Wink Vs SmartThings: Battle Of The Hubs

Smart homes rely on a central hub to connect their smart devices online. We’re going to be taking an in-depth look at why these two smart hubs are the best on the market.

Smart Hubs

Challenger #1 

Wink Hub 2

The second-generation Wink is found in thousands of homes, but how will it hold it up?

Wink Hub 2

What We Use At Home

SmartThings 2

I brought this model a few years ago, due to the power. Will I be upgrading?

SmartThings-Hub-2

Challenger #2

SmartThings 3

This is Samsungs 3rd generation smart hub. But is it worth the upgrade?

SmartThings-3

What We Use At Home

SmartThings-Hub-2

I personally already own the 2nd gen SmartThings hub which, performs excellently and is more than capable of powering any smart home.

The SmartThings 2 enables you to control a wide range of devices, using the nicely designed App.

The device has two USB ports along with an Ethernet port at the rear, which is used to connect your hub online. 

Teach your house new tricks using Alexa voice control functions.

If the power goes out, you have a backup battery pack with four AA batteries. 

The Hub can use Z-wave and Zigbee protocols, operating at a range of 50-130 ft.

Because you plug the smart hub directly into the router, you rarely encounter loss of connection.

The SmartThings Hub 2 uses a 1GHz ARM Cortex-A7, 256MB DDR RAM, and 4GB FLASH Setup to provide seamless IFTTT actions.

Key Features

  • IFTTT compatible
  • Two USB ports
  • Supports over 200 smart devices
  • Supported with Z-Wave and Zigbee
  • Real-time monitoring
  • Alexa voice integration
  • Battery Back-up
  • 50-130 ft range

How it Served Me

Since I purchased the SmartThings Hub its performed amazingly, I’ve experienced a couple of lost connections but, nothing to shout about.

It can be tricky to set up the actions, especially if you’re a novice, but as you work your way around the app, it becomes easier to set up operations.

There’s a wide range of compatible devices, so you very rarely have trouble finding the right accessories. The SmartThing community is always eager and constructive to help you find the right solution.

Once you get used to the app, it’s nicely designed, enabling multiple IFTTT functions at the touch of your fingertips. Lastly, the security functions are the top of the range.

What We Liked

  • Two USB ports
  • Powerful app
  • 256MB DDR RAM
  • Battery Back-up

What We Didn’t Like

  • No wireless capabilities
  • Only Supports Zigbee & Z-wave

Wink Hub 2 vs. SmartThings Hub 3

It’s a question I hear all the time from people thinking about starting a smart home. But the answer isn’t as simple as the question.

To help you make your decision, I’m going to give you an in-depth look at smart home hubs to see which one will come out on top. So, which one will win in the SmartThings vs. Wink hub 2 smart home battle?

Before we get started with the comparison, I think it’s important we know a little bit more about each smart hub.

Let’s start with the Wink 2 hub:

 SmartThings 2Wink 2SmartThings 3
Drive1GHz
ARM Cortex-A7
N/A528 MHz ARM
Cortex
DevicesUnlimted400230
ConnectionEthernetEthernet &
Wireless
Ethernet &
Wireless
Memory512MB
DDR3 RAM
512Mb256MB
DDR RAM
Size (Inches)4.9″ x 4.2″ x 1.3″“7.3” x 7.3″
x 1.25″
5″ x 5″ x 1.2″
ProtocolsZ-Wave,
Bluetooth,
and
Zigbee
Bluetooth LE,
Z-Wave,
Kidde,
Zigbee, and
more
Z-Wave, Bluetooth,
and Zigbee
Battery
Back-up
YesNoNo
Live Video
Linking
YesNoYes
IFTTTYesYesYes
BuyFind Best PriceFind Best PriceFind Best Price

Wink Hub 2

The pure white Wink hub 2 looks beautiful at all times of the day. 

In the morning, you have a sleek self-standing unit that suits any home, while at night, it casts a gorgeous blue light.

Their wink 2 hub is slimmer than the original version, yet still enables users to connect all their smart home devices without any issues.

Add that to the Wink Hub 2’s integration with IFTTT (If This Then That). 

This allows you to trigger actions based around other devices; you can unlock the door and turn the lights on at the press of a button.

The new Wink Hub 2 features a nearly added Ethernet port; this enables you to hardwire the device to the router. 

This gives you far more options than the original version.

If you have a terrible Wi-Fi connection, then wiring your Wink Hub to the router is a great option.Users can also set up scenes based on their location or the time of the day.

Key Features

  • Alexa voice integration
  • Google home integration
  • Supports 130 smart devices
  • Supported with Bluetooth LE, Z-Wave, Kidde, Zigbee and more
  • Real-time monitoring
  • IFTTT compatible
  • Simple enough for beginners
  • Wired Ethernet and Wi-Fi connectivity (2.4 Ghz, 5 Ghz)

What Other People Say

It worked far better than the original Wink; it was faster and loaded without delay. Users also thought the setup was simple enough for a novice to set up without any issues.

And the integration to Alexa was just as easy. The trouble was devices struggles to stay connected at a distance.

Another issue people had with the Wink hub was the new Schlage Connect Deadbolt wasn’t fully compatible.

You could open and close the lock, but the user codes didn’t function (definitely an area they need to improve). They did regain some love with the excellent app.

Things We Like

It only took a few minutes to set up, and the thin white design is very sleek to look at. The Wink hub is compatible with multiple protocols, including Z-wave and ZigBee. It even works with some of the less popular networks.

Paring your smart devices couldn’t more accessible. The smart home hub allows you to pair your devices using the App; Simply press the button and follow the video tutorial. If you’re not using the Wink App, all you have to do is push the pairing button until light flashes twice.

We liked how the Wink App worked; it had a simple design that functioned well. And with the IFTTT integration, it enabled you to set off a chain of events to suit your needs.

Things We Don't Like

The wink hub 2 no USB ports within the unit, which means users can’t add additional devices wired devices to your smart home.

And although Wink Hub 2 boasts of being compatible with over 130 devices, you can still run into trouble. Some of your old devices may not be suitable unless it clearly states to be a Wink compatible device. This can lead to nightmares and empty wallets if they can’t sync up with your Wink hub.

Finally, although the Wink App was very nicely presented and had some neat functions, overall, it was buggy compared to other systems. And at times, lost connection or the pairing timed out.

Requirements

  • Wi-Fi connection with 2.4GHz router
  • Wink App
  • Apple or Android device
  • Alexa (optional)

Final Verdict

It’s a great addition to the newbie; the simple design and the easy to install features make it an excellent place for the beginner to start. Even for smart home veterans, the Wink Hub 2 has enough power to automate your house.

Since the original Wink Hub, the second-gen has since seen several improvements, the sleek design is more capable and has better features. And more importantly, the security has been dramatically improved since the Wink was first released.

And finally, the Wink app smashes all competition out of the park, is usability is unrelieved. If you have the original Wink hub, it’s defiantly worth the upgrade!

What We Liked

  • Easy to set up
  • Functional App
  • Auto discovery
  • IFTTT & Alexa

What We Didn’t Like

  • No USB ports
  • Expensive
  • No LIFX
  • Slow response time

Samsung SmartThings 3

The slim SmartThings hub might no look noticeably smaller, even though it is. 

But, one noticeably smaller thing is the price.

Unlike the previous SmartThings model, you can connect Wirelessly to control 200 smart home devices at the touch of a button.

It may lack the original battery pack, but each device is connectable between 50-130 ft, It depends on the layout of your house.

Their smart home hub provides you with large scale third party integration and gadget support from over 40+ brands.

Make your life easier by teaching your SmartThings hub your daily routine. You can have your coffee machine connected to your alarm; the possibilities are endless. 

To make your life easier, you can set up voice controls to enables you to command your devices using Alexa and Google Assistant.

You can also receive 24/7 monitoring alerts via the SmartThings App. If there’s any unexpected activity, you’ll know about it.

Key Features

  • 50-130 ft range (depends on your house)
  • Supports 200 devices
  • IFTTT compatible
  • New Smartphone App to setup (you can continue to use the old one once the setup is complete)
  • Alexa & Google Assistant
  • 1 USB port
  • Video linking
  • Supported with Z-Wave, Zigbee 3.0, Cloud-to-Cloud and more

What Other People Say

The SmartThings hub worked great for most people, although it was harder to set up then the wink. The added Wi-Fi capabilities are a great addition.

It made controlling their devices more comfortable. But the new SmartThings App let them down. It was unreliable and missing features from the old APP.

Once set up, the SmartThings hub is more than capable of powering the users’ entire house with plenty of devices, but it does feel more like a downgrading version rather than an update.

Overall they thought it functioned well but hated the SmartThings App; luckily, after installation, you can still your the old app.

Things We Like

The Wi-Fi compatibility made installing the smart home hub to all of it’s of devices, with my second gen I have to manually connect each device. It also works with Zigbee and Z-wave devices.

It was also nice to see that all the previous SmartThings devices worked with both Smart hubs; it could end up saving you a lot of money.

With the amount of device the SmartThings hub can control and the IFTTT compatibility you can now automate more devices than most of the other Smart hubs.

Things We Don't Like

Some of the aspects around the 3rd gen SmartThings have improved but on others they have removed previous features. This includes the back-up battery back, which means none of you devices work if the power goes.

Although this isn’t to much of a problem if all your devices are hardwired; none of them would be working anyway. The downside to it is that means no smart home monitor security.

And that’s not the only downside, inside the SmartThings hub you’ll find a 528 MHz ARM Cortex-A7 processor (half the size of the V2’s 1GHz ARM Cortex-A9 processor).

Requirements 

  • Wi-Fi connection with 2.4GHz router
  • Samsung's SmartThings App
  • Apple or Android device
  • Alexa/Google Assistant (optional)

Final Verdict

The SmartThings 3rd Gen is still a powerful piece of kit, even with the reduction in processor speed and RAM. This just means you cannot control as many devices, but 200+ is more than enough.

The loss of the battery pack doesn’t seem like an issue to me. Although it does help when if there’s a power cut, if you don’t have a key back-up, you might be stuck outside until the power comes back on.

And the Wi-Fi Addition is a nice touch, which makes it easier to set up and control all of your devices. But, overall, it’s not worth upgrading to the newer unit unless you have to. The benefits don’t warrant the purchase or the time we configuring.

What We Liked

  • Great Price
  • Highly compatible
  • Allows live feeding
  • Quick response time for alerts

What We Didn’t Like

  • No worldwide coverage
  • Loss of battery
  • Half the processor power
  • The new app has a lot of teething problems

Wink Vs SmartThings Comparison

Now we know a little bit about each smart home hub it’s time to get to the Wink Vs SmartThings comparison on.

We’ll let you know exactly what the differences/similarities are, and what that means for you.

Let’s get started:

What’s Similar?

The similarities don’t stop with the white color. Both devices can use Wi-Fi, which is an upgrade for the SmartThings hub.

Both devices can also integrate with If This Then That (IFTTT), giving you more exceptional smart home capabilities.

IFTTT is a powerful App that opens a wide range of opportunities. 

Wink hub 2 on a shelf

Imagine walking up to your door, and as you press the button to let you in, the lights turn on. Or maybe your morning alarm goes, which triggers your shower to start running.

Both hubs support the popular ZigBee and Z-wave protocols, so if you’re using either of these systems, you’ll be okay with either hub.

They can be integrated with voice control units; they both support Google Home and Alexa. This enables you to control your devices with the sound of your voice. I’ve personally used mine to turn off lights, lock the door, and adjust the volume of my sound system.

Both devices use a mobile App to control your devices, granted they are both different, but hey, they both need them. The new SmartThings App leaves little to be desired; it still has a lot of teething problems that need to be addressed.

Luckily after the installation, you can return to the older version.

The Wink app works nicely, although the response time is slower than SmartThings;I’m not sure if this the app or the smart hub.

What’s Different

Apart from the apparent size difference, there are plenty of other differences that set these smart home hubs apart.

Let’s start with the RAM; the Wink hub 2 uses 512 Mb system while the while SmartThings seem to have downgraded to 256 Mb (V2 has 512Mb). 

SmartThings on a table

One noticeable difference is the USB port on the back of the SmartThings hubSomething that doesn’t appear on the Wink hub 2. Although you shouldn’t hold your breath as yet, the USB slot can not be used. 

There have been rumors of being able to add a battery port, but it’s all just speculation.

Maybe on the 4th Gen, we’ll get lucky?

SmartThings edge themselves forward with the amount of compatible devices. They can support up to 200 devices, will the wink hub 2 is only compatible with 130.

 Wink 2SmartThings 2
Systems  
Z-waveYesYes
ZigbeeYesYes
BluetoothYesYes
IFTTTYesYes
Lighting  
SengledYesYes
LIFXNoYes
Philips HueYesYes
OsramYesYes
Cameras  
ArloYesYes
RingYesYes
Theremostats  
NestYesNo
EcobeeYesYes

Which means you have more options, unless you’re already using Nest products, SmartThings doesn’t integrate with Nest, which would leave your system useless.

So if you’re using Nest units you’ll want to go for the Wink unit, Nest is supported as are a few other brands that you can’t find with SmartThings. The Wink App has the best interface, it’s functional and simple to use, even for a beginner.

Overall it’s simple but powerful, Unlike the new SmartThings App. There’re having teething problems which hopefully will be fixed soon. One downside of owning a SmartThings hub is the region locking; you can’t use it outside of the US.

The wink hub 2, on the other hand, is supported by multiple countries. You can get around the region lock from SmartThings, but it requires a VPN to trick the system.

Our Pick

 

It’s a tough call, I’d love to stick with SmartThings hub, but the Wink performs better the 3rd gen SmartThings hub. It feels like SmartThings hub has taken back taken a little step back.

It mainly comes down to the Wink App it’s incredibly easy to navigate while remaining powerful.

The Wink was also a lot easier to set up than the SmartThings hub, and had just as many functions. My main complaint is with how often the devices lost connection.

Wink Hub 2

Loss of connection is something that very rarely happens with the SmartThings hub. It was also great to see how will Wink worked with ecobee, If you want to know does ecobee work with Google Home? Then check out this page.

Both hubs have areas to improve, but for now, the Wink hub 2 slightly outperforms Samsungs 3rd gen Smart hub.

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Frequently Asked Questions

If you’re still having trouble deciding, or maybe you have some unanswered questions. If that’s the case check my FAQs section, it might have the answers your looking for:

No, not all smart bulbs need a hub to connect, which is always nice. Some bulbs can link directly to your phone via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Just remember not all smart bulbs can link directly to your phone, so you need to double-check.

If you’re interested, LIFX and Phillips Hue can both be powered with your phone.

Yes, it can, but you probably shouldn’t just yet, unless you want your smart home to function very simply. SmartThings allows for a more complex Scheduling. And if your using Z-wave, the devices won’t be expected.

If you’re looking for a simple, functioning voice-controlled smart home, an Amazon Echo+ will do the job.

In 2015 business was booming for the Wink hub, but that year they experienced a security breach that left their hubs useless. They were forced to recall all there products. Since then, the company has been going from strength to strength; it’s not back up there with all the top brands.

No, there aren’t any monthly subscriptions for SmartThings unless you use there extra services, which are entirely optional.

The old Z-wave Vs. Zigbee question:

If I had to choose one, I think I’d go for Z-wave; the network is easier to set up a functioning network. On top of that, the Z-wave alliance makes it easier to find compatible products. It also has a wide range and less interference than other brands.

Luckily you don’t have to choose just one if you get the right hub, you can use both Z-wave and Zigbee.

The light at the front of your Wink hub 2 isn’t just there to look pretty. It also indicates that something is trying to work or isn’t functioning correctly. Here are a few troubleshooting colors:

  • Flashing blue means the hub is trying to pair with a device
  • Flashing purple means the hub has disconnected with from Wi-Fi
  • Yellow flashing means the hub is obtaining IP addresses or connecting to the network
  • Flashing red means it’s downloading an update

For the full-color guide, check out the Wink FAQs page.

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