Bosch 800 Series French Door Refrigerator with Home Connect
Having already looked at the Bosch B21CL81SNS french door refrigerator, we jumped at the opportunity to try out the newest model with Bosch Home Connect. This joins the connected Benchmark/800 Series induction cooktops and 500 Series wall hoods as well as the Bosch 800 Series Dishwasher with Home Connect. The new top of the line Bosch 800 Series French Door Bottom Mount Refrigerator (model B36CL80ENS) also adds a filter that works on both the ice maker and (new) cool water dispenser.
Editor’s Note: See our article on building with premium appliances for more about how appliances play a role in making it easier for builders to sell new homes or rise above the competition.
Like the Bosch B21CL81SNS French Door Bottom Freezer refrigerator, the newest 800 Series fridge falls into the counter depth category. It saves space and blends in better with surrounding kitchen cabinets. Most counters measure 24 to 25-inches in depth. Conversely, most full-size refrigerators measure around 35 to 39-inches deep! The Bosch B36CL80ENS French Door Refrigerator has an outer depth of less than 28-inches. In that space, you get 21 cu. ft. of flexible storage capacity.
Bosch B36CL80ENS French Door Refrigerator Exterior Features
Bosch currently has five 800 Series French Door Bottom Mount models—each with a beautiful stainless steel finish. Each also supports Home Connect interactivity. Our review sample, the Bosch B36CL80ENS sits nearly flush with our countertop, adding hidden hinges and recessed handles so you don’t bump anything as you walk by. In our kitchen, the refrigerator stands sentry by one of the entrances, making it easy to snag something on any protruding handles. With this model, the stainless face of the fridge remains perfectly smooth and flat.
Of course, if you prefer more traditional handles, Bosch offers that in the B36CL80SNS. They also offer a model in black stainless steel.
Editor’s Note: In 2020, Bosch is further expanding this new line with one new 800 Series model with a dedicated Refreshment Center™ drawer that stores beverages in a dedicated glass-front drawer within the unit. Bosch will also introduce two new 500 Series models featuring the QuickIcePro System™ that produces up to 12 pounds of ice per day.
Stainless steel finishes are notorious for showing fingerprints. The exterior of the Bosch 800-Series refrigerator is no different, however, we found the exterior very easy to clean. Most times, wiping a dry or damp cloth over the surface removed any dirt or marks.
If you leave the doors open for any extended period of time, a repetitive high-pitched beep sounds to alert you. A separate alarm alerts you to any condition where the freezer compartment becomes too warm. When this happens you have to reset the alarm by pressing the “Alarm Off” button. You can also opt to receive notifications on your phone.
Under the Hood
With the Bosch B36CL80ENS, you get dual compressors as well as dual evaporators. These offer more efficient and precise cooling and humidity control. Bosch claims this arrangement also significantly limits odor transfer between the refrigerator and freezer.
Interior Features of the Bosch 800 Series French Door Refrigerator with Home Connect
When you open the French doors of this refrigerator, you’re greeted with the slow rise LED lighting. If you enjoy late-night snacks, you’ll find this soft ramp-up of light easier on the eyes.
LED lights sit at the top front edge where the doors seat themselves and also along each side to fully illuminate the interior. Because Bosch chose to use clear shelving, the light really permeates the entirety of the fridge, ensuring that you can see everything clearly. In addition, you can set the brightness level of the internal LEDs. The default is 45%, meaning you can make the fridge over twice as bright if desired.
Open both French doors and you reveal a nice array of adjustable shelving as well as a full-width chiller drawer. Like most of the interior, it features clear plexiglass that allows for easy inspection of the contents.
The included “FlexBar” is a unique shelf system that includes a single bottle rack as well as shallow trays that really help maximize the interior space in a way we haven’t seen with other refrigerators.
Unlike the Bosch B21CL81SNS, this new 800 Series fridge features a water dispenser—complete with filtration.
Ice, Ice, Baby (Yeah, We Went There)
You get ample ice from the bottom freezer drawer. Ice cube production stops automatically when the maximum filling level of the ice cube bin is reached. Bosch, however, gives you a cool method to maximize ice generation (say, for a party). Using Home Connect, you can set the system to give you alerts when the ice bin is full. This lets you dump the ice into a secondary chest or container and continue additional ice production.
We also liked the additional small frozen food bin that pulls out above and to the right of the ice bin. It’s perfect for smaller items that you don’t want to get lost in the larger bins.
How Do You Set the Temperature?
You have two methods of setting the temperature for the Bosch 800 Series refrigerator. The first involves using the controls located inside the french doors and atop the middle and freezer drawers.
The controls provide direct access to setting temperature, and the degrees are given underneath the intended applications for easy identification.
The second method of setting temperature uses the Home Connect app. As you might expect, the B36CL80ENS and B36CL80SNS let you set independent temperatures for the refrigerator and freezer compartments.
But wait—as they say—there’s more. You can also configure the above middle drawer compartment for the following:
- Meat and Fish (29ºF, Low humidity)
- Vegetables (32ºF, High humidity)
- Fruit (32ºF, Low humidity)
- Snacks/Misc (40ºF, Low humidity)
- Beverages (34ºF, Low humidity)
The middle drawer temperature can be set anywhere from 29ºF to 40ºF. The above modes set the humidity for the left and right compartments at either High or Low.
The freezer compartment temperature has a range between -7°F (-22°C) and 6 °F (-14°C). The refrigerator operates between 33ºF (1ºC) and 43ºF (6ºC).
What Additional Options are There?
The fridge has some handy options that go well beyond standard fare for what you might expect—even for a “smart” device. Vacation mode sets your fridge to a higher temperature while away for extended periods of time (without affecting the freezer). Eco mode adjusts temperatures so that less cooling is required. Fresh mode ensures that food stays fresh longer by lowering the temperature in the fridge to 2ºC (35.6ºF). Sabbath mode deactivates lighting and other functions to allow those of the Jewish faith to use the appliance on the Sabbath day (Saturday).
For those who like their food extremely fresh, you can enable either or both Super Cooling and Super Freezing modes. SuperCooling temporarily drops the temperature of the fridge when loading it with supplies. SuperFreezing helps you quickly freeze foods all the way to the center by dropping the freezer down to its lowest possible setting. It also helps speed up ice cube production.
Bosch B36CL80ENS 800 Series French Door Refrigerator Specs
- Capacity: 14.5 cu ft (fridge), 6 cu ft (freezer), 20.5 total cu. ft.
- Compressors/evaporators: 2/2
- Counter-depth for nearly-flush installation
- Home Connect app-enabled
- Transparent storage throughout for high visibility
- Tempered glass adjustable full-extension shelves
- Adjustable shelves: 5 (4 half-width)
- Gallon door bins: 3
- Humidity-controlled compartments: 2
- Full-width chiller drawer
- Freezer drawers: 3
- Large covered dairy compartment
- Adjustable shelves in fridge
- Egg bin
- Recessed LED light bars
- Hidden hinges
- Metal rail drawer slides
- SuperCool & SuperFreeze modes
- Eco mode option
- Door open alarm
- Internal water dispenser
- Water filter
- Automatic ice maker w/alarm
- Ice quantity: 2.4 lbs./day, 3 lbs. storage
- Automatic defrost (refrigerator and freezer)
- Dimensions w/doors (HxWxD): 72 x 35.625 x 28.75 in.
- Price: ~$3,399 – Search for a retailer
The Bottom (Freezer) Line
In our opinion, Bosch has “owned” the dishwasher market for some time. They make some of the quietest models around with some of the most advanced features. Now, Bosch seems to be stepping up its game even further in the high-end refrigerator market. Opting to sidestep features such as integrated LCD displays, instead, Bosch focuses on what makes a refrigerator more useful in your home.
With Home Connect, the Bosch B36CL80ENS 800 Series French door refrigerator is beautiful in both its function and its form. In addition to its advanced features, we liked that everything could be easily accessed right on the appliance. The French doors, dual drawer system, internal LED lighting, and adjustable shelves make storing and retrieving food a simple and enjoyable process. Placing a thermal image on the fridge, we also found it to provide relatively consistent temperatures, so your food should cool evenly and quickly.
The newest Bosch 800 series French door refrigerator has the fit and finish of a truly high-end appliance—but for far less than you’d pay for something from JennAir, Viking, Thermador, or Miele.
For more information on current Bosch home appliances, check out their website.