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Beko AquaTech WR1040P44E1W review: Cheap, classy but not perfect

Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
349
inc VAT

A good-looking machine with oodles of features but wash performance is off the pace

Pros 
Build quality and design
Useful features
Ease of use
Cons 
Wash performance
Energy consumption
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Beko has come a long way since we first encountered them back in the 1990s. Those primitive machines of over two decades ago are a long-distant memory now, though, and today Beko is right up there with the big-name manufacturers. Its range of machines offers many of the premium features of high-end rivals at a much lower price and the Beko Aquatech WR1040P44E1W is no exception.

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Beko AquaTech WR1040P44E1W: What you need to know

The Aquatech WR1040P44E1W has the kind of specifications that you'd expect to find on a far pricier machine – it’s highly impressive for £350. Things like a digital display, drum light, and emergency drain-down are all present, in addition to all the essential headline specifications, such as 10kg wash capacity, 1,400rpm spin speed and the obligatory A+++ energy efficiency rating. It even has Bluetooth remote control via Beko’s HomeWhiz app, which is pretty astonishing for a machine at this price, and a steam function that claims to reduce creasing.

Beko AquaTech WR1040P44E1W: Price and competition

No machine at this price has it easy and this is solely due to the existence of the Bosch Serie 4 WAN28201GB (£449). The Bosh is an astonishingly good machine for the money, and while it is around £100 more expensive than the Beko, the wash performance is significantly better. In fact, its wash performance is easily the match of many machines at more than twice the price. It only has a 8kg capacity, however, which may be a mite too small for busy households and energy consumption is on the high side.

Another affordable option is the Zanussi Lindo 300 ZWF01483WR (£400). Its starting price is around the £400 mark but the price often dips down to around £299. Wash performance isn’t miles behind the Bosch Serie 4 (except for its poor quickwash programme) and it has a larger 10kg capacity but the lack of a pre-wash function, user-accessible filter and drain-down facility are big negatives. If you just want a capacious machine which can do a decent wash for the lowest price, though, it’s worth considering.

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Beko AquaTech WR1040P44E1W: Features, design and ease of use

The Beko is a smart-looking machine. The chunky black door surround and silver trim look similar to some far more expensive models we’ve seen and the overall build quality is a cut above many of its low-priced peers.

A plasticky control dial is often a dead giveaway as to the cost of most budget machines, but the Beko’s feels better than average. The dial feels nice and solid in the hand and there’s a quality metallic sheen to it that feels pleasing to the touch.

The machine is also easy to use. The dial and buttons are all clearly labelled, and the unfussy LCD display tells you exactly what’s going on. Current wash progress, time remaining and selected features are all easy to gauge at a glance. Parents will also be happy to note the child lock function, which prevents small children from playing fiddling with the machine; something that is incredibly tempting for most toddlers.

Open the door and the drum light is another nice touch; it makes seeing inside the machine much easier. There’s no excuse for accidentally leaving the odd sock in the drum when you empty it.

The Beko is also packed with a variety of fancy-sounding features, including “AquaTech”, “HomeWhiz” and “SteamCure”. The first of these – AquaTech – claims to wash your clothes more quickly and more gently, as it sprays the washing in each load with water jets instead of spinning as regularly – something we’ll put to the test shortly.

HomeWhiz is Beko’s remote control app for iOS and Android devices. This allows you to schedule and monitor wash progress from your phone or tablet, or select the most suitable wash programme using the app’s programme selection wizard.

Finally, SteamCure claims to reduce creases by treating each washing load with steam at the end of the programme. Oddly, we couldn’t actually locate a steam generator unit when we took the machine apart, so we’re not sure exactly how Beko has implemented the feature, but it’s certainly an unusual sight on a £350 machine.

READ NEXT: The best washer dryers to buy

Beko AquaTech WR1040P44E1W: Washing performance

The sizable door hatch makes it easy to pack the Beko full of clothes, but the overall washing performance is the first disappointment in this review. It’s not bad per se, but it’s nowhere near as effective as its rivals.

Running times put the Beko right in middle of the pack. For our modestly proportioned test load, the 40℃ Cottons wash took 1hr 43mins and the 60℃ Cottons wash took two hours exactly – not fast and not especially slow.

Energy consumption is, however, a tad on the high side. The 40℃ Cottons wash used 1.01kWh – around 12% more than the Bosch Serie 4 – and the 60℃ Cottons wash used 1.61kWh, which is a whopping 32% more.

It’s easy to forgive washing machines that are a bit slow and energy hungry when they do an exceptional job of washing clothes but, sadly, the Beko doesn’t do that.

Our stain swatches test a machine’s ability to remove nine tough stains. The best machines fade those stains dramatically at 40℃ and remove the worst of them nigh-on completely at 60℃. While the Beko fares better in these tests than some budget machines, it’s noticeably inferior to our current favourite, the Bosch Serie 4. The Beko’s 60℃ Cottons wash isn’t vastly better than the 40c wash, either, which is disappointing.

Beko makes big claims for its quick wash programme but it didn’t fare well in our tests, either. After 30 minutes the stains remained bright and bold – unless you just want to freshen up a garment that’s been sitting in a cupboard, or has been barely worn, the quick wash simply isn’t adequate. To be fair to Beko, it isn’t vastly worse than many pricier machines we’ve tested; quick-wash programmes rarely perform adequately in our tests.

And if you want to tackle really heavily soiled clothes with the Beko, then we’d recommend using a pre-wash to loosen the worst of dirt and debris before the main programme does its job. Given that running times aren’t too high, adding an extra 20/30 minutes to the overall time, may be worthwhile for challenging loads.

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Beko AquaTech WR1040P44E1W: Repairability and service life

As is to be expected with many modern machines, both the Beko’s door assembly and the drum are sealed so repairs to either will be expensive. You get a one year warranty that covers parts and labour but you’ll want to weigh up the cost of any extended warranty against the cost of a new machine further down the line.

It’s by no means the environmentally-friendly option but, sometimes, replacing a budget machine such as this is only slightly more expensive than a long-term service warranty. In the case of Beko’s own extended warranty service, which is underwritten by Domestic and General, you’ll pay around £4 a month, so it’s actually not too expensive.

READ NEXT: Zanussi Lindo 300 review: Tough on stains, light on features

Beko AquaTech WR1040P44E1W: Verdict

It's a crying shame that the Beko AquaTech WR1040P44E1W’s wash performance isn’t a little more competitive, as it gets so much right elsewhere. It’s good-looking, well-built, packed with features and easy to use; for £350, it’s a highly attractive package.

Given the choice, and the budget to spare, we’d highly recommend spending a bit more on the Bosch Serie 4 WAN28201GB. If you’re on a shoestring budget and you find the Beko going cheap in the sales, then it’s just about worth taking the performance hit for the sake of your bank balance. For around £300 or less, we’d be willing to cut it a little more slack.