Our homes are filled with connected devices, and yet, many people lack basic connectivity while at home.
To address this problem, Samsung introduced a new product: Samsung Connect Home. While at its special Galaxy Unpacked event in March, Samsung described Samsung Connect Home as a "premium router and IoT hub in one". The company has essentially entered the mesh Wi-Fi router space, just like Google recently did with Google Wifi. Here’s everything you need to know about how Samsung's offering works.
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What is Samsung Connect Home?
At its core, Samsung Connect Home provides mesh-based Wi-Fi to boost your connectivity at home. With a mesh router, you can get online anywhere in your house. There will be no more spots where connectivity is slowed or just doesn't reach. Imagine being able to stream in the living room and kitchen while someone else games in the basement - all without any contest for bandwidth or Wi-Fi congestion.
Another unique aspect of Samsung Connect Home is that it doubles as an Internet of Things Hub, meaning it allows different connected devices from different manufacturers to communicate with each other, and you can control them all through a smartphone app. Keep in mind Samsung bought the SmartThings home automation firm in 2014, and it makes a SmartThings IoT hub. The new Samsung Connect Home router basically has a built-in SmartThings hub, which removes the need to purchase a separate hub.
How does Samsung Connect Home work?
Samsung Connect Home is designed to be expandable. It will be sold on its own or in a three-pack, just like Google Wifi, so you can put several of these routers around your home to boost your entire network. You will get Wi-Fi signal everywhere, from your bathroom to your basement. So, instead of one router, multiple routers work together to create a mesh network that delivers fast input throughout your house.
You'll use one Samsung Connect Home as a base to broadcast your signal and then use the other two in the bundle to extend that network throughout your house. Samsung said that each individual unit can cover up to 1,500 square feet, which is what Google Wifi also promises. Each unit also comes with 512MB of RAM and 4GB of storage. However, there are two versions of the Samsung Connect Home.
The "standard" Samsung Connect Home has a 2 x 2 MU-MIMO antenna array and a slower 710MHz quad-core processor at AC1300 (capped speeds of 866Mbps in the 5GHz spectrum), while the "Pro" version has a 4 x 4 antenna and a faster 1.7GHz dual-core chip. It supports quad-band 802.11ac at AC2600 (capped speeds of 1.7Gbps). The Pro offers 1,500-square feet coverage but doesn’t come in a three-pack.
Both versions also have two RJ-45 Ethernet ports on the back.
Samsung Connect Home removes the need for Samsung's separate SmartThings Hub. Because Samsung Connect Home has a SmartThings hub built in, it can directly communicate with connected gadgets over Bluetooth 4.1, Wi-Fi, Zigbee, or Z-wave. These gadgets include things like Philips Hue lights, Netgear Arlo security cameras, and Samsung appliances. Once set up, you can control all these with a mobile app.
Does Samsung Connect Home have an app?
Yes, there is an app experience for Samsung Connect Home. It appears to be integrated into Samsung smartphones, working on the same system that you'd use to control devices connected to your phone, like Bluetooth headphones, or the same system you can use to connect to your Samsung TV. Whether Samsung will split this app experience out to other devices so that Samsung Connect Home isn't dependent on using a Samsung smartphone, we don't know.
Samsung also confirmed that there would be Bixby support, so you'll be able to control everything connected to your Samsung Connect Home using your voice.
We will keep you posted when we learn more.
How much is Samsung Connect Home?
Samsung didn't announce pricing information.
When will Samsung Connect Home be available?
Samsung didn't announce a release date or which markets will get Samsung Connect Home.