One of the things that is frequently searched during this pandemic season is having smart homes devices. What used to be a far-fetched idea is now a more welcoming thought since big players like Amazon, Google and Samsung come to play.
They came up with products that are easy to understand. User-friendly for everyday people like you and me. It is no longer just for the tech enthusiasts. Anyone who educates themselves well enough can have a smart home.
The South Korean brand, Samsung, is no stranger to the electronics world. And the Samsung SmartThings is just one of the many popular products in their smart home collection.
People enjoy convenience, love automation. Having the ability to control everything through the app. Also, according to how you want it to be, at which times you want it to work and other customisable actions.
Whether you are converting your smart home for the first time or thinking of switching from your current choice, this article would perhaps help you decide your next move.
WHAT IS SMARTTHINGS?
SmartThings is simply a system. The idea is to seamlessly control all the other smart products in your home – within a single app.
Samsung SmartThings is a centralised cloud-based intelligence that helps you to connect your smart devices smoothly. Like Amazon’s Alexa, but way more choices of pairing devices.
There may be some devices that need to be put to place beforehand. The setup might require a bit of work but you know it’s all worth the trouble upon successful implementation.
Arguably not the best system, so to say. However, the SmartThings’s impressive connectivity with more than 40 brands, over a range of appliances, makes it easier to find smart home devices that are compatible for your smart home.
HOW DOES THE SMARTTHINGS WORK?
Your smart home needs a brain. So first thing’s first: the SmartThings hub.
The hub looks closely like the physical router that all your compatible smart home devices will be connected to. This baby needs to be connected to a strong and reliable wifi network or ethernet cable, which brings me to my next point.
The SmartThing hub is compatible with Zigbee and Z-Wave devices. Such devices have their own mesh networks. They don’t rely on just the wifi, so these guys will still work smoothly even if your wifi breaks down.
It is especially useful for the ones that are more important, like the motion sensors and lights. They are the last thing you need to fail in a smart home.
Alternatively, you can purchase the SmartThings Wi-fi. It performs both as a Wi-Fi router and a hub and boasts to blanket your home with up to 1,500 square feet of secure coverage. Its ability to connect to the devices at optimal performance is thanks to the Plume system that powers the SmartThings Wi-Fi.
A single unit of this is good but to take full advantage of its features, it is recommended to get the three-pack.
After that is done, one will need to download the SmartThings app, which is available on both Android and on iOS. Simply create an account to start off.
Once you are in, you’ll have the luxury to do these things:
As soon as the devices are connected, this is what you will see on the home screen. You will be able to see your devices’ status and then have more control over that particular device when you click on its icon. You can be notified of their progress through a pop up window.
YOU MAKE THE RULES
The director of all the smart devices at home, you. You have the ability to direct multiple selected devices at once to create something called a ‘scene’.
For instance, the ‘going out’ scene. Choose multiple devices and set the actions of each of them. When saved, every device in this scene will be ready for your command – which you can cue when you are leaving home, in a single tap.
Automation is slightly more creative because conditions have to be met before the SmartThings execute the actions of your devices.
The SmartThings app is not limited to a singular rule only. You can string a routine, triggering action right after the first action is done. Maybe you can set a morning routine. Turn off the heater or AC, then get the coffee machine to start brewing and set a podcast to play on the speaker.
Imagine a home that is smart enough to handle your day-to-day chores. That’s what the Samsung SmartThings is for.
There is seriously a large number of devices that the Samsung SmartThings can control in a home. So the next thing will be to properly check if the devices are compatible.
Find out the extensive list of featured brands: here.
Would someone with a Google Home or Amazon Echo need to change to SmartThings at all?
It depends on how smart you want your home to be.
Samsung has a known history of developing home appliances ranging from refrigerators, washing machines to any sensors. They are one of the few brands to come out with smart sensors too, like the door, water, smoke and fire sensors.
Not downplaying Google Home, Amazon Echo or Amazon Alexa even but the convenience of finding compatible smart devices to pair into the Samsung SmartThings cloud is arguably the easiest.
The two biggest barriers for someone to get started on the smart home journey are privacy and costs. In some ways, besides the abundance of compatible appliances, the Samsung SmartThings have some edge over other smart home hubs.
It has better privacy compared to the smart speakers who would be waiting and
listening to your commands 24/7.The ability to take control without voice command. One can have the voice command activated but otherwise, the smart home functions through one’s preset rules via the Samsung SmartThings app.
However, there are bigger privacy issues that still lingers around the idea of a smart home. Understandably, the risks are still there.
RELATED ARTICLE: WHAT IS A SMART HOME SYSTEM?
It is the DIY solution for those who want to save on some installation money for a smart home fixture. Because the SmartThing is a cloud-based intelligence, it gives more flexibility to homeowners who do not want to install permanent smart home fixtures.
It all sounds too good. Better privacy, more compatible devices and cheaper installation.
Sounds like Samsung had released the perfect creation in the smart home market. However, this great product by Samsung has had it’s fair share of negative reviews. Several who had purchased the router had the unfortunate connection issues, either with the network, the wifi or with the smart home devices.
Some reviews on Amazon even highlighted that the tech support was not as helpful or efficient as people would expect to get from a large brand like Samsung.
Despite some negative reviews that surround the Samsung SmartThings, many are satisfied with its strong signal strength and easy to use interface.
There is always space for improvement and especially for a brand like Samsung, it’s probably a matter of time before they refine and release a better version of it.
Choices for a smart home hub are plenty and it’s hard to decide which one is best for you. It is always good to get more information before you begin your smart home journey.