“I’m thinking of using an automation platform. Should I get SmartThings or Google Home?”
SmartThings and Google Home are two of the most popular and trusted smart home platforms.
Although both serve almost the same functions,
They differ in some aspects.
Especially on their compatibility and automation features.
But which one gives better automation?
And which one is better in 2022?
Read on to learn:
- Whether you need both platforms for better automation.
- Which device you should use depending on your needs.
- Which is better between SmartThings and Google Home in 2022.
- And so much more…
SmartThings vs Google Home
SmartThings and Google Home are both amazing apps that you can use to turn your home into a “smart home.”
They both can automate your smart devices. And can follow instructions through voice commands.
But is one of them better than the other?
And if so, why?
Technically speaking, Google Hub is not a smart hub.
It’s a mere virtual assistant.
But many consider it as one as Google Home can serve almost the same functions as smart hubs.
Here’s what you need to know more about Google Home:
Google Home is originally a virtual assistant.
It has an app that lets you connect your accounts and devices to be able to control them using voice commands.
Gradually, it became one of the smart home essentials.
As Google Home started partnering with various smart home brands.
Allowing users to automate their home using voice commands.
Google Home is cloud-based.
Meaning it needs to be connected to a WiFi network at all times.
When the WiFi becomes unstable, Google Home can malfunction. And fail to follow any of your commands.
It also comes with a speaker device.
And if you’re using one, you have to plug in the speaker and connect it to WiFi for it to work.
Further reading: Should a Google Home Mini Stay Plugged In? 3 Device Facts
In terms of compatibility, Google Home is a little farther behind.
Google Home can connect with various smart home devices.
But only those that are WiFi or Bluetooth-enabled.
So, if you have sensors that use Zigbee, Z-wave, or LAN, you can’t automate it with Google Home.
“What about Philips Hue smart lights?”
You can control and automate Philips Hue smart lights with Google Home.
But you need to connect them first to a smart home hub.
Then, connect your hub to Google Home.
You can also get a Google Home Hub. So, you can automate your smart devices by pressing a few buttons.
Plus, you can also use IFTTT to create more automations.
If you’re already using Nest devices, Google Home is the best choice for you.
Because Google and Nest are now one company.
Meaning, you shouldn’t have any more problems connecting your Nest devices to Google Home.
- Works with IFTTT.
- Supports WiFi and Bluetooth.
- Don’t support Zigbee, Z-wave, and LAN.
- Most compatible with Nest smart devices.
Google Home works with thousands of smart home brands.
And you can control them by just saying, “Hey Google..” Then, state your smart device name and your command.
Isn’t it a cool feature?
But Google Home offers more in terms of automation.
Sure, controlling one device using voice commands is great. But automating several devices at once is top level!
Google Home features “Routines.”
Which allows users to automate several devices at once at a scheduled time.
With this, you can set up several devices to turn on or off with just a keyphrase.
Google Home has preset Routines, which includes:
- “I’m home.”
- “Leaving home.”
- “Good morning.”
- “Commuting home.”
- “Commuting to work.”
And you can edit these presets according to your lifestyle.
What’s great about Routines is that you can schedule it. Or you can activate it manually by saying the keyphrase.
For example, you can say, “Ok, Google. Good night.”
And all smart devices linked in the “Good night” Routine will turn on or off as instructed.
Doesn’t it make automation more convenient?
Instead of saying your commands one by one, you can just say the Routine keyphrase.
Google Home allows you to automate your home in 3 ways:
- Using time.
- Using touch or tap.
- Using voice commands.
Google Home was originally designed as a voice assistant.
So, it’s understandable that many people are using Google Home for its voice command feature.
To automate smart devices using voice commands, enable Google Assistant on your phone. Or install the Google Home app.
You can also buy a Google Home speaker device for more convenience.
So, you won’t need to get your phone every time you have to do something.
Since it works with an app, you can also control your devices by tap or touch.
If you need a bigger screen, you can get a Google Home Hub for wider navigation.
Are you a busy person?
Well, you can still automate your devices by scheduling your Routines.
SmartThings is an OG smart home automation platform.
Meaning, its primary function is to connect smart devices for better automation.
It was first launched in 2013. And then was acquired by Samsung in 2014.
Samsung used to create in-house SmartThings products.
But, today, SmartThings hardware is manufactured by Aeotec.
Here’s what you need to know more about SmartThings:
SmartThings is a smart home automation platform that’s available as an app.
It allows homeowners to automate their smart devices using their phones.
Since it’s an app and it’s cloud-based, you need to have a stable WiFi connection for it to work seamlessly.
It also has its own smart hub called “SmartThings Hub.”
Known today as “Aeotec Smart Home Hub.”
With this, you can automate a series of sensors and security devices.
Note: The Aeotec Smart Home Hub must be plugged in. And it must be connected to a WiFi network either using a wireless router or ethernet.
Need an instructional video on how to use the Samsung SmartThings app? Watch this video:
SmartThings can connect with WiFi and Bluetooth devices. Even with IFTTT.
But it’s only exclusive to Samsung devices. Or devices that are SmartThings-compatible.
Note: A device is SmartThings-compatible if it has a “Works with SmartThings” label.
Unlike Google Home, SmartThings supports Zigbee, Z-wave, and LAN connections.
So, you can use various sensors and security devices with the SmartThings app.
But you’ll need first your devices to SmartThings hub.
Then, connect your hub to the SmartThings app.
- Works with IFTTT.
- Supports WiFi, Bluetooth, Zigbee, Z-wave, and LAN.
- Exclusive for SmartThings-compatible smart home devices.
With SmartThings, you can control and manage your devices remotely.
And you can keep watch of your home even when you’re away.
Samsung SmartThings has an automation feature called “Scenes.”
With Scenes, you can automate your smart devices at once at a specific period.
Or just whenever you want it.
It works similarly with Google Home’s “Routines.”
But SmartThings’ “Scenes” focus more on your “mood.”
Samsung marketed “Scenes” as a feature that aligns with the scenarios in your home.
You can create a “Movie Night” Scene to control specific smart devices in your home. Perfect when you’re planning to have a movie party with your friends.
Or you can create a “Winter Night” Scene. To automatically adjust your thermostat and lights every winter.
In a sense, SmartThings’ Scenes feature “connects” more to your lifestyle.
Samsung SmartThings allows great control as well.
You can automate your smart home devices with SmartThings in 3 ways:
- Using time.
- Using touch or tap.
- Using voice commands.
Since SmartThings is an app, you can make the most of it using your phone.
With just a few taps and pressing of buttons, you can automate your devices remotely.
You can also schedule automations if you want your smart devices to work on their own.
In that way, you can focus more on important matters in your life.
Aside from that, did you know that SmartThings also works with voice commands?
You can enable voice assistant on the SmartThings app.
And you can even use Google Assistant for that.
Meaning, you can use both platforms to automate your home better.
There’s really no direct answer on which platform is better.
Because it all comes down to the question: “How would you want to use and automate your smart home devices?”
If you’re looking for simple automation, go for Google Home.
As it offers more convenience in terms of integration.
But if you want to achieve a more complex and advanced smart home, Samsung SmartThings is what you need.
This platform supports Zigbee, Z-wave, and LAN-dependent devices. Which allows you to connect more smart devices.
Plus, it lets you control your devices better than Google Home.
So, when deciding on which automation platform to use, consider your lifestyle.
Can’t decide yet? Let me tell you something.
In January 2021, Google partnered with Samsung.
That same month, SmartThings integrated Google Assistant.
Meaning, users can now use voice commands to automate their smart devices.
At this point, it doesn’t really matter which one is better. Since the two platforms now work together.
Do you want to have more freedom in automation? And do you also want a voice assistant to control your devices?
Then, get both SmartThings and Google Home.
That way, you can enjoy the best of both worlds!
Learn more: Can Google Home Nest be hacked?