Samsung WA52J8700AP Review

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Samsung WA52J8700AP Review
Bottom Line

While it may be overkill for the well-equipped laundry room, those who have to haul their laundry from one room to another to pretreat then wash will love the Samsung WA52J8700AP with its built-in sink on the washers lid. The WA52J8700AP It gets raves for its cleaning performance and huge number of settings and features. However, that cool built-in sink makes the lid heavy -- watch out that you don't get clonked on the head -- and you have to lift it to get to your dispensers. This review is for the platinum finish, but the washer also comes in white as the Samsung WA52J8700AW (Est. $1,000).

ProsBuilt-in sink with water jet, Good cleaning performance, Loaded with features and presetsConsHeavy lid, A water hog on some cycles, Not as energy efficient as comparable washers

Breaking it down

Performance

Good, for a top loader. If you're a very hands on laundry doer who likes lots of presets, you'll love the Samsung WA52J8700AP. It's plenty big, with a 5.2 cubic feet capacity, which users say can handle a large comforter very well. And, when it comes to cleaning, the WA52J8700AP is a standout performer. One independent reviewer compares it to a number of other top loaders and finds it to be one of the best. Jonathan Chan at Reviewed.com was less impressed, saying in their tests it only aced those loads run in Heavy Duty mode, which, he notes, uses a lot of water, most of it hot. He also says it's not very gentle on clothes, a complaint we see frequently about high-efficiency washers that uses an impeller system, as this one does. And, of course, the HE designation means you must use HE detergent.

Efficiency

Depends upon the cycle. As we mentioned above, on the Heavy Duty cycle, the Samsung WA52J8700AP uses a lot of water, 34 total gallons, 16 gallons of hot. The normal cycle uses half as much water. Chan estimates that this washer's yearly running costs will be about $66 (based on national averages for electricity and water rates) and says, "Even for thirsty top loaders, that's a few dollars more than average—mostly due to thirsty optional cycles. It's also about double what an efficient front loader would use." Despite that, however, the WA52J8700AP is efficient enough overall to be Energy Star Certified.

Features

Absolutely packed. The big selling point of the Samsung WA52J8700AP is its unique, integrated basin that's built into the top of the washer, which Samsung has dubbed "Activewash." It's this feature that prompts expert reviewers to use adjectives like, "futuristic," and "innovative." However, most experts also note that it may be overkill for those who already have a laundry room sink with hot and cold water. The built-in basin has a water spout that you can use for pretreating (the basin also has ridges, like an old-fashioned wash board for scrubbing) or to fill the small sink for presoaking. The drawback is that it makes the lid rather unwieldly, and we saw one video, on Reviewed.com, clearly showing Chan's mother almost getting bonked on the head. However, she loved the washer simply because she does not have a sink in her laundry area. Also, as Ian Tucker of DigitalTrends.com points out, the basin makes it hard to access the detergent tray. Still, we don't want to focus only on the negative, because there's also a lot to like, feature-wise, about this washer. It's fully loaded, with 15 preset wash cycles, including SuperSpeed, which gets kudos for its quick, 36 minute cycle that gets clothes plenty clean, and a plethora of other tweaks and settings that the OCD laundry crowd will thrill to.

Value

Depends upon how much you need. As we already discussed, the Samsung WA52J8700AP is not the best when it comes to water efficiency, so you will pay more for water in the long run than with other top-loading washers. It also doesn't get great scores for water removal, so you may end up paying more in drying times as well. However, for the price, you get more a feature-rich machine in this top loader than in almost any other available. If you need a built-in sink, the reason many owner reviewers (and Chan's mom) are drawn to the WA52J8700AP, then it's definitely is worth the time and energy you save in consolidating your wash area. If you don't, there are cheaper washers available that will do the job just as well with better overall energy and water efficiency. We saw few durability complaints, but, just in case, Samsung backs the WA52J8700AP with a one-year warranty on parts and labor, two-years on the control board, three-years on the drum, and ten years on the washing motor.

Our Sources

1. Reviewed.com

Samsung WA52J8700AP Activewash Washing Machine Review , Jonathan Chan, June 4, 2015

In this thorough test and review, Reviewed.com grants the Samsung WA52J8700AP an Editors' Choice award and a Best of Year award. However, its overall score of a relatively low-seeming 6.8 out of 10. That still makes it one of the highest-rated top loaders they review; top-loaders get lower scores overall. Jonathan Chan says that, "in general, the WA52J8700AP is an above-average performer, and one of the better top-load machines we've tested—but it is clearly designed for a specific consumer." He faults it, particularly for being a water hog.

2. ConsumerReports.org

Samsung WA52J8700AP washing machine, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, Not Dated

ConsumerReports.org currently posts evaluations of dozens of top-load washers, including the Samsung WA52J8700AP. Evaluations are hands on and competent, though discussion is limited. Factors such as washing performance, energy and water efficiency, gentleness and more. Washers receive an overall rating and top choices are specifically called out. Consumers also offer input, but that is generally not taken into account in the ratings.

3. DigitalTrends.com

Samsung WA8700 Top-Loading Washer Review, Ian Tucker, Nov. 23, 2015

This review of the Samsung WA52J8700AP (referred to by Ian Tucker by its WA8700 series designation rather than its model number) is very thorough. Overall, Tucker gives the washer a 7 out of 10, and a rating of 3.5 stars, or Very Good. He praises the built-in basin as novel and distinctive, but also notes that the design of the basin is "somewhat obstructive." However, he notes that the controls are intuitive and the WA52J8700AP is loaded with features.

4. YaleAppliance.com

New Samsung Washer & Sink Combination; Is it Worth Buying?, Paul Gillis, April 16, 2015

In this blog post for Yale Appliance, Paul Gillis gives the Samsung WA52J8700AP a very good overview. While it's unclear if he personally tested the washer, he gives some good insights into its overall usefulness, ultimately concluding that it would be fine for a very limited space, but isn't really necessary for most people.

5. HomeDepot.com

Samsung Model #WA52J8700AP 5.2 cu. ft. High-Efficiency Top Load Washer with Activewash in Platinum, ENERGY STAR, Contributors to HomeDepot.com, As of February 2016

At HomeDepot.com the platinum Samsung WA52J8700AP earns an overall rating of 4.2 stars out of 5 in more than 95 reviews; 82 percent of owners would recommend the washer. The white finish earns a slightly higher rating of 4.3 stars in just over 50 reviews. While there are a few scattered complaints of durability issues, most are thrilled with the washer's capacity and performance.

6. BestBuy.com

Samsung - activewash 5.2 Cu. Ft. 15-Cycle Steam Top-Loading Washer - Platinum, Contributors to BestBuy.com, As of February 2016

In more than 230 customer reviews, the Samsung WA52J8700AP earns an overall rating of 4.6 stars out of 5; 93 percent of owners say they would recommend the washer to a friend. The vast majority of owners rave about its performance, plethora of features and ease of use; there are complaints that it is very noisy.