SmartThings Wins

I saw this in Engadget.


…we think that the Samsung SmartThings Hub is the best hub for most people who want to buy right now… Still, to date, we don’t believe that any one smart hub is an unqualified, home-run purchase that would satisfy most people—our baseline standard.

I think they got this right, but the competition is a bit thin.

They claimed to have evaluated 20 systems but only talk about ST and Wink in any detail.

My favorite lines…

SmartThings app is positively full of icons, buttons, submenus, and subsections.

It’s slow and shiny.

SmartThings…supports most of the major smart-home wireless protocols, including Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, ZigBee and Z-Wave

Confirmed by Engadget, bluetooth is here (or they have no idea what journalism is).

Thus was done in partnership with “The Wirecutter”.

Full article here.

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A couple of things I didn’t like about the article:

  1. They should have included Vera as that is probably the most comparable system to Smartthings from an openness platform perspective.

  2. I don’t like how they breezed by the Echo and mentioned Nest all in one category. Very different goals of those 2 platforms and neither can be considered a “hub” at this point, but I know there’s been a lot of debates on this.


Just a couple? I wonder if the person who wrote it actually used these hubs before the started their research or of they are just hacks like the team from cnet.


I think they did use it. In particular, these comments seem on point:

…And it’s setting up a routine where a techie familiar with “if this, then that” (IFTTT) conditional-statement algorithms will feel right at home—but probably also where less-dogged enthusiasts will drop everything and rebox the SmartThings hub for a return…
Namely, of all the hubs on the market, the Samsung SmartThings Hub is the most powerful and promising, but is best suited to devout tinkerers and those willing to spend a fair amount of time tweaking and refining their smart-home system…
…throughout our testing the app remained a major friction point and a source of confusion and frustration…

That all seems to come from someone who has actually used the system rather than just read the spec sheet.

I also give them a bonus star for getting this part exactly right:

Though Echo isn’t technically a hub in and of itself, it can add voice control to existing devices in a system that otherwise wouldn’t support it—as of now, you can pair it with hubs from Wink, SmartThings, Insteon, and Iris, as well as with individual devices from Nest, Hue, and Lutron Caséta Wireless.

It is concerning that they think that the SmartThings hub has both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, but that’s now become such a common error that I always notice it but don’t make a big deal out of it. The hub does interface with the number of Wi-Fi devices, which isn’t the same thing as having a Wi-Fi radio, but the technical difference between “supports integration with many Wi-Fi devices” and “supports Wi-Fi” probably isn’t that big a deal from a consumer standpoint.

I thought it was an interesting article. In my opinion, it gets a lot right that a lot of the other articles miss. It draws a heavy distinction between SmartThings and wink in what I think is an appropriate way.

It was somewhat amusing that they felt they hadn’t had any of the negative reliability experiences that people write about in the forums at the same time that they included the following:

That also includes a few occasions { of receiving a notification} when the hub went offline—which is both useful but also distressing

Because, yes, the hub unexpectedly going off-line would be an indication of reduced reliability. Just sayin’…:wink:

Certainly a better researched article than many of the ones out there. It will be interesting to see how they update it after they get hold of a Wink 2.

FYI, here’s a more detailed comparison of the home automation controllers:


Not sure where that one got its information, but some of it is way off. Just in the first column, zipato is not made in the US, is not a US company, and is not limited to distribution in the US only. It’s a Croatian company with distribution in over 50 countries, including the US.


Oh… That explains it, frankly.

They are just parroting another gadget rag.

Content is crap these days.

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