There are dozens of smart hubs on the market that promise to have the best integrations and speed. Unfortunately, the majority of those hubs are worthless products that are nonfunctional and unreliable.
On the bright side, Wink is a notable and highly-trusted brand that manufactures one of the best smart hubs on the market. Two of Wink’s famous and best-selling creations are Wink Hub and Wink Hub 2.
Those two are 1st and 2nd generation products that are quite popular in the smart hub industry. Wink hubs have good integrations, are fast and flawlessly sync with other third-party devices.
Wink Hub vs Wink Hub 2: Pros & Cons and Verdict
In this Wink 2nd Generation vs Wink 1st Generation Hub article, we’ll discuss, evaluate, compare and rate the most important aspects of both smart hubs. We’ll also present detailed charts, and lastly, we’ll come up with a reasonable verdict and crown one of these two as the leading product.
1. Installation Process
Since both of these smart hubs are from the same manufacturer, they have identical setup processes, and there’s no way of messing up.
To find out how to activate these hubs, I’ll drop an excellent visual guide that perfectly explains how to setup and activate your Wink hub.
So there are six main steps required to complete the setup of Wink 1st and 2nd generation hubs. If you still have questions about how to do it, make sure to check the user’s manual for further guidance.
Alternatively, reach out to the support team of Wink. Those guys are superb and will help with any issue you might be facing.
One of the perks of the second-generation Wink hub is that it now supports auto-discovery. In other words, whenever you plug in the Wink 2 hub, you just need to download the Wink mobile application, and it’ll automatically discover your smart hub.
Today, every smart home shopper looks for products that improve the visual aspect of the indoor and outdoor surroundings. If these two hubs fail to meet the minimum visual requirements of a buyer, they might start looking for a different hub.
Luckily, Wink always does its best to design the very best smart hubs. Like other products on the market, Wink 1 and 2 are available in the traditional white colour. While it’s not something that might stun your guests, it improves the overall attractiveness of its surroundings and gives it a smarter, stylish and a modern look.
Above, you can see the picture of a Wink Hub 2 placed in our living room that perfectly blends with the indoor interior. Besides the visual appearance, it’s important to know the dimensions of a smart hub to be sure that it’ll comfortably fit in the pre-planned area.
The dimensions of the Wink Hub 2 are 7.25″ x 7.25″ x 1.25″, and it weighs around 0.5lb. As for the first generation Wink, its dimensions are 8″ x 8″ x 3″. Frankly, these two are well-sized, and I’m pretty sure you’ll have zero trouble finding them a place at your house.
Both Wink models are quality-made products, and you’ll only feel a slight difference in terms of quality. One of the primary changes in design is that the second-generation Wink is now slimmer.
3. Supported Devices
Since the main reason why people purchase these hubs are due to their integrations, we need to know if Wink has made some improvements and if the second generation Wink integrates with more smart home devices.
While 1st generation and 2nd generation Wink smart hubs integrate with the same devices (Bluetooth Low Energy (LE), Kidde, Lutron Clear Connect, Wi-Fi, Z-Wave, and ZigBee), the second-generation Wink hub also has a Bluetooth LE radio and a Thread-capable radio for future support.
So if you plan to join the smart home game actively, you’re better off purchasing the second-generation Wink since it’ll better integrate with the newly-released smart devices.
To give you the right idea what to expect from the newly-released smart hub, I’ll say that Wink 2 builds on the foundation of the original hub, and now it’s faster, has enhanced capabilities, integrates better with other smart devices, and the connectivity is also much better.
But that’s not the primary aspect that makes the Wink Hub 2 a better choice. From our personal experience, the main reason why you should consider paying a bit more and get Wink 2 (or upgrade to Wink 2 if you already own Wink’s first-generation hub) is its speed.
From what we’ve tested, the second-generation Wink can play the same scene in 3 seconds while the original Wink took around 15 seconds to do so. You might think that those 12 seconds aren’t much and it’s not worth paying twice the amount to get the Wink 2 hub.
Consider a case like this:
For example, if you have five lights using Z-wave switches and you have it set as a single scene: With the 1st generation Wink, they will light up in a random order, and it’ll take around 10-15 seconds to affect all five.
While the second-generation can flawlessly complete the job under 3 seconds, let’s put this factor aside for a moment.
The main reason why people purchase these hubs is to integrate all their smart devices and make everything more simple. If a hub requires 15 seconds to play a simple scene like that, it ruins the whole smoothness and ‘wow’ factor.
If you walk by a sensor and it detects you’re there, you expect it to light up immediately; but within those 15 seconds required by Wink 1, you might be out of the room – and lighting up everything becomes pointless.
So it’s essential to purchase the right smart hub to avoid such scenarios. It’s annoying when things are that slow, and most importantly, the whole ‘smart hub’ game becomes useless.
Lastly, the Ethernet cable makes the Wink 2 hub much more secure. Of course, you can still connect it to your Wi-Fi network, but the Ethernet enables a smoother, more reliable network connection.
4. Mobile Application
The next topic we need to write about is the mobile application of Wink. Since it’s where we’ll be controlling all our smart devices, we need to be sure that the Wink’s app is reliable, functional and intuitive.
1st generation and 2nd generation Wink hubs use the same mobile application, and we can say for sure that it’s one of the best we’ve ever tested. Wink’s mobile app is easy to use, intuitive and well-built.
If you don’t know how the app looks on the inside, I’ll drop a few pictures that perfectly illustrates what to expect from the mobile application.
Besides its flexibility, navigating the Wink’s app is pretty straightforward. There’s no chance of getting lost, and I’m pretty sure that you’ll understand the whole interface within a few minutes. We’ve personally tested the app and talked about it with other Wink owners. Everyone seems happy with it, but some noted a few drawbacks that are quite interesting.
The large sized icons make the mobile application more user-friendly. Unlike other competitors – for example, SmartThings – Wink has given a lot of thought to how the app should feel and look.
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As for the rest, we’ve paired Wink with Nest Cam Outdoor & Ecobee4, and as expected, the displayed live feed was crystal clear, the temperature reports were accurate, and IFTTT recipes worked fine too.
Also, we made our Wink 2 follow the Amazon Alexa voice-enabled commands. While we didn’t expect the sync to be good, the results were terrific. The sync was so good that we barely noticed a delay.
5. Advantages and Disadvantages
We’ve talked a lot about the installation, integrations, mobile app and design. What we need to do now is find out the pros and cons of Wink 1 and Wink 2. It’s essential to know all the advantages and disadvantages to avoid any misunderstandings after purchasing either of these two.
To find out the pros and cons of first and second generation Wink hubs, we’ve created two detailed charts that show all the advantages and disadvantages of both smart hubs.
First-Generation Wink Hub
|Easy Setup Process||No USB Ports|
|Free to Use||No Battery Backup|
|Flexible Mobile Application||Basic Design|
|Plenty of Connections||64MB Memory|
|Strong Bluetooth Connectivity||Not Ethernet|
|Alexa & IFTTT Support||Manual Discovery|
|Auto-Discovery Setup||Purchase Wink 1|
Second-Generation Wink Hub
|Enhanced Local Control||No USB Ports|
|Enhanced Connectivity||No Battery Backup|
|Flexible Mobile Application|
|Plenty of Connections|
|Alexa & IFTTT Support|
|Auto-Discovery Setup||Purchase Wink 2|
So the difference between these two hubs is immense. The charts above clearly show the superiority of the Wink 2 hub. It outranks its predecessor in every major aspect and offers better speed, enhanced integrations, better features and higher security levels.
The support team of Wink is quite good. I’ve personally reached out a few times and always received professional answers and tips. It would’ve been great if they had a Developer community like SmartThings for users to share their personal experiences and suggestions, but it’s not an overly important point.
Wink’s customer care is caring and attentive. I’m pretty sure they’ll help you solve any issues you might be facing. They’ve helped with a few things, and I’m more than satisfied.
Before concluding our comparison article, we’d like to present a detailed chart that shows the full features of both smart hubs. The chart below ideally shows the difference between the first and second generation Wink hubs.
Wink hubs are popular devices on the market and have thousands of positive reviews. They are regarded as highly-trusted smart hubs and have thousands of active users. Wink always tries to improve their products and always succeeds in doing so.
While Wink 1 and 2 are great hubs, if you want to own the best one, you should go for the second-generation model. It’s enhanced, flexible and comfortable.
The Bottom Line
Wink 2 has much improved compared to the predecessor hub. Now it has a sleeker design, more capabilities and features, and higher durability. Today, Wink 2 is the complete smart hub on the market that offers the best features, security and flexibility.
The mobile application of Wink is advanced and easily outranks any other competitors’ mobile app. The large sized icons, smoothness and intuitive design make the Wink app stand out.
While Wink 1 and 2 have similar features, the second-generation hub is free of all the bugs that were present in the original model.
If you already own the original Wink, I’d recommend upgrading to the second-generation hub. It’s way better than its predecessor, and the latter is a lot faster. Surely, the decision is up to you, but if you want to control your house better and make everything more simple, the Wink 2 hub will deliver good results, and most probably it’ll exceed your expectations.
If you don’t own any of the above-mentioned smart hubs, don’t spare money and do not purchase the first-generation model. Wink 2 completely transforms how you interact with your smart home and devices.
|Security Camera Name||First-Generation Wink||Second-Generation Wink|