I'm not sure how to feel about Samsung's smart TV fridge

Samsung's Family Hub is bringing Art Mode and live TV to your fridge. I'm not convinced that's a good idea

Samsung Family Hub
(Image credit: Samsung)

We know that Samsung makes some of the best TVs and some of the best fridge freezers. But should they combine the two? Samsung clearly thinks so: it's bringing live TV to fridges with Family Hub 2.0 in the US and Korean markets. That version of Family Hub has been around since 2017. Owners will also get Art Mode, which turns the fridge's display into a digital frame just like the Samsung The Frame TV, albeit much smaller.

This isn't the first time you've been able to watch TV on a Samsung fridge freezer: you can already mirror a Samsung TV or Samsung phone. But this time the TV feature will be built into the fridge courtesy of Samsung's own Samsung TV Plus, which is its ad-supported live TV service.

I don't own one of these fridges, but I can't say I'm going green with jealousy here: rather than offering the best of both worlds, I think watching TV on a fridge is a terrible idea. And I'm not the only one.

Need TV in your kitchen? You'd be better off with an Echo Show or an iPad

Jennifer Pattison Tuohy of The Verge has experienced the Samsung fridge TV experience with her own eyes, and she isn't impressed. As she writes: "it’s not a great experience — it can only use a small horizontal area in the middle of the fridge’s vertical 21.5-inch screen." The only real upside is that you don't need to sacrifice any counter space, as you would if you put an Echo Show or Nest Hub Max in your kitchen.

And it's not just the display size. It's the TV content too. As Tuohy explains, "while there are over 200 channels of free, ad-supported live TV as well as on-demand content, it's a wholly random assortment of stuff." If you're looking for all-day Antiques Roadshow you're in luck, but there's a reason we don't talk about Samsung TV Plus in the way we do other TV streaming services. I don't even know or care if my Samsung TV has it.

Although the TV feature is going to get the most attention, there are some worthwhile improvements coming to the Family Hub this July. It's getting a better food recognition system and may also support the Matter smart home standard – although so far it's unclear if that's coming in this update. Samsung is also launching its SmartThings Home Life suite, which is currently only available in the US and Korea, to 97 countries this month, enabling you to connect and control smart home tech more easily.

Carrie Marshall

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written more than a dozen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote seven more books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (havrmusic.com).