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Smart Home: The Wink Hub strives for a smarter home

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Smart Home: The Wink Hub strives for a smarter home

2:31 /

Unlike pricier protocol translators, Wink's $80 hub won't weigh you down.

[MUSIC] Hey, I'm Megan Malurkin for CNET appliances here with a review of the Wink Hub. So this hub can translate wi-fi, Bluetooth, Zigby, Z Wave, and Lutron Clear Connect products. Other hubs like the Revolve Hub, Incion Smart Things. The Lowe's Iris hub. They all do something similar. But what sets this one apart is really the price. It's only $79. And through Labor day, it's only $49. Hub's like Revolve do the same thing but cost upwards of $300. Which is a huge difference when you consider that this can do the same thing. For so much less. While some hubs are limited in terms of their protocols and the brands they can work with, this one has a wide number of protocols and can work with a bunch of different brands. So basically I just wanted to take things we had around the office that were Wink app enabled and Wink hub enabled and see how they all worked together in the Wink app. The Quirky Aros air conditioner and the Dropcam don't actually need the hub to operate, but they can be operated in the Wink app. The Lutron dimmer, the Pico remote and the Kidde smoke and carbon monoxide detector all use the hub. But you can also control them through the app. So I paired everything on the app, alternating between a Nexus 7 tablet. And my iPhone 5. Just to see how it would work on Android and iOS platforms. So I've paired all of these devices with varying degrees of success. The Dropcam and the Kidde smoke alarm worked extremely well. It was fast, I had no issues at all. The Quirky Aros air conditioner took about 20 tries to pair it the right way. And I actually had to call customer service to figure out how to pair the Lutron dimmer and the Pico remote. Basically, you go through a list and select the product you wanna pair and then it walks you through, step by step, what you need to do. I found this to be a little bit glitchy, though. Sometimes the app would stop, it wouldn't advance beyond a certain point even though I had done everything the way I was supposed to. But for the most part it worked after a few tries. You can also create rules within the app, so I could say if the drop cam detects motion, then these lights turn on, or the air conditioner turns on or I can receive an email or a push notification. So when you factor in the growing number of third party product integrations. And the price of this Wink Hub, especially through Labor Day, only $50. I think it's among the best whole home automation hubs we've come across. For CNET, I'm Megan Morrison.

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