SmartThings vs Wink (What You Need To Know – 2022?)

How we reviewed: hands-on tests, hours studying SmartThings and Wink sites, and reading 100+ customer reviews.

SmartThings

SAMSUNG SmartThings Smart Home Hub 2nd Generation
primary 4 3

Our Rating

Starts at $209.97

  • Wireless Connection
  • Powerful Processor
  • Works with Alexa
  • In-wall Power Source

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Wink

Wink Connected Home Hub
primary 4 3

Our Rating

Starts at $64.20

  • Wireless Connection
  • IFTTT Enabled
  • Wink App Ready
  • Easy Set-Up

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Last update on 2022-06-22 / Affiliate links / Ratings / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Written By: John Fox | Security expert / Locksmith 30 Years Experience

06.22.2022

Smart home devices are growing in popularity at an exponential rate. Smart devices offer you the ability to control devices and even automate your devices without adding much to the cost.

However, most smart devices require a smart hub to connect to the internet to be controlled remotely.

SmartThings and Wink are two of the most popular smart hubs on the market. Whichever one you prefer after this SmartThings vs Wink comparison, both these products have an app that allows you to control all compatible products with the same app, instead of you having to use a different app for each brand.

SmartThings has better integration but is more expensive. Wink has more integrations but less reliability, but which one is best for you?

Both SmartThings and Wink are compatible with most smart devices. SmartThings is better in terms of the features it offers, but Wink is easier to use in general as it is more user-friendly, and you can automate your home directly from the app.

Before you further check the details of the comparison, you may want to check this article to know how secure are smart locks for you.

SAMSUNG SmartThings Smart Home Hub

SmartThings

The SmartThings Hub will serve as the brain in your home. It has a wide range of supported devices that will connect wirelessly and make them all work together effortlessly.

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SmartThings: Advantages and Disadvantages

Advantages

  • Compatible with different protocols
  • Has a backup battery
  • Smaller in size
  • Compatible with IFTTT

Disadvantages

  • Doesn’t have WiFi support
  • The app is not as easy to use
Wink Connected Home Hub

Wink

With Wink Hub and its easy setup, you can connect your collection of smart home devices to work together and even allow you to do new tricks by telling them what they need to do when you’re asleep or away from home.

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Wink: Advantages and Disadvantages

Advantages

  • Compatible with different protocols
  • Has WiFi support
  • Local automation via Wink Robot
  • Compatible with IFTTT
  • Easy-to-use app

Disadvantages

  • Doesn’t have a backup battery
  • Doesn’t have a USB port

Compare SmartThings vs. Wink Top Features

Features

SmartThings

Wink

Style

‎SmartThings Hub

Hub

Supported Devices

Lights, Speakers, Locks, Thermostats, Sensors, and more

Door Locks, Sensors, Light Bulbs, Light Switches, Outlets, Appliance Module

  • Yes
  • Yes

Alexa Integration

  • Yes
  • Yes

Info current as of 10/08/21. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

SSmartThings vs Wink: Main Differences

WiFi Support

Both SmartThings and Wink primarily work via an Ethernet connection. Ethernet connections usually have a broader bandwidth than WiFi connections and offer higher speeds.

However, Wink 2 supports WiFi as well as Ethernet. This means that you can place a Wink Hub anywhere around the house without having to worry about an Ethernet cable.

SmartThings v2 doesn’t support WiFi. But if you value this feature, you can get a SmartThings v3 hub, which does support WiFi.

smart hub

Winner: Wink

Backup Battery

One of the big differences that might make you want to choose one over the other is a backup battery. While both SmartThings and Wink need to be plugged into a power outlet to work, SmartThings also has a backup battery.

The backup battery can keep the hub going in case of a power outage. But you won’t be able to control the electronics that run of direct power. Battery-powered smart devices such as smart locks will still work, though. (1)

SmartThings v2 has this feature. The battery is from 2 hours to up to 8 hours, depending on usage. But you likely won’t need to run the hub on battery for that long.

Winner: SmartThings

Size

While both SmartThings and Wink are marketed as portable devices, Wink is almost twice the size of SmartThings. This is surprising considering the fact that SmartThings has also found room for batteries.

Winner: SmartThings

Number of Devices

display phone

Wink 2 can be connected to up to 430 devices. This is probably more than you’ll ever need, but in comparison, SmartThings doesn’t have a limit and can control as many devices as you want at the same time.

Winner: SmartThnigs

Ease of Use

The Wink app focuses more on the user experience. It’s quite intuitive and easy to learn. The SmartThings app, while it has a lot of features, can come off as being a big chunky band convoluted. Wink is definitely a more user-friendly option.

Winner: Wink

Security Camera

SmartThings also offers a security camera that you can buy separately. The SmartThings will act as the hub for SmartThings cameras as well. Generally, you need a separate hub for wireless cameras.

If you plan to also buy security cameras in the future, SmartThings might save you some money. And to guide you more, here’s what you need to look for when buying a home security camera system.

Winner: SmartThings

USB Port

SmartThings also has two USB ports that can allow it to connect to other devices. For example, you can connect SmartThings to a cellular modem instead of an Ethernet cable via the USB port.

Winner: SmartThings

Automation

IFTTT supported

The Wink App allows you to automate your home by making different devices communicate with each other. You can create Wink Robots, which allow you to program what to do when something happens. For example, you can make a Wink Robot that turns the lights on when the door is unlocked. You can also create a Robot that turns on all the lights in a room via a single touch.

SmartThings app doesn’t have this feature, but SmartThings works with IFTTT, which is an even better app for automation. IFTTT stands for “If This Then Do This,” and it does exactly what it says. The app allows you to create conditional if-then programs called applets. With IFTTT, you can create any applet you can possibly imagine. You can even create an applet that automatically turns all the lights on when Taylor Swift is playing in your city. With IFTTT, the only limit is your imagination. (2)

IFTTT can be really fun and useful if you’re a smart home enthusiast. When you’re out of ideas but you want to benefit from more IFTTT applets, there are thousands of useful IFTTT applets created by others that you can browse and use. One such applet, for example, blinks your light when the bell rings. Another allows you to tell your Tesla to lock the door.

Wink also supports IFTTT, so SmartThings isn’t the winner here. But if you don’t want to have to keep two apps, you can create simple Robots in the Wink app; something SmartThings doesn’t allow. However, you won’t have to open the IFTTT app to avail most of its automated features. We would suggest trying IFTTT regardless of which hub you end up buying.

Winner: SmartThings

Things To Consider Before Buying

Why Use a Platform Hub?

platform hub

Most smart devices come with their own apps and can be controlled remotely. Why do you need to buy a separate device that doesn’t do much more than control other smart devices?

Well, there are two reasons. The first is that a smart hub allows you to use multiple different smart devices using the same app.

This can save you from the inconvenience of using one app to answer your doorbell and another app to unlock the smart lock. With one hub connected to all the devices in the house, you only need to keep one single app installed.

The second reason is that most smart devices can’t be connected to WiFi directly. Those that do connect to the WiFi directly cost more than their non-WiFi versions. It’s much more convenient and cost-effective to buy one hub that connects to the internet and connects all the smart devices to that hub.

This way, you can control all your smart devices using one app from anywhere around the world as long as you and your smart home are connected to the internet.

This also allows you to automate your home in different ways. You can make different devices talk to each other and work together even if they’re from different manufacturers. Automation is what makes a smart home truly smart.

Alexa can automate your home too, but Alexa only supports a limited number of protocols and isn’t the best option when you want your entire home to be automated via a single hub.

What Protocols are Supported?

smart home

A protocol is a set of rules that governs the transfer of data between different devices. You can think of a protocol as a code language. Devices that use the same protocol can directly communicate with each other, request information from each other, and set data to each other. Different protocols have their advantages over others but what matters most at the end of the day is to have as many of your devices using the same protocol as possible. If one-half of all your devices use one protocol whereas the other half uses some other protocols, you won’t be able to directly connect the devices with each other.

The keyword here is “directly.” Both SmartThings and Wink are compatible with multiple protocols such as Bluetooth, ZigBee. These smart hubs can connect to devices that follow different protocols and make such devices work with each other, working as a translator.

If some of your devices use a protocol that is not supported by your hub, such as Lutron’s Clear Connect protocol, you’ll have to add a separate hub to connect such devices to the main hub. But after that, those devices will be able to work with all the other devices just as well.

What is Local Control?

smart home technology

A lot of smart devices such as security cameras and camera doorbells run on the manufacturer’s cloud server. This can offer several advantages, such as your data can be accessed from the server if the device gets broken.

But the primary advantage of this is that it allows you to access and control your smart devices from anywhere since your devices are directly connected to the internet. This can also allow multiple users to install the app and access and control the devices remotely. Direct remote control of your devices can help you get around the limitations due to the lack of a standardized protocol in the smart home industry.

The main problem with this is that the functionality of your devices is dependent on the health of the internet connection and of the manufacturer’s servers. When your devices are connected to the manufacturer’s servers, you’re also giving the manufacturer access to your data.

Many people are not concerned about the amount of data social media apps use to target ads. The data from security footage and voice commands can reveal a lot more information about you than using social media.

The privacy policies of most companies that access your data are quite convoluted. But even if they don’t access your data, there’s no guarantee that your data can’t be hacked. And these companies even have the incentive to not release the news if the data gets hacked. Furthermore, the government can access your data from any data center in the name of national security, and you won’t even know. This is worse news if your data is stored in a different country. Hence, cloud-based services are not a good option.

Local control means that your hub can talk directly to all the devices connected to it. The communications between devices never get uploaded to any servers and are encrypted locally. The devices are never allowed to access the internet. Only the hub is connected to the internet, and all the devices are connected to the internet through the hub. This provides a lot of data privacy and is also an easier option than managing different apps for different devices. 

Both SmartThings and Wink have local control. This is not like other hubs like Alexa, which doesn’t control smart devices locally.

Speed and Reliability

smart home connection

Both SmartThings and Wink connect to the internet via an Ethernet connection which has a high bandwidth and a reliable speed. Both SmartThings and Wink work for a radius of up to 100 feet. 



Conclusion

It’s difficult to pronounce a winner here. Both SmartThings and Wink offer amazing features and are compatible with different protocols. If you want an easy-to-use app that allows you to also automate within the app, Wink is the right option for you. However, SmartThings has some amazing features such as a USB port and a built-in battery which makes it better for you if you’re enthusiastic about smart home devices. You can use IFTTT for automation with either hub.

References

(1) power outage – https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/engineering/power-outage
(2) applets – https://www.oracle.com/java/technologies/applets.html

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Written by

John Fox

Senior Writer & Director

John Fox has been working as a security consultant for over 20 years. During his time in the industry, he’s learned about what it takes to ensure your home and family are always safe. With Safe Now, he’s tried to take those two decades of experience and share it with others. His goal now is to help others figure out how to make the right choices for their businesses and families.