One of the greatest agonies when developing a smart home is that you mostly end up with a collection of various devices.
Unavoidably, it means installing several
different apps to sit side by side an increasing collection of hubs attached to your router.
Samsung SmartThings is prepared in a way to make things better, providing a single hub and a single application that can control all the smart gadgets in your home.
With the third-generation hub, extensive gadget support and more efficient third-party integration, such as Amazon Alexa, has drastically enhanced SmartThings.
SmartThings Hub isn’t the first participant to the DIY market of smart gadgets, it’s originated before by the organizations including Home Seer, Insteon, and Vera but this hub has picked up the kind of standard market acceptance that has evaded its seniors.
When Samsung SmartThings Hub was first launched, it was an intriguing look at the future, but now it has turned into a fundamental piece of my smart home.
SmartThings has progressed extensively since they announced a financial launching budget of $1.2 million in 2012.
Even after Samsung took over the company in 2014, SmartThings Hub remained a belligerent product which abandoned the sales of some of its rivals.
The 2nd version of this hub launched in 2015, was a restorative update (keeping battery backup, and video streaming support aside) accompanied by an organized app.
Though it lacks in a flash, it sure makes people realize how useful it is. If compatibility with numerous numbers of smart home gadgets, wireless technologies, and the sticker price is your requirement, then SmartThings Hun must be near or at the top of your list.
Samsung SmartThings Hub V3 Review
I agree on the fact that contact sensor is little smaller than expected, but this device can’t be defined as sleeker.
Additionally, the hub has a bigger boxier shape to oblige the batteries. It’s mains-powered, even though it takes 4 AA batteries (provided) reinforcement.
In case of a power failure, your system will still be able to run some automation including security monitoring. The new Hub supports Z-wave Zigbee and other internet devices.
You need to buy the kit which will include set of battery powered Zigbee device such as a plug-in socket, one multi-sensor (which can control door and windows), a presence sensor, and a motion sensor.
If you’re using Samsung SmartThings Hub for the first time then you must buy the kit as it’s useful and will teach you some basic functions to start with, also is relatively cheaper than buying each product separately.
The device also includes 2 USB ports and Bluetooth connectivity.
At this moment there is currently 3 Smart Things Hub in the market including 1st Generation, 2nd Generation, and 3rd Generation, they all have some differences when compared.
SmartThings V1 vs. V2 vs. V3
Since the last few years, Samsung is continuously improving the initial design of its SmartThings Hub. There are three different generations in the market, and it’s easy to choose which one is the best.
Firstly, the V1 is outdated now, and it’s difficult to find in the market. Also, some features are missing if we compare it with V2, and V3 such as WIFI and IO connections.
Also, V3 has enhanced guidelines to make the setup easier.
3rd Generation is still good with the majority of the previous version of SmartThings programs and apps, so you don’t need to stress over losing any of your previous work.
Overall, it’s a cheaper version with extra features. When SmartThings V1 came in the market, the design only contained simple Ethernet port and power supply.
After some good updates and adding some decent features, SmartThings launched the 2nd Generation which includes 2 USB ports for future enhancement.
More the USB ports are, the more beneficial it will be in the future. Apart from that, 2nd Generation also contains power and Ethernet port, same as 1st Generation.
Then came V3 the last edition till now, contains the same features as 2nd Generation. Just the difference is that design is a bit more rounded.
Ports available as same as the 2nd generation but they’re removable. If we talk about connectivity than SmartThings V1, and V2 only have the option via connected ethernet wire to the router whereas, V3 can connect through ethernet wire or wirelessly too.
The Samsung SmartThings hub device is space friendly, and you can easily put it in your cabinet. There is a big size difference between Vi and V2/V3. The 2nd and 3rd Generation SmartThings are smaller and lighter in weight.
SmartThings V3 Supported Devices
The biggest advantage of Samsung SmartThings is
that it can easily connect devices from a different merchant.
The list of supported devices is long, and it is guaranteed that these will work.
Other devices such as Z-Wave and Zigbee will also work well with Hub, but they’re not the part of the official list.
This will let you choose from a long list of accessories including Key free smart door lock, Door sensors, etc.
An additional benefit of these devices is that communication has been easier and is two-way making the information understandable.
For instance, if you set a security alarm, the window sensor will caution you if it’s already open.
This latest third generation Device has 2 USB ports and a built-in LE Bluetooth (though it is not enabled at this moment) for future use.
Furthermore, there are other 3rd party alliances which can control some products directly through the device such as, smart bulbs and smart cameras.
One drawback is that camera part of SmartThings is paid (not free). If free cloud storage feature can be used for free, then cameras with free cloud storage should be allowed to use for free too.
You can even use more devices through IFTT which only takes a few seconds to trigger. For the applications which need some seconds, for instance, if you want to trigger a camera to check if the door sensor is activated, then it’s a cool thing.
But, for the things which need immediate response such as turning on/off the lights then IFTT is a bad option.
Luckily SmartThings contain a strong API which gives an option for developers to code their own devices which runs directly on the Hub.
Integrations running on the device gives an immediate response such as Nest Lightwave RF (best smart light switch in the market).
There is just one problem, beginning third-party integrations isn’t as simple as it looks because it needs a code to reach in developers’ interface.
Lightwave is one of the best, but the user needs to add some scripts to set it up. Users will prefer direct integration rather than adding scripts, to make the configuration easier.
Manual and Automatic Control / Setup
You can easily install and manually control your devices into rooms.
For instance, you can turn on or off the lamps, increase or decrease the brightness of lights or can play music.
The interface of this app is very user-friendly which makes it easy for consumers to use.
While using Samsung’s app on IOS, you’ll realize that it’s so easy and efficient to use.
The application has done an extraordinary job strolling you through exactly the steps you should perform to get SmartThings working in your home.
The app will have a check if your hub is fully updated to the latest version, and it then will find all the other SmartThings Hub versions you’ve ever purchased.
If it has successfully found the hub, then it will automatically link all the gadgets with your app. I didn’t have any issue setting up items I found in the app.
Setting up Home Monitoring Kit was relatively easy to set up than it was in the previous version. The new hub automatically finds the motion sensor and turn on / off without digging deep in the app to connect devices; it can be done by just one general connect button.
With all the advantages of the app, setting up devices in different rooms is a little burden. Once the device has been set in a specific room, you’re taken back the gadget list that’s not same from the list you’ve already used to demonstrate.
It’s confusing at first, but you’ll get used to of it. For the people who’re updating from the previous SmartThings’ hub will face some difficulty while using previous SmartThings device with a new hub.
For the users who’re buying for the first time, they won’t face any difficulty but the one who’s upgrading, won’t enjoy the experience.
The best thing about this SmartThings app is that it is free of cost once you’ve bought the hub. Maybe that’s the reason Samsung doesn’t offer Web interface to control it.
That is a very little comfort for those who’ve spent just 250 on the hub and a couple of sensors. But, Samsung has announced that in 2016 they’ll charge a 5$ fee for the users who want access or advanced features.
We tried out the auto sync on both Apple iPhone, and Samsung Galaxy S8 and outcomes were superb. Setup was quick and easy, smart gadgets near the hub were auto-synced once it was logged in the account.
One major distance we figured it out between Android and Apple is the UI. The iPhone users of the SmartThings app found the interface quite simple; there was a moderate approach with simplified settings and fewer features.
For the Samsung Android users, there were more features and advanced controls.
Features of SmartThings Hub V3
Smart Apps: It is a great feature which you can find in the app through the marketplace. Smart Apps are the extra tools that can influence your SmartThings gadgets to accomplish more.
These vary from enormous reconciliations with other services, such as ALEXA, and IFTT to little and diverse controls. Smart Apps can perform multiple tasks.
Such as it can help you wake up by raising the brightness on a dimmer control, it can utilize sensors to alert you when a mail is posted, etc. Developers can write their smart apps who want their settings.
Amazon Alexa: It is one of the greatest things because of which Samsung SmartThings worth has increased even more. It is supported through the Echo or Echo Dot.
Just because of this great Alexa device, anything on SmartThings can be easily controlled through your voice including turning on and turning off the devices.
Also, SmartThings can help you to activate routines, but for security purposes, you can only activate SmartThings routine. Doors can be unlocked using Alexia, for example, if you say “Alexa lock the door” door will be locked.
Assign A Room: Another great feature regarding the SmartThings app is the capability to allow devices in rooms. This can be helpful if you have more smart devices.
It is a nice way to compose all the data of smart home devices.
Setting up a scene: Samsung SmartThings additionally is prepared given scenes. Scenes are personalized settings that are set up in the way to respond to specific triggers.
For instance, you can create a scene for “When I will reach home from work” and add settings like turn the lights on before 15 mins, lower the temperature to 20 degrees.
Navigational Header: One of the most beneficial features of Samsung SmartThings smartphone app, regarding the usefulness, is the Navigational Header.
This header shows up when the app is installed in the phone. If the app is installed in Samsung Android Phone, the header will appear next to standard headers.
It offered single click control for all smart home gadgets that had connected to the hub.
Should I buy the Samsung SmartThings Hub V3?
SmartThings is a superb creation that should shape the foundation of most smart homes. Its great mechanization, extensive range of compatible gadgets and Alexa support genuinely make it the most adaptable smart home system that I’ve utilized.
By seeing its abilities, it’s inconceivably well priced, particularly considering that the device supports things like Zigbee, Z-wave and other custom apps.
Zigbee and Z-wave will alone cost the similar amount as SmartThings device. Third party integrations are just amazing seeing the fact that how well they’re organized.
Samsung’s SmartThings has awesome potential, but some users don’t enjoy the experience with this platform. It can be complicated sometimes, especially at the moment when users get into third-party advancements.
The chances are that if you’re making a smart home, you’re most likely a technically knowledgeable person. We all hope that successive iterations of SmartThings will be more helpful to the automation process.
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