We found fewer recommendations for side-by-side refrigerators than for bottom-freezer and French-door types. Although several models did well in professional tests, none get really solid support from users. One that fares better than most is the Samsung RS265TDWP (*Est. $1,340) . At 26 cubic feet, it's one of the biggest side-by-sides available, and it's Energy Star-compliant as well. Professional reviewers say this fridge maintains an even temperature, is easy to use and runs very quietly. Like most side-by-side fridges, it can dispense ice and water through the door, and it also boasts touchpad controls, spill-proof glass shelves and LED lighting. The basic refrigerator comes in white and black; for an extra $100, you can get either stainless steel or a "platinum" finish that resembles stainless but resists smudging.
We found more than 500 unique user reviews for the Samsung RS265TDWP at retail sites. While they're generally positive, they're not as consistently good as the reviews we found for other top-rated fridges. Owners generally love the Samsung's design, good temperature control and quiet operation. They also say the space is well organized, with plenty of door storage and no hard-to-reach spots. However, we also saw a fair number of complaints about this fridge's ice maker. Some users say it doesn't produce enough ice, while others complain that it tends to jam up or spill ice on the floor. We saw several reports of mechanical problems (some of them also related to the ice maker) and complaints about Samsung's unresponsive customer service.
The Frigidaire Gallery FGUS2642LF (Est. $1,250) gets less consistent results in professional tests. One source says its temperature control is very good, while another test finds that it's uneven. The vegetable drawers also do a poor job of retaining moisture, and the fridge is much noisier than the Samsung. On the other hand, it does boast a wealth of features, including an external ice and water dispenser; adjustable spill-proof shelves; slide-out freezer baskets; and programmable, digital controls. Sold in stainless finish only, this refrigerator has a 26-cubic-foot capacity and an Energy Star rating.
We found about 100 individual user reviews for the Frigidaire Gallery FGUS2642LF. Owners typically love the fridge's looks and say that the interior is roomy, bright and well organized. However, there are quite a few complaints about the fridge's noise level. Users also have problems with the ice maker, which they say dispenses ice too quickly and drops it all over the floor. Another weak point is the shelves; several reviews report that they break easily.