Wink and SmartThings are two popular home automation hubs, but which is better?
Wink was one of the first to market, so it has a lot of brand recognition. However, the SmartThings hub quickly gained ground in the industry with its customizable options.
In this guide, I compare the Wink 2 vs SmartThings 3 by their specifications and features to help you understand the differences between these smart devices.
Comparison: SmartThings vs Wink
Samsung SmartThings 3rd Generation
The 3rd Gen SmartThings is an upgrade from an earlier version that works well with a wide range of smart technologies.
It works with Amazon Alexa, but you can also create custom voice commands to teach your hub through the SmartThings app.
For example, use the mobile app to say “I’m home!” which then unlocks your front door, turns off the security system, and powers up the air conditioning.
It’s a small unit that can be placed on an empty shelf, desk, or table, although it is not designed to be on its side if you wanted to place it on your bookshelf.
Wink Hub 2nd Generation
The Wink Hub 2 is also an upgraded version of the Wink Smart Hub and offers an easy transfer to the newer, faster Hub 2. It offers more memory and more powerful Wi-Fi for faster connection.
Wink works with various smart home devices and can easily be controlled via the Wink App. You can also voice control devices with the Wink Hub 2 and Amazon Alexa.
The Wink Hub 2 is an upright hub and can blend in well on your bookshelf.
Wink Or SmartThings? Comparing Features
No Battery Backup
Having a battery backup system to cover all your smart devices is the ideal thing to include in your smart home setup.
Neither of these home hubs has a backup system built in.
Unfortunately, the SmartThings v2 had a battery backup, but v3 does not. So you will have to tie this unit into an existing backup system, which means more wires to contend with.
The wink smart hub also has no battery backup system, which means that your entire smart home could be rendered useless after a power outage if you are not careful.
Not to mention, when the power does return, everything will need to reboot and hopefully reconnect to all devices without issue.
The Wink Hub 2 can be connected either via Wi-Fi or hardwired to an ethernet port. So if your Internet router has no free ports available or you prefer to use one less cable, this unit can still connect!
If you’re on a metered connection, it’s important to note that Wink constantly updates to ensure compatibility with new and older devices around your home. These updates may be pretty small, but it’s something to be aware of.
SmartThings may be less accessible to those wanting Wi-Fi. The use of z-wave and Zigbee protocols means that devices have a more limited range, especially when compared with the much wider reach afforded by Wi-Fi.
Those still seeking an alternative route should check out Google’s Home Kit enabled products that can connect through Elexa or Hue bridges to access Wi-Fi networks.
As mentioned above, SmartThings v3 connects using Zigbee and z-wave. While it’s possible to use 3rd parties to work with Wi-Fi, it’s a disappointment that it’s not integrated as the main feature.
Wink 2 supports a wider range of protocols, including Bluetooth connectivity (LE), Kidde, Lutron Clear Connect, Wi-Fi, Z-Wave, and Zigbee devices.
Both apps are pretty easy to use but need better troubleshooting help within the app when things go wrong.
The new SmartThings mobile app is called Samsung Connect that gets you started.
Previous owners will be happy to know that after you’ve set everything up, you can use the classic SmartThings app. It’s important to keep in mind that you may not control connected devices with the older app.
The Wink app is easy to use and understand. Unfortunately, they’ve recently added a subscription fee, and many users are complaining that it’s not as good as it once was. The fee didn’t add any additional features or support, so it seems more of a cash grab than anything else.
Both smart hubs support hundreds of different smart home devices, but if you need a specific smart device for your home, it’s best to check for compatibility before purchasing.
We receive common questions about Google Assistant, Smart Lights, Motion Sensors, and other smart devices that you will find compatible with these units.
For Wink users, it should be noted that those with Hue lighting hubs will need an additional smart home hub to run their lights.
Warranty And Device Support
These hubs also have extensive online communities to help with any issue you might run into. It’s best to search their forums for your troubles before creating a new thread.
Both hubs come with a one-year limited warranty. This warranty only applies should the hub fail under conditions of normal use.
Wink may replace or repair your Hub 2 with a reconditioned part at their discretion. We assume the process is similar to the SmartThings hub.
Installation Process and Setup
With all the updates over the years, both hubs are getting easier to set up and connect to your smart devices. I consider both of them to be about the same, no winner, no loser.
If you’re just starting out, don’t worry, the setup for both is relatively user-friendly.
Once activated, they will look for smart devices in your home and provide an intuitive setup process to guarantee that your home security system, door locks, smoke detector, and other smart technologies sync automatically.
The phone app can help you detect and connect any smart technology that doesn’t present itself initially. Once these connected devices are set up, you’re on your way to control those devices.
For those upgrading their Wink Hubs, the transition is even smoother. Per the manufacturer, you can make these transfers with your app in less than a minute. Once this has been completed, any upgrades or additions offered by Wink 2 can also be synced to the hub.
In Summary: Which Is Better Wink Or SmartThings?
It’s hard to pick a winner here because they are so similar, and both of them fail with no battery backup option.
If you need Wi-Fi or a wide range of protocols out of the box, Wink Hub 2 is the better pick.
Either way, both of the hubs can significantly improve your home automation desires so you can spend more time doing other things and thinking about the little things less.