The Samsung SmartThings Hub is currently having a hefty sale at many retailers, going for $49.99 – 50% off it’s originally price – and many saw this as a sign that a new version of the hub could be on the way. And now we know that may indeed be the case: a new SmartThings Hub looks to be released soon; complete with a new design, new features – and even a new name.
A few inquisitive users on Reddit’s home automation subreddit have found a listing on the Zigbee alliance website showing a product page for a “Premium Smart Home LTE hub”, complete with the following description: “connected smart home hub used to control a variety of ZigBee Home Automation sensors based on samsung-smartthings cloud”. The description leaves little doubt that it’s SmartThings connected, and also features a picture of the device – which has a similar shape of the current SmartThings hub – yet features a self-standing design with an opening in the middle.
While that would be a good enough discovery on it’s own, it seems Samsung has leaked the most incriminating information themselves: the actual user manual for the unreleased Hub. Users on Reddit discovered the digital version of the manual on Samsung’s support site, and it features a ton of details about the device.
First, it seems that it will be known as the Samsung Connect; forgoing the SmartThings branding, but fitting in with Samsung’s current line of Mesh wifi routers with SmartThings built in that’s currently sold at Best Buy. Secondly, the hub will come with a touchscreen built in on the top of the device that will be used to control most functionality of the hub: you will be able to view your connected Smart devices – or “things” as Samsung calls them – as well as automation routines and monitor the status of each connected device. Third, the hub will have Bluetooth and a speaker built-in, and will be able to “connect” to other devices like smartphones to have music playback occur. Finally, it seems the device will come with a Samsung version of a voice assistant called S-Voice. The manual states that ” You can wake up the Samsung Connect with a voice command while the screen is off – say ‘Hi, Samsung’ to the Samsung Connect.” However, the manual does not give any further information about what other commands can be given to the hub. It also remains to be seen if this is the smart speaker-Alexa rival that Samsung confirmed it was working on, and calls into question how well the Connect Hub will play with other voice assistants like Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home; given that the current SmartThings Hub offers heavy integration with both.
The mention of the device being a “Premium Smart Home LTE Hub” poses some intriguing questions. It’s entirely possible the Samsung Connect could feature a built-in cellular antenna – likely for backup, offline purposes – yet the manual makes no mention of such a feature. It’s worth mentioning that it is entirely possible this is simply an unreleased product that never saw the light of day (s-voice has been around for awhile and Bixby is Samsung’s newer voice assistant); though given the recent sale – and all the other signs – we think there is a very good chance this is indeed the next iteration of the SmartThings Hub. Still, we won’t truly know for sure until Samsung makes it official – though given the information that has been uncovered – could be very, very soon.
What do you think of the Samsung Connect? Have you been waiting for a new Samsung SmartThings hub? Let us know in the comments below!