Wink vs SmartThings: Which smart hub is better?

Smartthings vs wink

The Wink Hub 2 and Samsung SmartThings are two of the best known smart hubs available. These two options have appeal to different types of smart home users. The SmartThings is the clear winner when it comes to features, namely due to a unique battery backup feature and most critically by having the widest range of compatibility with smart home devices. The Wink Hub 2 is easy to use less sophisticated and feature-rich, but this is because it is aimed to be as easy to use as possible. This comparison does not feature a one size fits all winner given their different appeal.

The compatibility of smart home devices with your hub is the most important feature of a hub which can’t connect to your devices is useless. The trick here is to do your research to find a hub that can host your devices and any you plan to get in the future. This Wink vs SmartThings article will explain why you should get a smart hub and which one is best for you.

Also Read: Amazon Tap vs Amazon Echo


Wink 2 vs SmartThings Comparison Table

The Wink and SmartThings offer different appeal to different groups of users. The Wink Hub 2 is very simple to use and best for the less tech savvy or those who aren’t looking to get too technical with their smart home. The SmartThings is for the more technical and those looking to get stuck into home automation.


Feature Table

While there are a variety of hub products on the market, the Wink and SmartThings feature two of the most popular for the consumer market. Both devices are similar in capabilities, but they are not created equal.

Here we’ll review both products and give you an idea of their high points, low points, and best points.


FeaturesWink Hub 2Samsung SmartThings
Battery Backup✔️
CompatibilityiOS, Android,iOS, Android, Windows OS
Notifications✔️✔️
Automation✔️✔️
Devices130200
Video Linking✔️

Compatibility Table

The compatibility of smart home products is a vital component of smart hubs. Below we have summarised devices the compatibility of the Wink vs SmartThings.

smartthings and wing compatibility table


Wink Hub 2

Wink Hub 2

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The Wink Hub 2 is the second version of a smart home hub that was developed by the company with the everyday consumer in mind. It boasts a sleek design, enhanced connectivity, and firstrate security features.

The second version is slightly more compact than the first hub and has a more unique shape than most smart home hubs or speaker devices. The Hub 2 is pure white, weighs about half a pound, is slim and stands vertically, which makes it easy to blend into the background of most homes. There is a narrow light on the front of the device that allows a user to determine the status of the hub. When it is fully operational the light is blue, which contrasts nicely with the white casing

There are still some problems in this second-generation model including latency issues and connectivity hassles. However, the advances include the Ethernet port, Bluetooth connectivity and dual-band wi-fi compatibility, which still make it a valuable commodity on the market.

  • Sleek & simple white design
  • Slim & vertically standing
  • A few problems such as latency & connectivity exist

Benefits

The Wink Hub is a very straightforward yet functional smart hub to use. This next section will take you through the main benefits of the Hub 2. Also, you can control your Hub 2 and other smart devices with a Harmony smart remote.

Wink is easy to use

The Hub 2 setup takes just minutes and is a very easy to use tool for the less-tech-savvy homeowner who is looking to be part of the smart home movement. Simply plug it in, install the app on your smartphone and follow the directions.

Setup process to connect with smart home products has been simplified through the auto-discovery feature. Users can also quickly add smart home devices by scanning the barcodes in the app. This is one advantage of the Wink and SmartThings which will appeal to the less experienced crowd. 

  • Ease of use is the major benefit of the Hub 2
  • Simple setup
  • Auto-discovery of devices
  • Scan barcodes of product

Connection & Compatibility

Compatibility with other smart devices is the most critical feature of smart hubs. The connectivity options are what drives the compatibility as different devices work with different wireless protocols.

Devices

Wink Hub user connectivity options

The Wink Hub 2 is compatible with a wide range of devices and as you see, there is very little in it between the Wink and SmartThings when it comes to working with the best known brands.

Wi-fi connection supports 5 GHz and the Hub 2 also comes with a new ethernet port and a cable for connection.

Supports Bluetooth LE, ZigBee, Z-Wave, Kidde and Lutron Clear Connect, which is more than most protocol support than other hubs offer.

Control several brands of smart home products including those made by Nest, Philips, Ring, Ecobee, GoControl, Schlage, Sonos, Arlo, Yale and Chamberlain.

Works with Apple or Android smart devices. Users are able to control the Hub 2 from iOS, Apple Watch, Android and Android Wear devices. It also works with Alexa and IFTTT.

Through the IFTTT feature, the Hub 2 can be programmed to send you an alert either via email or SMS to let you know about changes in your home, such as the smoke alarm going off. It can also be used to create applets in the home such as the lights going on when you unlock the door.

Supports Stringify app.


Features & Support

The 512 MB of memory, coupled with a powerful processor can help the smart home function faster.

You can set schedules for each of your smart home products. Hub 2 also allows users to create robots, which are actually automated actions you can set up in the app.

The app offers video tutorials that guide users through connecting their individual devices.

Real-time monitoring.

High encryption offers peace of mind for security worries. It uses cryptographic verification hardware.


Drawbacks

Consumers need to watch the “Works with Wink” seal on device packaging to guarantee compatibility. If a smart home product does not have the seal, it is likely not going to work with Hub 2.

There are no USB ports.

Lacks a battery backup, though if your home loses power it’s unlikely your smart appliances will still work.

Does not support LIFX smart lighting devices.


Samsung SmartThings 

samsung smartthings

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Like Wink, Samsung now has two hub devices on the market. The discreet white, cube shape of SmartThings can be tucked out of sight in most homes. The latest version of the SmartThings Hub, which was released earlier this year, is more compact than its predecessor. It weighs less than half a pound and is more curved than the original.

On the device, there is a LED light that indicates its status as well as a power port and a reset button. Two USB ports allow for charging of devices and there is an Ethernet port on SmartThings too. It relies on 4 AA batteries, should the power fail.

While the first SmartThings Hub came with an Ethernet cable, the newer version is equipped with QSG, HSG and LAN cable.

The new version is also Wi-fi enabled but still uses the ethernet for connection.

The Samsung device has a unique battery backup mode to help you still work your devices when the power goes out. This is one of the distinct advantages of the SmartThings over the Hub 2.

  • Compact slim white
  • 2 USB ports & Ethernet Port
  • Battery backup mode

Benefits

SmartThings has placed itself as the serious smart homeowners go to hub thanks to having deeper features and more complex options.

Features & Support

The app allows users to configure their settings, has several modes and enables automation so that your smart home can run efficiently. Users are also able to create their own custom modes for their appliances. Overall, the depth of the features of the SmartThings and Hub 2 is greater. This makes sense as the Winks selling point is the ease of use, something which complex features would compromise. 

There is a strong developer community that can help you work out any kinks or glitches. They also have created a lot of workarounds that users can access to ensure their SmartThing connects well to smart home products.

The app features a live chat option.

Sends alerts from connected devices to a user’s phone.

With its video capability, you can get a live feed of your home, but there is a cost.


Connectivity & Compatibility

SmartThings is the most compatible smart hub you can get, in terms of devices and wireless protocols. If the product says “works with SmartThings” you’re good to go.

Devices

Smartthings user connectivity options

App can be used by iOS, Android and Window OS devices.

It is compatible with Z-Wave, ZigBee, and IFTTT, the biggest protocols on the market.

Can be used to automate devices such as turn the lights on when the door unlocks.

Connects with about 200 devices, which is more than the other top-selling hubs.

Wi-fi connectivity plus the wi-fi router includes mesh networking tech from Plume.

Compatible with both Alexa and Google Home.


Drawbacks

Takes longer than the Hub 2 to set up, but not by much. There is also an online video guide for new users to ease the process.

Users may struggle to understand the mobile app right away as the interface can be confusing. Generally, the use of the SmartThings against the Hub 2 is more complex, hence why this is better for the more experienced.  

  • Harder to set up
  • Relatively complex controls

Wink vs SmartThings Comparison

Depending on what users are looking for in their hub device, either the Hub 2 or SmartThings could do the job. They have a lot in common when it comes to functions, but there are some differences when it comes to ease of app interface.

Here are some of the main contrasts between the Wink vs Smartthings:

DifferencesWink Hub 2Samsung SmartThingsWinner 🏆
SizeTwice as big
Slim & tall dsign
Small squareSamsung SmartThings
Backup✔️Samsung SmartThings
Room Grouping✔️Samsung SmartThings
USB Ports & Bluetooth LE✔️Samsung SmartThings
Setting up with NestEasyDifficultWink Hub 2
Number of Devices130200Samsung SmartThings
Supported Protocols
Wi-Fi, Zigbee,
Z-Wave, Bluetooth LE, Kidde,Lutron Clear
Wi-Fi, Zigbee,
Z-Wave, 
Wink Hub 2
Certified Seal✔️Wink Hub 2
Professional Security Monitoring✔️Samsung SmartThings
Overall Score3🏆6🏆

When it comes down to features the SmartThings is the best hub you can buy. Our Best Smart Home Hub article has already stated this. The principal reason for this decision is the SmartThings very impressive wide range of compatibility. It trumps every other smart hub in this respect. Although it doesn’t have voice recognition and control, it can connect to devices such as the Amazon Echo to achieve this. The principal purpose of the smart hub is to bring together multiple languages into one system. That said it depends on what brands of smart devices you want to connect to your smart hub or what you plan to add to your smart home ecosystem.

When it comes to size, the Hub 2 is nearly twice as big as the SmartThings. It has been designed with a unique, tall, slim, standing look while the SmartThings is a small square. Smart home hubs don’t provide any aesthetic purpose or any function which makes them visible. The smaller the better. This is a device you want to be placed compactly into the corner alongside your router. That said, the size of the devices is a secondary factor in our minds when it comes to comparing the Wink and SmartThings.

SmartThings has a battery backup in case the power goes out whilst the Hub 2 does not. This is an unlikely scenario and if it was to happen the impact wouldn’t be too damaging. That said, it is a useful feature that is worth having.

The Samsung hub app allows products to be grouped together on a room by room basis, making it easier to manage whilst the Hub 2 does not offer users that feature. This does make the Wink app more simple to use although less precise.

SmartThings comes with USB ports and a Bluetooth LE, however, it is not able to connect via Bluetooth as of yet.

SmartThings is not as easy to connect with your Nest devices. While it can be done it is more of a manual process. This is a relatively minor issue as not everyone has the Nest and it can still be done on both.

Wink can connection to about 130 devices; the SmartThings supports 200 devices. This is the most important factor in our eyes as a smart hub that can’t connect to certain devices is limited. That said, all that matters is if your devices connect to it. For most people, Hub 2 will be good enough.

Wink has more protocols over the SmartThings but users still need to watch for the seal on smart home product packages.

If you are looking for professional security monitoring the Samsung device is the only one equipped with this feature, however, it is a paid service.


SmartThings vs Wink Final Word

The basic takeaway is that if you are just getting into the smart home market you’ll fare better with Wink Hub 2. For more advanced users or those who want their hub to be capable of more manipulation, the simplicity of the Hub 2 will leave you wanting. If your a hardcore home automation at heart then the SmartThings is for you. All in all, the Wink and SmartThings offer two devices which cater to different types of users. Technically, the SmartThings is the better device to have as you rsmart hub.

Rupert Pople

Rupert is the founder of this website and a smart home tech enthusiast fascinated by the power of connected devices. Within his Business Management (BSc) degree at the University of Nottingham, he studied the technological impact of the Internet of Things.

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