SmartThings vs Home Assistant: What is the Best Smart Home Hub (2024)

  • We have been using Home Assistant and SmartThings alongside of each other for over a year to compare how they stack up against each other. The results are predictable.
  • Samsung’s SmartThings is still the best off the shelf smart home hub. It has great UI, easy to start. At the same time, users are frustrated by cloud dependency and limited functionality.
  • Home Assistant is opposite to SmartThings in many respects. It is declaring local first concept, extremely flexible and powerful and integrates really well with wide range of services. Saying that, it has a steep learning curve and can be intimidating for an inexperienced user.
  • This articles looks at the experience of running both platforms, unique features, advantages and reported issued.
  • We also created a list of thebest hardware for SmartThings– this is the most value add sensors, hubs, and lights that were recommended by our readers. We also have a similar list of thebest hardware for Home Assistant.

(Update May 2022) We continued running Home Assistant and spend over $2k on smart devices (sensors are expensive, but still no regrets) (see the full list). Overall I am running over 100 automation routines, and documented the majority of them in theAutomation Bankfor people to use. You might check the list of16 must-have automations

How do Home Assistant and SmartThings compare?

SmartThings kit

Raspberry Pi for Home Assistant

SmartThings vs Home Assistant: What is the Best Smart Home Hub (1)SmartThings vs Home Assistant: What is the Best Smart Home Hub (2)
$349.99 on Amazon$279.99 on Amazon

SmartThings is something I would try as the beginner. Easy to start, affordable, but with certain cloud limitations and frustrating to build something more complicated

Home Assistant is just being promoted from hobbyist playground into consumer product. This comes with some growth pains, but fun to learn new things and part of a great community

  • Simple product and easy to start with
  • Cheaper starting kit
  • Good quality out of box kit
  • Can use four protocols (Zwave, Zigbee, Bluetooth, wifi)
  • The best UI and rules engine by far (although require some getting used to)
  • Fast pace development and massive list of integrations (over 2000 devices)
  • Great community
  • Potential to replace all other smart home apps for your devices
  • Only works in the cloud and with internet
  • Recent system outages
  • Rules engine is too simple
  • Steep learning curve to start
  • Need to buy all items separately
  • Effort required to make it simple for all family use


  • How do Home Assistant and SmartThings compare?
  • How to choose between SmartThings and Home Assistant?
  • Home Assistant: complicated but mighty
  • SmartThings: Great intro to smart home
  • What about the rest of the competition?

How to choose between SmartThings and Home Assistant?

Fundamentally the choice between Smart Things and Home Assistant is the one between two smart home concepts. SmartThings is solid off the shelf device from a known brand for an average consumer, but a dependency on the internet and limited flexibility might put off some more advanced users. Home Assistant is very flexible, powerful system that can integrate all your devices in one ecosystem, but its open source nature would require some time to get used to.

You can still start with Smarthings and test it out (with recent discounts it is really a no-brainer) especially if you are not sure of your technical skills. If it all goes well, you can still use it with Home Assistant. However, do not hesitate and go for Home Assistant if you are even slightly tech skilled (Best Hardware for Home Assistant) and plan to automate many things in your house. The reason is that any new system (even as simple as Smart Things) require some investment of time to get used to it, so we recommend to do it with more flexible and powerful system. This investment will give you benefits and better return on effort long after.

Home Assistant: complicated but mighty

Home Assistant started fairly recently in 2015 and has been growing at a great pace over the last years. As of now, it has over 2,000 supported devices and one of the most active open source projects. It can be installed on many devices—from full-blown Linux systems to some network-attached storage (NAS) environments and most importantly on a Raspberry Pi. Good architecture choices made it easy to develop and expand. For example, it is written in Python, which allows developers to create fast integration with many devices (including cars, DIY sensors etc) and services (like share prices, weather). The UI is also based on Polymer, the Google library implementing the Web Components standard, so it looks clean and attractive out of the box.

Three things make Home Assistant stand out and first of all its the expansion abilities. It natively offers more than 2000 devices and platforms with the number growing exponentially. This most likely to cover the majority of the devices that you own and will allow you to use one place to control all of them rather than having a dozen of apps on your phone. You can connect other devices using additional comms hardware (like our favourite Conbee II ($30.39)) or evenSmartThings ($209.99)). Benefits of this cannot be understated as all your devices and information from them can be used as triggers and conditions (like motion or luminance). Another related feature is that it can be used as powerful notification centre notifying you not only when your cleaner came and left, but any other events (for example if the shares you bought drops in price or bitcoins is in trouble again).

SmartThings vs Home Assistant: What is the Best Smart Home Hub (3)

Secondly, it is This is morepolished and self-contained version of Home Assistant which can be installed and minutes. It deserves an article on its own, but its main brilliance is bringing professional like complexity to commercial market allowing you to control the complicated system with simple UI. It is not on par with ease of SmartThings, but a welcome feature for less advance users. In addition, it also modular and there are very useful add-ons (likeNode-Red, home bridge and so on) that can be installed and configured in minutes further increasing functionally.

Lastly, controlling many different devices from different brands and using various protocols might be difficult and that is where Home Assistant get is right. All you supported devices will be integrated into single eco-system and controlled using unified components. For example, regardless of any brand, you can switch off and off any light in the same way and change available parameters. Once your device is in Home Assistant you can setup all the automations via a text editor and YAML (scripting language). This is very powerful and flexible, but complicated to learn and deploy. Our preferred way is Node-RED – visual rules editor that was initially developed by IBM specifically for the Internet of things. It is very easy to learn, make prototype automations and rollout with a very simple visual interface.

At the same time, other Home Assistant features can put away some consumers. This might be a lack of official mobile application. The philosophy is that web application designed for mobile first would not require a designated app and smart home needs to be smart, not just allow you to manually control devices. It works great for us, but I see how it can be different for others. Secondly, starting with Home Assistant might be scary and intimidating. It is not something you buy in the shop and within 30 minutes all works. You probably need at least couple of hours to get it started. In our experience it worth the effort and also as even starting with SmartThings will require learning the skills you learned in setting up Home Assistant will go long way.

The last concern is integration with some platforms like Google Home might be overly complicated. The developers recently overcame this with Home Assistant cloud, but it is still not as seamless as you would hope.

Overall, we believe that Home Assistant is already a major force in smart home market and continue growing. It has already become something bigger than justa smart home hub for many users and helps to have one place to get all the information required around your house. Looking at competition we do not see any comparable system in terms of complexity and flexibility. Although the ease of implementation can be improved, the functionality and features it offers more than justifies the investment of effort and time.

SmartThings: Great intro to smart home

SmartThings was created in 2011 and later acquired by Samsung. Today it is the best off-the-shelf offering for the majority consumers despite fierce competition. This is because SmartThings offers a reasonably priced kit including a number of devices like sensors and outlets, has four most popular protocols (Zig-bee, Z-wave, Bluetooth, and wifi) and easy to set up. Comparing to Home Assistant, however, it loses in the flexibility and complexity of automations possible, but even more so in the amount of integration possible. Basically, HomeAssistant can become a true centre of your smart home, while Smart thing will only be handling only some of your smart devices.

SmartThings vs Home Assistant: What is the Best Smart Home Hub (4)

The best feature that I like in Smart things is how easy it is for consumers to pick up and start using. You can literally buy the kit from the shop, bring it home, install the devices, pair them with the hub and all that under 30 minutes. As a commercial product, it has support team from Samsung which helps resolve issues.

Rules manager is easy to use and you can easily setup simple automations. Complicated rules might be difficult to create, but community developed WebCoRE – an add-on scripting tool – extends the capabilities of the hub. At the same time, it requires time to understand and use, so we think spending time on learning Home Assistant will give you more returns

As we mentioned, expanding and adding new devices is generally easier comparing to Home Assistant. Having four most used protocols used means you can just buy a new device and will have no troubles integrating in your system. The app guides you through overall process, although some users noted unnecessary over complication of the navigation and un-intuitive interface choices.

Switching to the negatives of the SmartThings, reliance on the internet would be our biggest concern. A smart home is an integral part of the modern house and significantly reducing the resilience of the hub of making it dependent on internet connection is not a wise choice. While we understand the desire for Samsung to gather data and maybe use some computation power of the cloud to control the SmartThings better, but this should have been done in addition to local control, not as the only option. As the result, any outages in Samsung servers (we had a number of reports recently) or internet connection disruption will make it impossible for you to control the hub and also disable your rules. If you live in the city the latter is not a problem, but it makes it difficult for rural sites.

Another big negative point for SmartThings is presence detection. In the modern automations, the presence detection is one of the key conditions and triggers for your heating to start warming your home, make sure that alarm system is switched on and avoid unnecessary energy waste. While this can be done using a number of factors in Home Assistant (router detection of your mobile, GPS position etc) SmartThings rely on the additional sensor that you should carry around with you. Although this seems to be a good idea, in theory, users report that it is very unreliable and frustrating to use.

As we mentioned, overall SmartThings is a good choice for some users and offers good value for money. However, consumers need to be aware of the limitation of the system and factor this in when making a purchase choice. What might be a good option is to buy SmartThings and when you worked on the setup and encountered limitation mentioned above, you make SmartThings a middleman to Home Assistant. This will allow you to easily pair the devices, but allow Home Assistant handle all the controls and integration with other devices.

What about the rest of the competition?

Obviously, there are so many other systems in the market, and we made sure that we reviewed all of them before making our recommendation. For Home Assistant main competitors are OpenHub and Domoticz. For Smarthings it is Wink 2, Insteon, Vera. Some users also compare it to more expensive and more professional systems like HomeSeer or Loxone, but we do not think this is fair even if just looking at price levels. You need to spend $2,000 on just hardware while $1,000 would be the absolute maximum for any of the above systems.

Please also have a look at out comprehensive guide into the best smart home hubs in the market today.

The reasons to prefer two platforms we recommended versus competition are the following:

  • OpenHub, slower development, and fewer integrations while no extra functionality (see more detailed review)
  • Domoticz– while one of the early smart home hubs, it lost its development pace and do not have many of the modern features


  • See our recommendation how tospend first $250 on Smart Home
  • InstallHome Assistant
  • InstallNode-RED– a visual tool to set up automations
  • Install beautifulHome Assistant Panel


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Last update on 2023-01-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

SmartThings vs Home Assistant: What is the Best Smart Home Hub (2024)


Is there a better app than SmartThings? ›

The best alternative is, which is both free and Open Source. Other great apps like SmartThings are openHAB, Google Home, ioBroker and Domoticz. SmartThings alternatives are mainly Home Automation Tools but may also be Media Players.

Do you still need a SmartThings hub? ›

You only need a hub if you want to use a zigbee or Zwave device. If you are only going to use Wi-Fi devices or devices with their own bridge, or a Samsung smart television, or smart appliance, you don't need a hub. And at this point, that's the vast majority of smartthings customers.

Can I use SmartThings hub with home assistant? ›

SmartThings is integrated into Home Assistant through the SmartThings Cloud API. The features of this integration include: Controlling SmartThings devices as Home Assistant entities (see platforms for supported devices and capabilities).

Who took over SmartThings hub? ›

The good news is that SmartThings v3 hubs (now made by Aeotec) and the $35 dongle for Samsung appliances with SmartThings software hubs will become Thread border routers.

Why did Samsung discontinue SmartThings? ›

SmartThings isn't being discontinued. Currently, Samsung is making it into a more powerful and “universal” platform. Instead of developing its products, Samsung SmartThing decided to ditch its legacy products and apps to focus on improving the features and security of its platform.

What will replace SmartThings? ›

Going forward, SmartApps will use the SmartThings API. Samsung migrated some of the default SmartApps—like lock management and Smart Home Monitor—when they retired the classic SmartThings app. They will also migrate the popular Smart Lighting and Severe-Weather Alert SmartApps starting September 30th.

Is Samsung coming out with a new SmartThings hub? ›

SmartThings Station will launch in the U.S. and Korea. The device will be available in black or white from early February 2023 in the U.S. market. Up to 15W wireless charging is available for devices that support 15W.

Is Aeotec hub the same as SmartThings hub? ›

The only difference between the Aeotec Smart Home Hub and the Samsung SmartThings Hub V3 is the branding. That's since both products are identical; the only difference is that the hub is now manufactured by Aeotec rather than Samsung. Two crucial modules are hidden inside the case: Z-Wave and Zigbee.

What kind of hub do I need for SmartThings? ›

For the majority of users, the SmartThings Hub v3 is the best SmartThings compatible hub you can buy in 2022. A combined SmartThings hub and router could provide an all-in-one solution that's easy to set up.

What devices work best with Home Assistant? ›

  • MQTT.
  • Philips Hue.
  • Plex Media Server.
  • Shelly.
  • SmartThings.
  • Sonos.
  • Z-Wave.
  • Zigbee Home Automation.

Can you use SmartThings WiFi as just a hub? ›

While both products are powered by Plume, SmartThings Wifi also works as a SmartThings hub to manage the SmartThings ecosystem.

Is Samsung Smart home the same as SmartThings? ›

Samsung Connect Home is a mesh router; SmartThings is a smart home hub. They are two very different products, but they share one thing in common: both can function as a SmartThings hub.

How many versions of SmartThings hub are there? ›

There are now 3 different versions of the SmartThings hub available, the V1 (generation 1), the V2 (generation 2), and V3(generation 3).

Is SmartThings worth it? ›

We used SmartThings for over a year to see if it's a good foundation for a smart home. Samsung SmartThings offers some of the best smart home compatibility on the market. It works with most smart home platforms and helps control your smart devices from a single app.

What is the difference between SmartThings hub V2 and V3? ›

The SmartThings hub is what connects all of your sensors and devices to your WiFi and each other. Both hubs are compatible with Z-Wave and ZigBee devices. They both plug into power, but only one has battery backup: SmartThings v2 hub. The new version 3 hub does not have battery backup like its previous version does.

Does SmartThings drain battery? ›

Judging by our experience so far, SmartThings, One UI 3.1, and the Galaxy S21 Ultra don't seem to be getting along very well, leading to significant battery life drainage.

What does Aeotec hub do? ›

The Aeotec Smart Home Hub is the central connection and is the intelligent brain of your Smart Home. It allows you to connect wirelessly to a wide range of compatible smart devices, like lights and sensors. It is all dedicated to your routines: Automate your personal routines with the SmartThings App for more comfort.

Is SmartThings a ZigBee hub? ›

The SmartThings Hub contains internal Z-Wave and ZigBee radio antennae to communicate wirelessly with Z-Wave and ZigBee devices. The Hub acts as the primary controller for the Z-Wave and ZigBee networks.

What app is replacing Samsung Smart Home? ›

Now your home can keep up with your busy schedule. SmartThings lets you automate your home so your mornings are easier and your nights are calmer.

Can you have multiple SmartThings hubs? ›

At this time, SmartThings does not support having multiple hubs in one location. You won't be able to control the same devices using multiple hubs because devices can only be paired to one controller at a time. However, you can control multiple hubs from one account, provided each hub has its own location.

How many Zigbee hubs do I need? ›

Multi-Device – With support for many devices on a single network, you'll never need more than one Zigbee hub. If you only want a few devices, you may need a Zigbee repeater or a different protocol if you're spreading your smart devices over an entire house.

What app is replacing Samsung smart home? ›

Now your home can keep up with your busy schedule. SmartThings lets you automate your home so your mornings are easier and your nights are calmer.

Which is the best app for everything? ›

The best Android apps available right now:
  • 1Weather.
  • Google Drive.
  • Waze and Google Maps.
  • Google Search / Assistant / Feed.
  • LastPass.
  • Microsoft Swiftkey.
  • Nova Launcher.
  • Pocket Casts.
Jan 1, 2023

Is Aeotec the same as SmartThings? ›

The only difference between the Aeotec Smart Home Hub and the Samsung SmartThings Hub V3 is the branding. That's since both products are identical; the only difference is that the hub is now manufactured by Aeotec rather than Samsung. Two crucial modules are hidden inside the case: Z-Wave and Zigbee.

Is SmartThings app necessary? ›

SmartThings: The app. The app is likely the biggest part of the SmartThings system that you'll encounter. While you'll use the app to setup and control your SmartThings hardware via your SmartThings hub, there's actually no need to have any SmartThings-branded hardware at all to use the SmartThings platform.

Is there one app to control all smart homes? ›

The Google Home app is probably the best app to control all smart home devices. This includes Google Nest, Google Wi-Fi, Google Home devices, Chromecast, and so on. It's also for managing smart products from Nest, Philips Hue, and other compatible brands.

Is Samsung smart home the same as SmartThings? ›

Samsung Connect Home is a mesh router; SmartThings is a smart home hub. They are two very different products, but they share one thing in common: both can function as a SmartThings hub.

What happened to Samsung family hub app? ›

It's also normal if the Family Hub mobile app no longer works because the app has been discontinued. Instead of the Family Hub mobile app, you will need to use the SmartThings app to control certain things on your Family Hub. The SmartThings app is available from both the Play Store and the App Store.

What is the number 1 app right now? ›

Top 10 Most Downloaded Apps of 2021
  • TikTok. It's no surprise that TikTok is one of the most downloaded apps of 2021. ...
  • 2. Facebook. ...
  • Instagram. ...
  • WhatsApp. ...
  • Telegram. ...
  • Moj. ...
  • Zoom. ...
  • Snapchat.

What is the number one app of all time? ›

FAQs on Most Downloaded Apps of All Time

Answer: TikTok has been the most downloaded app, and it is indeed the most used app so far, closely followed by Instagram, Facebook, and WhatsApp. Q #3) How many users are on TikTok? Answer: TikTok has over 1 billion active users worldwide.

What is the #1 app in the world? ›

Most Popular Apps 2021 (Global)
AppDownloads (mm)
6 more rows

Who owns Aeotec? ›

Aeotec Group GmbH.

Does Aeotec require a subscription? ›

The Aeotec hub comes with a one-year warranty, lifetime support, and doesn't require any subscriptions.

What is the point of SmartThings hub? ›

SmartThings lets you easily control, monitor, and secure your home from anywhere in the world. The heart of your smart home, the Samsung SmartThings Hub will connect all of your different smart locks, lights, outlets, thermostats, and more and let you control them from the free SmartThings app.

Can I use my phone as a SmartThings hub? ›

The SmartThings app allows you to use your old phone as a sound detector or hub for your smart home. One example of this in use is repurposed smartphones being used as baby monitors; the microphone in the device can pick up the sound of a baby crying.

Can you use SmartThings without Wi-Fi? ›

As long as you are using a local automation and your devices are eligible to run locally and your hub is still on power they should work without the Internet. Note that the smartthings app will not work without the Internet even if it is on the same Wi-Fi as your hub and hue bridge.

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