Samsung’s SmartThings Station is a Minimal Solution to Use Matter

A photo of the SmartThings Station

The Samsung SmartThings Station is a Matter-compatible hub and smartphone charger in a single!
Photograph: Florence Ion /

It was an enormous week for Samsung. The corporate launched its newest batch of flagship smartphones, together with the Galaxy S23 Ultra, which has a whopping 200-MP major digital camera. It additionally reminded us that it’s promoting a tool ecosystem, first with the companion announcement of the Home windows-based Galaxy Ebook 3 Professional lineup, which guarantees seamless integration with Samsung smartphones. Then with SmartThings, which Samsung continues to trot out as a reminder that it’s nonetheless within the sensible house.

The corporate was handing out the SmartThings Station as a “reward” for keynote attendees. And since I used to be in San Francisco for the occasion, I introduced one house. Samsung introduced the Matter-compatible sensible hub final month at CES. It has a programmable button and wi-fi charging capabilities in your smartphone. Its iPhone app additionally obtained an replace that makes it suitable with iOS 16.

I nonetheless must get Matter-compatible equipment to pair with the SmartThings Station. There are nonetheless just a few choices available on the market, although so many extra are coming this yr. However I arrange the SmartThings Station to see what it’s like. At solely $80, it’s a comparatively reasonably priced approach to arrange a wise house in case you haven’t already, although I’m not planning on switching out my present setup anytime quickly.

The Samsung SmartThings Station is simple to arrange

A photo of the SmartThings Station

There are two indicator lights on the Station for SmartThings connectivity and wi-fi charging.
Photograph: Florence Ion /

The SmartThings Station seems like some other charging pad, however with two standing lights on the facet: one for the hub itself and one for wi-fi charging. The Station helps Matter, Thread, wifi, and Bluetooth. It could possibly connect with all varieties of sensible gadgets, together with bulbs, plugs, thermostats, and TVs. It additionally serves as a Zigbee controller. If you’d like extra Z-Wave connectivity, you’ll nonetheless have to purchase a separate SmartThings Hub manufactured by Aeotec. Nevertheless, hottest linked devices, like Philips Hue sensible bulbs, use Zigbee, so it’s an amply supported protocol to have available.

The SmartThings Station isn’t only a sensible house hub. It additionally works with SmartThings Discover to assist find any registered Samsung gadgets—together with Galaxy Buds and the Galaxy Watch—or something marked with the Samsung SmartTag Bluetooth tracker. The wi-fi charging maxes out at 15W. I’ll warning that it’ll solely cost as marketed in case you plug it into an adapter with acceptable wattage. I had probably the most success with a 25W adapter. Something under 15W and the charging indicator mild will blink yellow.

I received the SmartThings Station arrange in underneath ten minutes. After plugging it in, I didn’t even should ask the app to set it. After I opened SmartThings on my Pixel 7, I received an instantaneous immediate so as to add it to my community. And as soon as I tapped on Add now, it took care of all of the configuration for me.

Samsung thinks this can be a system you’d put inside arm’s attain, so there’s a button on the SmartThings Station. There are three mappable button actions: pressed, held, and double pressed, and every may be programmed to set off a particular routine. I’ve it programmed to show the lights on and off in my workplace with every press, and I prefer it as an alternative choice to speaking to Google (I don’t speak to Bixby).

Screenshots of the SmartThings app

The setup course of for programming the button on the SmartThings Station is fairly self-explanatory.
Screenshot: Florence Ion /

The place is the Samsung Dwelling Hub?

Somewhat over a yr in the past, Samsung mentioned it could launch the Dwelling Hub, a tablet-style system to handle SmartThings. The yr went on, and it by no means got here. The SmartThings Station is probably going the choice, and it’s extra reasonably priced than what an 8-inch pill would value to provide and keep. Google is launching the Pixel Pill someday this yr as a companion to its ecosystem, and it’s a surprise if Samsung will observe go well with after that. However a quote from an interview between The Verge and Samsung’s Jaeyeon Jung, head of SmartThings, appears to point the corporate goes to maintain issues easy within the sensible house house:

We stopped making SmartThings branded {hardware} and determined it could be a lot better for shoppers if the sensible house performance was embedded inside our merchandise, relatively than them having to purchase separate gadgets.

It’s value noting that the SmartThings Station is without doubt one of the few Matter-compatible gadgets that syncs up with the iPhone. Samsung up to date the SmartThings app on iOS this week with help for the protocol, which implies your iPhone-using housemates can arrange SmartThings routines (although they’ll’t use it to search out their iPhone). It’s good to see one other cross-platform various for iPhone customers, although the SmartThings expertise is in contrast to the native integration provided via Apple Dwelling. The Google Dwelling app on iOS doesn’t presently present Matter help for iPhone customers.

The SmartThings Station works with all Samsung and Android gadgets operating Android 8 and up. It syncs up with any Matter, ZigBee, BLE, and iOS system operating iOS 14 and up. It’s additionally suitable with 2.4 and 5 GHz wifi networks. It’s obtainable for $80 in white and black.

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