If you’ve spent a lot of time (and money) outfitting your home with an assortment of devices in the hopes of transforming it into a highly impressive smart home, nothing can kill that enthusiasm quicker than when things just don’t work. One of the biggest culprits of this misery is when the internet goes down (the other being when the electric goes out; though in theory, that too could be avoided). But Verizon is looking to remedy the internet problem – that is, if you’re willing to pay the price.
Verizon is introducing the SmartHub, an – you guessed it – smart home hub thats part LTE modem, wifi router and home phone solution all in one. An OLED display sits on top of the SmartHub for data management and control, and users can download the Verizon Home app (for Android and iOS) to manage and automate actions on over 200 wifi and Z-Wave devices.
Verizon positions the sleek, modern device as the perfect option for customers seeking a “jack of all trades” solution; but there’s potential it fits the “master of none” category instead. For starters, as a smart home hub, it’s Z-Wave only compatibility gives it a distinct disadvantage over competition like Samsung SmartThings (which, although internet and cloud reliant, has Z-Wave and ZigBee protocol tech capability) or even locally controlled, non-internet reliant software like Home Assistant.
The other major disadvantage to the SmartHub is its price: the unit itself costs $199 or $99 with a 2-year contract. But, because it’s intended to provide your home with internet service – as well as act as a home phone – a monthly service plan is required; starting at $40 a month for 4GB of data. We mentioned before about the bummer of losing both internet and electricity, and Verizon does make a point that the device comes with a built in backup battery. The catch? The backup battery is only there to allow the home phone line to stay active; internet and smart home control remains dead in the water in the event of a power outage. Which makes the very idea and promise of the device all the more ironic.
Still, this could potentially be a device that works for many users; and it signals that companies like Verizon are acknowledging that the concept of a smart home is gaining interest in the minds of consumers.
And who knows? Perhaps one day, Verizon will look to make it affordable for them as well.
What do you think of Verizon’s SmartHub? Does a device like this fit your needs? Let us know in the comments below!