Shopping for a reliable smart home control system? Then you’ve probably come across popular names such as the Wink Hub and the Samsung SmartThings Hub.
In this article, I’ll present you with a comprehensive Wink Hub vs SmartThings Hub 3rd generation comparison to help you make the right decision for your own needs.
Wink Hub 2
The main idea of a smart home control system is to be able to connect and communicate with other smart devices around your house.
These smart devices use many languages for communication, so the best Hub systems are the ones that adopt a wide range of signals to cover as many devices as possible since there’s no set standard for all of them.
Fortunately, the Wink Hub 2 and the SmartThings Hub 3rd generation support major smart home communication protocols: Wi-Fi (2.4GHz), Z-Wave, and ZigBee frequencies.
This means that both Wink and SmartThings hubs can smoothly work with almost all smart devices around your house.
Since both Wink Hub 2 and SmartThings Hub 3rd generation support Wi-Fi (2.4GHz) frequency, they’re able to easily connect to your internet router at home.
Wink Hub 2 has an edge over SmartThings due to the fact that it supports Wi-Fi (5GHz) so you’re less likely to encounter issues when it comes to your wireless internet connection.
Besides Wi-Fi, both smart home control systems have an Ethernet port on the side, allowing them to connect to your router via a cable. This can come in handy at times when your Wi-Fi is down, unstable, or operating under heavy load.
As for the range and performance, the Wink Hub 2 vs SmartThings battle is pretty much even. Both products deliver an impressive execution in terms of stability and speed, given that your wireless internet connection is strong and fast enough.
Moreover, the range supported by the two smart hubs is almost identical, working at a range of 50 feet up to a little over 100 feet.
IFTTT, which stands for IF This Then That, is a web-based service used to trigger a certain action in one device as a result of some sort of event in another. It’s a very powerful concept that creates seemingly endless possibilities of interactions between smart devices.
Since the Wink Hub 2 and SmartThings Hub 3rd generation are systems aiming to control and coordinate the functions of smart tech devices and applications in your house, it only makes sense for them to support IFTTT.
Both hub systems allow you to use Amazon Alexa and Google Home, so you’ll get to control various functions and adjust the settings of devices around your house.
Through simple voice commands, you’ll be able to control things such as switches, lights, thermostats, and more.
Not only do the Wink Hub 2 and SmartThings Hub 3 support the same voice control services, but they’re also incompatible with the same services, specifically Microsoft Cortana and Apple HomeKit.
The first step to get both systems up and running is installation, which is a pretty similar and simple process in both Wink 2 and SmartThings 3. Start by plugging the hub into a power outlet then connect it to your router via Wi-Fi network or using an Ethernet cable (available in both hub systems).
From here, if you’re a Wink 2 user, you should see a blinking white light on the front that indicates the success of the automatic boot up. Now, all that’s left is for you to download the Wink app on your Android or iOS mobile device (more on that later) and follow the displayed in-app instructions to add the Wink 2 hub. Once an internet connection has been established, you’ll be able to add the Wink 2 on your account.
As for Samsung SmartThings 3rd generation, if everything is going fine with its initial setup and internet connection, you should see a solid green light (no blinking). Otherwise, you’ll need to observe the color of the LED light as well its behavior, then refer to the SmartThings support page to determine what the problem exactly is, since each color means a different issue or status.
Assuming that you see a solid green light, it’s now time for you to download the upgrades SmartThings app and follow the walkthrough for setting up your account, connecting the smart hub, as well as adding new devices.
Right from the first look, you’ll be able to notice a big difference in design between the Wink Hub 2 and the SmartThings 3rd generation.
While both hub systems weigh the same 0.5 pounds, their style and dimensions are nothing alike.
The Wink Hub 2 has a more modern sleek design, almost resembling a book so it can blend nicely in your library without sticking out too much and ruining your decor. It’s colored white so it won’t really attract unnecessary attention.
The SmartThings Hub also doesn’t do much to stand out in the room since it has the same basic white color. The design, however, is more on the traditional side with a cube-like shape.
As for the size, the Wink Hub 2 is pretty large compared to its competitor, with a footprint of 7.25″ × 7.25″ × 1.75″. This can be a major inconvenience if you’re short on space as it’ll be trickier to hide.
On the other hand, the SmartThings Hub 3rd generation offers a more compact design with dimensions 5.0″ × 5.0″ × 1.2″, making it easier for you to conceal the device and maintain your preferred aesthetics.
I’ve already mentioned that both hub systems have an Ethernet port located on one edge of the device. Next to this port, you can also find the power port where the electricity cable connects to the hub.
That’s all the wired connectivity you’ll be getting from the Wink hub 2, but with the SmartThings hub there’s something extra: a port that supports USB connections.
This gives Samsung a bit of an edge over Wink, but so far, it’s only a “bit”. That’s because this port was added as part of a future plan to expand the connectivity options for SmartThings hub 3rd generation, which is yet to be done.
Such a promise was also made for the SmartThings 2nd generation where the company added USB ports, but the hub ended up powering low voltage USB devices without any data transmission capabilities.
Up until the date of this article, the USB sockets on the SmartThings hub 3rd generation function exactly the same as the 2nd generation so you can’t add other devices such as network printers and external storage units. But hopefully, you’ll be able to actually take advantage of the full benefits a USB port can provide very soon.
It may seem kind of disappointing, however, at least the SmartThings hub has the port to allow for some possibility in the future. You can’t say the same for Wink hub 2.
App User Interface
Both systems do provide a mobile app that you can use to control the hub either on the spot or by setting up conditions and triggers. However, while the idea is essentially the same in the two devices, the execution isn’t quite as good.
The Wink app has been for some time and therefore main issues with it has been already fixed. The app is highly intuitive and versatile, offering multiple ways for you to create commands and automate tasks. You get to use Robots, Schedules, and Shortcuts.
This doesn’t necessarily mean it doesn’t work, but it just needs some extra work to make run it really smooth. With the SmartThings app, you can create a Scene consisting of several conditions in one go, each one triggering the next. It’s all actually very cool, but a mix up could potentially cause disastrous chain reactions.
Number of Devices
The SmartThings hub 3rd generation can technically connect to an infinite number of smart devices on its network, which obviously sounds a lot more promising than supporting 530 devices as with the Wink Hub 2.
That being said, it’s important for you to understand the full picture here. The more devices connected to your hub system networks, the higher the chance that you’ll experience a drop in stability and performance.
So if you’re talking about a couple of hundreds of devices, it’s not going to be smooth. Also, let’s face it, it’s not exactly common for houses to have so many smart devices!
Location availability is a major plus for Wink and here’s the reason. While Wink Hub 2 works in most countries worldwide, the SmartThings hub 3rd generation doesn’t work outside of the United States. Some users are able to get around this by applying a US VPN, but it can be very unreliable and complicated for an average customer.
I did not found any reliable answer why Samsung being a global company has restrictions for regional availability of its hub.
Upgrade Transfer Function
If you already own a smart home control system from Wink or SmartThings, chances are you’re going to want to transfer your current settings to your corresponding upgraded version of the hub.
This is actually a function that you’re able to activate for the Wink Hub 2 thanks to the Hub-To-Hub 2 transfer process which is very easy to complete by following the simple instruction pop-ups in the Wink app.
Unfortunately, this convenience isn’t available for SmartThings hub, which means you’ll need to register all of your devices once again in your upgraded version.
After-sale support is one of the most valuable outlets for any hub user to get answers for their questions and receive help for any pending issue. The quality of such support is pretty average if you get it directly from either company, no edge here.
However, the community surrounding Samsung SmartThings hub is significantly bigger and stronger than Wink. This means that if you need help with a certain question, your chances of getting a quick helpful answer on a SmartThings online forum are much better.
Wink Hub v1
Since not every person needs the same number or range of features, you may want to consider the older version of the Wink hub. It also helps if you want to save a few bucks but still receive a similar “premium” experience.
The Wink hub v1 does a great job connecting to your smart house devices as it supports major frequencies including Z-Wave, ZigBee, Kidde, and Clear Connect. However, there’s no Bluetooth LE support, but not many people actually use it in the first place.
It can also connect to your router via Wi-Fi (2.4GHz), so you should encounter almost no issue syncing the device with your existing network. The Wink hub v1 lacks the Ethernet port added in the Wink hub 2, so if you’re not one for dealing with cables, this version may be a better choice.
Design is another area where you can see the difference between Wink hub 1 old school style and the sleeker Wink hub 2. The first is definitely bulkier and heavier while the 2nd is thinner, although both versions are still tricky to disguise.
The last point worth mentioning here is the memory size. The Wink hub v1 offers 64 Mb of memory, while the Wink hub v2 has double the capacity with 128 Mb. Again, your house can be perfectly fine with the smaller version if you don’t need to save a lot of settings.
SmartThings Hub v2
Comparing between the SmartThings hub 2 and 3, it’s clear that battery backup is one area where the 2nd generation hub comes out on top.
While both SmartThings hub 2nd generation and SmartThings Hub 3rd generation can continue with their functions even after disconnecting from your router’s Wi-Fi network, what happens when there’s a power outage is a different story.
Only Samsung’s SmartThings hub 2nd generation will be able to stay working thanks to its battery backup feature that offers up to 2 hours of continuous operation under the settings and automation saved in the internal storage. This is particularly handy if you experience frequent power outages.
Another aspect with a major difference between SmartThings hub v2 and SmartThings hub v3 is router connectivity.
The 2nd generation version doesn’t support Wi-Fi connectivity, which means that you must have a cable to connect to the Ethernet port. I could see this being an advantage for people with notoriously unstable Wi-Fi.
Which hub should you get?
The truth is that both devices offer great control for any smart home. But if I had to pick one winner, it’d probably be the Wink hub 2. It has the edge when it comes to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity support with a more modern design, and it is well-built. In overall it is a great value for money.
Who should get the Wink Hub 2?
If you’re looking for a smart home control system packing a lot of features and you really don’t mind to splurge a bit on it, then you may want to consider the Wink hub 2.
It’s a true upgrade from the previous Wink hub 1 version, where you get Wi-Fi support, better connectivity, and extra security features. The app has added changes to make your experience faster and smoother, while the design is much sleeker.
Not to mention, the Wink hub 2 is seemingly your only choice if you live outside of the United States.
Who should get the SmartThings hub 3rd generation?
I’d highly recommend the SmartThings hub 3rd generation for anybody looking for an affordable smart home control system, or just want to test the waters before making a more expensive commitment. This device is almost half the price of the Wink hub 2, and it performs almost as well when it comes to connectivity.
Being smaller in size also makes it a nice option for users who don’t want such a device to stand out in a room.
If you’re shopping for a smart home control hub and your journey has come down to the Wink hub 2 vs SmartThings hub 3rd generation, it can get pretty confusing trying to decide so hopefully this article can help you make up your mind.
The Wink Hub v2 came out on top today, thanks to its wider range of connectivity and worldwide application. It also includes features for security as well as an overall smoother and very intuitive app interface.