SmartThings is a brand owned by Samsung. SmartThings isn’t a device but rather a name that Samsung tacks onto other products or uses to indicate it works within the setup. It’s also the name of the app you use to control all the smart devices and products in your home.
In addition to being a brand name, “SmartThings” refers to the cloud-based intelligence that makes your smart home work, as well as the companion app you use to control it all. It’s similar to how “Alexa” refers to both the intelligence that powers an Amazon Echo device and the app you use to set it up, customize your settings, and control your devices.
Samsung has announced that it’s coming out soon with its own smart speaker and assistant, called Galaxy Home and Bixby.
What can you do with SmartThings?
Once you have a hub, you set it up using the mobile app. You connect your hub to other compatible devices, such as light bulbs, plugs, thermostats, and door locks.
Then, you can use the app to remotely program your devices. For example, you can create rules such as “when the door has been shut for 60 seconds, automatically lock it,” or “if the front door opens, automatically turn on the lights.”
You can also create routines, or strings of multiple actions that trigger at set times of the day. In the morning, you could have your coffeemaker start brewing at 7am, just as a news podcast plays on your smart speaker, and your security alarm automatically disables itself.
Which devices work with SmartThings?
SmartThings supports a long list of devices, ranging from smart speakers to doorbells. I’ll list a bunch of them in a moment.
The connectivity with smart speakers can seem a bit confusing. If you already have a Google Home or Amazon Echo, why would you need SmartThings at all? Perhaps because Samsung has a long history of making hardware, and many of those devices are now compatible with SmartThings, such as refrigerators, television sets, and clothes dryers. The Amazon Alexa ecosystem is by no means small, but Samsung still has a leg up with certain types of devices.
SmartThings also got on board early with sensors, so it supports hundreds of them: water sensors, door sensors, motion sensors, smoke and fire sensors. Depending on which ones you have or want to install, SmartThings may support more of them than your smart speaker does.