LG LSXS26326S side-by-side Refrigerator Review


The LG LSXS26326S side-by-side refrigerator is a pretty plain machine and is another stainless steel box. It also lacks a few basic amenities like spill proof shelves and humidity sliders that you can readily find on cheaper models like GE GTE18GMHES and Frigidaire FGTR1845QF.

Underneath the surface, the LG LSXS26326S is a pretty powerful refrigerator. The LG LSXS26326S delivers the best temperature performance have seen from a side-by-side fridge yet. It isn't perfect, as the bottom drawer ran a little warm for comfort, but the shelves in the main body were spot on accurate. You can find more well-rounded fridges for less, especially in the top freezer category, but the LG LSXS26326S is well worth your consideration as a highly competent side-by-side at a reasonable price.



A Warrior

The stainless finish smudges easily, but it gives a premium look to the exterior. The controls near the dispenser look a little dated and responds easily. It's tall at 70 1/8 inches -- you'll probably need 71 inches of clearance to fit it since the power cord juts out from the top. With 17 cubic feet in the fridge and 9.2 cubic feet in the freezer (for a total of 26.2 cubic feet of space), it's big on the inside, too.

The edges of the doors curve gently toward the back, and the front rounds outward to make it slightly less boxy. The handles curve also arching outward and sloping away on each end.



Controls

The LG LSXS26326S is understated and professional, even modern, except for the controls. Next to the in-door dispenser on vertical panel, there are buttons to adjust the ice type from cubed to crushed, a button to manipulate the fridge and the freezer temps, an option to switch the ice maker off or put it into high gear -- called Ice Plus -- a button to switch on a light under the dispenser and reset the water filter, and a button to silence the door alarm or lock the buttons from accidental presses. After pressing any of the button, a display lights up to show you what you've selected with big green text.


On top of that, the green lights on the display juxtaposed against the white text for the buttons and black background reminds more like a '90s alarm clock than a modern fridge. The controls work just fine, but they do dampen the appeal of an otherwise sleek appearance.


The dispenser is better. Turn on the light, and it shines directly into the plastic cylinder where the ice comes out, illuminating it pleasantly. When you want ice, don't expect a huge difference between crushed and cubed. The former sprays out lots of large chunks, the latter mixes in plenty of snow, and the cubes aren't that big to begin with. Both options spray wide, so hold your glass right under the cylinder and be ready to pick up a stray chunk or two.


The LG LSXS26326S produces 3 pounds of ice in a day, or 3.2 with Ice Plus, both numbers according to the manufacturer. The bin itself only holds 3.5 pounds. You'll run out quick if you need more than a couple of glasses worth, but the Space plus design leaves you more shelf space for frozen goods since the bin fits on the interior of the door. It's a fine trade-off, just be prepared to buy bags of ice if you're hosting a party.




Groceries

Fortunately, the interior of the LG LSXS26326S affords you a surprising amount of room to fit those bags of ice and anything else you might want to stock up on for that party. By the numbers, this LG side-by-side is smaller than the Samsung Food Showcase Side-by-Side , the RH29H9000SR. Samsung's model has 28.5 cubic feet of total storage space, with 18.4 in the fridge. Again, the LG LSXS26326S comes in at 26.2 and 17 cubic feet between fridge and freezer. Yet, when we put the space to the test by cramming the fridges full of groceries, the LG side-by-side fit more food than the Samsung Food Showcase.

LEDs on the ceiling make the bright white interior look welcoming, but the shelves in the main body don't have much vertical clearance between them. You also don't have many options in terms of customizing the position of those shelves.

The first time we put groceries in our fridges, we keep the shelves evenly spaced. As such, we couldn't fit the milk jugs in the main compartment, and had to relegate them to the door bin. That's a ding on the results, but the rest of the everyday groceries, from soda bottles, to condiments, leftover containers and even a six pack of beer and a bottle of wine fit without issue.

We don't stop with everyday items, though. We try to push the space in our fridges to the brim, and after filling it full of ordinary foodstuffs, we cram in as many items for special occasions as we can fit. We have six of these stress test items -- a party platter, a cake tray, an extra large pizza box, a casserole dish, a roasting pan and a tall lemonade pitcher.

Side-by-side fridges seems to be more narrow than other fridge types, and that proved true with both the LG LSXS26326S and the Samsung Food Showcase. Every other stress test item fit into the LSXS26326S individually, even while allowing a little breathing room between each item so the air in the fridge could circulate.

If you try fitting five items individually on the First round of the load test is a good result, and the LSXS26326S went one further and fit three items simultaneously. On this test, it far outperformed the Samsung Food Showcase, which only fit two items individually and two combined, and this test is meant to reflect realistic, day-to-day use.

However in Second round, we allow ourselves to rearrange the shelves as we see fit, to make the best use of the space. We're also allowed to squeeze the groceries a little more, as you might want to do this on those special occasions when you are hosting a gathering and need to cram in a party platter.

The interior isn't very customizable. Finding much more vertical space in the main compartment of the LSXS26326S proved troublesome. Four glass shelves split the space above two stacked drawers at the bottom, with a fifth shelf doubling as the top of the upper drawer.

Each shelf slides out easily, you just need to lift and pull. They rest on white plastic rails, with a plastic hook in the back to keep them in place. The top three have two possible rails to sit on, one about an inch below the other. So, you really only have a slightly shorter or slightly taller spot for each shelf, and the fourth one doesn't even have that second option.

Fortunately, by moving one shelf to the lower spot, and the one above it to the higher spot, we were able to fit jugs of milk into the main compartment on round 2 of the load tests. We had just enough vertical clearance, so still not enough for soda bottles or wine bottles.




On the door, though, those containers fit easily. Unlike the main compartment, the three main door bins give you plenty of height for tall items. You can adjust these as well -- just lift them free of the plastic notches that hold them in place. Like with the main shelves of the fridge, you have two options for each.

At a lower level these three bins, you have another narrower bin at the bottom of the door wide enough for cans of soda/drinks. At the top of the door, you'll find a butter bin with a pivoting lid. The depth and height of the door bins made a big difference on both rounds of the load tests, as we were able to fit lots of condiments and tall items into them and relieve a lot of the burden from the main compartment.

The main body of the freezer has a similar layout to the fridge, but only three movable shelves instead of four above the two drawers at the bottom. The door of the freezer has a markedly different layout, since the upper half houses the ice bin. For squeezing in extra frozen goods, you're limited to three narrow bins on the bottom third of the door.

 We also wish the shelves were spill proof. As it stands, white rims frame the glass shelves on their front and back, but not the sides. The width was enough to keep most of the 8-ounce glass of water we dumped on the shelf from spilling over, but the liquid that made it to the side dumped all the way from the top shelf to the bottom.

The LG LSXS26326S doesn't have humidity sliders either, and again, both humidity sliders and spillproof shelves can be found on the GE GTE18GMHES and the Frigidaire FGTR1845QF.

The LG LSXS26326S is still a fine machine. It looks similar to a lot of other fridges, but in an appealing way. And once you open the doors, you will be pleasantly surprise by how well the LG LSXS26326S uses its interior space.

Superior cooling

The LG LSXS26326S is more than a fine machine when it comes to cooling performance. The FDA recommends keeping easily spoilable food below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, and tossing out any that spend more than 2 hours consecutively or 4 hours lifetime over that 40-degree mark. None of the three main shelves crossed 40 at all during the three-day period. That's an excellent result.

Only the top shelf -- that light blue line at the bottom of the graph -- shows any significant wiggle whatsoever, and that's understandable, as it sits right next to the fan that blows out the cold air.

The temperature performance of the main body of the fridge is perfect. No qualifier needed, this is a perfect result.

The temp toward the bottom of the fridge, both in the drawers of the main compartment and the bottom door bins, were not as perfectly accurate. We expect some warmness on the door. It's why we recommend putting your milk in the main compartment.

The warm drawers on the other side-by-sides as tested, including the Samsung Food Showcase and the Kenmore 51832 . It's likely systemic of how the model type is cooled, but unlike the warm door bins, it's not an issue I can readily forgive, especially since it's one rarely seen on other fridge types. You might reasonably want to keep cheese in that bottom drawer, and with this fridge, that wouldn't be a good idea.

The LG LSXS26326S did better than both the Food Showcase and the Kenmore 51832, but that warm drawer makes the results very good as opposed to amazing.

Just like on the 37-degree test, the main shelves of the fridge kept an average right on top of the set point. This round, almost every compartment stayed below 40 degrees where food can spoil and above 32 degrees where it can freeze for the duration of the test. The top shelf did get cold when the compressor kicked in, and the lowest door bin occasionally spiked above 40. Both are minor issues.

The fact that the main body of the fridge could nail an average at two different set points makes the LG LSXS26326S versatile as well as accurate. If it wasn't for that bottom drawer, it would be the best performer we've seen yet. As it stands, it still shines brightest where it counts the most.

The verdict

The LG LSXS26326S looks like a lot of other fridges, while performing the way that it does.  When you combine that performance with its easily usable interior, and a stainless finish that matches premium models, We certainly recommend it over the fancier, but less competent Samsung Food Showcase RH29H9000SR .

Compared to other fridge types, the benefits of the LSXS26326S become murkier. In particular, the GE Artistry ABE20EGHBS bottom freezer looks better, fits more food, and performs just as well. Even the GE GTE18GMHES top freezer fits more food, includes the humidity sliders and spill proof shelves this LG fridge lacks, and performs fairly well, though it is a distinct step down in accuracy from the LG LSXS26326S. So the LG LSXS26326S doesn't do quite enough to be a standout, but its spacious interior and top tier performance make it worth a spot on your short list if you're shopping for a side-by-side fridge.