the original appliances. I think we’ll have to replace the refrigerator first, followed by the washer and dryer. We do have an extra freezer in the garage, so I’m intrigued by the idea of an extra quadrant for refrigerated items.

  5. That’s a fine review, Maria. Very comprehensive. Mind you, the way you describe it, it’s probably bigger than our kitchen 🙂 Ref appliances, we’ve inherited a dishwasher, hob, and oven that all came with the house bought thirteen years ago. All going strong other than the occasional minor repair. My favourite appliance was a Magimix food processor we had as a wedding gift. The blade broke after 25 years but the engine remained strong. Could we find a replacement blade? No. The model had been discontinued. 🙁

  6. Mike: I had a similar experience with my first FoodSaver, vacuum sealer. I really should do a post on that because it’s more than just planned obsolescence.

    When it came time to replace one simple part, the model had become extinct. There are many other models now, but none as sturdy as my original.

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