Although side-by-side refrigerators as a group seem to have more problems than other types, we found good recommendations overall for the Samsung RS265TDWP. This 26-cubic-foot unit is Energy Star-certified and features separate cooling units for the fridge and freezer sections, which help control moisture levels to keep food fresher. Like most side-by-sides, it has a through-the-door ice and water dispenser, plus LED lighting, digital controls, humidity-controlled crispers, glass shelves and an open-door alarm. It comes in white, black, stainless-steel and smudge-resistant stainless-platinum finishes. In professional tests, this refrigerator gets very good scores for temperature control and efficiency.
Users say this Samsung model emits little noise, and boasts lots of style and storage space. However, several say the lighting isn't bright enough and the door shelves can be unstable. They also report that the ice maker breaks down often -- a common problem with ice and water dispensers on any type of fridge -- and even when it works, it tends to spill ice all over the floor. Samsung's warranty covers the entire refrigerator for one year and the sealed system for five. If you'd like a wider fridge space but still need narrow doors, the LG LFX25976SW French-door model (*Est. $2,200) gets good ratings, but costs quite a bit more.
ConsumerReports.org includes the Samsung RS265TDWP in its tests of side-by-side refrigerators. It also gets more than 75 user reviews on BestBuy.com, plus a handful more at Sears.com and AJMadison.com. The annual appliance survey conducted by J.D. Power and Associates gives users' opinions of the Samsung brand as a whole.
The Samsung RS265TDWP is one of more than 90 side-by-side refrigerators rated at ConsumerReports.org. Each is evaluated based on temperature performance, energy efficiency, noise and ease of use. Various brands are also judged on their overall reliability.
Review: Refrigerators, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, Jan. 2011
The white Samsung RS265TDWP and its black and stainless-steel equivalents receive more than 85 reviews total at BestBuy.com. Overall, the refrigerator earns 4.1 stars out of 5, with 80 percent of users recommending it. While they praise the fridge's capacity and quietness, several owners report problems with the ice maker and shelves.
Review: Samsung - 25.5 Cu. Ft. Side-by-Side Refrigerator with Thru-the-Door Ice and Water, Contributors to BestBuy.com, As of Feb. 2012
We found only a handful of reviews for the Samsung RS265TDWP in white and other colors at Sears.com, but they're all positive. Users call this refrigerator spacious, quiet and attractive, with good lighting. Their only quibble is that the ice maker tends to dump ice on the floor.
Review: Samsung 25.5 cu. ft. Side-by-Side Refrigerator Energy Star, Contributors to Sears.com, As of Feb. 2012
The few reviews we found for the Samsung RS265TDWP here are mixed. While two users find this fridge attractive, roomy, quiet and reliable, one says the finish scratches and dents easily, and another describes a breakdown about a year after purchase.
Review: Samsung RS265TD, Contributors to AJMadison.com, As of Feb. 2012
5. J.D. Power & Associates
In this survey of more than 5,000 consumers who have purchased refrigerators in the past two years, Samsung is among the highest-rated brands for overall satisfaction. It earns top scores for styling, features and price, plus above-average scores for performance, warranty and ease of use.
Review: 2011 Home Appliance Study: Refrigerator, Editors of J.D. Power and Associates, Aug. 3, 2011