Swan Retro SR11020BN fridge freezer review

  • By Caroline Hire - Food writer

If you like retro design, Swan has the 'wow' factor, but does that extend to the functionality? We review the Retro SR11020BN fridge freezer to find out.

Swan Retro SR11020BN fridge freezer on a white background

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Swan Retro SR11020BN fridge freezer

Pros: Focal point for the kitchen, design at a good price point, maximum use of space.
Cons: Slightly lower energy rating (A +) than the majority we tested, temperature dial for fridge only, manual defrost.

Overall score: 4/5

Swan makes attractive retro-inspired kitchen equipment at the lower end of pricing for comparable design. They offer a variety of colours, allowing you to get creative with your kitchen. Simplicity is another hallmark of their brand, from the instruction booklet through to functionality – this fridge freezer is no exception.

 

First impressions of the Swan Retro SR11020BN fridge freezer

This is an appliance that elicits an immediate response, with some team members saying they loved it and others that it really wasn't their thing. We called in the green model and it certainly did 'pop', compared to others we reviewed. The vibrant colour, smooth rounded corners and feature handles all impart a retro look that some will love, others not so much. The inside of the main fridge compartment makes the most of space with four shelves and a wine rack. Swan has managed to fit in four door shelves too with good clearance. 

Is the Swan Retro SR11020BN fridge freezer easy to set up? 

Like most fridge freezers, this simply requires a period for the coolant to settle before plugging in and then a wait for the appliance to cool before adding food. The instruction booklet gets full marks for brevity and clarity – it told us everything we needed to know.

What is the overall quality like? 

The overall quality is good, although the fridge drawers and door shelves could be thicker plastic. The handles have a satisfyingly solid grip.

Green Swan fridge freezer from the outside

Capacity vs usable space

The fridge holds a generous 209 litres and with four well-spaced shelves in the main compartment and in the door, we'd say this makes the most of the room there is. The freezer holds 91 litres and is equally functional.

What's the handle like?

We like the feel of the handles on the fridge and freezer. The space is narrow and therefore possibly less comfrotable for larger hands. It's worth noting the handles cannot be switched to the other side.

What are the shelving options in the fridge? 

There are four glass shelves that can be sensibly spaced even with the bottle rack in situ. There's lots of room for adjustment of heights but this is where you'd start to find the gap narrowing to a less useful distance. Shelves are a little difficult to get out as the door gets in the way – it doesn't open fully wide due to the casing. 

There are four door shelves and miraculously you can fit a wine bottle on the bottom one and still have a good distance between the others. This is the only model we tested that had successfully managed to fit this number to good effect.

How are the fridge drawers? 

There's only one fridge drawer of a medium depth, sufficient in our opinion for this size of fridge.

Swan fridge freezer interior with food stacked

What benefits does the freezer offer? 

There are three similarly sized freezer drawers. They can easily be removed but not the shelf underneath so there's no option for creating double height should you wish to freeze something big. There is no fast freeze function, which for general usage is not an issue, but the lack of automatic defrost creates an extra job.

How's the overall visibility? 

Fairly good. There's some frosting and patterning on the shelves in the main compartment which doesn't detract too much. The fridge drawer can only be viewed from the front not from above due to this. Door shelves offer a clear view as do the freezer drawers. 

Is it easy to control and monitor temperature? 

The fridge temperature can be adjusted with a dial, reading zero to seven. Seven is the coldest and four to five is recommended. It doesn't give you an actual temperature selection or reading. There is no option to adjust the freezer or fast freeze.

Is there a door alarm? 

No.

Green Swan retro fridge in kitchen setting

What is its footprint? 

The footprint is 190cm (H) x 59.5cm (W) x 64.5cm (D). The door casing is deep so this may effect the opening of cupboards adjacent to it when the fridge or freezer doors are open.

Is it easy to clean? 

With the shelves of the main compartment being a little tricky to remove and the freezer shelves totally fixed, we've subtracted a few points. Door shelving is easy enough and the design is light on awkward corners and rims.

Are there any accessories? 

There's a removable egg cup holder and bottle rack.

Are there any accessories available for purchase?   

There aren't any additional accessories but spares can easily be sourced from the website.

Overall star ratings for the Swan Retro SR11020BN fridge freezer

Quality 4.5/5
Practicality 4.5/5
Capacity vs usable space 4.5/5
Temperature control 2.5/5
Ease of cleaning 3.5/5
Value for money 4.5/5

Overall score: 4/5

Our conclusion

If appearance is what matters most to you and you love this design, we'd recommend the Swan Retro fridge freezer. Our main concern is the lack of auto-defrost, which nowadays is fairly standard for an appliance like this. We'd have liked better temperature control, too. Other than that, this fridge freezer provides a practical layout and offers the quality we'd expect for the price.

 

Product specifications at a glance

Dimensions: 190cm (H) x 59.5cm (W) x 64.5cm (D)
Capacity: fridge 209 litres, freezer 91 litres
Energy efficiency class: A +
Annual energy consumption per year in kWh: 256
Fast freeze: No
Automatic defrost: No
Reversible door handle: No
Fridge can be switched off separately: No
No. of fridge shelves: 4
No. of fridge door shelves: 4
No. of fridge drawers: 1
No. of freezer drawers: 3
Digital display: No
Separate controls for fridge and freezer: Temperature control for fridge only

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This review was last updated in June 2019. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability please get in touch at goodfoodwebsite@immediate.co.uk.

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