SmartThings launched all the way back in 2012 following a successful Kickstarter campaign where they raised $1.2 million with products becoming commercially available in 2013. In late 2014 it was acquired by Samsung for $200-million and at the time it looked like this would be the first home automation product to go mainstream.
While the system has been a success, it never really saw the uptake that we have seen with newer tech such as Alexa.
However, thanks to the boom of interest in home automation thanks to Alexa and Google Assistant, Samsung has launched the third iteration of the SmartThings Hub along with new and updated accessories all of which work with smart AI assistants.
If you are not familiar with this product, then SmartThings is a hub with a range of sensors at smart devices that works over the popular communications protocols such as s ZigBee, Z-Wave, and IP-accessible devices. The hub controls all the devices, and you can get sensors that can detect motion, multi-sensors, moisture sensors as well as buttons to control devices. You can then use these various accessories to carry out functions around your home.
Essentially this is the same as the Devolo Home Control and Ncube Controller I have previously used. However, unlike the previous devices, the Samsung SmartThings Hub costs just £79.99 on Amazon, and many of the sensors are affordable too with both the button and multi-sensor costing just £24.
In comparison with the Devolo system the hub costs £110, the Window/Door contact is £30, the motion sensor £40 and the wall switch £40.
One of the advantages Samsung has over other brands is the ability to integrate it into other consumer platforms, and you will find SmartThings inside Samsung Smart TV’s and the Family Hub refrigeration range.
With this being ZigBee and Z-Wave the SmartThings Hub is compatible with other Z-Wave accessories. It is hard to guarantee universal compatibility, but in general, if you have a Z-Wave sensor, it should work with SmartThings, allowing you to pick and choose devices based on functionality and price.
The kit I was sent included the new version three Hub and the following accessories:
- Multipurpose sensor – this is a two-part sensor and at first appears just to be an open/close sensor, but it also has a temperature and vibration sensory built in which can be used to trigger actions based on a variety of conditions.
- Water leak sensor – as the name suggests, it detects water, there are two electrons on the top of it and when these are bridged with moisture, it will trigger.
- Motion sensor – self-explanatory, however, this comes with a useful magnetic ball mount and 3MM mounting tape, allowing you to stick it anywhere and alter its position afterwards.
- Smart Button – similar to the paddle of the Devolo, this small button can be used for multiple actions and with single, double or long presses you can carry out different functions.