You can’t have a smart home without a smart hub! For homeowners who just want to dip one little toe in the ocean of home tech, of course, making so without a home hub is a possibility, but for anyone else interested in expanding their network of devices, a smart hub becomes the crucial controller. A smart hub is what brings various devices together and gets them working with each other.
Here are the four that you can recommend to your clients. We have made this list keeping in mind the smart tech industry giants.
Samsung SmartThings Hub v3
If you own a whole host of different smart devices, then Samsung’s SmartThings Hub V3 is your best bet to get them all working together. Along with its interoperability, the app – in its new avatar – is also a big plus for smart home tech aficionados. The interface is clean and easy to understand and allows you to control all your devices from one single portal. You can also use it to build automations based on the time of day, the status of a device, your location.
- With Zigbee and Z-Wave integration, the hub is compatible with its own brand ecosystem as well as with Alexa and Google.
- automations are more sophisticated than Alexa or Google
Amazon Echo Show
While not the cheapest in the Alexa range, we love the Echo Show for its display integration. With in-built Zigbee support, Echo Show connects seamlessly with all devices. And its new version is even bigger, brighter and smoother. The touch screen allows you to easily swipe through various news, sports, reminders, calendar events, notifications and more. The screen also doubles up as a great digital photo screen and triples up as a speaker!
- One-stop-smart home control-shop with Zigbee wireless
- Can be used to watch streaming videos and other content with a seamless connection with Amazon Prime
- Good screen quality
Apple 4K TV
For those clients committed to living within an Apple ecosystem, Apple 4K TV is THE best smart hub option. It is connected with Apple’s excellent streaming services and provides high-quality 4K video streaming services while doubling up as a smart hub. As a home hub, it is quite convenient as you can use the voice controlled remotely to control your devices.
While Apple doesn't support Zigbee or Z-wave, the 4K TV does give the best visual experience while providing seamless connectivity and quick control of your smart home tech ecosystem. As the Apple stable expands, we hope the HomeKit starts supporting more and more devices.
- With Dolby Vision, 4K, Dolby Atmos and an app store, it is hands down the best streaming kit money can buy.
- Easy control with Siri
Google Nest Hub
In the Google domain, we recommend the Google Nest hub. If your clients have several Nest products, then this is an excellent option to go for. This hub also comes with a touchscreen, which makes controlling your devices quite an intuitive process. Its biggest strength is easily the Google ecosystem and database that makes it ultra-responsive for search queries. The one big difference is that it doesn’t come fitted with a camera - this could actually be an advantage for people concerned about privacy and hacking. The lack of camera in no way detracts from its many features that range from gesture control to super cute photo display.
- Google Assistant is one of the best in terms of voice search
- It is an excellent display interface and screen at affordable cost
The smart home tech market is flooded with a variety of smart hubs. To guide your clients, you have to first understand their requirements. Are they budget conscious? How many smart devices do they currently have, and how deeply do they want to integrate smart home devices into their home? The type of devices or needs they have for automation? Even the age of the household members matter!
Read the customer, and his/her needs to navigate them to the most suitable home hub.