The GE FCM5SUWW is nearly identical to the Haier HCM050EC (Est. $250) , our top-rated compact freezer. Both measure 5 cubic feet -- a reasonable size for a small kitchen or a small family -- and have only the most basic features. The two biggest differences between them are price and reliability. At $175, the GE is significantly cheaper, but it also receives a lot more negative reviews. Users complain of inconsistent temperature performance and breakdowns soon after purchase.
Spacious for its size. Although the GE FCM5SUWW freezer is small, users describe it as surprisingly spacious. A typical comment is, "Takes up little space but it is very big inside." Various reviews say it provides adequate space for anywhere from two to five users. However, some owners aren't happy with the GE's layout: One review says it's hard to reach down to the bottom of the bin, and several owners would like to have more than a single storage basket. The freezer has an external dial control and a power-on light, but it lacks such amenities as an interior light and a locking lid.
Inconsistent performance. Unlike our top-rated Haier, the GE FCM5SUWW freezer has not been subjected to any professional tests. Our only information about its performance comes from owner reviews, and those are mixed. Some say it stays ice cold even on a low setting, while others claim it must be turned up to maximum to stay below 0 degrees Fahrenheit. One user at HomeDepot.com who tracked the freezer's internal temperature over several days found that it fluctuated by nearly 30 degrees. Most reviewers agree that the freezer is quiet, and the EnergyGuide label indicates it's slightly more efficient than the Haier, but the difference is minimal.
Can't be counted on. Most of the complaints we found about the GE FCM5SUWW freezer center on reliability. Many reviewers say the freezer stopped working within a year or two after its one-year warranty expired, and others say it never worked right out of the box. One reviewer at HomeDepot.com complains of receiving two units in a row that were "DOA" and having little confidence in the third one. Multiple owners also complain about food spoiling because the freezer didn't work properly. The number of complaints isn't overwhelming given the total number of reviews, but it's enough to cause us some concern.
We found more than 640 reviews here for the GE FCM5SUWW. Owners award the freezer 4.7 stars out of 5 overall, with 4.2 stars for features, 4.3 for efficiency, 4.5 for quality and 4.6 for value. While owners praise its size and performance, we saw some complaints about reliability.
Review: GE 5.0 cu. ft. Chest Freezer in White, Contributors to HomeDepot.com, As of November 2013
The GE FCM5SUWW has about 50 reviews at Abt.com, most of them picked up from the GE website. Reviews are overwhelmingly positive, with praise for the freezer's size, performance, quietness and efficiency. The overall star rating is 4.8 out of 5, and every single reviewer recommends the freezer.
Review: GE FCM5SUWW White Manual Defrost Chest Freezer - FCM5SUWW, Contributors to Abt.com, As of November 2013