Review : SmartThings Hub V2

We’ve been receiving tons of enquiry on whether we have tested Samsung SmartThings and if it is available in Singapore. Here we are, with a SmartThings Hub v2 in our hands. Here are some unboxing pictures. We expected nothing less (or more) from Samsung:

SmartThings 1SmartThings 2

SmartThings 4

 

SmartThings 3SmartThings 5SmartThings 6SmartThings 8

The Hub requires wired Ethernet and power connections. Plugging the Hub into your Ethernet router and a wall outlet should be one of the first steps of your SmartThings experience. The Ethernet connection lets the Hub communicate with the SmartThings app, the SmartThings cloud, and supported devices that rely on IP or cloud-to-cloud connections instead of ZigBee or Z-Wave.

This UK version Hub contains a ZigBee radio (2.4 GHz) and a Z-Wave radio (868 MHz). The Hub is said also future-ready to support Bluetooth (which means not really supported yet).

Also, to set the groundwork for future expansion, Hub v2 includes two USB ports. We hope that we can plug in some RF dongle to control other than Z-Wave and ZigBee devices.

For the fun of it, we got it to take a group picture with the 2 most popular Z-Wave gateway in Singapore.

SmartThings 7

So here’s how does the app look like:

SmartThings App 1 SmartThings App 2 SmartThings App 3 SmartThings App 4 SmartThings App 5 SmartThings App 6

One of the first few things we noticed are the marketplace. The marketplace allows users to add SmartApps to your system, similar to Vera’s and Fibaro’s plugin store. It also allows you to download, community developed plugins to control other IP devices like Sonos and IP camera.

SmartThings App 7 SmartThings App 11 SmartThings App 10 SmartThings App 8 SmartThings App 9 SmartThings App 13 SmartThings App 14 SmartThings App 15 SmartThings App 17SmartThings App 16

The “Things” that SmartThings can support ranges from light bulbs, cameras, speakers, switches/dimmers and sensors. Despite only listing Aeon Labs Z-Wave devices as compatible, we tested it with Popp Wall Plug, Fibaro relay and MCO Home switch and controlled them without any issues. One thing to note is that for multichannel devices (i.e Fibaro 2*1.5kw relay), you will need to make some custom configuration to make it work.

We also tested the SmartThings hub with Sonos, installed a Smart App and made it such that if you turn on a Z-Wave switch, Sonos will play a certain radio channel. IFTTT seems very simple to setup, just that we don’t really buy the idea of having simple logic stored in the cloud.

Summary

Recommended for beginners who wants to quickly setup for off the shelf, plug and play IoT devices. All the setup can be made with the SmartThings app unlike the other gateways. However, this is also the limitation it places on Z-Wave devices that require users to change parameters to suit their needs. We have not found a straightforward way to change parameters of devices, so the Z-Wave devices are all running on default parameters. The constantly growing SmartApps library offers a wealth of options that let you find new ways to have your home automation devices work in harmony.

We know that there is a lot of commonly used Z-Wave and IP devices and we look forward to continue testing them with SmartThings.

Domotics

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