Samsung just unveiled an ingenious AI refrigerator – but should you rush out to buy one?

The smart fridge can track your food, suggest recipes, order from supermarkets, and even take phone calls. But is the convenience worth the price?

Samsung AI Family Hub Fridge Freezer
(Image credit: Samsung)

Last week on March 27, at their 2024 Home Launch Event, Samsung announced a lineup of new AI home appliances. The global tech brand is finding new ways to get home appliances to learn from our behaviour, and this announcement brings new additions to the Bespoke range of AI-designed appliances. 

Along with a washing machine, a 3-in1 robot vacuum cleaner, and a combi fridge/freezer - one of the big announcements was the AI Family Hub Fridge Freezer. 

It features a big touch screen and a number of smart features to make cooking, grocery shopping, and general at-home living easier and more convenient. We saw it up close at the launch event, so keep reading to see what it can do.

Samsung AI Family Hub Fridge Freezer: Features

In Samsung's efforts to find new ways to integrate AI into home appliances, the new Samsung AI Family Hub Fridge Freezer comes with a whole set of features we've never seen before in a refrigerator. Samsung's Bespoke appliances (Bespoke being their range of AI-integrated appliances), works like so:

  • Sense and detect
  • Learn patterns
  • Recommend options
  • Optimize automatically

One of the ways the AI Family Hub Fridge Freezer does this is using what Samsung calls 'AI Vision.' 

Inside the fridge is a camera at the top that can identify and keep track of whatever you put inside. This was demonstrated at the launch event: the product demonstrator placed a carrot and a cucumber inside, and the fridge made a log of it with a suggested use-by date and prompted him to adjust the use-by date if necessary. He then took them out, and the fridge recognized they had been removed. 

AI Vision can then use this information to recommend recipes. You can receive suggestions on what to cook based on what's in your fridge and your dietary requirements, with requirements ranging from dealbreakers like allergies or veganism to high protein diets or disliking certain foods. And, if you're missing any ingredients, you can order from various supermarkets right from the fridge. It's a helpful feature and will undoubtedly encourage plenty of people to make the most out of what they've got.

But while it can speed up cooking decisions, it may end up being more effort than it's worth. You'll have to adjust the use-by date whenever the fridge doesn't get it right. The demonstrator explained that the camera would struggle to recognize items in packaging, and, as there's only one camera, it will be unable to see items placed below fully-stocked top shelves. This means you may have to manually enter any of these items to get the most out of the fridge's accurate food logging. By that time, it would probably be quicker to keep track of it yourself!

Samsung AI Family Hub Fridge Freezer

(Image credit: Future / Dan Fauzi)

You can also sync the fridge up to many other Samsung Bespoke appliances using the SmartThings app. And once your phone is connected, you can stream music, check the weather, and even take phone calls on the fridge when you're busy in the kitchen.

But where the AI Family Hub really shines is in its energy-saving capabilities. Even with the screen, camera and recipe recommending, the fridge has an AI Energy Mode that optimizes its performance based on when and how you use it. This, Samsung heads explained, was the ultimate goal of integrating AI into home appliances: to detect user patterns to make our devices as energy-efficient as possible, without sacrificing on performance.

With that in mind, the AI Family Hub Fridge Freezer also has an energy saver mode. This works similarly to a smartphone's low power mode, where certain features will be adjusted so that only the necessary ones are using up power.

Spacemax helps to maximize the amount of available space within the appliance, supposedly offering 3x as much space compared to other fridges of the same size. The water dispenser is also within the door so that you don't have to fully open it every time you need to fill up your glass.

Is it worth it?

Combining AI technology with our home appliances might ring a few alarm bells for some people, but it's undoubtedly the next step in advancing how we use our devices.

Appliances that can detect our behavior patterns and respond to them will make life much easier down the line and will result in a more intuitive relationship with our home environments.

That being said, while Samsung is doing a great job moving AI home tech forward, there are features in this fridge that are unlikely to be used by many. We instinctively know how to tell if our food is going off and can do so in less time than it takes to enter a date into a fridge manually. 

But it's not impossible to imagine that, years from now, it'll be commonplace to have screens on our fridges that can order food, suggest recipes and take phone calls. If you've got the money to invest in one, it's an exciting way to be a part of the future, and perhaps it should be on your wish list for when it's released.

Thanks to all the features they offer, smart refrigerators are becoming some of the best refrigerators out there these days. We've already seen Samsung's AI tech in the Bespoke Jet AI Cordless Vacuum, so we're excited to see how their new products compare.

Dan Fauzi
Home Tech Editor

Dan is the Home Tech Editor for Homes & Gardens, covering all things cleaning, smart home, sound and automation across the Solved section. Having worked for Future PLC since July 2023, Dan was previously the Features Editor for Top Ten Reviews and looked after the wide variety of home and outdoor content across the site, but their writing about homes, gardens, tech and products started back in 2021 on brands like BBC Science Focus, YourHomeStyle, Homes & Antiques and Gardens Illustrated.

Dan is based in Bristol, UK with a BA in Philosophy and an MA in Magazine Journalism. Outside of work, you'll find them at gigs and art galleries, cycling somewhere scenic, or cooking up something good in the kitchen.