It may be a few years old, but the Ecobubble line is still a giant of the washing machine world. As you might expect from a tech company like Samsung, the WF80F5E5U4X comes packed with handy advanced features, such as an app that alerts you to any issues with the machine, while still providing a great wash.
At first, we were sceptical of Samsung’s claim that their proprietary technology allows them to get detergent into fabrics faster and more efficiently and therefore give better cleaning performances even at low temperatures. However, after our review, we have to admit that this machine is a real stain buster.
Since launch, this washing machine has come down to £549, a drop of £50 from its original cost, and at that price we have no hesitation in awarding it The Grade seal of approval.
Washing machines are all similar boxy designs, but what makes the difference is the build quality and little details, and in both of those areas the Samsung Ecobubble WF80F5E5U4X excels.
The front panels are sturdy and the door hinge feels incredibly strong (we actually considered sitting on it to test it, but chickened out). The same goes for the drawer, which shows the effort Samsung has put into construction.
The metallic grey colour is modern and has a hint of shine that stops it being dull (this might not immediately come across on the pictures). If you think this might not go with your kitchen then it’s also available in white.
Not content with giving Apple a run for their money in the phone market, Samsung reckons they’ve had a breakthrough in the cleaning world in the form of their Ecobubble technology – but what the heck is it?
Well, a standard washing machine just mixes your detergent with water and then sloshes it around your clothes. The WF80F5E5U4X instead mixes the detergent with water AND air to create a kind of foam. This is better absorbed by clothes (it’s claimed up to 40 times faster) and allows you to get a better clean even on really low-temperature settings.
These are bold claims, but in our review it did really work with us seeing little difference between the 40 and 15 cycles. On both settings, red wine (which had been left for an hour) and curry were removed with ease.
However, in our ketchup test, there was the slightest trace of stain remaining at the lower temperature which was surprising given this is not usually the hardest to remove. We decided to rerun the test, and that time all traces of red were totally removed.
The 15-minute quick wash was less effective against all these stains but was more than adequate to give lightly soiled clothes a spruce up.
It also saves you money. Being able to switch down the temperature to 15 degrees for most washes means the average family will save about £60 a year, so over the life of the product, this becomes a really cost-effective machine. It also has an energy rating of A+++, so if you are thinking the Ecobubble WF80F5E5U4X looks expensive compared to other washing machines then remember you might actually make back the initial outlay over about 18 months.
The drum is 8kg, which makes it suitable for a medium-sized family. It also has Samsung’s Diamond Drum design. In a conventional barrel, the holes that drain the water can catch on your clothes and cause them damage during the wash. You might not notice it, but it’s a major factor in the wear and tear of your wardrobe. This machine reduces that effect by making the holes smaller and placing them between small, diamond-shaped grooves so your clothes come into contact with them much less frequently. We couldn’t really test this during our review as it’s an effect that happens over a long period of time, but the theory seems to make sense.
We found one commenter saying water stayed around in the drum for a day after washing, but we did not experience this problem.
If you live in a flat or have a young child then sound can be a real issue. The wash stage is one of the quietest we have heard.
As you might expect it makes more of a racket during its spin cycle, but Samsung’s Digital Inverter Motor means that this is still much quieter than most other machines on the market with a similar drum size. Despite this, we found the spin cycle to be really efficient and clothes needed significantly less drying time than the average machine.
Installation + Ease of Use
The dimensions are 67 x 66x 88.3 cm. Plumbing is straightforward, but if you don’t know what you’re doing then we really would advice go to with a cheap installation service from the retailer.
To be honest, the instruction manual was a bit confusing, but the actual use of the machine is straightforward. A dial on the front gives you a whole bunch of presets for quick and easy use.
If you need more you can use the LCD display control panel that is just as simple. We have seen other manufacturers provide a more comprehensive set of washing options. We’ve also been totally bewildered by them. Unless you border on OCD where your cycle settings are concerned, what’s on offer will be more than satisfactory.
There’s also a “smart check” app for iOS and Android. If something goes wrong with the cycle you just point your camera at the error message displayed, or type it into the app. It’s a lifesaver if you’re not one for manuals (and who is?).