As every major electronics manufacturer has rushed to stake their claim in the large home automation deposit, so Samsung has take a swing with their range of SmartThings products. SmartThings comprises of a hub and one of the largest ranges of single brand smart products on offer. This coupled with integration to Amazon Alexa and Google Home products, all rounded up together with the SmartThings app.
The free app is ultimately the main interface here, but Samsung have tried hard with their product range to ensure you don’t need to look elsewhere for a suitable device. This hasn’t lead them to hunker down and reject other products though, with their hub being capable of connecting with dozens of other Z-Wave and ZigBee products from other manufacturers.
The Hub itself has some positives and some negatives. It’s small and neat but requires an ethernet connection to the internet. This means you have to place the hub near your router, or have an ethernet cable to where you want to run it. On the other hand this is one of the few products that can run off battery, coming supplied with 4xAA batteries to keep it powered up to 10 hours if your power goes out. It most likely won’t have internet during this time, but preprogrammed automation will still take place during this time. The hub even contains two USB ports for future expansion.
The app is your main interface and is straight forward and easy to use allowing for the monitoring of appliances and the connection, control and automation of as many devices as you can connect. It permits the clever interaction of these devices so that things can happen automatically, without you having to lift a finger. The app is available for any Android, Apple or Windows devices.
Overall the Samsung SmartThings product range (App included) seems like the perfect product. Our first thought of concern came on reading some customer reviews. The average rating of their products is below average for this class of product. While this isn’t terrible, and shouldn’t cause unnecessary worry, it is lower than almost all other major manufacturer’s products reviewed.The negative reviews stem from a combination of connection issues with various products as well as in instability in the system as a whole leading to a unreliable feeling. This has been attributed to scalability of the platform as up-tame has increased. The products still receive a number of positive reviews, and Smartphones as a whole has great potential, only time will tell what happens.
images: Samsung SmartThings