Tech reviews

Samsung WA51A5505AV Review: An agitator washing machine with new tech


  • Smart connectivity

  • Internal faucet

  • Visually appealing


  • Poor cycle performance

  • Fails to rinse detergent

  • Sloped lid

About the Samsung WA51A5505AV washing machine

The image shows the control panel of the agitator washer.

Reviewed / Beckett Dubay

This top load agitator washer offers enough options to take care of the whole family.

  • Style: Top-load agitator washer
  • Dimensions: 44.6″ x 27.5″ x 29.4″ (H x W x D)
  • Capacity: 5.1 cu. ft.
  • Finishes: Brushed black, champagne, white
  • Cycles: Normal, Heavy Duty, Deep Wash, Whites, Colors, Bedding/Waterproof, Quick Wash, Delicates, Activewear
  • Cycle options: Temp, Rinse, Spin, Soil, Pre-Soak, Fabric Softener, Delay End, Smart Control, Super Speed, Deep Fill
  • Special features: Downloaded cycles
  • Smart features: SmartThings app
  • Dispensers: Manual dose
  • ADA compliant: No
  • Matching dryer: Samsung DVE52A5500V
  • Energy Star rated: Yes
  • User manual: Samsung WA51A5505AV top-load agitator washer manual

The Samsung WA51A5505AV is a large top-load washing machine with a pole agitator. The machine has a slanted glass lid. Its control panel features a central cycle selection dial and buttons that control temperature, rinse, spin, and soil—each with five levels. Individual buttons set the other cycle options.

The washer has an internal faucet that can be used to pretreat stains. It connects to the SmartThings app via Wi-Fi, and it is Energy Star certified.

How we test washing machines

We test washing machines at our lab in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

All washing machines undergo a rigorous system of standardized testing. We test cycles with set load types and evaluate the various features of each washing machine using specific criteria. We then rank each washer against all other washers we’ve tested, looking for how it compares to washers of its type, as well as all other washers.

What we like

The silver inside of a black washing machine with agitator pole, showing a white garment inside.

Reviewed / Beckett Dubay

This agitator washer is large enough to accommodate big loads.

It has tons of cycle options, including Super Speed

Options can be a real boon, especially with large families where one kid might be coming home with grass stains on their jeans while another is getting ready for a dance. The Samsung WA51A5505AV has options for all cases.

In addition to its nine cycles, the control panel allows you to set factors like rinse level and cycle time to five different levels. There are lots of ways to add water, which will appeal to some, even if deep water washes aren’t known to be the most energy-efficient.

It also has specific options, like a super-fast mode that will reduce the time of any compatible cycle. The Super Speed option cuts the normal cycle to about 30 minutes without reducing cleaning quality. This is one of the machine’s best features.

It has a faucet inside

You can’t trust a wash cycle alone for all stain types. Some tricky stains and spots need pre-treatment. Laundry rooms often have a sink in them for just such situations, but what happens if you don’t?

The Samsung WA51A5505AV is built to be your pretreatment sink as well as your washing machine. With a simple press of a button, an internal spigot begins to flow. Use this for pretreating garments with stain removers, for soaking, or simply for washing detergent off your hands.

It’s smart for a top-loader

A collage of the Samsung top load washer’s app displayed on iPhones.

Reviewed / Beckett Dubay

With SmartThings you can supervise your wash from anywhere.

Courtesy of Samsung’s SmartThings app, this washer has a remote start option. Before using this, you’ll have to enable it with a button on the control panel which acts as a safety mechanism for smart features.

In addition to remote start, the app will let you schedule cycles, and will send notifications directly to your phone, so you can supervise it on your walk to the park instead of sitting in the laundry room on your iPad.

This Samsung top-load washer has space for big loads

Some laundry rooms can accommodate a big washer. The Samsung WA51A5505AV is just that. Set up in our labs, its footprint is substantially larger than other washing machines, even though its five-cubic-foot capacity is on par with other top-load washers we’ve tested.

This large washer has space enough for large loads, and a wide frame for easy loading, helping you pack more in on laundry day.

What we don’t like

It leaves detergent behind

The Samsung washing machine’s detergent drawer, open.

Reviewed / Beckett Dubay

We found detergent residue in lots of unlikely places.

In our tests, we found that the Samsung WA51A5505AV consistently left detergent behind.

This problem is particularly bad with powder detergent. in addition to feeling the residue on washed fabric, we found powder residue in the detergent loader after cycles and also found it deposited along the pole agitator.

The issue didn’t stop when we switched to liquid detergent. Even with liquid, we could smell detergent after rinse cycles.

The presence of this detergent smell after a liquid detergent wash signals that the machine has trouble with rinsing. The powder detergent deposits on the agitator pole make us wonder if the machine is also having trouble distributing detergent through the wash.

Even after running a self-cleaning cycle, the machine left visible powder detergent behind in the corners of the drum.

This machine is not for shorter folks

The Samsung top load washing machine with agitator open and empty.

Reviewed / Beckett Dubay

Big and brawny, this machine can fit a lot, but can you reach the bottom?

This washing machine is huge. It’s tall, with a large suspended drum. Even for tall folks with long arms, reaching the bottom section of the drum behind the pole agitator might be difficult. This is made easier by the fact that the drum can rotate.

However, folks on the shorter side should think twice about this massive machine, or perhaps consider investing in a step stool at the same time.

Cycle performance isn’t great

Top-load, pole-agitator washers consistently underperform compared to front-load washers. To say the Samsung WA51A5505AV is no different would be an understatement. In fact, the machine’s performance didn’t come close to the best front-load washers we’ve tested, and it even fell behind other top-load washers.

Averaging its different cycle types, this machine’s cleaning performance was middling, scoring a 6.9 out of 10 on our cleaning performance tests. The Heavy Duty cycle performed the best, while the Delicate cycle performed the worst.

The machine’s scores also suffered in other areas that affect performance quality: Cycles went for a long time, had trouble rinsing out detergent, and retained more water than average after the spin cycle.

Its slanted lid makes no sense (but we do like its soft-close feature)

This machine’s glass lid looks slick and attractive. It also has a useful soft-close feature. However, the decision to make the lid slanted is downright strange, and sacrifices an important work surface.

So often washers and dryers are installed next to each other in small spaces, and we find ourselves putting clothing or a basket on top of the washer as we unload the dryer. How often do you set a stack of folded tees on top of the washer while you load your basket up with socks?

Due to the Samsung’s slanted lid, it’s less useful as a staging ground while you unload the dryer. It might sound like a quibble, but it’s enough to cause some serious frustration, especially over the course of an appliance’s lifespan.

It has a passive power draw

We clocked a passive power draw from this machine. Passive power draw is when the machine uses up electricity even when it’s not running. It’s rare on most modern machines, but can quickly rack up your utility bill without a clear indicator of what’s causing the price hike.

We measured the passive draw of this washer at one to two watt-hours per hour. While this isn’t much, it will add up over the lifetime of the appliance.

What owners are saying

While owners are generally happy with this machine, some report problems emerging from a month to a year after purchase. These include leaking/flooding, clothing damage, and electrical issues. One user reported the drum of their machine falling from its mount.

Those who praise the machine appreciate its aesthetic and others love its array of options.


The Samsung WA51A5505AV has a one-year full parts and labor warranty. Following that, it has a three-year warranty on its stainless-steel tub.

Its motor warranty varies. It has a 10-year warranty for digital inverter motors, and a 20-year warranty for digital inverter motors on “U.S.-assembled” washers. A five-year warranty is offered on the AC motor part.

Should you buy the Samsung WA51A5505AV washing machine?

No, there are better options available

The image shows a towel with the Reviewed logo beneath a stream of water from the faucet within the Samsung WA51A5505AV.

Reviewed / Beckett Dubay

This machine has some great modern features, if only its design and performance were a little better.

There are nice things about the Samsung WA51A5505AV, but overall it doesn’t have enough going for it to catch up with better traditional top-load washers or the best front-load washing machines.

We like the machine’s inclusion of an internal faucet and its cycle options—especially Super Speed. However, the machine’s issues with clearing detergent, middling cleaning performance, and slanted lid really did this appliance in for us. Additionally, while its huge size will be a boon for some, it’s a true challenge for others.

Even if you want a modern top-loader, we suggest that before you spring for this Samsung top-load washer, consider the Whirlpool WTW8127LC, our best agitator washer, for its superior cleaning ability. Alternatively, check out our list of best top-load washing machines for an option that will suit your laundry needs.

Product image of Samsung WA51A5505AV top-load washing machine

Samsung WA51A5505AV top-load washing machine

This top-load agitator washing machine has some useful features, but overall it didn’t perform to our standards.

Meet the testers

Gabriel Morgan

Gabriel Morgan

Staff Writer, Home

Gabriel Morgan is a staff writer on Reviewed’s home team, where he covers consumer education topics such as earthquake preparedness, radon in the home, and concerns about health and wellness in product design. He also writes product reviews and how-to articles on appliances, smart home technology, and goods for the home.

See all of Gabriel Morgan’s reviews

Beckett Dubay

Beckett Dubay

Product Test Technician

Beckett Dubay is a product tester at Reviewed, regularly using science-based protocol to test refrigerators, dishwashers, and laundry large appliances, and photographing the process in the lab from start to finish.

See all of Beckett Dubay’s reviews

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