Samsung SmartThings Hub (2018) review: Samsung’s smart hub finally goes wireless

    Samsung SmartIssues has been the leading product in the smart hub space just about for the reason that day it was launched, however one small downside has lengthy held it again: It needed to be tethered to your router with an ethernet cable. For many customers, together with myself, that one downside was a deal breaker. There are simply two obtainable ethernet ports on my router, and I’m simply not all in favour of turning my lounge right into a server closet with switches and cables working in all places.

    With the third-generation SmartIssues Hub (Samsung mannequin quantity GP-U999SJVLGDA), Samsung lastly enters the wi-fi age in earnest. It nonetheless gives the choice to attach the hub to your router through ethernet, however Wi-Fi connectivity is the default.

    As with the earlier generations of SmartIssues, the third-generation Hub is designed to bridge the hole between your smartphone and all kinds of wi-fi sensible residence merchandise—notably units that use the ZigBee and Z-Wave protocols. You may use SmartIssues to regulate Wi-Fi gear.

    Christopher Null / IDG

    Samsung properly retained an ethernet port, for fanatics preferring the reassurance of hardwired ethernet, however the third-gen SmartIssues Hub may be a part of your private home community over Wi-Fi.

    Samsung counts 329 appropriate merchandise on its “works with” web page, and whereas there’s a little bit of duplication (seven of these merchandise are totally different Philips Hue bulbs, for instance), that degree of assist just isn’t solely deep, but in addition broad, with sensible residence merchandise working the gamut from sensors, switches, and light-weight bulbs to sensible deadbolts and Samsung’s residence home equipment.

    SmartIssues additionally helps Bluetooth units now, however solely on the Android model of the SmartIssues app, not iOS (a reality that’s barely documented). Nest’s product line (cameras, sensible thermostats, smoke detectors, doorbells, and door locks), nonetheless, continues to be not on that checklist. The identical goes for August sensible residence merchandise. And Apple followers will wish to know that SmartIssues just isn’t appropriate with Apple’s HomeEquipment ecosystem, both.

    Samsung SmartThings app Christopher Null / IDG

    As you’d count on, Samsung’s SmartIssues Hub (2018) can talk with a lot of Samsung’s sensible home equipment.

    Cosmetically, the SmartIssues has been given a pleasant improve: The hub is roughly the identical measurement and weight as earlier than, nevertheless it’s extra streamlined now: a clean, rounded sq. with much less of an industrial look. There’s a USB port on the again of the gadget, however this doesn’t seem to have any precise utility. Of bigger notice: This newest model doesn’t have a battery backup; maybe Samsung has concluded sensible residence isn’t of a lot use if the ability’s out anyway.

    Setting up a Samsung SmartIssues (2018) Hub

    While SmartIssues’ setup is essentially a tap-and-enter-passwords affair if you happen to’re ranging from scratch, upgrading from an older SmartIssues hub is a surprisingly not-simple matter. There is not any migration path, so that you’ll not solely want the brand new model of the SmartIssues app (extra on this later), you’ll have to reset and reconfigure all of your units from scratch.

    The new app is a key level to grasp right here, as a result of the brand new SmartIssues Hub just isn’t appropriate with the older model of the SmartIssues app. Whether you’re coming at this as a brand new consumer or have had your sensible residence arrange for years, you’ll want to start out contemporary. That makes it very arduous to suggest upgrading from a second-generation SmartIssues hub except you actually want that Wi-Fi connectivity choice.

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