Wink vs. SmartThings — What’s the Difference? | September 2017

Wink vs SmartThings

Choosing between Wink vs. SmartThings is like choosing between iOS and Android — they’re both great and offer a lot of smart features. But, there are a few minor differences between the two that we think are worth being mentioned.


About Wink and SmartThings Hubs

Smart products use smart home protocols to operate wirelessly. Some of the most popular of these protocols include Z-Wave, ZigBee, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth LE. Each smart home protocol has its own unique benefit and fits better for different products. Let’s take Z-Wave as an example: Z-Wave can transmit a signal a long range while using a small amount of power. This makes Z-Wave perfect for products like door and window sensors.

Anyway, the more smart home products you get, the harder it gets to control them all separately from different apps. And that’s where smart home hubs like Wink or SmartThings come in to help. The smart hubs translate all different protocols into one to help you have a connected home which you can control from one app. Not only do smart hubs unite all your smart products together in one app, but they also make them work with each other.

Both SmartThings and Wink hubs support IFTTT service (If This Then That) to help you create unique recipes for your home. Get email notifications, set schedules, and monitor your home from anywhere you are — with both Wink and SmartThings hubs, you create a well-connected smart home at your fingertips.

Wink offers two types of hubs: Wink Hub and Wink Hub 2. The latest version of the hub, Wink Hub 2, offers more compatibility options and just an overall better performance than the standard Wink Hub. You can read the detailed comparison in this article: Wink Hub vs Wink Hub 2.

Samsung SmartThings also has two types: Version 1 and Version 2. And while Version 1 is no longer manufactured or sold in the official SmartThings Shop, you can still buy it on Amazon. The second version of the SmartThings Hub features battery backup and local storage, so that it can continue operating even when there’s a power outage. The difference in price between the two is only around $20.

In this article we’ll use the latest versions of hubs — Wink Hub 2 and SmartThings v.2 for our comparison. Let’s begin!


Wink vs. SmartThings — The Differences

  • Difference #1: Integration – Both SmartThings and Wink Hub 2 offer a great range of compatible smart home products to work with. Any certified ZigBee or Z-Wave device will be compatible with either of these two hubs. There are some products that naturally integrate with the hub but, from time to time, some select products will need a workaround to pair the device.

    For example, Nest thermostat is fully compatible with the Wink Hub. And even though Nest doesn’t offer integration with the SmartThings Hub, you can still make them work together; this can be done through utilizing custom integrations created by developers via the SmartThings Developer Community. The SmartThings Developer Community offers great solutions for integrations you wouldn’t think possible.

On the other hand, there are other devices like Arlo Pro and Skybell that work natively with SmartThings, but are not supported by Wink Hub. However, these integrations are always changing: just recently Lutron started working with SmartThings after a long period of time where it didn’t.

Plus, when it comes to integration, SmartThings has their own line of sensors and devices, like motion sensors and water leak sensors. Whereas Wink only offers the hub which works with third-party products.

  • Difference #2: App Interface – Both SmartThings and Wink have their own app to unite all of your smart home products. However, when it comes to app UI, the preference definitely goes in favor of the Wink app. The Wink app is very intuitive which makes it unbelievably easy to use.

    The SmartThings app is a bit confusing and just not as appealing. It’s not as fast as the Wink app; it takes a longer time to load the menu, which can make even the most patient a bit agitated, and is an overall turn-away for SmartThings. The blocky design doesn’t look too stylish either. But I mean, design appeal is much more of an opinion.

    You can compare two interfaces in the picture above.

  • Difference #3: Power Supply – Both hubs come with a power supply, and an ethernet cable to connect them to your wifi router for fast and seamless operation. However, SmartThings also offers battery backup in the event that there’s a power outage in your home. The 4 AA batteries that come with the SmartThings Hub can extend its life for up to 10 hours in case of a power outage. This feature, combined with local storage, provides continuous, uninterrupted operation of the SmartThings Hub. It allows certain pre-configured automations that you store on your local storage for your home to continue working even without power.

    Whereas the Wink Hub 2 will go offline in the event of a power outage, as it does not have battery backup.

  • Difference #4: Size – The Wink Hub 2 is 7.25″ x 7.25″ x 1.25″ inches, whereas the SmartThings Hub is just 4.2 x 4.9 x 1.3 inches, which makes it almost twice as small as the Wink Hub 2. And even though both hubs have a similar design, both in white color — it’ll be way easier to hide SmartThings behind your TV or right next to your router than the Wink Hub 2.

  • Difference #5: Maximum number of devices connected – You can connect up to 530 devices to your Wink Hub 2. SmartThings, on the other hand, doesn’t have a limitation on the number of devices you can pair it with.

    Even if you have a huge house and plan on fully integrating it with smart products, it’ll probably be hard to get anywhere close to the 530 device limit. Yet, it’s good to have no device number limits when it comes to smart home automation — and SmartThings Hub is definitely respecting this.

  • Difference #6: Installation – Both hubs are very easy to set up and install, yet Wink offers more support when it comes to pairing with other smart products. Wink app allows you to scan barcodes, after which, it’ll guide you through pairing the device. The app shows tips to help you with getting all your smart products connected. For example, when pairing with dimmers, sometimes you need to tap the dimmer 3 times to make it connect to the Wink Hub. And you can rely on the Wink app to provide you with a step-by-step guide for each smart product.

    SmartThings doesn’t help you pairing the smart products to your SmartThings hub. It auto-detects all the compatible products in the area and pairs with them. Which works great, however, you might need to google for more details when it comes to certain products.

  • Difference #7: Security Features – SmartThings has the Smart Home Monitor feature which can easily arm or disarm your entire system. You can use SmartThings motion sensors to trigger alarm states or simply switch between arm and disarm states from your SmartThings app.

    You can also integrate SmartThings with Scout, which is a home security service that can alert you and call the police if an intrusion is detected.

And while Wink doesn’t have the Smart Home Monitor feature, you can still set it up using IFTTT service. Just connect your alarms and sirens to the Wink Hub and have it alert you to motion detection. Plus, just like SmartThings Hub, the Wink Hub 2 also works with the Scout Security Alarms, so if an intrusion is detected, it’ll notify you and call the police.


Wink vs. SmartThings — The Full Chart of Features

SmartThings HubWink Hub 2
ZigbeeYesYes
Z-WaveYesYes
IFTTTYesYes
Bluetooth LENoYes
Power sourceACAC
BatteryYesNo
AlexaYesYes
Google HomeYesYes
Maximum number of devicesUnlimited530
Works withSamsung, Schlage, Honeywell, First Alert,
Yale, OSRAM LIGHTIFY, D-Link, Bose,
Leviton, Cree
Kidde, Clear Connect, Philips Hue,
Lutron, Nest, ecobee, Gocontrol,
Sensi, Schlage, Commercial Electric,
Cree, Canary, Kwikset, Ring, Leviton,
Arlo, Rheem, Rachio, Honeywell, Bali,
Carrier, Andersen, Ecosmart, Osram,
Chamberlain
Local storage512 MB + 4 GB Flash512 MB
Dimensions1.30″ x 4.90″ x 4.20″7.25″ x 7.25″ x 1.75″
Price$79.99$94.86

Wink vs. SmartThings — The Bottom Line

wink hub 2

When choosing between the Wink Hub 2 and SmartThings Hub — it really comes down to compatibility features and which smart products you already have in your home. So, if you’re looking for a simple integration and intuitive app interface, we’d recommend the Wink Hub 2. The only thing to keep in mind is that as of now, the Wink Hub 2 only supports Arlo and Arlo Q cameras. So if you’re looking to get an Arlo Pro Camera setup, or already own one, then SmartThings is the better choice for you.

Our Article: Arlo vs. Arlo Pro — What’s the Difference?

The SmartThings Hub is a bit more complicated, but it offers more advanced capabilities. And, as we mentioned above, even though it doesn’t work natively with Nest thermostat, you can still find a way to connect it by checking the SmartThings Developer Community and searching for a solution to connect them — that community comes up with creative solutions for a lot of product integrations. If you don’t feel like tinkering, again, we’d say skip the SmartThings Hub and go with the Wink Hub 2. Or, instead of Nest, just get the ecobee4 thermostat with motion sensors, which will work seamlessly with both the Wink Hub 2 or SmartThings Hub.



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