LG LRE3027ST Smart ThinQ Electric Range First Impressions Review
This looks just like the winner of our best electric of 2013. But smarter.
Design & Usability
The same design as the LRE3023ST you know and love but with a new interior enamel—and a brain.
Visually, the LG LRE3027ST looks almost identical to LG's original electric award-winner, retaining that stainless steel and glass aesthetic. Unfortunately, the controls still aren't knobs and the electric burners probably still don't react as quickly as gas or induction, but it's a sure bet that the temperature range is similarly as exquisite as its non-smart predecessor.
Of course, the smart technology is the main update here. With built-in WiFi, this range can communicate with LG's service network to diagnose problems and share its status with the Smart ThinQ app on an iPad or phone. If you don't have WiFi or don't wish to connect your range to your network (lets be honest, some will find it unnecessary), you can use your phone's near field communication (NFC) capabilities for connectivity. If you've downloaded a recipe on your phone from the app, for example, you can just touch it to the NFC tag and the oven will be programmed. Similarly, you can tap and diagnose if any issues arise.
Features & Performance
Though the LRE3023ST scored well enough to win our electric range of the year award in 2012, we were less than jazzed about the broiler, which failed our test. With the LRE3087ST, LG has added an infrared grill to the broiler, potentially improving the its performance to an acceptable standard. We're looking forward to testing it out.
Besides the Smart ThinQ app and the infrared grill, we saw a demonstration of another new addition. LG's new proprietary enamel "EasyClean" which allows the user to spray a stain with water, select a cleaning cycle and wait twenty minutes while the oven heats up that water—but not to the hellish temperatures of a classic, pyrolitic self-clean. After the time is up, the stain should be easily wiped off. If it's too far gone, you can still do a traditional pyrolitic self-clean. We saw a demonstration and it looks legit, but we can't be totally sure until we see for ourselves in the lab.
A cured Achilles heel for a great machine makes this range look quite attractive.
Even a Luddite has a reason to be excited about this range. Building upon a great product, the LG LRE3027ST looks promising. The addition of the new cleaning surface and possible improvements to last year's impotent broiler show that innovation doesn't always have to be "smart." But if you're a fan of smart technology, you have even more reason to be excited. Here LG has made good use of NFC technology to allow for more connectivity options and created a smart system that isn't just gluing a tablet to an appliance. After all, no one needs an LCD screen on everything.
However, the smart system isn't all sunshine and roses. Sure the Smart ThinQ system works well within the LG ecosystem, but so far this software (like LG's competitors) is proprietary and it's impossible to link a Samsung washer, a Whirlpool dishwasher, an LG range, and a Hisense fridge. In the future, we're hoping that Bosch's wish for an open non-proprietary app comes to fruition. We hope other manufacturers follow Bosch's realist view of this, because––at least as far as we are concerned––it's unreasonable to expect a house to be all LG.
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