The Bespoke Family Hub Plus smart fridge announced at CES costs $5,000 and is also a Matter controller.
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When Samsung launched its first smart fridge back in 2016, a valid question was, “Do I really need an Android tablet stuck to my fridge door?” If you weren’t convinced you needed one, then it’s doubtful Samsung’s newest model — the Bespoke 4-Door Flex With Family Hub Plus that’s available to preorder today — will change your mind.
But if what you really wanted was a bigger Android tablet stuck to your fridge, then you’re in luck.
The eighth generation of Samsung’s Family Hub smart fridge sports a giant 32-inch full HD touchscreen, up from 21.5 inches on the previous version. This new plus-sized model is also the first Samsung fridge that’s also a Matter controller. Existing Family Hub fridges 2.0 or newer will be updated to be controllers for the new Matter smart home standard in July, according to Samsung.
Announced at CES this year, the Bespoke Family Hub Plus will cost $5,000. Bespoke means you can choose from different colors and finishes for the non-tablet panels of your fridge, and Samsung is offering $1,200 worth of credits if you preorder at Samsung.com before June 6th. It will be available to buy at retailers on June 7th.
It’s still a pricey piece of tech — about $1,000 more than a comparable Samsung fridge without a screen. But if you like the idea of watching Samsung’s TV Plus service while chopping veggies or enjoy the fridge’s digital dashboard feature that lets you display photos and sticky notes, view recipes, control your smart home devices, and more — it’s now all on a bigger screen.
I saw the bigger screen in person at CES, and it’s impressive looking; the extra real estate feels more useful as a kitchen TV, and with the new picture-in-picture mode, you can multitask on the tablet. The new screen is also bezel-less and blends in better when not in use. A giant tablet in your kitchen can be distracting, and Samsung has fixed this in its newer models.
All of this means that if a smart home gadget you buy has the Matter logo, you can set it up and use it with any Matter-compatible device and any Matter-compatible platform. Matter devices are becoming available, and we expect more to arrive this year.
Amazon Alexa, Google Home, Samsung SmartThings, and Apple Home are some of the big platforms that support Matter, and they have all updated their compatible hubs to be Matter controllers.
As a Matter controller, the fridge can onboard Matter-compatible devices, like smart lights, plugs, thermostats, and locks, to your SmartThings app, as long as it’s a Wi-Fi device (the Family Hub’s don’t support Thread without additional hardware). A version of the SmartThings app is also on the fridge’s touchscreen tablet, giving you a big screen to control your smart home from. I wouldn’t buy this fridge for Matter; there are much cheaper Matter controllers — including this $60 Samsung SmartThings wireless charger — but it’s good that it’s in here.
The same software update that will bring Matter control to all Samsung Family Hub fridges in July also adds a Google Photos integration for turning the fridge into a digital photo frame and Amazon Essentials integration for one-click Amazon shopping from your fridge. Samsung also says it’s enhanced its cooking dashboard, a feature that uses AI to recommend recipes and meal plans based on your preferences as well as the fridge’s AI-powered cameras that can recognize food in your fridge.