Your smart home journey can start with something as simple as buying some smart light bulbs and changing the atmosphere of a room and going to a point where you can control everything in your house without physically interacting with anything. Choosing between hundreds of products and figuring out the right ecosystem can quickly become very confusing. Samsung hopes to ease that confusion by providing an outstanding control point for all your smart home products with Samsung SmartThings. Here is everything you need to know!
What is Samsung SmartThings?
Samsung SmartThings is actually a broad, all-encompassing brand that covers both hardware and software. The SmartThings system's biggest selling point is Samsung's effort to provide a single, unified control point for all your smart home devices. It does so with not only its own devices, but by supporting an impressive number of third-party products that can all be handled with the SmartThings app. Samsung also makes it very easy to sort and find the best smart devices for you.
Best Samsung SmartThings Devices
Samsung has a lot of devices offered under the SmartThings brand, but SmartThings largest selling point is its compatibility with a lot of third-party products. Apart from the fact that you will not be locked in a single ecosystem, this broad compatibility means you will not have a hard time trying to find devices that fit your needs.
There are over 350 products currently listed as "Works with SmartThings." These include everything from smart lights and switches, security cameras, door clocks, outlets, door locks, thermostats and speakers, to smoking and carbon monoxide detectors, water valve controls, valves, garage doors, irrigation systems and so much more. There are too many really good options to list them all, but here are some of our favorites.
Samsung SmartThings Hub and SmartThing Wi-Fi
Samsung SmartThings Hub is now in its third iteration and serves as the basis for the smart home system you build. This is also the only device that is crucial for you to build a Samsung SmartThings system. It connects wirelessly to all your smart home devices and lets you monitor and control them with a single app. The hub needs an active internet connection to work.
If you do not want to deal with the inconveniences of a separate hub and Wi-Fi router, you have Samsung covered with the appropriate name Samsung SmartThings Wi-Fi. This is an AC1300 network Wi-Fi router that doubles as a hub. A single router provides coverage for an area of 1500 square meters, but you can add more for larger homes.
The Samsung SmartThings Hub puts you back at $ 67.99 while a single SmartThings Wi-Fi router costs $ 117.99. You can also download a three-pack Wi-Fi router to $ 249.94.
See also: The best smart hubs you can buy
Best Samsung SmartThings sensors
There are some different types of Samsung SmartThings sensors that Samsung has access to help you get started on your home automation trip.
Samsung SmartThings Multipurpose Sensor is an all-in-one sensor that can detect vibration, orientation, tilt, temperature and when something is opened and closed. You can place it on doors, drawers, windows, cabinets and more. That it feels vibration makes it possible for the sensor to distinguish between when a door is opened and if there is a blow on the door. You can set alerts for all these activities and anything else you can come to.
The use of the Samsung SmartThings Motion Sensor is self-explanatory. You can set it to get alerts if there is any unexpected movement in your house or in a particular room. Keep children out of bounds, and make sure that something does not happen when nobody is home. You can also connect it to smart lights to make them turn on or off when it's moving.
Philips Hue smart lights
Philips Hue is probably the best choice for anyone who wants to enter the smart lighting game. A hub is required, but that's what Samsung SmartThings hub is for. The wide range of lamps that Philips has to offer can all be controlled by the SmartThings app. If you have a smart speaker, these lights can also be controlled using the Google homepage and Amazon Echo devices.
When you look at purchase options, you do not need to get the starter kit, because the Hue Bridge will not be necessary. A package of four white light bulbs puts you back at $ 40.99, but if you want to add some color to your life, a smart light bulb (with 16 million colors) is priced at $ 37.
If you're a fan of Amazon Echo, you'll love to learn Ecobee4's Alexa built-in for easy integration into your smart home. More importantly, in this case, it is compatible with the Samsung Smart Things. The thermostat includes a room sensor (and you can buy more) that allows you to control and prioritize which rooms need heating or cooling. You can control everything with the SmartThings app, even if you're not at home. The Ecobee4 thermostat is priced at $ 198.99.
Schlage Connect Doorlock
Better home protection is one of the best reasons to invest in smart home products and Schlage Connect door lock is a great place to start. You can lock or unlock the door remotely with a smartphone and SmartThings app. You can also set who can or cannot use that door by providing access codes that can be entered via the touch screen. Schlage Connect door lock costs $ 199.99.
Ring Video Doorbell Pro
Along with a smart lock is another way to strengthen your smart home security with a video doorbell. Leading the way is Ringe Video Doorbell Pro. It lets you see, hear and talk to someone who pops up at your door using your smartphone, tablet or even a smart TV. It supports up to 1080p video and provides crystal clear video at night as well. The Ring Video Doorbell Pro is priced at $ 249.
Arlo Pro 2 Wireless Security Cameras
The final product to help cover most of your home security needs is Arlo Pro 2 camera. These wireless cameras are designed to work both inside and outside your house and have night vision and two-way sound that lets you scare off intruders. You can watch video streams directly and access up to three days of recordings. Two Arlo Pro 2 cameras are priced at $ 349.99, but you can take advantage of significant discounts with larger multi-camera bundles.
You may have noticed that many of the smart devices mentioned above offer voice control via Alexa or Google Assistant. While Google is doing a good job of catching up with Amazon, the number of Alexa-supported devices is incredible and includes everything so far mentioned. It is not the best speaker in the world when it comes to sound, but it will get the job done. If you want to get some type of voice control with your SmartThings system, Amazon Amazon is a great way to do it.
Getting Started with Samsung SmartThings
Samsung introduced the SmartThings app last year, consolidating over 40 of Samsung's various smart homes and smart apps into one. In addition to controlling your SmartThings products, you can also manage other devices such as Smart TV, smart refrigerators, smart tiles and all other smart products that Samsung offers today.
The SmartThings app has improved a lot since it was first released and is much more skillful now. If you are new to the SmartThings world, I recommend that you learn to get to know the new app from the beginning. But if you have used SmartThings for a while, you probably have everything that is already listed with the SmartThings Classic app. It's okay to keep using the older app in this case. In fact, the Classic app still has some features that haven't transferred it to the new app yet.
For the guides below, we will look at the new SmartThings app first. Once you've downloaded the app from the Google Play Store, you'll need to sign in with a Samsung account. If you have a Samsung smartphone, smart TV or other smart devices from the company, you should already have an account. If not, all you need is an email address and a password to create one.
Configuring Samsung SmartThings Hub
- Connect the hub to the Wi-Fi router using the supplied Ethernet cable. If you get the new 3rd generation hub, you can also connect wirelessly to the router. This step will not be necessary if you get SmartThings Wi-Fi.
- Launch the app and tap the large plus icon (Add device button) to get started. You will see a list of compatible Samsung devices and another section that includes third-party brands.
- In the Samsung section, tap "Wi-Fi / Hub".
- A list of hubs will appear. Touch your device type and follow the on-screen instructions.
Adding a device
- Connect and attach the smart devices you want to connect to the SmartThings hub.
- Launch the app and tap the big plus icon (Add device button).
- You can press the "Auto detect" button to let the app quickly find compatible devices. Keep in mind that this does not always work as expected. Before the app gets the necessary software improvements, the manual path can be the better way to go.
- On the device's page, find the brand of your product and tap it. For example, to connect the ring video clock, press "Call", then press "Door Clock" and follow the instructions on the screen.
- Rinse and repeat for all the smart products you want to add.
Voice control setting
- Amazon Alexa – Samsung SmartThings is completely compatible with Alexa and is the reason why we recommend that you get an Echo device for voice control. All you have to do is go to Alexas Skills Store, look for SmartThings and activate it. Then go to the Smart Home screen in the Alexa app and tap Discover, which shows all devices that can be controlled with Alexa.
- Google Assistant – You can use Google Assistant via your smartphone or on Google Home. In the Google homepage, go to Home Control -> Devices, press the plus sign at the bottom right and tap SmartThings. Log in to your Samsung account and tap Authorize.
Setting scenes and automation
- Start the app and open the hamburger menu (three horizontal lines on the left side). Press the relevant section and follow the on-screen instructions.
- Scenes – Scenes let you configure multiple devices to work with a single button on your phone or voice command. For example, you can create a scene where all the lights and your smart TV light up in the living room.
- Automation – Automation takes the stage with scenes one step further. This allows you to create "about this then" scenarios. So, with a motion sensor on a bedroom door, you can have the lights turn on automatically in the room each time the door is open. You can set conditions based on time, device status, user location, and more.
Configure SmartApps (SmartThings Classic app)
- Launch the SmartThings Classic app. You must sign in with your Samsung account if you have not already done so.
- Navigation to the Automation tab to access routines (same as Automation in the new app) and SmartApps.
- SmartApps – Routines can be difficult and confusing to create if you are a beginner. This is where SmartApps turns out to be a great help. These are common tasks that smart devices can handle that you can activate with a crane. A good example is "Ready for Rain", which warns you if doors and windows are open if there is bad weather on the road.
- If you assume you have the right sensors, there are several SmartApps options created by SmartThings and third-party developers. Go to the SmartApps section, find the devices you have, and you can find all the SmartApps available to it.
Is Samsung SmartThings for me?
Unfortunately, SmartThings is not for everyone. Samsung has done a good job of trying to simplify the installation process so that everyone can do it. However, some technical know-how is recommended, especially when (not if) you have to troubleshoot problems. As much as the final result is – having multiple devices perform different functions with one touch of a button – setting everything can be a long and boring process. The SmartThings app is also not perfect, and there are a lot of bugs and glitches that need to be solved.
But smart homes seem to be the next big thing, at least in the technology bubble we live in. Samsung SmartThings certainly has a leg up in this space, thanks to the incredible support available to third-party smart devices. If "smart everything" really is the future, SmartThings offers a great way to get there.