Home Technology Samsung’s SmartThings Station is a Minimal Technique to Use Matter

Samsung’s SmartThings Station is a Minimal Technique to Use Matter



A photo of the SmartThings Station

The Samsung SmartThings Station is a Matter-compatible hub and smartphone charger in a single!
Photograph: Florence Ion / Gizmodo

It was an enormous week for Samsung. The corporate launched its newest batch of flagship smartphones, together with the Galaxy S23 Ultra, which has a whopping 200-MP major digital camera. It additionally reminded us that it’s promoting a tool ecosystem, first with the companion announcement of the Home windows-based Galaxy Ebook 3 Professional lineup, which guarantees seamless integration with Samsung smartphones. Then with SmartThings, which Samsung continues to trot out as a reminder that it’s nonetheless within the sensible dwelling.

The corporate was handing out the SmartThings Station as a “present” for keynote attendees. And since I used to be in San Francisco for the occasion, I introduced one dwelling. Samsung introduced the Matter-compatible sensible hub final month at CES. It has a programmable button and wi-fi charging capabilities in your smartphone. Its iPhone app additionally acquired an replace that makes it suitable with iOS 16.

I nonetheless have to get Matter-compatible equipment to pair with the SmartThings Station. There are nonetheless only some choices in the marketplace, although so many extra are coming this 12 months. However I arrange the SmartThings Station to see what it’s like. At solely $80, it’s a comparatively inexpensive option to arrange a sensible dwelling in case you haven’t already, although I’m not planning on switching out my present setup anytime quickly.

The Samsung SmartThings Station is straightforward to arrange

A photo of the SmartThings Station

There are two indicator lights on the Station for SmartThings connectivity and wi-fi charging.
Photograph: Florence Ion / Gizmodo

The SmartThings Station looks like any other charging pad, but with two status lights on the side: one for the hub itself and one for wireless charging. The Station supports Matter, Thread, wifi, and Bluetooth. It can connect to all types of smart devices, including bulbs, plugs, thermostats, and TVs. It also serves as a Zigbee controller. If you want additional Z-Wave connectivity, you’ll still have to buy a separate SmartThings Hub manufactured by Aeotec. However, most popular connected gadgets, like Philips Hue smart bulbs, use Zigbee, so it’s an amply supported protocol to have on hand.

The SmartThings Station isn’t just a smart home hub. It also works with SmartThings Find to help locate any registered Samsung devices—including Galaxy Buds and the Galaxy Watch—or anything marked with the Samsung SmartTag Bluetooth tracker. The wireless charging maxes out at 15W. I will caution that it will only charge as advertised if you plug it into an adapter with appropriate wattage. I had the most success with a 25W adapter. Anything below 15W and the charging indicator light will blink yellow.

I got the SmartThings Station set up in under ten minutes. After plugging it in, I didn’t even have to ask the app to set it. When I opened SmartThings on my Pixel 7, I got an immediate prompt to add it to my network. And once I tapped on Add now, it took care of all the configuration for me.

Samsung thinks this is a device you’d put within arm’s reach, so there is a button on the SmartThings Station. There are three mappable button actions: pressed, held, and double pressed, and each can be programmed to trigger a specific routine. I have it programmed to turn the lights on and off in my office with each press, and I like it as an alternative to talking to Google (I don’t talk to Bixby).

Screenshots of the SmartThings app

The setup process for programming the button on the SmartThings Station is pretty self-explanatory.
Screenshot: Florence Ion / Gizmodo

Where is the Samsung Home Hub?

A little over a year ago, Samsung said it would launch the Residence Hub, a tablet-style gadget to handle SmartThings. The 12 months went on, and it by no means got here. The SmartThings Station is probably going the choice, and it’s extra inexpensive than what an 8-inch pill would value to supply and preserve. Google is launching the Pixel Pill someday this 12 months as a companion to its ecosystem, and it’s a surprise if Samsung will observe swimsuit after that. However a quote from an interview between The Verge and Samsung’s Jaeyeon Jung, head of SmartThings, appears to point the corporate goes to maintain issues easy within the sensible dwelling house:

We stopped making SmartThings branded {hardware} and determined it will be significantly better for shoppers if the sensible dwelling performance was embedded inside our merchandise, slightly than them having to purchase separate units.

It’s price noting that the SmartThings Station is without doubt one of the few Matter-compatible units that syncs up with the iPhone. Samsung up to date the SmartThings app on iOS this week with assist for the protocol, which suggests your iPhone-using housemates can arrange SmartThings routines (although they will’t use it to seek out their iPhone). It’s good to see one other cross-platform various for iPhone customers, although the SmartThings expertise is not like the native integration provided by Apple Residence. The Google Residence app on iOS doesn’t at present present Matter assist for iPhone customers.

The SmartThings Station works with all Samsung and Android units operating Android 8 and up. It syncs up with any Matter, ZigBee, BLE, and iOS gadget operating iOS 14 and up. It’s additionally suitable with 2.4 and 5 GHz wifi networks. It’s out there for $80 in white and black.



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