I’m helping someone get involved in the platform and upon looking at a hub on Amazon, it looks like lots of people are having issues with the V2 and V3 hubs. I’ve had a V1 Hub from the beginning and all of my stuff works pretty flawlessly.
If you were just getting in today, would you still go with Smartthings? If so, which Hub? If not, which system would you look at?
Probably not for me… but it is still not a bad choice for many users. I am much more of a DIY’r that likes to have numerous options available to me. SmartThings seems to be catering less and less to folks like me. They have also chosen the ‘cloud’ as their primary architecture, with local processing more of an afterthought.
Probably ST V3 (aka the 2018 hub).
Hubitat Elevation. This platform provides me with a very similar Groovy custom code platform, runs all code locally on the hub, has a backup and restore feature, and provides the ability for cloud connectivity if desired by the user. Firmware updates are also at the user’s discretion, and can be reverted if desired. While it does not integrate with as many devices as ST, it does everything I need, and the development team is constantly improving the platform based on the community’s feedback (it’s been a while since ST actually cared what the community wanted versus what the Samsung execs want from your personal data.)
Also, many folks choose to run with both ST and Hubitat concurrently, thereby having the best of both worlds.
No V1. That is an EOL device, it will not be receiving future updates, and it lacks a number of newer security and integration features.
Besides, one of the main issues with SmartThings is the cloud instability, and that affects all models of hubs except to some extent The ADT model.
And there’s still no way to answer your question without knowing more about what they want to use it for. Well, no way to answer it except to say right now smartthings is going through a huge transition period: New hub, new app, and new cloud platform. That’s the source of many of the negative reviews right now, but there’s honestly no way to tell whether the end result will be any better.
At the present time We are driving over a road with potholes and a bridge or two washed out, but that doesn’t tell us anything about what the hotel will be like when we get to our destination.
So I could not at present recommend SmartThings to anyone looking for a “set and forget” system even if They will have someone else do the initial set up.
I might still recommend it to someone with a strong technical background who enjoys tinkering, was not going to use it for critical use cases, and could tolerate their system, that had been working great for months, suddenly running into a fatal glitch in the cloud that took support a couple of weeks to fix.
Your own disinterest in discussing this decision in the context of use cases sounds like you are just looking for an engineering evaluation, not a customer satisfaction evaluation. In which case, don’t get SmartThings. There is too much flux right now for that kind of assessment.
Your system has had some of the problems, you just might not have been home at the time. There have been four or five major issues that affected every customer, but, again, if you weren’t home you wouldn’t have seen them.
And of course there are other problems that might affect parts of the system that you are not using. Daylight savings time issues hit everyone for several years in a row. This year it only hit some people. But if you didn’t happen to have any rules set up that depended on those, or, again, if you weren’t home at the time, you might not have noticed.
Smartthings has had at least one outage every month for the last 21 months except for January 2017. These are documented both on the official status page and on the wiki’s “first bug reports“ page.
I don’t doubt at all that your perceived experience has been that everything has run smoothly. Smartthings is a very powerful, highly configurable system, or at least it was until the new app, so perceived experience can definitely vary quite a bit.
If you are happy with your own V1 and your friends have similar use cases to yours And you are willing to be the technical support for them if they need it, then there’s no harm in getting a V1 for now. You can just set up for them essentially a duplicate of your own system. With the understanding that it’s an EOL device and you might need to replace it at both homes in a year or two.
And with the understanding that SmartThings has not indicated any intention of ever releasing a migration tool. Currently, a future hub hardware upgrade requires you to essentially start fresh. You’ll have to re-pair all devices and recreate all automations. If the system is small, that’s not a big deal. If it is large, well then that’s going to take some time and effort.
I am currently a V2 hub user and the hub itself has been pretty much flawless. I don’t see how anyone could have issue with the hub. I do also own the Hubitat but have thus far lacked incentive to migrate to it, other than the desire to have local execution.
The flaw in SmartThings is its cloud dependence for most things. I can walk into a room tripping a motion sensor, get what I came for, and leave before the overhead light comes on. That’s unacceptable, but I’m living with it for the moment.
If I was starting green field with no ownership of a hub or any smart things, I would start out with Hubitat.
I am not aware of any plans by Samsung/SmartThings to obsolete the v1 hub. The problems will probably manifest themselves in the form of not being able to pair some newer devices that require the updated Zigbee or Z-wave protocols. Just pure speculation on my part.
Cloud Hub vs Local Hub - I am new to this form and Home Automation and notice a delay in alerts. Its not too bad maybe a minute or two but definitely not real time. Example motion is detected and the condition is supposed to alert me - is this just one of the negatives of having a Cloud Hub vs Local Hub such as being dependent on the internet?