Creating your very own smart home ecosystem can be exciting. But can also be overwhelming to try to figure out which features to add and how to control them all. That’s where a smart hub comes in. A hub helps connect devices together, so they’re simple for you to control. Two of the most popular hub devices on the market are Wink Hub 2 and SmartThings Hub. Both have a wide variety of smart home options to add to your ecosystem, but there are distinct differences you should know about.
Between the two, SmartThings is our pick, since it has a superior app and unlimited devices to connect to. Based out of California and a wholly owned subsidiary of Samsung, SmartThings is known for making smart home devices work together seamlessly at a pretty great price.
Wink has some solid smart home hub options as well, but does not have the same reputation as SmartThings. Wink’s scores are very low in both the App Store and Google Play, with reviewers expressing frustration with its usability. However, users express it’s a simple system to use, and it’s ideal for non-techie types who simply need to connect devices together to use inside a smart home.
Here, SecurityNerd will provide an in-depth look at both companies and their smart hubs to help you decide which is best for you.
Wink and SmartThings: What do they have in common?
- Voice Control: Both hubs provide voice control using either Alexa or Google Assistant. This adds an extra level of convenience, since you can simply tell Alexa to turn the lights off, lock the door, or use other voice commands.
- Mobile apps: Both of these hubs are controlled through mobile apps that can be downloaded in both the App Store and Google Play.
- Compatibility: With both of these hubs you’ll have dozens of options for compatible smart home devices. If you’re interested in a specific brand or already have existing smart devices in your home, it’s important to check both hubs to make sure they are compatible.
- No subscription: You won’t have to pay a subscription fee or monthly payment with either of these hubs. Just purchase once, and you can continually use them to keep your smart home connected.
- Affordability: Although Wink Hub 2 is less expensive, both of these hubs are affordable, and make for a great investment to your home.
- Easy to install: Users say both of these hubs are simple to install, and aren’t difficult to set up exactly the way you like them.
Wink and SmartThings: What are the differences?
- Security system option: Wink offers a full DIY security system option along with its hub, which includes motion sensors and the ability to dial 911 in an emergency. While SmartThings is compatible with some other security systems, it does not have its own to purchase.
- Number of connected devices: Wink can connect to up to 430 devices at once, while SmartThings has unlimited connectivity. Most people likely don’t have that many devices to connect, but if you do, SmartThings is the winner here.
- Battery backup: It’s important to think about what would happen in case of a power outage or power surge. Only SmartThings has a battery backup option, while Wink does not.
- App store ratings: The app is what makes SmartThings come out on top. The scores for the Wink app on both app stores are under 2, while SmartThings has over 4 stars in both app stores. Many Wink customers complain the app is the shortfall of the system.
- Memory: SmartThings has 256 MB memory, which is far more than Wink’s 64 MB. But this may not matter to you if you don’t have a multitude of products to use along with Wink’s hub.
Wink Hub: What you need to know
Wink is a company known for making your home smarter. The goal of Wink’s products is to connect smart devices in your home to make every day a little easier. If you’re a fan of Wink’s hub, you may like its DIY security system as well. The Wink Hub 2 is an affordable way to create a smart home, since it allows you to control everything from one Wink app. You can choose from dozens of compatible products for a seamless transition.
- Compatibility: There are so many great products that are compatible with Wink Hub 2, that it’s almost certain you’ll find items you want to use in your smart home on the compatibility list. From smart lights to door locks, you’ll be able to incorporate just about every smart product into this hub.
- Price: This hub is affordably priced at $62.99 on Amazon, which is considerably lower than the SmartThings hub. It’s a great investment that will allow you to control every part of your smart home from one app.
- Voice control: Ask Alexa or Google Assistant to adjust the lights, lock the doors, or any number of tasks using the voice control option.
- Poor app reviews: This is easily the Wink Hub’s biggest downfall. With ratings under 2 stars in both app stores, it doesn’t give us a lot of confidence that the app won’t have problems. The app is likely something you want to use every day, so this is disappointing for this product.
- No battery backup: If your home is prone to power surges or outages, there is no battery backup with this hub. So when the power goes out, so does your ability to control the hub.
- VOICE CONTROL: Works with Alexa and Google Assistant (devices sold separately)
- CONNECT ALL YOUR SMART DEVICES: Easily connect and manage your smart home ecosystem with Wink Hub 2. Compatible with all major smart home...
- ONE SIMPLE APP: Control all your home’s smart devices, no matter where you may be, using the Wink app on your smartphone. Set up shortcuts...
- ULTIMATE COMPATIBILITY: Wink Hub 2 enables you to connect and control 400+ smart home devices, including those made by Nest, Philips, Ring,...
- THE LARGEST PROTOCOL SUPPORT: Wink Hub 2 supports Bluetooth LE, ZigBee, Z-Wave, Kidde, and Lutron Clear Connect. Works with more smart home...
SmartThings Hub: What you need to know
SmartThings is a company focused solely on connecting your devices together to create and control a smart home ecosystem. Based out of California, it is a subsidiary of Samsung. From temperature control to voice activation, you can train your home to detect patterns and turn on devices when they are needed. Users give the SmartThings app near perfect ratings in both app stores, saying it’s both easy to use and works like it’s supposed to on a consistent basis.
- App ratings: With ratings in both app stores over 4 stars, you can be confident you can utilize the app on a daily basis without any hassle. Considering you need the app to control your smart home every day, this rating is a huge selling point.
- Unlimited connections: You can connect as many smart home devices as you want, using this hub, which means any compatible item you buy will fit in seamlessly.
- Battery backup: Having a battery backup is a plus if your home experiences power surges or power outages. You won’t have to worry about your system going down if you lose power for a few hours.
- No security system option: While it’s important to note that ADT offers compatibility with this smart hub, you cannot buy a DIY security system from SmartThings like you can with Wink.
- Some tech-savvy needed: If you’re not at least a little technologically inclined, you may have some trouble setting up rules within this system. If you’re a techie, you’ll love it.
- Connectivity: Wirelessly connect and control a wide range of compatible smart devices from 40+ partner brands, including voice assistants,...
- Home Automation: Teach the hub your Good Morning, Goodbye, Goodnight, and other routines to automatically turn devices on or off throughout...
- 24/7 Monitoring: Receive app alerts from connected devices when there’s unexpected activity in your home. Material: Plastic. Range (feet)...
- Voice Controls: Use voice commands to control connected devices using SmartThings and the Google Assistant
- Improved DIY Solution: Improved guided on boarding for easier setup. Hub connects with Wi-Fi so does not need to be connected to an Ethernet...
The bottom line on choosing between Wink and SmartThings
When deciding between Wink and SmartThings for your smart home hub, SmartThings stands out in several areas, including a highly-rated app and battery backup. Plus, you can connect an unlimited amount of devices, which means the sky is the limit in using SmartThings within your home.
However, Wink is still a great smart hub, especially if you are looking for a simple DIY security system along with your hub. Wink’s standalone security system works with its hub, so it’s worth looking into if you’re already a Wink fan. In the end, both systems are popular with user-friendly installations, and your choice will likely come down to your personal preference and priorities.
This article has been reviewed and approved by Officer Banta.
Officer Banta is the official SecurityNerd home security and safety expert. A member of the Biloxi Police Department for over 24 years, Officer Banta reviews all articles before lending his stamp of approval. Click here for more information on Officer Banta and the rest of our team.