Advertising professional here. I can assure zero engineering resources were wasted on this.
Anyway, from a graphic design perspective - the Alexa logo/icon is more thoughtful, with the speech bubble contained inside the recognizable blue circle from the device itself.
The SmartThings logo is - just ok. Today’s trends are all toward simplification, one, maybe 2 flat colors, zero shading/gradients, etc. Which is great if you’re a huge brand. Less so, if you’re, well SmartThings. While it’s a nice design, and more up to date than the old gradient circle logo - ultimately it’s just a blue circle on white. No one is going to see a blue circle on white and think “that must be SmartThings.”
If I had to guess, and this is utter conjecture - Samsung US probably instituted some across-the-board, master brand and sub-brand revisions and ST got swept up in them. Some high level designers probably spent a lot of time deciding how Samsung brands should look and where ST fits in that family, not how it appears on its own.
That said, if that’s the case, I wish someone would update the shitty Samsung SmartCam app design. Everything from UI to even the icon design is terrible.