There May be another long-term option, although I know not all users will be happy with this one.
Aqara has announced that they will provide matter support through some models of their own gateway. After that, some sensors and switches and other devices connected to that Gateway can be exposed to other Matter compliant systems once Matter is fully operational.
Since Samsung has also announced that SmartThings/Aeotec hubs will have one way matter integration (they will be able to bring in other matter compliant devices, but will not expose devices connected to themselves to other matter compliant platforms). Their announcement says “in 2022.”
OK, you put those two together and once both companies have matter support working, it may be possible to attach the new aqara devices to an aqara Matter bridge gateway and then have that gateway expose those devices to a SmartThings account. ( that is dependent on aqara making its gateways a “matter bridge,” which is what allows a two-way integration. But since they already do that the outbound integration for HomeKit, it seems more likely to happen with aqara than with some other brands.)
I know that’s a long way off and I know it’s dependent on a lot of If’s and maybes, but I do think it’s a possible outcome.
And I suspect, although this is just a guess, that that’s part of what is going on with aqara right now. Their devices are not going to be individually certified for matter: the certification is going to be for the gateway. So I think they may have introduced this additional gateway identification requirement in order to meet a matter compliance issue.
Anyway, just my own personal guess is that aqara is going to have very little interest in changing the gateway identification requirement at this time, or in creating a unique smartthings integration, since most of their resources will be focused towards getting the matter integration working in both directions.
Again, I know that’s not very satisfying for people who want to buy these devices now and have them work with smartthings now, but I do think there may be a long-term solution based on matter, although it will require using an aqara Matter bridge gateway.