The Galanz Retro is a great option for anyone who absolutely has to have appliances with a vintage look in their kitchen. Unfortunately, its overall performance in our side-by-side tests didn't make as much of a statement, earning it a lackluster score in our microwave testing results. It isn't the most consistent or even at heating up food. It delivered subpar results in our defrosting metric and isn't as easy to use as some of the more conventional-looking models. All in all, this isn't the kitchen appliance we would recommend for most people or anyone shopping for performance over appearance.Editor's Note: This product review was newly added to our review lineup and first published on March 17, 2022
Galanz 0.7 Retro Review
Pros: Stylish retro look, available eco mode
Cons: Dial for timer interface, uneven heating
Compare to Similar Products
Galanz 0.7 Retro
|Price||Check Price at Amazon||$110 List||$115 List|
$114.99 at Amazon
$102.85 at Amazon
$99.99 at Amazon
|Pros||Stylish retro look, available eco mode||Good at defrosting meat||Easy to use, relatively inexpensive, excellent with prepared frozen items||Good at reheating, does well with premade frozen foods||Did well at defrosting, fairly inexpensive|
|Cons||Dial for timer interface, uneven heating||Not the most convenient to use, heating performance could be better||Struggled to defrost the ground turkey||Didn't defrost frozen turkey well||Struggled with some frozen foods, so-so heating results|
|Bottom Line||This product is great if you value the retro look more than overall performance||This product pairs average results with an average price, failing to stand out from the competition||This product had mixed results overall, failing to distinguish it all that much from other products||This larger product did decently well but we don't think it quite matches the performance of the top-tier models||This product failed to impress us too much, ranking close to the bottom of the overall|
|Rating Categories||Galanz 0.7 Retro||Panasonic NN-SB458S||Toshiba EM925A5A||Black+Decker EM031MB11||Black+Decker EM720CB7|
|Frozen Foods (30%)|
|Ease of use (10%)|
|Specs||Galanz 0.7 Retro||Panasonic NN-SB458S||Toshiba EM925A5A||Black+Decker EM031MB11||Black+Decker EM720CB7|
|Wattage||700 watts||900 watts||900 watts||1000 watts||700 watts|
|Size||0.7 cu. ft.||0.9 cu. ft.||0.9 cu. ft.||1.1 cu. ft.||0.7 cu. ft.|
|Dimensions (WxHxD)||15.75" x 20.90" x 12.90"||19.1" x 11.5" x 14.8"||19.2" x 11.5" x 15.9"||20.2" x 12.1" x 15.6"||17.3" x 10.3" x 13.0"|
|Internal Dimentions (WxHxD)||11.6 " x 7" x 10.1"||13.9" x 8.1" x 12.4"||13.7" x 8.7" x 12.3"||14.5" x 9.1" x 13.9"||12.1" x 8.1" x 12.0"|
|45 Sec Heating Temp Rise||76 F||89 F||89 F||83 F||73 F|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The dial interface and the unique appearance set this compact microwave apart from the competition, but it delivered a less than standout performance in our side-by-side tests.
Our side-by-side began by comparing how each microwave fared at heating up different types of food. The Galanz Retro failed to impress in this set of tests, which comprise 40% of its overall score.
Heat Map Test
Accounting for 35% of the total heating score, our heat map test consisted of spreading out a thin layer of marshmallow spread on parchment paper, then microwaving it. We based scores off the evenness of cooking and if there were any browned or burned spots.
The Galanz did quite poorly in this test, showing a noticeable hot spot in the center and a ring of overcooked marshmallow, with the very outside edge remaining noticeably cool.
Heating Speed Test
We used a measured volume of water in our heating speed test, recording the temperature rise after 45 seconds of heating to assess performance between products. This accounts for 20% of the Galanz's total score in this metric.
The Galanz Retro did a little better in this regard, able to increase the temperature of the water by 76°F and earning it a middle-of-the-road score.
For our leftover heating test, we used the Galanz Retro to heat up a plate of mashed potatoes, green beans, and sausage. We compared how evenly each type of food was heated and if all three were warmed enough to serve to determine scores. This accounts for 15% of the total heating score.
The Galanz Retro actually did very well in this test, earning it an above-average score. There was only about 10°F of temperature variation throughout the mashed potatoes and sausage and about 15°F for the green beans. Everything could be eaten right out of the microwave, though we felt the mashed potatoes could have been a little warmer.
Accounting for 15% of the total heating score, we used a can of premade soup for our next test. We heated up the soup in a bowl following the directions, then gave it a quick stir to even out the temperature, assessing performance with a digital thermometer.
The Retro again did decently well, getting the soup to 140°F — more than enough to serve immediately in our minds.
Responsible for the remaining 15% of the score in the heating metric, our last test focused on each microwave's ability to reheat pizza. We used two slices of pizza for this assessment, measuring performance with an IR temperature gun.
The Retro wrapped up this metric with a mediocre performance. We saw wide temperature swings across the slice, with some areas being practically cool to the touch.
For our frozen foods metric, we used a single-size lasagna, frozen burrito, and Hot Pocket to rate and rank performance. We heated each one up according to the manufacturer's directions, then used an array of digital thermometers to compare the evenness of heating and assess if the item was sufficiently heated. This accounts for 30% of the overall score, with the Galanz Retro meriting another mediocre result.
This microwave got off to a poor start with the frozen burrito, with this microwave failing to heat the entire thing to the requisite serving temperature. The edges of the burrito were also about 80°F warmer than the middle. It did about average with the mini-lasasgna, though the right half was a bit on the cooler side. There was about 25°F of variation between the different zones. Fortunately, it did finish off with a strong showing with the Hot Pocket, evenly heating it with only minimal temperature fluctuations between zones.
We tasked each microwave with defrosting a one-pound block of frozen meat for this metric, responsible for 20% of each appliance's overall score. We used the defrost setting for each microwave, with the Galanz Retro earning a subpar score.
This microwave beeped once and stopped notifying you to flip the meat over partway through. Just over half the meat was fully defrosted at the end of the 12-minute cycles, with the remaining part fairly easy to break apart. However, the corners were starting to get close to cooking.
Ease of Use
For our final metric, worth the remaining 10% of the total score for each appliance, we compared the overall user-friendliness of each product. We also looked at how effective the preset functions are, using popcorn as our test case. The Galanz Retro again delivered uninspiring results.
It has decent interior lighting but is limited to the "+30 Seconds" when it comes to quick buttons. It can't be used as a standalone timer and we noticed it doesn't take a ton of force to slide it around on a counter. Fortunately, it did quite well with the popcorn test. It had a decent amount of leftover kernels but we appreciated that none of it tasted burnt.
Should You Buy the Galanz Retro?
For most people, the answer is no. The main standout feature of this microwave is its appearance, so unless you are shopping solely for a vintage-looking product. Otherwise, we would suggest a more conventional, comparably-priced model that scored higher overall.
What Other Microwaves Should You Consider?
The Panasonic NN-SN936B is an excellent other option to consider. It earned one of the higher performances overall and is a top-tier appliance — although it is a bit costly. The Toshiba EM131A5C is also a great value option if you don't want to fork over too much cash for good performance.
— Matt Spencer & David Wise
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