Fitting 452 litres of combined cooling and freezing space into a super stylish 84cm wide appliance, the four-door Haier Cube mixes style and tech in equal measure. Its A++ energy rating means super-low running costs for its size, the separate temperature MyZone drawer works well, and the Cube is super-quiet too.
The cavernous fridge lacks any significant adjustability and the space is frill-free – there’s no water dispenser, bottle rack or dairy box cover, for example. The freezer spaces are well laid out, although the drawers run a couple of degrees colder than the top trays. Thankfully, neither are deal breakers and the Haier’s otherwise great cooling performance and low running costs shine through.
Part of Haier’s Cube series of super-capacious fridge freezers, the HFT-452DM7 is a compact four-door model with a full-width fridge at the top and two separate freezer compartments at the bottom. It’s a standard 190cm tall but, unlike many US-style side by side models, it’s relatively compact at just 84cm wide and 66cm deep.
The look is lush, with top-to-bottom stainless steel doors and inset handles that run from mid-way up the top doors to the floor. The stainless steel has a horizontal brushed finish and it’s coated with a lacquer to reduce finger marks.
The sleek touch control panel is clear-gloss over stainless with crisp-white displays. The displays turn off a couple of seconds after the last press. The Cube series runs dual evaporators, separating the cooling systems for the fridge and freezer. This ensures independent controls and no odours moving between the two compartments.
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Pop open the upper doors like you would a wardrobe and you’ll see a cavernous fridge space with a long overhead LED light. It’s far enough forward in the compartment to ensure that produce on the top shelf won’t block the light completely.
The main compartment has four full-width, full-depth glass shelves. There’s only height adjustment on the first floating shelf and that’s just one of two positions. If you have produce that’s just too tall for the standard shelf height and that won’t fit in a door pocket, one of the shelves is going to have to go.
Both of the lower storage bins glide out on rollers and have dedicated features. The left-hand bin is Haier’s Humidity Zone storage drawer. This is a high-humidity zone (over 80% humidity) to better preserve fruits and vegetables. Haier claims the shelf life of fresh foods can be extended between three to seven days using this compartment.
The right-hand drawer is Haier’s temperature control MyZone compartment. This bin has three temperature options between 0oC and 5oC. The lower end of that is ideal for meat and fish, slightly higher for vegetables, and around the same temperature as the main fridge compartment for everything else.
There’s no water or ice dispenser with this model, which means both fridge doors have plenty of space for three big door pockets either side.
Both freezer compartments are identical and regulated by a single temperature control on the main panel. Divided into three areas, you get deep pull-out bins and an open pull-out tray either side. A twist and store ice-cube maker can be removed if you’re really tight for freezer space.
LED lighting is a nice addition in both freezer compartments. It’s at the very top of the compartment and so illuminates the top trays well; it’s forward enough to illuminate the contents of the bin when they’re pulled open too.
The Cube is fairly heavily biased in favour of fridge storage space. The split is physically about 60/40 top to bottom, but the thicker wall insulation, central divider and the compressor all rob the freezer of volume. As such, this Cube is more a 70/30 spilt in actual volume, boasting 314 litres of net chilled storage space and 138 litres of frozen.
The full-width fridge shelves are great for big items such as trays of cooling jellies, whole turkeys or even pizza leftovers complete with box. The lowest shelf space is slightly taller than the other three with the first shelf in its upper position. Drop it to the lower position and the shelf above is taller. There isn’t much in it either way though, so actual shelf options for taller items are pretty limited.
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Similarly, there’s no height adjustment for any of the six door pockets, although they all have room for tall bottles. You can even get 1- or 2-litre cartons in the top pocket! All are open-type pockets with good-height walls to hold bottles and jars in place if you open the door a bit quick. None of the pockets have plastic covers to make them into a traditional dairy compartment, but this fridge is supplied with a clear plastic egg tray.
Overall, the fridge compartment is hugely spacious, but there’s very little adjustability and a distinct lack of nice-to-have fridge furniture such as a wine rack, water container, enclosed door pocket or any split and fold shelving.
Down below, the two freezers are laid out identically. At the bottom is a deeper but slightly truncated clear-fronted drawer, and above it a full-depth drawer of the same height. Unlike the drawers in the fridge, which are on rollers, these just pull out on plastic sliders so can be a little stiff when full of produce. If you prefer shelf-style freezer storage rather than drawers, there’s a removable glass shelf between the two.
The top space in both freezers is a slide-out tray with a low front; it’s about half the depth of the other two drawers. This didn’t seem very necessary at first, but the more we used the freezer, the more this became a handy storage area for frequently accessed items. In our case that was ice cubes, frozen fruit for smoothies and wine chiller sleeves.
The layout and storage drawers all work well at maximising the available space in the freezer, although we were a little surprised not to see any small door pockets for ice lollies as these are becoming quite trendy. That said, we’d always prefer bigger main storage drawers than losing drawer space for door pockets in the freezer.
The Haier CUBE HTF-452DM7’s energy label and brochure claim a whisper-quiet 40dB operational noise. Only the best models get to be this library-quiet, although we’ve tested a couple that dip even lower.
Not only does this super-quiet, super-efficient Haier join the exclusive 30s club for most of its run-time, it ticks over at the lowest running noise we’ve ever recorded – just 36dB! That’s extremely quiet and you’ll be highly unlikely to hear this fridge in anything but an absolutely silent room in the dead of night… which is exactly what we had to do to get those measurements.
Since we always double-check extremely good or extremely bad results, we used a second sound level data logger to confirm our readings. When that agreed with the first SPL meter, we whipped out the Decibel phone app just to triple-check. It too was showing an average of 36db.
If you engage the Power Freeze mode, when you’ve filled the freezer with fresh produce for example, the noise level only reaches that still very respectable 40dB stated on the energy label. Since even premium fridge freezers aspire to 40dB as their standard running noise, you can see just how quiet this Haier is. Amazing.
With the mercury tipping 25oC throughout the daytime when we tested this large-capacity Haier fridge freezer, it didn’t get any easy two-week test. Generally, we keep cooling appliances in a chamber at an ambient air temperature of 19oC to ensure a level playing field. Yet despite the uncharacteristically warm weather, the Cube turned in some very good test results with only some minor caveats.
As usual, we loaded up the Haier with 0.5kg of produce per 10 litres of fridge space, and 1kg of frozen food per 10 litres of freezer space. The latter included 2 litres of room temperature water to simulate fresh-to-frozen cooling. We set the thermostat to 4oC for the fridge and -18oC for the freezer. Temperature probes were placed on all shelves and drawers, and in the middle of the water sample. Temperature readings were then logged every minute. Each day, the Haier’s doors were opened five or six times for around 20 seconds each time.
The Haier showed a remarkably consistent average temperature of 4oC throughout the shelves and Humidity drawer, demonstrating very good air circulation throughout the fridge compartment. The MyZone drawer was set to 3oC and averaged exactly that. Perfect.
The swing of temperature throughout the fridge’s cooling cycle was quite high, though, especially towards the top of the fridge. The upper and middle shelves swung between 1oC and 6oC every hour or so of the cycle. The lower shelves were more stable, showing just +/-1oC either side of their 4oC average.
While the MyZone drawer ranged from +4oC to -2oC throughout the cycle, the lowest part of that below freezing was only very brief, so won’t be too harmful to soft fruit. That said, if you set this compartment to 3oC or lower you’re probably storing meat and fish, where dipping below freezing is an advantage – so all good.
The freezer performance was exemplary in all four proper drawers. The temperature averaged about 1oC higher than set, so we reset the thermostat to -19oC to counter the warm weather. Set like this, all four drawers averaged exactly -18oC, with variation of only a degree or two throughout the compressor cycle.
Our water sample did take a fair while to reach -18oC, nearly 24 hours in fact. So if you do put room temperature produce into the freezer, it’s well worth using the Power Freeze mode to speed up the process.
The let-down in an otherwise great set of freezer tests was the open top tray in both freezers. Being nearest to the air circulation vents, open and at the top of the freezer compartment ensured they averaged only -16oC (with the freezer set to -19oC, remember). They also exhibited a fairly wild swing throughout the compressor cycle, between -18oC and -13oC every hour or so.
That in itself isn’t a huge issue in the freezer, unless the power fails when the area is at its warmest. Our power-fail test started with the top freezer trays at their -16oC average and saw them rise by 10oC over three hours of power outage. Again, 10oC of rise isn’t bad in itself, but in this case it meant the tray reached -6oC. If it had been at -12oC to start with then it would have topped out just below freezing at -2oC.
To air on the side of caution then, and not wanting your freezer air temperature to go above zero during an outage, the result would only really give this Haier a power outage safety limit of about four hours for produce on the top shelf. The lower drawers would be nearly three times that time limit.
Obviously, storing non bacteria-critical foods (ice, frozen veg and so on) in the top trays would avoid the potential issue in the event of a power outage, so this certainly isn’t a deal breaker. However, unfortunately, this one test alone lets down what was otherwise an excellent set of technical results for the Cube.
It’s very unusual to see an A++ rating on large multi-door fridge freezers, but the Haier Cube more than lived up to this top-spec energy billing. Over the 14 days of the test it used just over 10kWh of electricity, which was – frankly – amazing given the ridiculously hot daytime weather we were having at the time.
Over the course of the year our test suggested the Cube would use around 280kWh of electricity, which would cost £42 per annum at an average 15p/kWh. That compares favourably with the energy label’s 303kWh claim, which involves more door openings per day. Obviously, if you have a busy kitchen then those costs will rise, but this fridge will still offer supremely low running costs for such vast cooling and freezing capacity.
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Haier’s Cube HTF-452DM7 offers a sumptuous stainless steel finish with sophisticated controls on the outside and cavernous, quiet and highly efficient cooling on the inside. With A++ energy efficiency, running costs are very low for the huge cooling capacity. The full-width fridge offers Tardis-like space considering the appliance’s compact 84cm width.
The Cube’s interior is rather frill-free and lacks adjustment, and the top trays in the freezer suffer a minor technical hiccup in that they run a couple of degrees warmer than the drawers. That aside, overall technical performance is good throughout and the running noise is the lowest we’ve ever recorded at just 36dB.
Overall, the Haier Cube HTF-452DM7 is a stylish, high-performance appliance with a couple of minor caveats.