Smart home hubs are the lifeblood of any fully connected home. These devices act as a “translator” between protocols. For example, if a device that uses only Zigbee needs to communicate with a device that uses only Z-Wave, then a smart home hub can be used as an intermediary between the two. Smart home hubs have two main names: Samsung SmartThings and Wink.
It can be difficult to choose between each one. Here’s a breakdown to help you make a decision.
SmartThings vs. Wink
There are a few differences between them, but at first glance, both smart home hubs have many similar features:
|4.9 ? x 4.2 ? x 1.3 ?|
|Wi-Fi and wired Ethernet||Wi-Fi and wired Ethernet|
|10 hours of battery life||No batteries|
|Alexa, Google||Alexa, Google|
|$ 65 (Amazon||$ 155 (Amazon|
Please note one important fact: prices are not 100% accurate. Although Samsung SmartThings is sometimes purchased separately, the Wink Home Hub is usually included in a $ 200 starter kit that includes motion detectors, sirens and beeps, as well as door and window sensors.
There are also two versions of Wink (version 1 and version 2.). This comparison only focuses on version 2, the most recent iteration of the Hub.
When viewed purely inch by inch, SmartThings is smaller and sleeker than the Wink. Smart home technology has gotten pretty aesthetically pleasing, but the classic boxy look of techno boxes that both SmartThings and Wink describe doesn’t really look good.
While many smart home devices blend harmoniously with dÃ©cor, both of these centers will stand out. If you don’t want your hub to be seen around the world, then SmartThings is probably the best choice.
Both the SmartThings Hub and the Wink Hub can connect via Wi-Fi and Ethernet. However, it is a kind of standard solution for smart home technology. The vast majority of devices connect via Wi-Fi, but the hub itself must be connected via Ethernet. The reason is simple.
As an intermediary between multiple devices, the hub must be online and broadcast continuously. A Wi-Fi connected hub creates a point of failure that can lead to connectivity issues between devices.
Anyone who has ever tried troubleshooting technology issues knows that fewer variables are better, so whichever hub you choose, be sure to leave room for it in your router.
Wink doesn’t have a battery, but SmartThings does. This makes it interesting and safe in the event of power loss. You may be wondering why the smart hub has a battery; after all, if the power goes out, there is hardly any Wi-Fi. The reason is security.
Samsung makes several security devices that connect via Bluetooth, so even if you don’t have Wi-Fi, as long as the device and hub are powered, they remain functional. Devices such as SmartThings Arrival Sensor, SmartThings Water Leak Sensor, and other home security and prevention devices can be most helpful during periods of power outages.
By comparison, the SmartThings Hub is the best choice for everything with a battery backup.
Both SmartThings Hub and Wink Hub connect to and can be controlled by Amazon Alexa and Google Home. Other voice control devices such as Siri (via HomePod) and Sonos are not yet supported, although select select Samsung products may be compatible via SmartThings Lab.
Any device released these days is expected to be voice-controlled, as are both major smart home hubs. The choice is up to you.
For many, one of the main factors of influence will be the price. While the hub itself costs less from Samsung, it would be unfair to rate two based solely on that one factor. Instead, take a look at the packages that SmartThings and Wink offer.
The SmartThings Home Monitoring Kit costs $ 142.00 and includes the following:
- 1 SmartThings Hub
- 2 Multi-Purpose SmartThings Sensors
- 1 SmartThings Motion Sensor
- 1 SmartThings store
All in all, this is a good value – and a good way for a newcomer to smart home technology to start decorating their home. Smart plugs can turn even dumb appliances into things that you can control from your phone.
Multipurpose sensors can be used to automatically turn on lights when doors are opened, warn when windows are open, and more. SmartThings motion sensor can also be used to turn on lights when motion is detected, or as a subtle home security tool that alerts you if it detects unexpected movement.
The $ 199 Wink Lookout Smart Security Starter Kit contains more security-focused tools than the SmartThings Starter Kit:
- 1 Wink Hub 2
- 2 door / window sensors
- 1 siren / bell
- 1 motion sensor
Accessories are very valuable in the Wink starter kit, but they are geared more towards home security than home automation. Wink can do both, but buyers interested in connecting smart home technologies may not see so much value in the Wink starter kit. The bell / siren block is an interesting addition; when triggered, it will chirp or turn on a siren to warn household members.
Of the two, we find great value in the SmartThings Home Monitoring Kit. It can be used for both home security and home automation, and it contains the same number of add-on products as the Wink Lookout Smart Security Kit for a lower price.
SmartThings vs Wink: Which is Better?
Both smart home hubs are capable of driving smart home technology, but there is one criterion that we haven’t touched on: the number of devices each can control. According to Samsung’s FAQ page, SmartThings Hub can manage 232 devices – or 231 since the hub itself is technically considered part of the network.
Wink Hub can manage over 400 devices. While Wink is the clear winner in this category, you have to ask yourself: how many smart home devices do you have? Will you ever get to the point where this criterion becomes relevant?
Ultimately, choosing a hub is a matter of personal preference, but we recommend SmartThings Hub. Samsung is a company with a long-standing reputation for quality, the starter kit is more cost-effective, and the inclusion of a fail-safe battery makes it more reliable in our book.
On top of that, SmartThings devices look more aesthetically pleasing than Wink devices.