The Hisense PureFlat multi-door fridge freezer is a gorgeous piece of kitchen kit with a four-door design and an overall 579 litre capacity. The model we tested has a black steel finish but it’s also available in stainless steel, which costs over £100 less.
Design & appearance
This model’s colour is terrific: matt, black brushed steel, with just enough lustre that you can see your shadow in the doors. It’s part of the Hisense PureFlat range, which means it’s perfectly flat.
The doors can be flush with your units and there’s no subtle bow to break the flat plane. There are recessed handles at the bottom of the fridge doors, and on top of the freezer and My Fresh Choice cabinets.
As much as a fridge can be a sexy film noir prop, this is it. If you’ve ever watched Gotham, it’s the kind of fridge freezer you might see in Barbara Kean’s clocktower penthouse.
Obviously, you’ll need a kitchen that works with this styling: urban and minimalist, rather than rural and folksy. A pretty kitchen is not going to cut it; this Hisense appliance will look like Kubrickian alien tech has landed next to your dishwasher.
The appliance is also squarer than your average fridge freezer. At 178.5 x 91.2 x 72.5cm, it’s fractionally shorter and wider than other models we’ve tested.
It’s a French door design, which means that the doors open in the middle. Double fridge doors are a game-changer in terms of visibility and ease of access to your groceries, plus they allow for two separate sets of door racks, lessening door weight without losing storage capacity.
Hisense claims that the fridge has an operating volume of 43dB(A), which is about the level of a human whisper, but this actually seems on the high side as we couldn’t tell whether the appliance was on without opening the doors.
If you accidentally leave the fridge open, an alarm sounds after two minutes. You get three beeps per minute for up to eight minutes and the sound is similar to a quiet watch alarm — it’ll alert you without giving you a heart attack.
The freezer and My Fresh Choice cabinet doors close with a solid thud and no bounce back, no matter how softly or forcefully you push. The fridge doors are slightly more complex as the French door design means that a door seal is part of the left door, so you need to close that one first – but do that and neither one will spring back.
This appliance falls into Energy Class F (A+ in the pre-March energy rating system) with a total annual energy consumption of 456 kWh/year. This is higher than competing appliances in this bracket, which could be explained by the model’s huge storage capacity.
By my reckoning, you’ll be looking at a running cost of about £64 a year, although this depends on your payment scheme, supplier and UK location.
You control the fridge freezer via an internal touch panel that juts out from the cabinet ceiling. You don’t need to worry about not being able to reach it; it’s do-able for someone at 5’1.
The panel carries the power indicator and power button, alongside the fridge, My Fresh Choice and freezer icons, and a zone button to switch between them. Next along, you have the super cool, super freeze and holiday function icons, and a mode button to switch between them as well.
It took a few minutes to figure out how the panel works, largely because the power indicator looks as though it should be the power button, but once you’ve got that nailed, the controls are straightforward. You use the zone button to cycle to the cabinet you want to adjust, and then set the temperature to what works for you.
This brings us to one of the key features of the Hisense PureFlat range: you can change the “My Fresh Choice” cabinet from a freezer to a fridge and back. The temperature range for this cabinet goes from 5°C (conventional fridge temperature) to -20°C (lower than conventional freezer temperature) in one degree increments, so you have a versatile overspill zone.
Plus, there’s all the functionality you would expect in a model of this kind. Super cool keeps your fridge food at a set temperature in times of heavy use or during a freak heatwave, and super freeze does the same thing for your freezer food. Holiday mode allows you to empty your fridge and set it at 15°C, while your freezer is still running at a chilly -18°C.
Cool down, warm up & Metal Tech
It took two hours to reach 4°C in the fridge, -7°C in the My Fresh Choice cabinet, and -18°C in the freezer from an atmospheric temperature of 21°C. The eye-opener, however, was the Metal Tech Cooling system.
Hisense explains that this system runs throughout the whole fridge to maintain even and uniform temperature distribution. But what they don’t say is that you can literally feel its effectiveness via the movement of icy air around the appliance.
Hisense states that, in the event of a power cut, you have sixteen hours before the temperature reaches ambient levels. However, we think your fruit and veg might last even longer: 48 hours after cutting the power, both the fridge and the freezer were still only at 10°C, despite the atmospheric temperature being 19°C.
A 38cm LED light strip runs along the control panel and illuminates the fridge interior. The only snag is that the pantry drawer blocks light to the fruit and veg bins and the snack drawer, but this would happen anyway when food is stored on the shelves. The freezer and My Fresh Choice cabinets each have a top 17cm LED light strip, which lights all three drawers well.
The fridge cabinet interior has some great style touches. The back panel is stainless steel, and the steel-trimmed glass shelves have metal brackets that slot into two back racks, which gives you good repositioning flexibility.
You get a lot of space: 388 litres, which equates to over 19 shopping bags. Such a large capacity is a standout feature of this appliance as other brands come in around the 350-360 litre mark, meaning you can get an extra bag of shopping into the RQ758N4SWF1.
Drawers and boxes
Hisense has clearly designed its internal drawers with an eye on fridge trends as there’s a 6-litre snack box nestled in-between two 15-litre fruit and veg crispers. And that’s not all: you also get a 30-litre full-length pantry box.
All of the drawers and boxes have a ribbed floor to prevent roll, but they seem a little lightweight and we found they only pulled out about 50 percent. We would have expected drawers to be more robust at this price point, with some sort of keep-shut mechanism in case the fridge is standing on a slightly uneven floor.
There’s no way to tailor the humidity of drawers and boxes, so if you want this kind of atmospheric adaptability, we’d suggest looking at other options, such as the Haier HFT-456DM6.
And considering the vast storage capacity, it seems odd that Hisense only provides one six-egg tray.
However, the door storage more than makes up for the drawer build and lack of wine rack. Each door boasts three racks and they’re astonishingly wide, with five being 17cm. We found the lowest two racks would take three 4-litre supermarket bottles of milk each, or six traditional one-pinters, with a fair amount of room to spare at the front.
Again, the rest of the racks could fit all manner of pickle jars and sauce bottles — we managed eleven of various sizes into just one rack. You can’t adjust the racks, but, with widths like these, you’re unlikely to miss that flexibility.
The water dispenser streams from a refillable 4-litre door tank and you don’t need to plumb anything in, so there’s no fuss with installation.
You do have to clean the tank before you use it. Although it took some jiggling to remove it from the door, it’s surprising easy to wash and dry, largely because it has a full-length removable cover, so you can reach every corner. You need to make sure, however, that the tank is fully engaged with the dispenser valve when you put it back or the mechanism won’t work.
Refilling is easy through the top vent. We left water in the tank for an hour, and it dispensed a consistent and steady stream of cold water that took 16 seconds to fill a 250ml glass with no splutter, spurt or plasticky taste.
Freezer and My Fresh Choice cabinets
The ability to convert one side of your freezer, the My Fresh Choice cabinet, into a fridge is a key feature of this Hisense appliance. Both sides are No Frost, so you don’t need to schedule a switch-off every six months.
You get more storage capacity than in many comparable appliances. Both sides have an open-front, easy-glide tray at the top, with a full-size middle drawer and a truncated lower drawer. The freezer cabinet holds 84 litres, or four to five bags of shopping, with the My Fresh Choice cabinet holding a whopping 95 litres, or five to six bags of shopping.
In real terms, using the bread test, we found you could fit two 800g loaves in the top tray, four in the middle drawer and three in the bottom drawer. The frozen chips test gave us 2kg of chips in the top tray, 5kg in the middle and 3kg in the bottom.
As you don’t get an integral ice maker, Hisense supplies you with a portable ice caddy: a clear plastic lidded box that holds an 18-cube ice-tray. It’s simple, you can’t break it, but it does take up space in the freezer.
Interestingly, this model has a peculiar quirk: both the freezer and My Fresh Choice cabinets have three internal door racks. Door racks in freezers are rare, and what makes it more perplexing is that they are only about 5.5cm wide — so the width of a butter pack or a choc ice.
We didn’t find a use for them during the testing period, but it’s possible that they could turn out to be wildly handy in day-to-day life.
Price and availability
You’re paying a big premium for the black finish, however, as the stainless steel model is a bit more-budget friendly. AO.com has it for £829.
Spacious and stylish, this Hisense PureFlat fridge freezer provides a great range of features for its price. Although it lacks some of the adjustability options you may find in other models, such as variable humidity settings, it does have a switchable fridge/ freezer zone.
Altogether, it’s a worthy contender if you have a large household where grocery organisation is a priority.