family hub
Lux­u­ri­ous RB7000 Fam­i­ly Hub gets lost in unnec­es­sary tri­fles, miss­ing out on the essen­tials

Ele­gant, tall, with a mat­te sheen of “Art Hair­line Steel” — the Sam­sung Fam­i­ly Hub refrig­er­a­tor hums almost inaudi­bly (30 dBA accord­ing to the man­u­fac­tur­er) in the cor­ner of the kitchen of our coun­try house. A pow­er­ful 21.5‑inch Full-HD touch­screen glows on the top door, clear­ly demon­strat­ing that this approx.

With its smart Fam­i­ly Hub fea­tures, it could com­bine a food man­ag­er, a shop­ping assis­tant, a kitchen infor­ma­tion and enter­tain­ment cen­ter, a home con­trol sys­tem — and indeed a meet­ing place for the whole fam­i­ly. But how much he suc­ceeds, we test­ed in prac­tice for 14 days.

As a com­bi­na­tion refrig­er­a­tor and freez­er, the Fam­i­ly Hub does the job. The low­er part is a four-star freez­er with a capac­i­ty of 130 liters with three spa­cious draw­ers. The top door opens the 226-litre refrig­er­a­tor with a good view, includ­ing a wine rack, a draw­er for veg­eta­bles, and an addi­tion­al draw­er in the fresh­ness area.

Both sec­tions offer a Pow­er Cool func­tion and a cor­re­spond­ing Pow­er Freeze func­tion, in case large vol­umes of prod­ucts need to be placed imme­di­ate­ly after a bulk pur­chase.

Family smart communication

Inter­nal cam­eras, with which you can get infor­ma­tion about food stocks while away from home, cov­er only 75% of the refrig­er­a­tor com­part­ment. What is in the fresh­ness area (low­er left) and in the door remains hid­den

With the help of WLAN, the Fam­i­ly Hub con­nects to the Inter­net through our router, in par­tic­u­lar, to the Sam­sung home serv­er. There we set up an account, after which we can con­nect smart­phones of all fam­i­ly mem­bers (and those who want to be one of them) to our Fam­i­ly Hub. With the Smart Home app (for Android and iOS), we man­age the sched­ule in shared cal­en­dars, upload pho­tos to albums, leave mes­sages in the white­board area on the touch screen, and even while in the super­mar­ket or mar­ket, we can quick­ly see what not enough at home in the refrig­er­a­tor — the­o­ret­i­cal­ly!

Every time the fridge door clos­es, three cam­eras take a group shot of the inside. The illus­tra­tion shows the Food Reminder on the touch­screen and in the smart­phone app and reflects the stock of food at a cer­tain moment — but only three-quar­ters! After all, what lies in the fresh­ness preser­va­tion zone or is placed in the draw­ers of the door is not vis­i­ble to the cam­eras.

The review becomes even worse when using the Food Reminder func­tion. Each object on the pho­to of the refrig­er­a­tor can be marked with a mark­er on the touch screen and write on it the expi­ra­tion date, as well as the name of the marked prod­uct.

True, these mark­ers do not fol­low their objects. In just a week, the pho­to of the con­tents of the refrig­er­a­tor will be flood­ed with mark­ers that no one can arrange in order. Because the ini­tial­ly labeled prod­ucts have long been moved to anoth­er place or used up, and after the next pur­chase, in any case, no one thinks about accu­rate label­ing.

Unfor­tu­nate­ly, the cor­re­spond­ing appli­ca­tion does not save local­ly. If the con­nec­tion to the Fam­i­ly Hub fails, it reports a “Con­nec­tion Error” and gives a rec­om­men­da­tion in bro­ken lan­guage: “con­nect to Wi-Fi or mobile data.” Just what you want to hear among the hus­tle and bus­tle in the mall!

No use without a network

Orphaned food mark­ers addi­tion­al­ly obscure view

Rely­ing sole­ly on WLAN as a net­work con­nec­tion is not par­tic­u­lar­ly wise. WLAN cov­er­age is not ide­al not only among the stone walls of old vil­lage hous­es, but also in the con­crete walls of urban new build­ings. Espe­cial­ly if the net­work is over­loaded, not with­out the par­tic­i­pa­tion of fam­i­ly mem­bers of mid­dle and senior school age, and even turns off for edu­ca­tion­al pur­pos­es. It would be bet­ter to use a pow­er­ful LAN or Pow­er LAN here — after all, the Fam­i­ly Hub should also cre­ate a fes­tive atmos­phere in the kitchen.

But we looked in vain for the pos­si­bil­i­ty of stream­ing a vari­ety of enter­tain­ment from the home NAS towards the kitchen. The TuneIn media play­er only search­es the inter­net for web radio. The USB con­nec­tor at the top of the door is also not a suit­able alter­na­tive — it can only be used to dis­play pho­tos and down­load updates.

But the built-in brows­er plays HTML5 con­tent, so YouTube very quick­ly became our favorite smart fridge fea­ture. Although it is also pos­si­ble to trans­mit images from a home TV, this requires the cur­rent Sam­sung mod­el. The same applies to oth­er smart home appli­ances. Can only be con­nect­ed to Sam­sung prod­ucts and NEST ther­mostats. Our Osram light­ing con­trol or the Arlo cam­era above the front door are not includ­ed in this sys­tem.

Of course, a smart device should be equipped with voice con­trol — but it did not inspire us either. The Fam­i­ly Hub refrig­er­a­tor reacts to “Hi Sam­sung” only if you stand at arm’s length in front of it, and in this case, com­mu­ni­ca­tion is more like a lot­tery.

Few apps

At the same time, there would not be so many dif­fi­cul­ties if the Android oper­at­ing sys­tem were used on the Fam­i­ly Hub instead of Tizen, devel­oped by Sam­sung itself. Every smart home appli­ance man­u­fac­tur­er offers an app for Google. But that forces us to set­tle for the lit­tle that comes by default: an inter­est­ing but Eng­lish-only col­lec­tion of recipes from Sam­sung’s own Chef’s Club, recipe por­tal All­recipes, and Eataly, the Ital­ian food sup­ply spe­cial­ist.

As ele­gant as the Fam­i­ly Hub fits into our kitchen, for now, it’s bet­ter to invest in buy­ing a big Android tablet and stick­ing it to our old Bosch refrig­er­a­tor instead.

+ Con­ve­nient dis­tri­b­u­tion of inter­nal space, Inter­net access, fam­i­ly cal­en­dar and mes­sages, no noise

- WLAN only con­nec­tion, inac­ces­si­ble inter­nal cam­eras, no DNLA, lim­it­ed app selec­tion