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Hands-on Gear Review
Samsung MG14H3020CM ReviewPrice: $230 List | $169.99 at Amazon
Pros: Average at heating
Cons: Slow, exceptionally expensive, subpar at defrosting
Bottom line: This model performed poorly, but looks cool.
Watts: 950 W
Cubic Feet: 1.4 cu ft
The Samsung MG143020CM looks very cool, but costs a pretty penny and failed to score above average in any of our tests. You definitely are paying for the look, rather than its abilities, and we would caution against this model.
RELATED REVIEW: The Best Microwave Ovens of 2018
Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
While the Samsung MG143020CM undeniably has a certain pizzazz when it comes to its visual appearance, it delivered a mediocre to poor performance in every single one of out metrics and was particularly slow to heat food — antithetical to a microwave
We bought the top 10 microwaves that are currently available, basing our selection on extensive research and combing user reviews, then put them to the test. In total, we spent over 150 hours researching and testing these products to help select the best. We determined the overall score off of each product's performance in our four weighted test metrics: Heating, Ease of Use, Defrosting, and Speed. The following sections detail how the Samsung MG14H3020CM did, and where it fell a little short.
This was the most important group of tests, making up 40% of the total score. The Samsung MG14H3020CM did average, earning a 5 out of 10. We compared its performance at heating up a plate of leftovers, an individual serving of lasagna, a Hot Pocket, a chicken pot pie, and a frozen burrito to the other products, as well as made a heating map with chocolate in each model to look for inconsistencies.
The Samsung MG14H3020CM did very poorly at heating up a frozen burrito, earning the second-lowest score of the bunch. This model failed to heat it sufficiently in the center to exceed the minimum temperature stated by the instructions, and heated the burrito very unevenly, with an average of 37.5°F of average temperature variation between the left, right, and center sections.
It did a little better at heating up the small serving of lasagna, doing an average job. All areas hit the required temperature, but edges were a little warmer than the center, with the average temperature difference being about 9.9°F.
The Samsung MG14H3020CM actually did quite well at heating up the plate of leftovers using its Auto-reheat function for one dinner plate. The plate of green beans, chicken tenders, and mashed potatoes were all adequately heated within a reasonable amount of each other, comparable to our Editors' Choice award winner, the Panasonic NN-SD745S.
Performance dropped again on our chicken pot pie test, with this model doing a subpar job, failing to hit the required minimum temperature listed on the package. The center of the pie was close, but just a couple of degrees shy.
This model did a mediocre job at heating up a Hot Pocket, managing to hit the listed minimum temperature, but exhibiting more temperature variation between the ends of the sandwich than other models showed. Finally, the Samsung MG14H3020CM finished out this metric with a terrible performance in our heat map test. We spread melted chocolate on a piece of parchment paper that we trimmed to match the turntable. After it cooled, we heated it for one minute to look for inconsistencies.
This worked for every other model, but the Samsung MG14H3020CM required another minute to actually melt any of the chocolate. This model displayed a bullseye heating pattern, with the center being completely cold and solid, the center ring melted, and the outer ring unheated.
Ease of Use
Starting a trend, the Samsung MG14H3020CM earned a 5 out of 10 in this metric for its average performance. We evaluated the keypad, lighting, quick functions, kitchen timer abilities, preset effectiveness, and whether or not it would slide around on a smooth countertop to come up with scores, comparing the results side-by-side with the other models.
The Samsung MG14H3020CM overall did average at preset effectiveness, doing better at making popcorn than baking a potato. The popcorn tasted great with no burnt kernels, and it didn't leave a ridiculous number of unpopped kernels. The baked potato was subpar, with the center still being completely raw after being heated on the potato setting.
This model has a "+30 Seconds button", but it won't automatically start the microwave. It also lacks any keypad quick buttons — pressing "2" won't automatically start it for two minutes. It was almost impossible to see the food inside due to its mirror-like exterior, but there was an interior light when the door was opened, though it was subpar.
This product can be used as a kitchen timer, but not while food is being heated. However, it was solid as a rock on the smooth countertop, and wouldn't slide around at all when the door was opened or closed.
This metric assessed how well the Samsung MG14H3020CM was at defrosting by weight. We defrosted a 1 lb roll of frozen ground turkey and a frozen muffin to determine scores. The Samsung MG14H3020CM did a below average job, earning a 4 out of 10.
This model estimated that it would take 8:25 to adequately defrost the roll of meat, notifying you to flip the meat twice. 6.8 ounces of the meat was easily defrosted and scraped off the roll, but the remaining roll was definitely difficult to break apart and would have benefitted from more time in the microwave
This model did a little better at defrosting the muffin, with the entire muffin heated by the third beep. The top was a little cooler than the rest, but it was heated throughout. This model doesn't have a defrost by time, only having an Auto-Defrost by weight.
This final metric evaluated how speedy these products could heat something up. We heated an equal amount of water in each beaker for one minute, then recorded the temperature increase. The Samsung MG14H3020CM was not a fast microwave, earning a 3 out of 10. It only boosted the temperature by 28°F, about 9°F less than the best.
This model is a poor value, having a high list price and scoring low in the group.
While the Samsung MG14H3020CM is a very cool looking microwave, it scored very poorly compared to the rest of the group and was beat out by many less expensive models.
— David Wise and Austin Palmer
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