Hitachi fridge freezer R-BGX411PGB1 reviewon September 6, 2022 at 10:05 Tech Advisor

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At a glance

Expert’s Rating

Pros

Glossy doorSlide drawersDual fan

Cons

No freezer lightNo numerical temperature gaugeManual slider for meat/vegetable bin

Our Verdict

Slim but not too tall, this Hitachi 60/40 fridge freezer fits 360 litres of groceries behind one of the glossiest doors we’ve ever seen. There’s a wine rack and slide shelves – but oddly, you can’t see or set the interior temperature in Celsius or Fahrenheit.

Price When Reviewed

£999

Best Prices Today: Hitachi fridge freezer R-BGX411PGB1

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Sleek, stylish and every so shiny, this Hitachi 60/40 fridge freezer has doors so reflective you can see your face in them. 

Design and appearance

We tested the black model and found ourselves in front of a dark mirror that boasted a graduation fade to gunmetal grey roughly around the split between fridge and freezer.

Suffice to say, this is not an appliance for a pastel country kitchen. It will not go with chintz curtains or braided garlic hanging from an exposed ceiling beam.

No, at 190cm tall and 60cm wide, this Hitachi is a sleek, urban appliance that would suit an absolute black granite worktop, polished to perfection, over stark white cabinetry – with a robot vacuum scooting over a high-sheen floor.

With pocket handles tucked away in the side of the doors, both left and right should you wish to reverse their opening direction, the only other front feature is the touchscreen control panel in a dark shade of grey. Nothing else interrupts the high-gloss finish.     

Add to that doors that passed the bounce test every time, no matter how hard the slam or gentle the nudge; and dual fan cooling, one fan for the fridge and another for the freezer, backed up by a compact but high-power inverter compressor that generates huge volumes of chilled air, and this appliance obviously aims to match modern styling with quality refrigeration.    

Operating volume

Hitachi states that the operational sound of this appliance is 41dB, which is roughly the sound of a whisper. We could hear a mild hum when it was turned on, but it was nothing intrusive or unusual. There is also an alarm that sounds if you leave the door open. There are two sets of beeps as an introductory warning, then a continual beep if you still don’t close the door. You can, however, turn this feature off through the control panel.

Cost

This appliance has an F rating on the new 2021 energy rating scale, A+ on the old rating scale, and Hitachi says the total annual energy consumption is 310 kWh/pa. This level of consumption is consistent with other appliances that offer this kind of chill and freeze storage capacity.

Due to recent changes in power pricing in the UK, it’s tricky to give an estimate of average running cost per year.

Control panel

The fridge freezer is controlled through a dark grey touchscreen panel on the front of the fridge cabinet. Visually non-intrusive, it’s 148cm from the floor, rising to 165cm, so it’s easy to reach even if you’re not tall.

To change the temperature of the fridge or freezer, you press R/F Select, then Temp control, to move up or down, in nine increments, from cold to coldest. You can’t programme in a specific figure in either Celsius or Fahrenheit, which we found a little odd. 

However, there is a quick-freezing mode, which you use to rapidly freeze food or make ice; it lasts for 3.5 hours before it turns itself off.

There’s also an energy saving mode for holidays or times of low volume, though there doesn’t seem to be much information about what this setting actually does. We presume it keeps freezer temperatures low and the fridge temperatures just below the point where odours could develop. Again, a child lock allows you to prevent young fingers from making unintentional control panel changes.

Again, the black 210cm power cable sprouts from the top of the appliance, a feature we are seeing more and more in fridge freezers from high end brands.  

Warm up and cool down

We found that the fridge cooled from 26°C in both the fridge and the freezer to 6°C in the fridge and -16°C in the freezer in 90 minutes. Considering the atmospheric temperature was 27°C, we found this rapid cooling to be extremely impressive and testament to the efficacy of the dual fans and compressor in this model. 

Warm up

Hitachi says the fridge freezer’s cooling retention is 12 hours. We attempted to test this figure, but the high atmospheric temperature of 27°C (we tested it during a heatwave), made it hard to confirm.   

Lighting

A rectangular light, 24cm by 5cm, at the top of the fridge cabinet illuminates the inside well. There is no light for the freezer, but this is not a major issue for a freezing cabinet of this size.  

Fridge capacity

There are 215 litres of storage in the fridge, which is roughly eleven to thirteen supermarket shopping bags, depending on where you shop. The division of space is cleverly considered: two glass shelves, separated by a wine rack able to hold four wine bottles, one slide shelf, one “selectable” drawer, and one deeper drawer with a ribbed base for vegetables. 

Alex Greenwood / Foundry

The second glass shelf is adjustable up and down by 4cm, but it’s the slide shelf with a dropped front that speaks to a more modern approach to fridge organisation and ease of use – it’s a very nice touch.  In real world terms, the slide shelf will fit a packet of two lettuces, a carton of tomatoes, a packet of peppers and a bag of sweetcorn cobs with room to spare.

Alex Greenwood / Foundry

Again, you can choose to use the “selectable” drawer for vegetables or meat and dairy by moving the slider at the back of the internal cabinet. For vegetables, the slider will set the temperature between 1°C to 3°C; for meat and dairy, it will set the temperature 3°C to 7°C. We’d prefer a more precise digital control at this price point. Still, a manual slider is not uncommon, even in high-quality appliances. 

Alex Greenwood / Foundry

We make the storage capacity of this drawer to be around 13.6 litres, so about three quarters of a large supermarket shopping bag. In real world terms, it will take six 750ml meat packs of mince.      

The deeper vegetable drawer holds roughly 16 litres and has a smooth pull-out mechanism. Indeed, all the fridge drawers feel solidly built and dependable; they don’t rattle or feel plasticky.

Alex Greenwood / Foundry

Door storage

There are three non-adjustable full-length door balconies on the inside of the fridge door, and two half-length balconies that you can adjust upwards. All the balconies, apart from the bottom one, give you about 10-12cm in width. The top full-length balcony fits roughly about six 400ml jars, the two half-length balconies underneath have two eggs trays that fit eight eggs each, so a total of 16 eggs. The second to bottom full-length balcony holds three supermarket four-pinters of milk.

We have to say that this is not really a fridge for big milk drinkers. You can’t store more than those three four-pinters elsewhere in the door: the height is just not there with the other balconies.  

The bottom balcony is a little perplexing. Although it’s full-length, the width is only 7cm in the middle and this decreases to 2cm on each side. We managed to fit a one litre carton of apple juice side-on into this balcony, but it was tricky to get in and out, which could mean accidental spillage. Likewise, the 2cm wide sections would only fit very slim items, such as vertical chocolate bars.          

Freezer

Hitachi says there is 115 litres of frozen storage in the no-frost freezer, which equates to six to eight supermarket bags of shopping. You get three drawers in the freezer cabinet, and the top one is a convenient slide shelf with a drop front that holds roughly 18 to 20 litres. The two lower drawers are more conventional deep freezer drawers with a lip handle; each holds between, by our reckoning, 26 to 28 litres.  

Alex Greenwood / Foundry

In real world terms, the slide shelf will fit three loaves, or about six to eight 500g bags of vegetables. It has a metal tray in the bottom, stamped “hybrid freezing”, to ensure grocery items freeze rapidly, which, Hitachi says, retains freshness, reduces drip during thawing, and locks in flavour.

Alex Greenwood / Foundry

The main large drawers fit a substantial number of groceries, a good two to three supermarket shopping bags worth. We filled one with nine 500g vegetable bags, a one kilo bag of fries, and some random portions of frozen rice and chickpeas, and we reckon you could get six loaves of bread in one of the drawers too.        

The ice cube tray fits into a small ice cube storage box, and you can make eighteen cubes at a time.       

Price and availability

According to Hitachi, there are several finishes available: glass black, glass silver, glass pure white, and gradation grey. However, at this stage we’ve only found the gradation grey available in the UK. At the time of writing, it’s available for £949-£999, with the best current price available from Yates Online.

Verdict

The styling of this fridge freezer means that it won’t suit some kitchens, but if you’re in the market for a modern look and you want excellent cooling with a quality build and some nice interior features, this Hitachi appliance may very well fit the bill.

To see some more fridge freezer options, with full reviews, have a look at our round-up of the best fridge freezers we’ve tested.

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