In this post, I want to take you through my experiences of setting up the Samsung Smartthings Hub, using my Android Smartphone. In the video I'll show you how things went, and below I'll outline a few additional details. I'll run through how I found the setup process, and what I'm hoping to acheive now that it's complete.
Before we get started, if you haven't already, go have a look at my previous post, Samsung Smartthings Unboxing and Setup Part 1. In that post (and accompanything video), I showed you what's included in the box when you buy a Smartthings Hub. For clarity, this is the 'version 2' of the hub, and I'm in the UK - so it's the 'UK Version' I got.
Setup was fairly straightforward. The included installation poster advises that you use the app to guide you through installation, but I figured I'd go ahead and start by finding a suitable place to position the hub, and plug it in. It's just a plain white box, so hiding it away behind the sofa seemed acceptible!
Of course, you'll need to ensure you're in close proximity to a power socket. Also, there's a network cable to plug in. Most people will connect to a spare port on their internet router. If you're running short of ports, you might need a network hub or switch.
I then proceeded for the rest of the installation on my Smartphone. I went to the store, and searched for 'Smartthings'. It's then I discovered there are two versions of the app. There's the 'Smartthings Classic', and 'Smartthings (Samsung Connect)'. The latter is the newer version. Samsung are apparently reworking their Samsung Connect app into the new Smartthings app.
Take note, there isn't feature parity at the time of writing between these two apps, so for full functionality with Smartthings, you might want to try both apps. Less than ideal, but Samsung seem to be working toward adding features to the new version, so eventually, using both will hopefully not be required.
One thing I spotted, was a note in the app description, stating that it works best on Samsung phones, and that certain features might be limited on phones from other manufacturers. I find this sort of thing dissapointing to see. I get it, Samsung would want you to buy all-Samsung kit, but in the real world, how many of us do that? We shouldn't be seeing caveats telling us that we might be somehow worse-off by choosing a different phone.
The app requires an awful lot of permissions when you tap install. You may find this invasive and off-putting. I can understand why the app might need access to my location but - photos? Of course, you have to agree to this in order to proceed.
When you launch the app you'll be asked to confirm some more permissions again, and shown a short introductory silent video (which can be skipped). Then, you must sign in with a Samsung login (which you can create if you don't already have one).
After that, you need to 'OK' the enabling of WiFi and Bluetooth so that Smartthings can connect to devices that communicate over those methods.
You then arrive at the dashboard. At this stage -nothing will really happen. In fact, it's not immediately obvious, but you still need to actually discover and register your new hub! To do so, tap 'add device' on the dashboard, and the app will begin scanning for devices.
I found it easier to expand the 'add device manually' section, and tap 'hub'. You'll then be walked through the process. First, the app downloads some extra components it needs. Then, you're instructed to plug-in your hub. Finally, you're asked to type in the 'welcome code' for your hub (included on a card in the box).
After this, the process is complete, and you can either begin the process of adding devices, or tap 'done' to return to the main app.
It's at this stage I found that the Smartthings app had already discovered my TV! Since our TV is -coincidentally- a Samsung TV, the app itself (not the hub) had found it!
After I'd completed setup, I powered the hub off again, removed the back-plate, and installed the backup batteries. This isn't to prevent you from losing configuration, but presumably ensures that the device can still function if power is lost. If you plan to use this for rudimentary home security, that might be important.
The setup process was overall fairly straightforward. I didn't hit any problems during configuration. Now that we're 'done', I can move onto the task of adding devices like our Hue lights, Ring doorbell, Sonos speakers and more. I'll cover that off in future posts and videos! Be on the lookout for more from me on this soon!