Pros: Great fast cooking, lots of room, good looks, easy cleaning.
Cons: Not as quiet as advertised. Fingerprint Prone.
This microwave was bought to go with our 20 cu. ft. French Door Refrigerator (Review Here RF217ACBP), Dishwasher (Review Here DMT300RFB), and Electric Range (FE-R300SB) as part of a full kitchen remodeling.
First let me say that that unlike the Refrigerator, Dishwasher and Electric Range I decided to save some money and install this myself. So we will begin this review with instillation.
Out of the box the instructions were clear and pictures were easily understood. I did not get the feeling of poorly translated instructions. There are two main options for venting the microwave and it is important to set it up correctly before trying to mount it. The process is as simple as unscrewing a metal plate and adjusting the path of the vent fan/duct. It was very easy, however if you are not mechanically inclined this may appear to be a daunting task so gauge your skill level and willingness before deciding to make this a do it yourself project.
I mounted this alone into the space above the stove. It would have been much easier with two people (one to hold one to bolt on) but I was able to manage it with just myself. As a helpful note I found the process easier to do by moving the stove out of the way all together. This also reduced the damage possibility in the event that I dropped the microwave during install. Over all I would highly recommend cashing in a favor from a friend rather than attempt this alone but it can be done if you have no other option. Really other than trying to hold a heavy microwave up with one hand while turning a bolt with the other the install was very easy.
On to looks. This microwave is actually one of the most attractive I have seen and if you look at the other appliances it was bought to go with you will notice the same contemporary lines and smooth arches were used. The blue LED adds to its overall contemporary feel and the compact flush buttons keep the whole appearance very clean and unbroken.
Unlike the dishwasher and refrigerator the glossy black finish on the microwave is very fingerprint prone. I cannot account for the difference since they all appear to be the same. Windex and a paper towel are all that's needed to keep it clean but you will probably be cleaning it more often.
Interior space is great. This microwave has one of the larger interiors of the over the range microwaves available and I have to say I really do notice the change from the 1.2 cu. ft. to the 1.8 cu. ft. There is simply more room than Im ever likely to require for anything I am likely to microwave. My largest plates don't come close to hitting any of the sides as they rotate. Even my microwave bacon cooker that would get stuck in my old microwave is now spinning freely with room to spare.
Interior cleaning is also very easy due to not having any nooks and crannies to clean around. There is that disk on the top of the inside but other than that there are no places inside for gunk to accumulate.
Side note about that disk. I have no idea what it is or what its for but when I first started up the microwave there were blue sparks (arcing?) coming from behind that disk. I immediately called Samsungs support and they quickly pointed out that I was running the microwave with nothing in it. They instructed me to put in a glass of water and try again. I have never had the sparking problem after that. Moral of the story. All those big warnings about not running the microwave without something in it are apparently for a reason. Go figure.
The controls are quite simple. There are those quick settings buttons but I never use any of them. Setting the time to cook and pressing start is all I have ever needed to do. On the rare occasion that I need to set the power level that too is just one button then enter the level desired. Put in the time to cook and press start. As simple as it can be. So simple there is not much else I can think to say about it.
So how does it cook? Really all the other stuff is just fluff, what really matters is how well it cooks. Well this one does a great job. My last GE was also 1100 watts but I can say with no uncertainty that it was not nearly as good at cooking food as this Samsung.
It was in fact so much better that the first few weeks were spent overcooking food as we learned to scale back on the time. Both from what we had become used to and from what the instructions on packaging stated. We eat a lot of frozen dinners due to our busy schedules (ok really we are just lazy). We have found that almost universally the times stated on the box need to be scaled back by anywhere from 30 seconds to sometimes as much as 1 minute. Boiling a mug of water takes about 2 minutes less in this microwave than in our old one.
I have never felt that my food was cooked unevenly or anything like that but I cant say that I have had that sort of issue with any microwave in many years so Im betting that is just a thing of the past.
Last is the noise level. Here I was a bit disappointed but only because of the advertisement that this was supposed to be some sort of ultra quiet microwave. Yes it is less noisy than our old one but not by enough for me to call it "Ultra" quiet. The fan that was billed in a Samsung video as being "so quiet you could carry on a conversation right next to it" is by no means that quiet.
The low setting on the vent fan is quiet and maybe even enough to hear normal conversational tones over but it is also relatively ineffective. Normal room convection will overcome the force of the vent fan on low. Meaning that if the room air movement gently pushes the steam from a pot away from the microwave the vent fan on low will not be able to pull the steam back up again. Furthermore on low the fan does not always have the force to pull all the steam form, say, a very large pot of boiling water. In other words its useless for anything but the lightest steam levels. At best it may help divert odors while cooking but not by much.
On the higher settings the vent fan does do the job well but now the noise level is much too high to carry on any conversation while standing in front of it. That said, its not like any other microwave I have ever used was any better. The only reason I bring it up is because of the advertising by Samsung touting the quiet nature of this microwave. It probably is quieter but only in the same way a big truck is quieter than a slightly bigger truck. Both are really noisy, one is just a little less really noisy.
All said this was a great addition to our new kitchen and after about a year I am truly satisfied with no complaints at all.