I recently attended an event hosted by Samsung at which it showcased the capabilities of its SmartThings connected appliances app. It's fascinating to learn how everyday appliances such as washing machines, refrigerators and ovens can all be controlled via SmartThings.
Samsung SmartThings is one of the largest open ecosystems for controlling your smart home devices. It has over 150 million users worldwide, is available on both Android and iOS, and is compatible with voice assistants such as Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
The SmartThings app can be either downloaded onto your phone or tablet, or displayed on a Samsung RF9000 Family Hub Fridge Freezer with Beverage Centre (for example), by mirroring the screen from your phone to the appliance. Either way, the SmartThings app is the gateway to making all your gadgets and appliances talk to one another – and you don't need to have a home full of Samsung devices to benefit from its capabilities.
One thing that surprised me was learning that Samsung TVS are the only televisions to be integrated with Ring. The brand is one of a number of featured brands that work with SmartThings, with others including Bose, Google Nest, HoneyWell Home, Philips Hue and Yale.
Ring is behind some of the best video doorbells and best home security cameras. In fact; you might even have one the latest video doorbells from the brand, such as the Ring Video Doorbell Pro or Ring Floodlight Cam Wired Pro home security camera installed.
If this is the case then you're already halfway there to being able to flip between watching your favorite Netflix series and surveilling the land outside your property.
By connecting your Ring video doorbell to a Samsung Smart TV you'll be able to see visitors when they ring the bell, or take a look outside when motion is detected. You will need to connect the video doorbell to the Ring and Samsung SmartThings app to benefit from the functionality.
I've seen how the Ring Doorbell Pro can be integrated with SmartThings Video (this was in the demo) and the Ring Video Doorbell 3 (wireless) is also on the compatibility list. You'll also need to own a 2018 Samsung smart TV (models NU7400 and above), 2019 Samsung smart TV (RU7400 and above), and 2020 Samsung smart TVs (TU8500 and above).
Yet another thing that you can do through your Samsung Smart TV connected to the SmartThings app is to check in the progress of the food you're cooking in a Samsung smart oven. It won't quite serve up the food for you, but being able to see inside the oven without leaving the couch is a pretty sweet deal.
It can also hook up to one of the best smart lighting brands – Philips Hue – to control your smart lights for an immersive movie or gaming experience. Color will flood the room as the lights mirror the colors from your TV to totally surround you in the drama unfolding on-screen. You will need a few smart light bulbs and / or smart lights to make this worthwhile though.
If you're looking to build out your connected home I think the Samsung SmartThings ecosystem is a good route to go down – it's future-proofed with the Matter 1.0 connectivity standard, and all the brands that matter (no pun intended) are on board. What's not to love?
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Jennifer Oksien is TechRadar’s Homes Editor. Jennifer (Jenny) has over a decade of experience as a digital product writer specialising in appliances, smart tech and mattresses for some of the UKs leading retailers and magazine titles such as Real Homes, Ideal Home and Livingetc. Generally, you’ll find her watching the latest Netflix series, digging around in the garden or attempting to make a cake that is edible.