Since people purchase dozens of smart home products, launching the apps of every single device is boring and tiring. This issue can be solved quite easily but we need to purchase a product called a ‘smart hub’.
Smart hubs are useful devices that allow us to connect other smart devices and control it all with a single application. Besides the controlling perk, smart hubs allow the owner to create interesting scenes that better suits your lifestyle.
Today, there are dozens of companies that offer smart hubs stating that their products are the most integration-friendly and easy to use devices. While there are lots of companies selling smart hubs, only a few can be truly trusted.
Table of Contets
- 1 Wink 2 vs SmartThings: Pros & Cons and Verdict
- 1.1 1. Installation
- 1.2 2. Design
- 1.3 3. Supported Devices
- 1.4 4. Mobile Application
- 1.5 5. Advantages and Disadvantages
- 1.6 6. Support
- 1.7 8. Comparison Chart: SmartThings vs Wink 2
- 1.8 The Bottom Line
Wink 2 vs SmartThings: Pros & Cons and Verdict
In this comparison article, we’ll be comparing two of the best-selling devices, Wink and SmartThings. These two offer the most interesting features and are widely regarded as the best smart hubs on the market.
We’ll be reviewing, comparing and evaluating some of the most important aspects of SmartThings and Wink. Lastly, we’ll come up with a reasonable verdict and crown either of these two as the leading product.
The first thing we need to write about is the installation processes of our smart hubs. Today, modern smart home shoppers focus on devices that are easy to setup and don’t require any professional assistance. So we need to be sure that both Wink and SmartThings are easy to activate.
Setting up SmartThings is pretty easy and it takes about 10 minutes to complete the installation process. I won’t write a step-by-step guide since SmartThings has uploaded a wonderful guide that perfectly explains everything in detail.
So setting up SmartThings is quite easy and it doesn’t require any professional assistance. If you still find it hard to complete the process, simply check the user’s manual or reach out to the support team. Those guys are superb. Alternatively, SmartThings’ community forum is amazing. You can find all the answers to your questions there.
Just like SmartThings, setting up Wink takes a few minutes. It’s so easy to install Wink that there’s no chance of getting lost.
In order to help you understand what is required to complete the installation process, I’ll include a wonderful infographic that perfectly illustrates the complexity of the whole procedure.
So in order to complete the setup process of Wink, there are six mandatory steps. After you’ve done so, your Wink Hub will be ready for use. If you don’t understand what needs to be done to activate Wink, check the user’s manual for further guidance or as a last resort, reach out to the support team. They’ll help with anything you think is relevant.
Unfortunately, Wink doesn’t have a community forum like SmartThings. That’s a huge drawback since a lot of information can be read at SmartThings’ forum.
The next topic we need to discuss is the designs of Wink and SmartThings. Today, everyone wants to purchase a product that looks attractive and improves the overall looks of the interior. If Wink and SmartThings fail to meet the requirements of a buyer, they’ll start looking for alternatives.
Visually, SmartThings Hub is quite attractive. It’s small, simple, minimalistic and eye-catching. The first thing we need to mention is the dimensions of the product. It’s important for a hub like this to have the right dimensions since people want to place things at different places. The dimensions of SmartThings Hub is 4.2 x 4.9 x 1.3 inches and weighs 0.5lb.
I personally own the SmartThings and can speak from experience that it looks wonderful. SmartThings is well-sized and can literally fit any place in your house. Still, I’ve seen buyers tired of the plastic cube-hub look and complaining about SmartThings’ lack of innovation. You can’t blame them. It’s like an unwritten rule for a smart hub to be white-colored and that needs to be changed.
Just like SmartThings, Wink is only available in white color. In terms of design, it’s different from ST. Let’s find out how Wink looks and if it’s visually more compelling than its competitors.
Compared to the first generation model, Wink 2 is more beautiful and eye-catching. Though the plastic doesn’t feel like a quality material and the LED that shines and sends different alerts requires a manual to understand what it’s trying to say.
I’ve seen buyers complaining about the size of the smart hub. Most of them state that it’s a bit larger than they’d like. The dimensions of Wink 2 is 7.25″ x 7.25″ x 1.75″ and weighs 8 ounces. Frankly, Wink’s design isn’t ideal but it’s close to perfect.
3. Supported Devices
The main reason why people purchase smart hub is their third-party integrations. If a smart hub can’t be paired with famous names in the smart home industry, there’s no use of investing in such products. So we need to find out if Wink and SmartThings are third-party integration friendly and if they can be paired with popular names in the smart home industry.
SmartThings Hub can be paired with most prominent and well-known smart home devices on the market. There’s a supported device list uploaded by ST and if you’d like to view what products can be paired with SmartThings, click here. If a device you’d like to connect with SmartThings isn’t on the list, don’t worry.
Besides the supported devices, SmartThings perfectly works with other Z-Wave and Zigbee devices. Besides what we’ve mentioned above, SmartThings hub has two USB ports and Bluetooth LE built in, for future device support.
Unfortunately, Bluetooth isn’t enabled but as soon it’s active, control options will surely increase. To make the smart hub even more attractive, I’ll say that it allows you to control certain devices directly from the hub. For instance, you can control Philips Hue bulbs via SmartThings.
SmartThings can also be paired with security cameras. If you own an Arlo, connecting it with ST is a piece-of-cake process. What I don’t like about the idea of pairing a security camera with Samsung SmartThings is that the cloud storage will soon turn into a paid service.
A lot of security camera manufacturers offer FREE, limited cloud storage and the idea of paying for SmartThings’ cloud doesn’t sound like a good idea. Along with everything we’ve mentioned, ST also works with IFTTT. While this might cause small delays in triggers, it’s still enjoyable to have the opportunity.
For those notable companies that don’t support SmartThings, for example, Nest, can still be connected to the smart hub. SmartThings is well-known for having a powerful API that allows developers to write their own device handlers.
But integrating those devices are bit harder since it requires you to manually add scripts. If you never had previous interactions with similar situations, you might need some help to complete the linking process. You can also read integrations guides written by other users. SmartThings’ community forum is filled with valuable information and guides.
The newest addition of SmartThings is that it now supports Amazon Alexa. So now you can give voice-enabled commands to SmartThings and that’s really comfortable.
Today, Wink 2 is widely-regarded as the best smart hub. It supports a huge array of smart-home protocols and devices. Besides Wi-Fi support, Wink 2 supports Bluetooth, Z-Wave, ZigBee, Amazon Alexa, IFTTT, Google Thread, etc.
If you’re interested what devices Wink 2 works with, take a look at this list uploaded on Wink’s website. What makes Wink 2 even more attractive is that it’s voice-control enabled. If you own an Amazon Echo, you can use it to give commands.
What makes the second-generation Wink Hub better than its competitors is the fact that it can be easily integrated with third-party devices. For instance, pairing Nest Cam, thermostats, garage door openers and window shades is a simple process that can be completed with a few button presses.
The major flaw of Wink 2 is related to its robot and rules. As Wink explained, the purpose of those rules is creating scenes like this: If Nest Cam Outdoor detects activity, Schlage Sense will automatically lock itself.
Unfortunately, we had trouble creating similar scenes since Wink 2 continually returned internal errors. We reached out to Wink’s support team and they explained it was a problem that needs to solved as soon as possible.
But don’t think that Wink 2 is the only hub that has problems with connectivity. Other top-notch smart hubs have similar issues and every other company is trying to solve the problems related to this case.
The fact that Wink 2 can be paired with Amazon Alexa, the voice-control features makes it quite attractive and desirable. But we found that Wink has problems following the commands we gave through the voice controller. For example, when we told the Wink hub to set my Ecobee4’s temperature to 60 degrees, sometimes it didn’t obey the command (maybe it didn’t understand what I was saying).
4. Mobile Application
Besides everything we’ve discussed, it’s important for a smart hub to have an easy-to-navigate mobile application with clean, simple design so that users don’t get lost and easily find anything they came looking for.
So we need to review the mobile apps of SmartThings and Wink to be sure that they offer functional and reliable applications. Otherwise, controlling all our smart devices through these apps would be tiring and annoying.
It’s quite true when people say that the mobile application plays a huge role in terms of success. There have been numerous cases when poorly-structured mobile applications killed a highly-potential smart gadget.
Luckily, the mobile app of SmartThings is wonderful. It never bugs, glitches or freezes. It allows the owner to configure a lot of things and offers fast access features. To begin with, SmartThings has several modes to choose from and you automate the shifts so that everything runs smoothly.
For example, if you’re in the ‘Home Mode’ and unexpectedly leave your house (SmartThings will instantly take notice since it tracks your phone’s location) and will activate the ‘Away Mode’ that’ll turn on the motion detection system of your security cameras.
Of course, that’s only an example. You can configure your ‘Home and Away’ modes as you like. There’s also a ‘Night Mode’ and additionally, SmartThings allows you to create custom modes that fit your needs.
For instance, ‘Guest Mode’ can be a wonderful addition. Whenever there are guests, lights will not turn on or off on its own.
Besides what we’ve discussed above, SmartThings has as security mode. In other words, there are three modes to choose from – Armed (Away), Armed (Home) and Disarmed. You can configure all those modes as you wish.
For instance, you can create a scene like this: Whenever you’re in the ‘Armed Away’ mode, the security camera will start recording and if it detects motion, it’ll call 911 and sound the siren to alarm trespassers that they’ve been spotted.
Wink also has a wonderful mobile application that works flawlessly. It’s clean, modern, easy to use and intuitive. What I like about the app is that I’ve never had cases of it lagging, crashing or freezing. It definitely is on the same level as SmartThings.
If you’re interested how the app looks on the inside, I’ll drop a few pics for you to know what to expect from it.
This mobile application allows you to create lots of things but many consider it inferior to SmartThings. From what Wink owners have said to me is that it can’t function on the same level and offers less flexibility with fewer options of configuration.
The main issue of Wink is the inability to group devices from different categories, together. That’s a huge problem since you need a lot more presses to find what you came for.
What we noticed here is that Wink’s app is less buggy. We noticed SmartThings being a bit late to display live feeds from a security camera and couldn’t deliver IFTTT commands properly.
Well, there were no such issues with Wink and the results were sharp. The live feed displayed by the security camera was crystal clear and IFTTT recipes worked fine too.
In order to test the full capabilities of Wink, we paired it with an Ecobee4 and as expected, we received accurate temperature and humidity reports.
5. Advantages and Disadvantages
The next topic we need to write about is the advantages and disadvantages of both smart hubs. We need to know all the pros and cons to avoid any misunderstandings after purchasing either Wink or SmartThings.
In order to find it out, we’ve created two detailed charts that perfectly show the strengths and weaknesses of both smart hubs.
|Flexible Mobile Application||Limited Bluetooth Connectivity|
|Amazon Alexa Support||Tricky Third-Party Integrations|
|Compatible With Hundreds of Smart Devices||Problems Disabling Alarms|
|Connects Wirelessly||Basic Design|
|Powerful Developer Community|
|Zigbee and Z-Wave Support|
|Easy to Install|
Wink 2 Hub
|Easy Setup Process||No USB Ports|
|Free to Use||No Battery Backup|
|Flexible Mobile Application||Basic Design|
|Plenty of Connections||Error Messages While Creating Automation Rules|
|Strong Bluetooth Connectivity|
|Alexa & IFTTT Support|
So those are the advantages and disadvantages of both smart hubs. Judging from the charts above, both products have pretty cool advantages and a few cons. If compared, Wink and SmartThings have quite similar stats.
Here’s where SmartThings wins big. The Developer Community is the most amazing thing I’ve seen. It’s filled with priceless information and professional tips. If you ever encounter any problems with your smart hubs, simply visiting the community forum and searching a thing or two is enough to find the solution to your problem.
Unfortunately, Wink doesn’t offer its users an environment like this. All you can do here is reaching out to support team and speak directly to a Wink representative. The good thing is that those guys are professional and are likely to help you solve the issues you’re facing.
Alternatively, instead of visiting the community of SmartThings, you can also reach out to the company and ask questions to the support team. The customer care area of SmartThings is outstanding. I’ve contacted them a few times and always received professional answers and tips.
Before concluding our comparison article, we’d like to present a detailed chart that shows the full features of both smart hubs. With this, you can know how Wink and ST compare and understand the main difference between both products.
So both smart hubs are wonderfully constructed, best-selling and highly-rated products. Purchasing either of these hubs will surely meet and even exceed your expectations. Both Wink and SmartThings have thousands of satisfied customers and are regarded as the best products in the industry.
Both have their own drawbacks but overall, Wink and ST will not disappoint you since they are a-thousand-time-tested smart hubs with enormous customer bases.
The Bottom Line
Wink 2 has much improved compared to the predecessor hub. Now it has a sleeker design, more capabilities, features and higher durability. Wink 2 is regarded as a huge success and some even consider it as the best product on the market.
Wink’s mobile application makes it easy for newbie users to connect all their smart devices. But SmartThings’ app is designed to be easier to navigate. Plus, it’s more intuitive.
The good part is that both smart hubs can be paired with all the popular smart devices on the market. They support all the major names and on top of this, both support Z-Wave and Zigbee. While we slightly prefer the SmartThings, before making the purchase, it’s essential for you to check if these products work with devices you own or plan to purchase.
If you purchase either of these two and end up with a smart hub that doesn’t integrate with your current smart home products, it will be a total disaster.
Lastly, the main and most important perk of Wink 2 is the wider range of wireless protocols and dual-band networking abilities.
Purchasing either of these two will meet or even exceed your expectations. Remember, the choice must be made upon your needs. Make sure to check if your current or future smart devices integrate with these hubs.
|Smart Hub Name||SmartThings||Wink 2|