Gone are the days when the most you could hope for in a fridge freezer was for it to have a working light and resistance to frost.
The giants of the refrigeration world are constantly trying to set themselves apart with features and functions to make your life easier and keep your food fresher for longer.
We’ve picked out six unique features and functions you can now find in refrigeration appliances.
Jump straight to our Best Buy fridge freezers to see those that impressed in our exhaustive tests.
1. See inside the fridge without opening the door
Two taps on the glass of an LG InstaView fridge freezer and you will be able to see inside the fridge without opening the door.
This ‘InstaView’ technology should help to keep warm air from entering the fridge and pushing up your energy bills as it works to cool back down again.
What’s more, if you just need to get a drink out of the fridge, there’s a mini-door within the top-right door that provides quick access to the bottle racks – which should also limit the amount of warm air that gets into the fridge.
Read our review of the LG GSX961NSAZ InstaView to see if we recommend it.
2. Watch TV on your fridge door
Fridge freezers in the Samsung Family Hub range have a smart screen on the fridge door that can double as a TV, among other things.
You can also use the Hub to check out recipes, order shopping and leave notes for other members of the household.
Our Samsung Family Hub RS68N8941B1/EU review reveals if this fridge freezer is any good at its main job.
3. Simulating the sun cycle with Beko’s HarvestFresh
Beko’s HarvestFresh technology changes the colour of the light in the crisper drawer throughout the day, to mimic the 24-hour sun cycle fruits and vegetables are exposed to in their natural environment.
Beko claims this helps preserve vitamins A and C in fruits and vegetables for longer.
The cycle starts with four hours of blue light to simulate the morning. This is followed by two hours of green light around midday and six hours of red light as the evening draws in.
Then, as they would in nature, the fruits and vegetables in the drawer sit in darkness throughout the night.
We haven’t tested any HarvestFresh models yet, but take a look at our Beko fridge freezer reviews to see reviews of over 50 Beko fridge freezers we’ve assessed in our lab.
4. Turn a freezer into a fridge and back again
With Haier’s Instaswitch feature you can switch a freezer into a fridge, and back again, with the push of a button.
This could be handy if you’re in need of extra fridge space in the run up to Christmas or during some other festival period.
Haier says that the process takes around two hours.
Read our review of the Haier H3F-280WSAAU1 freezer which has this function to see if it’s worth investing in.
5. Stay Sabbath compliant when using your refrigerator
During the Sabbath and Yom Tov in Judaism, there are some restrictions on certain activities that can extend to the use of appliances.
These restrictions can include switching appliances on or off, using the control panel or activating lights and sounds. Sabbath mode allows people to continue using their household appliances without violating their religious laws, by modifying or disabling certain features or functions.
On a fridge freezer, for example, the display will no longer show anything, except perhaps an icon to indicate Sabbath mode is activated. All internal lights will also be turned off, alarms will be deactivated and if there’s an ice maker, that will be switched off.
We’ve tested a few fridge freezers that offer this function, including the Bosch KAD92HBFP fridge freezer.
6. Fit a fridge freezer in almost flush against walls and cupboards
Whenever you buy a new fridge freezer, manufacturers will typically recommend that you leave a 25mm gap around it to allow for ventilation. Bosch’s PerfectFit technology is one way manufacturers are innovating to make better use of space.
PerfectFit models can slide in practically flush against walls or furniture (just a 4mm gap is required on each side). This means they can slot in a space that previously would have only fitted a slimmer model.
This is great news as it means you’ll be able to opt for a bigger appliance providing more room inside for your groceries.
Go to our Bosch fridge freezer reviews to see whether the brand has any Best Buys or Don’t Buys.