- Intuitive touchscreen interface
- Wealth of useful programmes
- Superb wash performance
- Incredibly quiet
- Eye-watering price
- App has a few bugs
- Half-load Eco mode isn’t very economical
- Review Price: £1699.00
- 10kg drum; touchscreen and app control; Wi-Fi enabled; A+++ energy rated; 1600rpm max spin speed; load-sensing, self-dosing and super-silent
What is the Samsung WW9000?
Looking like no washing machine that’s gone before, the Samsung WW9000 has futuristic styling that goes hand in hand with its cutting-edge features. This flagship model from the Korean tech giant comes in at an eye-watering £1700, but sports a nearly button-less fascia, with all the controls operated via touchscreen or an app.
Not only does the WW9000 take controlling the humble washing machine to a new technological level, but Samsung has installed its very latest engineering to make this appliance cleaner, greener and more efficient. This is a premium machine, with top-of-the-range looks and functionality, for those craving domestic appliances at the bleeding edge of technology.
Samsung WW9000 – What’s it like to use?
The WW9000 is very different to any other washing machine you’ll have ever used. There’s no traditional detergent and fabric softener drawer. These have been replaced by large-capacity containers that are accessed at the bottom of the door opening and otherwise concealed.
You fill these up with your chosen detergent and fabric softener, then the WW9000 uses just the right amount of each, based on its measurement of the weight of the washing and how dirty it is – it senses the dirt in the water after the initial wetting. It also takes into account your chosen programme and fabric type.
This makes it less wasteful and, chances are, you’ll only need to fill the containers every few weeks, or even months if you’re a light user. If you do want to go ‘manual’ on your detergent and softener, Samsung provides little receptacles it calls ‘Aqua Pebbles’, which you throw into the wash after turning the auto-dosing off.
The door itself is enormous and reveals a large opening – albeit no bigger than on other similar-capacity machines – that makes it easy to wrestle in even large items of washing, such as a double duvet. The drum is a high-tech design with a unique patterning that’s claimed to improve both wash and spin efficiency. It also rather attractively scatters the light from the bright blue LED interior lighting to ensure you never leave a rogue sock in the drum again.
The WW9000 uses Samsung’s proven Ecobubble technology, which mixes detergent with water and air before injecting the frothy mix into the drum to easily penetrate into the fibres of clothes.
The headline feature here is this machine’s connectivity and touchscreen. If you’re familiar with navigating your way around a smartphone or tablet – and who isn’t, these days? – then the Samsung’s control panel will hold no surprises. It’s easy to read and the layout is supremely logical.
You go through a setup procedure of logging onto your Wi-Fi network and setting basic parameters such as language, date and time, and whether you want automatic software updates or manual ones. You then start a calibration cycle. This takes several minutes of seemingly random drum rotations, where the WW9000 works out how level it’s been placed, what the ambient temperature is, and the precise weight of the drum so it can accurately calculate wash load. When this is complete, the whole raft of the Samsung’s functions are easily accessed with add-on ‘services’ such as extra rinsing or adjustable spin speed.
Once you get your head around using a touchscreen rather than buttons, Samsung has done an excellent job in making operation very slick indeed. You also have one-button access to Samsung’s catch-all ‘Auto Optimal Wash’, which senses the washing load, doses the detergent and chooses the wash and spin speed automatically. As most people tend to use just one programme on their washing machine for almost everything, we bet this ends up being the WW9000’s programme of choice.
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Samsung WW9000 – App Control
Not content with making the WW9000 touchscreen-controlled, the machine can also be managed via the Samsung Smart Washer app, available for both Android and iOS devices. This is an entirely optional feature, so shouldn’t put anyone off if they’re not smartphone-centric. It simply replicates many of the features accessible by the display – although it’s not the prettiest of apps. Potentially its most useful feature is a displaying the wash time remaining, allowing you to manage your time and be ready to unload as soon as the wash is finished. As the WW9000 self-diagnoses any faults, you won’t be surprised to hear that details of faults and minor issues can be sent straight to Samsung HQ for service information.
On the downside, smart appliances are still in their infancy and, unsurprisingly, the Smart Washer app isn’t without its issues. It’s rather more laborious to use than the WW9000’s touchscreen, as there’s a communications delay between steps, and on several occasions it either simply didn’t talk to the washing machine or just closed itself down.
The app also promises the ability to control the machine from not just your own Wi-Fi network but from anywhere in the world via the Internet. We couldn’t get this to work at all, for some reason. Right now, we don’t think the app control is stable or slick enough to be your ‘default’ method of controlling the WW9000, even if having the ‘time to finish’ on your phone is rather handy.
Of course, the joy of app-based technology is that should get better and less buggy with every software update, so some of the issues may well have been resolved even before you read this. Overall, while the WW9000 is a joy to use from its own touchscreen, the app still feels like a work in progress.
Samsung WW9000 – What programmes does it have?
Lots and lots of programmes are on offer. There are so many, with so many options, that the total number of variations runs into the hundreds! The touchscreen guides you through the choices seamlessly, first with pre-wash options such as Quick Wash, Intensive, Soaking, Easy Iron, etc, then on to the main programme itself. These include all the regulars such as Cotton, Easy Care, Delicates and Wool, as well as some more specific programmes for Synthetics, Demin, Dark Garments, Baby Care and Outdoor Care – made specifically for washing high-tech outdoor fabrics used in the likes of skiwear.
There’s also a range of what Samsung refers to as Speciality care programmes, including Cooking & Dining, which is intended for the clothes of spillage-prone cooks and messy eaters. Active Sports is geared up to best remove grass and mud stains, while Gardening is designed to get rid of mud and sweat. There’s a Hygiene care programme developed to remove skin oils and blood from fabrics, and a Working & Everyday mode for lightly soiled clothes such as office work shirts. For those with kids, the Active Kids programme is for food, crayons, fruit juice, mud and ink!
The WW9000 has the most comprehensive selection of basic, advanced and speciality programmes we’ve ever seen on a washing machine, and each has a range of manually adjustable options, such as spin speed, intensive and pre-wash, to tailor them very specifically to your needs. Better still, once you’ve devised a programme and added all the options you want, there’s a one-button press to save your custom programme as a preset, meaning you won’t have to go through the whole menu the next time.
Being Internet connected and capable of firmware updates, there’s every chance that the WW9000’s programmes and features list will continue to grow, develop and improve over the years you own it. All these programmes and options are likely to have people standing over their washing basket, procrastinating over precisely what fabrics and dirt types they’re about to load. That may add a level of complexity, but if you want the very best wash, then tailoring the wash programme precisely to the material and the dirt is the way ahead.