Looking for something with the easy installation of aor system, but with a SmartThings hub built in? You'll be able to get one soon.
Samsung's first Wi-Fi system, the Connect Home, will be available for preorder at Best Buy on June 4 at $170 for a single unit or $380 for a pack of three. (Pricing and availability for the UK and Australia are not yet available, but $170 equates to about £130 or AU$230.)
The Connect Home is a midtier (2x2 MU-MIMO 802.11ac) system that's very similar to the Google Wifi. If you get a pack of three, one unit connects to your broadband modem and the rest of the units work as network extenders, making a seamless Wi-Fi network with a large coverage area. Each of its identical units has two network ports. In similar products with this design, the goal has been to make it easier for the average consumer to cover an entire home with a strong wireless networking signal.
Also available for preorder on June 4 is the Connect Home Pro that costs $250 per unit. The Connect Home Pro shares the design and features of the Connect Home but supports the top-tier Wi-Fi spec (4x4 MU-MIMO 802.11ac) and hence has much faster Wi-Fi speeds. You can get up to five Pro units to setup a home mesh, or use it interchangeably with as other Connect Home units.
An all-in-one mobile app
Like other Wi-Fi systems, the Connect Home is connected to a mobile app you use to set up and manage your home network. Samsung has some big ambitions for this app, however. Apart from managing the Wi-Fi network it will also enable users to manage -- including the setup process -- Samsung-branded smart household devices, ranging from cameras to large appliances. The router also works as a hub for Samsung's SmartThings home automation system, and the app will let you program and control SmartThings-compatible devices from third-party product makers.
The SmartThings twist
This unified approach has been a long time coming. Since Samsung acquired SmartThings in August 2014, this is the first time Samsung has united its own connected large appliances with SmartThings-compatible products in the same hub hardware and support application. This means you won't need a separate anymore.
Samsung says the new Connect Home has built-in Zigbee and Z-Wave -- popular light-weight wireless standards for home automation -- and is compatible with hundreds of third-party smart home devices, such as Philips Hue Lights, Netgear Arlo Camera and Ring Video Doorbell.
If the device and the software work as expected, you will just need the Connect Home to control your entire home, and have Wi-Fi at every corner. It's a win-win.
Samsung Connect Home and Connect Home Pro specs
||Samsung Connect Home (single unit or pack of 3)||Samsung Connect Home Pro (single unit)|
|Wireless specs||Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1, ZigBee and Z-Wave||Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1, ZigBee and Z-Wave|
|Wi-Fi standard||802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wave 2||802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wave 2|
|Wi-Fi speeds||AC1300 (866 Mbps on 5GHz and 400 Mbps on 2.4GHz)||AC2600 (1,733 Mbps on 5GHz and 800 Mbps on 2.4GHz)|
|Range||Up to 1,500 square feet (single device) or up to 4,500 square feet (pack of 3)||Up to 1,500 square feet|
|Processor||710MHz quad core||1.7GHz dual core|
|Memory||512MB of RAM, 4GB of flash||512MB of RAM, 4GB of flash|
Both the Samsung Connect Home and Samsung Connect Home Pro are available for purchase on July 2nd. Check back then for their full review.
Editors' note June 9: This story was originally published on March 29 but has been updated with additional information.