(Pocket-lint) - When they first came onto the scene, it's fair to say people were pretty sceptical of smart fridges. The question of why you'd need to be able to look at a screen on your fridge or give it voice commands came up often.
Fast-forward a few years to now though, and plenty of top-line fridges being released now do have smart tech in them — it's clearly a trend that consumers have got on board with over time. That said, it's largely still the preserve of more premium models, for reasons of cost-efficiency.
So, we've taken a detailed look at the best smart fridges out there, and have compiled this list for you to have a look at if you're thinking of giving your kitchen a bit of smart home pizazz.
Our pick of the best smart fridges to buy today
Samsung Family Hub
Samsung's Family Hub fridges are the only ones on our list that look like the image you might have of a "smart fridge" in your head — namely, because of that big screen on one door. Whether you want it to play videos, display your music controls, or use internal cameras to show you what you've got stocked inside, the smartscreen can do it all.
You can even order restocks and online shops right from it, and use the screen as effectively as family noticeboard where you can leave reminders and notes for each other.
If you're okay with the visuals of a screen in your kitchen like this, the Family Hub does feel a lot like living in the connected future, and that's pretty high praise.
LG InstaView Door-in-Door
LG's line of fridges has a whole bunch of models, and not all of them are smart — but there are some that pair its Door-in-Door easy-access drinks shelves with with its InstaView technology to bring fridges into the 21st Century.
By knocking twice on the glass of that distinctive window in the fridge's door, you'll be shown what's inside your fridge. That might sound unimportant, but it means that you don't have to disturb the fridge's delicately balanced temperature by opening it all the time. Similarly, that Door-in-Door panel is effectively an anteroom for the fridge, where you can store your most-used drinks or condiments for access without impacting on the wider storage efficiency.
It's a fridge with some smart, connected features, but which doesn't push them onto you too much — a great balance.
Bosch Serie 6
From here on out, the remaining fridges are a lot more traditional-looking, we think you'll agree, starting with Bosch's Serie 6 double-door option. What makes it smart is the inclusion of Home Connect, a platform to let you control various aspects of the fridge's performance from your phone.
That means checking in on its temperature, and changing it remotely if you need to keep a certain key item ready. You'll also be able to get alerts if the door's left ajar, a potential life-saver. Sadly, it's only installed on this large variant of the fridge, so if you want a smaller option you'll have to sacrifice some smarts.
The differences between this Siemens fridge and other Bosch options are pretty minute — they're all almost identical in terms of capacity and features, even down to their mutual inclusion of Home Connect.
However, we're including both because you might want to keep an eye on their respective prices to get a bargain if one goes on sale. Or, of course, if one shade of stainless steel finish particularly catches your eye over the other.
This fridge from Beko might not have quite the same degree of connectivity as some of the others on this list, but it's got some lovely features that make it "smart" in our eyes, and a great price to boot.
The centrepiece is its HarvestFresh drawer, which simulates a 24 hour sun cycle to keep your fruit and vegetables fresh for up to five days longer that normal. There's also a door alarm and a frost-free freezer system that's impressively effective.