Samsung has released three new devices over the weekend under the SmartThings brand: a SmartThings Smart Bulb, SmartThings Cam, and SmartThings WiFI Smart Plug. These three devices together probably represent the most common devices for someone new to the smart home. Samsung clearly wants a piece of the pie they previously left to their competitors.
The SmartThings Smart Bulb is a basic bulb that is dimmable but not color controllable. It uses Zigbee 3.0 as its protocol, which is standard for SmartThings devices. The bulbs costs $9.99 through both the Samsung shop and Best Buy, the latter of which matches the price for a basic smart bulb from competitors such as Sengled and Sylvania.
No Hub Required
The SmartThings Cam is an indoor WiFi camera. It features 1080p resolution, 145° field of view, night vision, 2-way talk, motion zones, person detection, and cloud recording. The camera includes 24 hours of cloud storage for up to four cameras for free or 30 days and eight cameras for $7.99/month. This marks the first time SmartThings has offered a recurring charge as an option. The SmartThings Cam costs $89.99 with a $20 discount if you buy two through the Samsung Shop. This seems like a fair price compared to competitors such Ring, Arlo, and Nest. But with Wyze disrupting this market, it will be interesting to see how successful the SmartThings Cam is.
The SmartThings WiFi Smart Plug is a smart plug that connects via WiFi and can handle up to 15 amps or 1800 watts. The form factor is nice because using this plug in one outlet doesn’t block the other. Since this plug connects over WiFi, it doesn’t require a SmartThings hub. Samsung is clearly appealing to consumers who don’t want to purchase a hub, especially considering there’s already a SmartThings outlet on the market. But it uses Zigbee and requires the hub. This could potentially be confusing for SmartThings customers that want to use SmartThings sensors. The sensors use Zigbee, which relies on a mesh network that is strengthened by always-on devices such as plugs and wall switches. But in the end, choice is good if the pros and cons of the two plug models are clearly communicated. The SmartThings WiFi Smart Plug is available through the Samsung shop and Best Buy for $17.99. That’s a staggering $17 cheaper than the Zigbee model—about half the price!