Note: I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.
When you want to “say something” with your major appliances, Smeg is the company to look at. The Smeg FAB32UPBLN apartment size refrigerator, for example, puts a small, pastel blue cooler into your kitchen decor.
This review will be about the FAB32UPBLN in particular, but Smeg makes fridges in various colors, orientations, and styles that are all very similar. There are links to a few of them just below and at the end of this article.
If you don’t have time right now to read all the details, you can click (or tap) the links in the list below to check the pricing and availability on Amazon.
- Smeg FAB32UPBLN Bottom Freezer Refrigerator (light blue)
- Smeg FAB32UPGLN Bottom Freezer Refrigerator (light green)
- Smeg FAB32URDLN Bottom Freezer Refrigerator (bold red)
- Smeg FAB28UUSR1 Top Freezer Refrigerator (USA flag)
If you prefer to jump ahead to a certain section of this review, you can click (tap) a link in the box below. Otherwise, you can keep scrolling (swiping) and reading as usual.
Smeg Is All about 50s Style
Many of us are too young to remember what “50s style” really is. It’s probably for that reason that many of us really like that retro vibe.
Smeg recreates the appliances you might have seen (with a few exceptions) back in the day when peeking into a 1950s kitchen.
The FAB32UPBLN model is approximately 24 inches wide. We have to say “approximately” because of the large curves at the corners that the 50s style was known for.
This model has a left hand hinge, but you can get it with a right hand hinge (just change the L in the model name to an R), if that works better in the space you want to put your Smeg fridge.
The Spacious Bottom Freezer Has Many Features
The “automatic” freezer is at the bottom of the unit. Smeg does make models (such as the USA flag unit) where the freezer is at the top. I’m not sure why they call it an “automatic” freezer. I sure would hope that it freezes my food automatically, without my manual intervention. It does have an automatic defrost mechanism, so perhaps that’s what this refers to.
The tall freezer contains 3 adjustable shelves. This is rather unusual compared to most freezers. It has a bottle rack and 2 drawers, one of which is called a “fast-freezing” drawer. I’m not sure what makes that drawer better at freezing food more quickly than the other. You also get an ice cube tray.
Smeg says the net capacity of the freezer is 2.65 cubic feet and that it has a freezing capacity of 22 pounds over 24 hours. To date, I have not seen such specifications for a freezer. I take this to mean that, if you put 22 lbs. of food in the freezer, it will take about a day before it will be frozen solid. (I admit I could be wrong here.)
There is a thermostat for the freezer and a separate one for the cooler. This is nice, because not every fridge has this option.
The Cooler Looks Almost Like the Freezer
The cooler section is larger, as usual, with a net capacity of 8.1 cubic feet. It also has 3 adjustable shelves, a chrome wine (or other bottle) rack, a fruit and vegetable container, and a covered storage box.
In other words, it has all the standard food storage areas that virtually all modern fridges do. It’s just that you get all this inside a package that has a lot more style than refrigerators from other manufacturers.
Outer Dimensions Require Some Thinking About
The Smeg FAB32UPBLN is made for small spaces, like those in an apartment, but the 50s style comes with a caveat.
The overall dimensions are 75 13/16 inches high by 23 ⅝ inches wide by 26 ⅝ inches deep. However, the door is much thicker than many other models. If measures 4 ½ inches thick – 6 inches, if you include the handle.
Smeg has some confusing cautions for you when it comes to opening this door. I quote…
“A gap of 5” must be left on the hinged side of the product to allow the door to open fully.”
I quote again…
“When positioning these appliances adjacent to a kitchen unit, a gap of 6 7/8″ must be left on the hinged side of the product to allow the door to open. When positioning next to a wall, it is recommended to leave a larger gap of 12 1/2″.”
I guess the takeaway here is this: Leave a lot of space in the area where the door will swing open – more than you would with a modern fridge.
Finally, the weight of this unit is something to consider too. I think Smeg got their figures reversed because they say the net weight is 222 pounds while the gross weight is just 191 pounds. Switch those two number around, I think.
Conclusions about the Smeg Apartment Size Refrigerator
It’s true (and obvious) that you buy a fridge to keep your food cool and fresh. You buy a Smeg fridge (or other appliance) for the style – the 50s retro style.
I’m sure all the Smeg models do a fine job of cooling, but that’s almost secondary to while you’ll even consider getting one of these units.
Put a little (or maybe a lot) style into your kitchen and pick out your favorite color or flag pattern for your fridge today. (If you poke around, you’ll find a few other country’s flags available too.)