When we covered the Amazon Echo in our previous review, we mentioned the Samsung SmartThings several times, either for comparison or the fact that they can integrate to each other. Hence, in this article, we will delve a little deeper into the best smart home hub.
The name Samsung should be familiar by now. Well, they are arguably the biggest manufacturer of smartphones and TVs nowadays, as well as a wide range of other products. That’s why, it’s only natural for them to also enter the blooming smart home market with their own smart home assistant, dubbed the Samsung SmartThings.
One thing to keep in mind first is that the Samsung SmartThings doesn’t come with its own voice control, but their recent integration of Amazon Alexa, and hence, Amazon Echo can fix that problem easily.
Hence, without additional voice control hardware, you can ‘only’ control the SmartThings through the Windows, iOS or Android smartphone app. Yet, the app itself is very rich in features and very easy to use.
We can’t say that Samsung’s entry to the smart home assistant market has been smooth, as the first generation of SmartHub has been widely criticized. If you are looking up for Samsung Smart Things reviews, carefully look whether it’s reviewing the first or the 2nd generation, as the 2nd generation which we are covering today has been improved a lot from its predecessor.
Obviously, the main highlight of the Samsung SmartThings is the seamless integration of Samsung’s own products, which, chances are, you already owned. However, the third party integration is also amazing, as it can connect to a lot of products from different vendors, from smart cameras such as Netgear Arlo to full-range home theater systems from Bose. Take a look at the full list of compatible products here.
Even if a product is not listed, most likely, you can still connect to it through IFTTT support. Connecting with the cloud-based IFTTT might give a slight delay, but it’s more than bearable nowadays.
Let’s kickstart our Samsung smart hub review by discussing its key features.
Pretty similar to Skills feature found on the Amazon Echo. With SmartApps, you can have more control with the third party devices. You can control the dimmer of your smart LED to wake you up automatically, and you can trigger your smart lock system when the smart doorbell is detecting a recognized guest. The number of SmartApps available is still growing, and you can expect a bright future.
ZigBee and Z-Wave Support
There’s a wide range of ZigBee and Z-Wave peripherals out there that are very popular in the smart home community, and the SmartThings can fully integrate with them. Considering a ZigBee or Z-wave hub can coat you more, this is a pretty awesome value.
Smart Home Monitoring and Control
A feature lacking in the Amazon Echo, you can control and schedule your lighting scheme with the SmartThings. The Smart Home Monitor can detect your security breach, smoke, and fire, as well as water leaks with the right sensor, fully customizable.
Wide Range of Supported Device
Arguably the widest third-party integration out of all the similar products today. Paired with IFTTT protocol and Samsung’s SmartApps through the Marketplace, the potential is almost unlimited.
Design wise, the Samsung SmartThings is quite simple, but you can feel the modern approach just by seeing it. It is quite durable despite its simplistic design and comes with 2 USB port and Bluetooth LE connectivity, useful for the integration processes.
For a product deemed the SmartThings, sadly the setup is not quite as smart as expected. The installation itself is quite simple. As usual, you first download the mobile app to your phone, available for Windows, iOS, and Android so your options are pretty diverse, sign up an account and all the usual registration processes you’re familiar with.
Now, before you can setup your SmartThings Hub, you will need to enter a 6-character activation code, which is written on a card in the package. Connect the hub with an ethernet cable (and power, obviously), and follow the next steps to set your location.
Now we come to the complicated things. you will need to add your devices (deemed the ‘Things’) manually, and each device might have different steps, some more confusing than others. The thing is, this can only be done from your smartphone or tablet, which you know, can be clunky at some moments.
After you’ve added your Things, and finished all the adjustments, only then the SmartThings can truly shine. You can browse the Marketplace for SmartApps available for your devices, you can tweak the IFTTT protocol and all the minor adjustments.
Basically, the installation and setup processes can be a headache, but after that, you will have an almost fully-integrated home. Besides its rather complicated setup, you can hardly find any flaws with the Samsung SmartThings. Its overall product design is great, feature-wise, it’s rich, and it performs rather stable, as long as it stays connected.
Overall, the Samsung SmartThings is a bit technical to use, but once it’s all set up and done, its usability and performance are among the best.
- Wide range of third party integration, as well as Samsung’s own wide range of products
- IFTTT protocol allows you to connect to unsupported products
- Ever-evolving SmartApps marketplace, making it rather future-proof
- Sleek modern design with 2 USB hub and Bluetooth LE connectivity
- Quite durable
- ZigBee and Z-Wave support
- Complicated setup processes to add more devices
- Due to its rather complicated connectivity to devices, it will also be hard to troubleshoot an individual device
You Should Buy This If
If you have the technical savvy (which won’t really require a lot), the satisfaction for its performance and features is simply amazing. The Samsung SmartThings is simply for those who are willing to invest a bit of time at the start and enjoy all the benefits later.
Let’s end this Samsung SmartThings Hub review with a verdict:
As mentioned, the setup process especially to add more devices is relatively more complicated compared to other similar products, such as Google Home, Logitech Harmony, or Amazon Alexa. However, once it’s connected, it performed better than most of the competitors out there.
You will need a bit of technical proficiency and you will need to invest a little time upfront, but it’s definitely worth it for its value.