New to SmartThings. Hope I didn't make a mistake purchasing


(Michael) #1

I purchase my SmartThings hub (v2) and should receive it in a few days. I came to the forums to start some research and noticed that there are several reporting issues currently with the hub. Now, with any electronic device I know that there are people out there that will hate it and some that will have issues configuring, learning, etc. however, it just seems that the scales are tipping to the comments of issues opposed to users that are pleased with the device. I hope I didn’t perform a bad buy.


#2

SmartThings is not hard at all at least for me. Many people’s issues are a rule will work today and may not tomorrow. Or their rule just breaks. That’s not a configuration issue. That’s a backend processing issue.

If you “need” it to work then it’s not a good purchase. But it you don’t “need” it to work and just like to tinker, then it’s not that bad.


#3

The following is the official status page. Start at March 15 and read forward.

http://status.smartthings.com


(ecksomperudenlign) #4

I hopped on the ST boat in early 2016. It went for good to bad then to worse for the first 2 months. I couldn’t use it for almost a good 2-3 weeks in late February to mid March. The app kept crashing, automation would not work, paired devices stopped working, alarm misfired, alarm won’t arm. It was a dark period…literally, the lights would not turn on. :tired_face:

It had improved since then. I do like it a lot when it is working.


(Michael) #5

Thanks for the reply. I don’t “need” it to work however, purchasing a product that has been around for a while and is now backed by Samsung, one hopes it should work as described.


(Michael) #6

Thanks for the reply. Crossing my fingers that mine will “work” for most of the time.


(Fast, Good, Cheap...pick two.) #7

I’ve never had issues to that degree; however, I did have more issues with some apps vs. others.

I know that on more than 1 occasion I blamed ST when I had made a mistake. I often take that into account when reading the accounts of others.


(Michael) #8

Thanks for the reply. I’m no computer genus that codes everyday otherwise I would have a job at Oracle making $$$, but I feel I’m no beginner either. Very well stated and I will make sure to keep that in mind before relying on ST tech support. Thanks


(Jason "The Enabler" as deemed so by @Smart) #9

Hey there and welcome. You really have to take everything with a grain of salt. Yes, there are some major issue, on the backend.

Personally, I think the platform grew faster than it was designed to and they just got themselves in over their heads. But, there isn’t anything we can do about that.

As for the issues that are and have been occurring, they seem to be fairly random, except for one almost constant common item, smart home monitor. From what I’ve seen, SHM is the heartbeat of the gremlin plaguing most users these days. Yes, there are other problems, but compared to SHM they really seem to be minor.

I’ve had issues with my system, but honestly I don’t think it’s all that major.

Another thing to think about, when something goes wrong, those on here posting negative comments, how hard did they try to figure out the problem? How deep did the dig to fix it? Or, did they come here, complain, read a little bit, and then unplug the hub? Who knows.

But, here are my thoughts. If you want a security system that works for actual security, than ST is NOT what you are looking for. Call ADT.

If you want to be able to buy the cool gadget at the store and have almost a 99% chance of it working with your system, and you don’t mind tinkering with it, and you enjoy playing with HA, than ST is for you.

No, ST is not a toy, it’s also not a hobby. It’s a very flexible and versatile system that you can do almost anything you can think of with home automation, except security… Again call ADT.

If you want a system that does exactly what the box tells you that you are going to do with it, no flexibility, and works rock solid, even if it’s not exactly what you want… Buy the white box with the little red fruit on front.

It’s really about what you want.


(Michael) #10

Thanks for the reply. Already in this short amount of time, Ive had several people reply and comment there opinion. This makes me feel good knowing that this community reaches out and helps one another. Again, thank you all for the comments and I look forward to getting my new SmartThings Hub.


(Jason "The Enabler" as deemed so by @Smart) #11

The community is top notch for sure.

Hang around, learn as much as you can, and get in as deep as you feel comfortable with.

ST is a headache, but you can do some amazing things with it.

It just takes time, patience, and some creativity.


(Michael) #13

I’m sorry to hear about your disease JD :disappointed: and my prayers and wishes go out to you and yours.


#14

Thanks. I’m not complaining – – there are a lot of things worse than this. I do have some hand function, I can sit up by myself, my friends and family are great, and it hasn’t affected my brain. But I do want home automation to solve real problems, not just be a hobby. And my limitations mean I want to solve real problems out of the box, not with a lot of extra work. So even though I have a technical background, my goals for home automation are pretty much the same as the typical millennial who buys Hue lights or an Echo. I don’t mind some effort in the initial set up, but I expect technology to “just work” after that. :sunglasses:

When SmartThings works, it’s absolutely my favorite home automation system. It’s versatile and flexible and I like the protocols that they’ve selected even if they haven’t turned them all on yet. But right now, it’s a very high maintenance system.

I do hope that will change. I’m one of those who is optimistic about the announcement of a smart TV-based system from Samsung, because I believe they will have to have better reliability before they release that. Even if it has a more limited feature set. So I’m hopeful for the future, but realistic about the present.


(Fast, Good, Cheap...pick two.) #15

In short…

What are your expectations? What do you feel is acceptable (given the investment) and what isn’t?..because something will fail…likely repeatatively!..and then the gremlin moves on to somewhere else in your system.

There is a wide range of customers out there. Depending on need and want we either have pretty good success or less than stellar results.

I don’t mess with Phillips Hue or Sonos for example; therefore, it wouldn’t be something I’d be concerned about if integration was failing.

I use lighting and locks mostly. The latter has been rock solid…the former is primarily GE switches and they behave well since the scheduler was upgraded.

I’m sure that gremlin will seek it’s entertainment elsewhere.


(Michael) #16

Good to hear that you’re in high spirits! I had a scare and it still scares me today with a similar topic regarding extreme fatigue in the limbs, but later found that a small amount of individuals are effected the same way I was to gluten. Now I’m not talking Celiac disease, but a disease that doesn’t even have a name for it yet or if that’s even what I have. A few case studies have pointed that this may be the issue, but not 100%. I know that we are getting off topic here, but I’m always so glad to hear individuals in high spirits. I wish you the best.


(Jason "The Enabler" as deemed so by @Smart) #17

All very good facts and real life use cases.

Before going to deep ask yourself,

What level of commitment time wise are you willing to put into this?

How supportive will the rest of your household members be of a 98% system?

What are your goals for HA and your technical abilities (not so much writing code, but understanding how each piece is supposed to work with the rest of the puzzle)?

You will find that it seems that most of the more active forum members are fairly well educated in both software and systems engineering. And I can’t even begin to imagine the amount of cumulative hands on experience that is at your finger tips. The knowledge base here is diverse, deep, and extreme.

I think that your coming here in the beginning will improve your experience with ST exponentially.


(Fast, Good, Cheap...pick two.) #18

Yes!

If you do well with logic (I’m a home schooled pro at Excel and very dangerous w/VBA) you’ll understand a lot even if you don’t know how to code.

I love the logic puzzle solving…sad I know.

I’ve dabbled with the coding but there’s not a lot of reason for me to build a dependable car when Toyota has a Corolla…right?..too many guys that are way better than I’ll be anytime soon.

Anyway…

If things are working right you’ll surprise yourself with what you learn / accomplish. If you want to build a Toyota Corolla you can do that too!

What I like about the platform isn’t reliability…my Corolla is dreadfully boring too! Lol

Give it a shot and have fun…see if it suits you…if not pass it on to someone it will suit.


(Jason "The Enabler" as deemed so by @Smart) #19

And this is why I also drive a dodge ram… Who needs reliability? Not this guy! I’m all about Fun!


(Mark Hammond) #20

We are about six days into owning a hub and liking it more and more.


(Ron) #21

@Sugi Welcome to the community. I typed this up a long time ago and didn’t send it be accident. But I decided to chime in anyway so you have another data point and know another active member of this community. I am a software engineer by profession and an certain I can set things up correctly but sometimes the system is so non-intuitive that I still make mistakes that this community often can resolve. I tend to reach out here first before contacting support because I get quicker resolution that way.

It depends a lot on what you want to do with SmartThings.

I am frustrated by the fact that they have never managed to fix polling for devices that don’t report there data. It’s been broken ever since I purchased over 1 year ago. But the only devices need this for I can live without working 100% so I do, but it annoys me that they can’t fix something so basic as a scheduled event to poll a device for status. They claim to have fixed scheduled events but polling still doesn’t’ work.

What I love about SmartThings is controlling my lights and AC/Heat units with Amazon Echo. That has worked really well. I also have my Harmony Hub working well which I like a lot but I use it for home control and not for controlling my media equipment. So harmony controls ST 100%, ST controls Harmony doesn’t work as well.

They have issues with both the Android and iPhone apps and every release seems to just add more bugs then they fix. That said I am on Android 2.1.0 and have only one big issue which they claim to have thought they released but said it will be released in next version. This scares me because it means to get that fix I need to accept whatever they break in the next version :fearful: Hopefully they won’t mess the app up too much. 2.0.8 was a terrible release for me I had to revert to 2.0.7.

Automation of devices is where people get the most upset, especially if you are using for security. Don’t trust this system for security. Don’t automate doors to unlock when you arrive home for example unless you don’t mind the doors unlocking at random times. Automated lights when motion is detected will work most of the time but every once in a while just won’t.

Currently I have 2 Smart Things hubs. V1 at work and V2 at home. They both work about 98% of the time. I have only one timed event (turn off heat in the morning) and it is mostly the cause of the 2% failures. At work I have no timed events, my office has VERY high AC (too cold) so I have a heater on a motion sensor. My colleagues thought it was ridiculous that I couldn’t just press the on button but I kept forgetting and would find myself in pain by afternoon because I was too cold. So I am happy with this setup.

My usage that works 100%

  1. Monitor Elderly Mother In Law - Motion Sensor alerts when she is active
  2. Monitor Puppy Pad activity of Dogs - Motion Sensors alerts
  3. Control Lights with Amazon echo, Harmony Home Hub Remote, and via Android App
  4. Control AC/Heat with Amazon echo, Harmony Home Hub Remote, and via Android App
  5. Control Garage Door via android app only
  6. Alert if Garage door left open longer than 30min

My usage that works 98%

  1. Turn off heat in Master Bedroom every morning at 7am
  2. Turn on heater at work when I arrive

My usage that almost never works

  1. Turn on AC on Main Floor if temp > 80 (cause polling never works so temperature reading is never polled so 80 degrees never noticed)

What would make me 100% happy with Smart Things

  1. Stop releasing Android app full of bugs (especially bugs that were previously fixed)
  2. FIX POLLING !!!
  3. Fix scheduled events (might have been done but reports seem mixed.)

Again Welcome to the community.