With the advancement of technology, we can now transform our homes into smart homes with smart devices. You can control these smart devices from your smartphone with the respective apps installed. However, it is difficult for a user to have multiple apps for different smart devices. That is where the concept of a smart hub comes into the scene. A smart hub lets you control all the smart devices installed in your home from a single app on your smartphone.
When it comes to buying a smart hub, the two most popular choices are SmartThings and Home Assistant smart hub. Even though both the products are different from one another significantly, there is always a comparison done between the two before purchasing. In this article, we will discuss about these smart hubs and compare them to help you choose the better one.
About Home Assistant
Home Assistant is a software system for home automation. It is not an actual device kit. This powerful system can become the central control system for all the smart devices installed in your home. The best part about Home Assistant is that its system is completely customizable to meet the flexible requirements of the users. You can literally program any smart device to become as smart as you want it to be.
You can schedule their operations, set trigger points, make smart devices work together, much more. It is a locally connected system instead of a cloud-connected system which is why it is more secure, faster, and reliable. Even though the Home Assistant system is free to download, you will need to buy a compatible hardware kit to make it work with your smart devices at home.
SmartThings is a complete home automation kit. It is a perfect gadget for average consumers who have fewer customization needs and more ready-made requirements. It is a cloud-connected system, and it requires an internet connection for proper functioning.
There are enough but limited inbuilt features and functionalities available for consumers to operate their smart devices from one app. However, the SmartThings kit is compatible with limited smart devices. But the installation process is extremely easy, and it is one of the best-selling smart hub kits cum systems.
Comparison Between Home Assistant Vs SmartThings
1. Connectivity Technology
Both Home Assistant and SmartThings hubs need wireless technology for linking with smart home devices. However, they have different interfaces when it comes to connecting to smart home devices. SmartThings hub requires Wi-Fi connectivity for controlling devices. Therefore, an internet connection is mandatory.
On the contrary, Home Assistant operates with a Wi-Fi network, local network(Z-wave/Zigbee) or Bluetooth 4.1 connectivity. Therefore, it enables you to have local control over your smart home devices even when there is no internet connectivity available.
2. Control Types
Home Assistant and SmartThings hub have different controls for operating the connected smart devices as per requirements. When it comes to Samsung SmartThings Hub, it requires an app for controlling the connected smart devices. The app is only suitable for iOS 10 and Android 5 and above.
When it comes to Home Assistant, it is compatible with different smart hub devices. Hence, you can control smart devices through voice control as well as app control. As for the app, you must have iOS 9.1 or Android 4.4 or above for the app to be functional.
3. Compatible Controllers
SmartThings already comes with a primary controller kit whereas Home Assistant is a software system, and you have to buy a controller for it. With the primary controller kit, SmartTihings does not have voice control. However, Smartthings hub is compatible with voice assistants, including Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. The smart speakers work with your voice and let you have complete control over the connected devices.
Coming to Home Assistant, it is built to be compatible with different types of controllers. Popular compatible controllers are Raspberry Pi, LightwaveRF, Hive, Nest, LIFX, and Hue Bridge smart hub. To everyone’s surprise, it is also compatible with SmartThings.
4. Compatible Smart House Accessories
Both the smart hubs enable you to have complete control of all the different types of smart house accessories, including smart plugs, cameras, and smart bulbs. However, it can connect only to a select number of accessories at one time. Currently, SmartThings is compatible with over 5,000 smart devices from hundreds of different brands. From that perspective, Home Assistant has less compatibility in terms of devices as well as brands. However, both the smart hubs are perfect for regular smart devices that most people use.
5. Power Rating
Keep in mind that both Home Assistant and SmartThings hub require electricity to operate. You will have to plug them with the help of an adapter. Without electricity, both the devices will be of no use. Home Assistant requires 1.7 watts of power and 1.4 watts on the standby mode. However, it depends on the controller you are using with it. SmartThings hub runs with a wall outlet of 100-240V and 5-60 Hertz AC power
6. Device Type
What separates SmartThings hub from Home Assistant is that they are two unique types of devices. SmartThings is considered a smart hub that comes in the form of a kit when you unbox. Home Assistant is considered a system that is compatible with different smart hubs. Home Assistant is basically an app that you need to sync with a compatible smart hub and control all connected devices.
7. Weight & Dimension
SmartThings comes in a size of 4.72 x 4.72 x 1.6 3 inches, and the weight is 0.46 lbs. The Home Assistant speaker weighs 0.38 lbs & the size is 3.9 x 3.9 x 1.6 inches. The compact and portable size will offer you more convenience.
Comparison Summary Table –
|Connectivity Technology||Wi-Fi/Internet||Wi-Fi/Local network and Bluetooth|
|Control Types||App(out of the box)||App/Voice Control (as per controller)|
|Compatible Controllers||Limited||Wider Compatibility|
|Compatible Smart Home Accessories||More||Less|
|Power Rating||5-60 Hertz||1.7 watts|
|The Device Type||Smart Hub||Smart System|
How to Choose Between SmartThings and Home Assistant?
In short, SmartThings is simple but limited. Home Assistant is slightly complicated but unlimited in features. Therefore, if you are an average user who wants a simple smart hub to control your smart devices, SmartThings is best for you. It comes from Samsung, and therefore, it is reliable and intuitive. You can set it up in under half an hour to control all smart devices instantly.
On the contrary, if you are tired of using the regular smart hub devices, including SmartThings, you should opt for Home Assistant. This is because Home Assistant is meant for advanced users who want to customize the features and functionalities of the smart devices in terms of their operations. However, the setting up process is complicated, and hence, we recommend it only for advanced users.
People prefer smart devices over regular devices for home due to easy control and smart operation. If you have many smart devices at your home, a smart hub is essential for you to replace different apps for different smart devices with a single smart hub app. You will have complete control and remote access facility at the palm of your hand. If you are a basic user and a beginner at using s smart hub system, you should go for SmartThings. However, if you want to customize and make your smart devices smarter, there is no alternative to the Home Assistant smart hub system for you.
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