Samsung launches Connect Home mesh router with built-in smart home hub

The Samsung Connect Home melds a wireless mesh router with a smart home hub.
The Samsung Connect Home melds a wireless mesh router with a smart home hub.ST PHOTO: VINCENT CHANG

SINGAPORE - Samsung has launched its Connect Home and Connect Home Pro whole-home Wi-Fi systems. Also known as mesh routers, these devices are all the rage in the home networking market for eliminating Wi-Fi blind spots and improving wireless coverage.

In addition, the Connect Home devices come with an integrated smart home hub that uses the SmartThings platform to control smart home devices like security cameras and smart light bulbs. Samsung acquired home automation firm SmartThings in 2014 and sells the standalone SmartThings smart home hub in other countries.

The Samsung Connect Home will go on sale on Nov 23 at $198. The higher-end Connect Home Pro, which promises better performance, is priced at $298. Samsung has partnered Singtel to offer the Connect Home devices to new and existing fibre broadband customers for purchase. Singapore is the first country outside the US where the Connect Home devices are available.

Like other mesh routers, the Samsung Connect Home connects to multiple Connect Home units located throughout the home to form an all-encompassing Wi-Fi network. Samsung says each router has a Wi-Fi range of up to 1,500 square feet. Up to five routers can work together to increase the Wi-Fi coverage to up to 7,500 square feet.

Its smart home feature is Connect Home's main selling point. Users will be able to use the Samsung Connect app (available for iOS and Android devices) on their smartphones to automate and manage their smart home devices. The app also supports voice commands via Samsung's Bixby voice assistant.

The Samsung Connect Home devices support popular smart home standards like Zigbee, Z-Wave and Bluetooth. The list of compatible devices include Samsung home appliances, such as smart TVs and robot vacuum cleaners, as well as third-party smart home gadgets like Bose speakers, Philips Hue light bulbs and Arlo security cameras.