Home assistants devices such as Sonos One and Hub 3rd Gen have been getting a lot of attention lately, but what exactly do they do, and are they worth investing in? Here’s all you need to know about the latest wave of electronic home assistants, and if they’re worth the addition to your living room. In today’s home assistant devices review, we will four of the best home assistant devices.
What is Sonos one?
Sonos one is a smart speaker that combines the multi room audio function and excellent sound quality of Sonos play with the intuitive voice control of Amazon Alexa or Google assistant. If this is exactly what you want, we think home assistant devices is a great supplement to any existing Sonos system except for some quirks.
Sonos is famous for its first multi room speaker series, which you can place in your whole home and connect wirelessly. After setting up, you can play the same music with them at the same time, or divide them into several groups to play different songs in the whole family. In addition to streaming your personal digital music collection, home assistant devices integrates with almost all the most popular streaming services, including Amazon music unlimited, apple music, iHeartRadio, Pandora, spotify, tunein, etc. (for a complete overview of Sonos, please refer to our multi room wireless speaker system guide.)
To control all these moving parts, you need the Sonos application. In addition to pairing speakers and setting up the system, the application is the only way for you to select music, create queues, and choose what music to play on which speaker. This is an important task, and the application can effectively keep things going normally to a great extent. But in the era of Alexa, Siri, Google assistant and Cortana, looking around for this deep track with the application of Desmond Dekker will make people feel a positive Paleolithic age.
Sonos one is almost the same twin as the excellent Sonos play: 1 – no, by the way, home assistant devices was the first choice for wireless multi room speakers. Home assistant devices share almost all the same hardware, which looks basically the same; However, there is an extra brain and some far-field microphones to host Alexa (voice control function of Amazon echo speaker) and Google assistant. This little hacker has become an important supplement, allowing Alexa or Google assistant to control your Sonos system, making many once tedious interactions much easier.
How does Sonos one work?
At present, the phone has Amazon’s Alexa built in, but Sonos also promised to launch support for Google assistant, which may make it a multi assistant device. Since some virtual assistants do better than others in different tasks, this may be a real benefit, but at present, Amazon has made progress through its smart speaker echo line, which is a help for them.
There are six microphone arrays on the top of Sonos one, so you can hear your voice even when playing music and in the noise from the kitchen hood. Home assistant devices also built most of Alexa’s functions into Amazon echo, including multi-user support, control of a large number of smart home devices, answering questions, calculating, setting multiple naming timers, alerts and reminders, viewing your calendar and playing popular flash briefings, including weather and news from multiple sources.
Home assistant devices can also use any number of third-party Alexa skills, but there are some limitations. You cannot change the wake-up word from “Alexa” to “Alexa”. Home assistant devices does not support voice calls, notifications or playing e-books. You can’t set up multi room audio through voice, or move the currently playing music to another room.
It is worth noting that while I was testing, Alexa support has been greatly improved, including the listening ability of home assistant devices and the addition of Alexa functions considered to be standard on any Amazon device. In addition, it is worth noting that this phone can also be used with other Alexa devices, including multiple or Amazon echo speakers. Home assistant devices uses echolocation to determine which speaker is closest to you, and only that speaker responds.
Compared with most other smart speakers, Sonos one is first and foremost a music speaker. Sonos applications and systems are the best in the industry in terms of ease of use and flexibility. Home assistant devices combines all your music services and libraries (including different user accounts using the same service) into one searchable location. Anyone who installs the Sonos app on their mobile phone can control music, including guests connected to your WiFi network, which is very convenient for parties.
For users using spotify, you can also use connect to control one from your spotify application, so that you can easily continue your personal monitoring on the speakers.
You can play any track, album or playlist in spotify or Amazon music through voice commands, skip, pause or shuffle tracks, adjust the volume from 0 to 10, and ask what is currently playing. Because home assistant devices is powered by Alexa, home assistant devices works very well. It can identify track names and albums, including some slightly tricky items, such as happy tape II of blue sky black death. If you have more than one music service, you can specify the required music service.
Anything more advanced than this needs to be done through the application, but you can use the combination of application and voice at any time, such as queuing up to play Apple music playlists through the application, and then skipping tracks through voice. Spotify’s broadcast and podcast features are not supported by voice.
What are the features of Sonos one?
Feasible approaches have some limitations – some are temporary and some seem a little tricky (see more discussion below) – but overall, this is a great improvement. The point is that once everything is paired, you can let Sonos one play music or turn off the smart light, just as you let any smart speaker do. Recent firmware updates also allow any Alexa device on the system (such as point or echo) to start music streaming to any other Sonos or Alexa device on the system, whether a single speaker or a group.
Our test system consists of a Sonos one, an echo, an echo dot and three Sonos play: 1 units. I can use the dot upstairs to order a Pandora playlist on play: 1 in the living room, while my wife listens to the NPR on Sonos one in the kitchen. At any time, you can tell Alexa to pause the flow in a specific room. Alexa is also a useful smart home controller, so we can use Sonos one to adjust the smart thermostat and turn on the light without any problems.
Using voice in this way takes some time to adapt, but once you get the hang of it, home assistant devices will be very powerful and useful. However, Sonos one is still in progress. This is not seamless. We encountered a wall when trying to create a speaker group containing echo and Sonos devices (short answer: you can’t). Based on naming and some weird application behavior, we also encountered some technical problems (all of which are discussed below).
We hope that Sonos one is a Rosetta Stone device that can integrate all our music services, audio systems and smart home devices, but it has not been realized yet. In other words, although home assistant devices may not meet everyone’s needs, home assistant devices will be great for many people: Home assistant devices is an Alexa device with a better speaker.
Pros and cons of Sonos one
Sonos One Pros
- Like the predecessors of home assistant devices, Sonos one is a heavyweight boxer trapped on a cruiser. From the moment you lift the box of home assistant devices, you will feel the weight of home assistant devices, thanks to a pair of solid class D amplifiers, and the power cord is very thick and flush with the bottom of the device, so home assistant devices will not swing or loosen accidentally.
- For a medium-sized desktop speaker, home assistant devices can produce beautiful, rich and detailed sound, and have strong and clear bass impact. This sounds much better than echo, Amazon’s flagship store. As a functional hardware, home assistant devices are beautiful and made of satisfactory high-quality components.
- Sonos offers curious customers a 30 day problem free return period to try all its products. We contacted the technical support department on some issues involved in this guide. The representative said that in view of the important update at the end of December, the company has extended the probation period to 45 days, which is a fair and even generous policy.
Sonos One Cons
- If, like us, you had madly hoped that Sonos one could attack suddenly and immediately repair an originally broken home audio and smart home system, you would be disappointed. The good news is that most of our complaints are software related and can theoretically be fixed in subsequent firmware updates. The bad news is that many of them. Since we first released this guide, Sonos has added more than one meaningful software update, but in particular, home assistant devices supports spotify streaming media and greatly improves users’ ability to listen to voice commands. These are noteworthy improvements, which bodes well for some of the other issues we will discuss in detail below.
- As a speaker, the sound and performance of home assistant devices are great (see our wireless speaker guide, which is almost identical to Sonos play: 1 and has been our first choice since its launch). As a supplement to the existing Sonos multi room sound system, home assistant devices is almost perfect. The only problem is that home assistant devices cannot be configured as a pair of stereo playback: 1. There are only other Sonos one units, which is very inconvenient, but will not cause damage.
- Alexa chips of Sonos one is still in progress, and there seem to be some insurmountable obstacles. In the end, it seems impossible to fully integrate the Alexa music ecosystem with the Sonos music ecosystem, which should lead some potential buyers to step on the brakes. Services or functions not supported by Alexa, such as local music files, cannot be accessed through voice control; You must pass the Sonos application. However, once you start playing tracks using the Sonos application, you can pause, play, and skip tracks using Alexa voice control.
- A major worry is that currently Alexa does not allow Alexa devices to be grouped with Sonos devices (and vice versa). In fact, this means that you can use any Alexa device to control the Sonos device, or you can use an application to control the Sonos network, but you cannot connect Alexa and Sonos devices to the same audio stream. For example, you cannot have a speaker group that includes Sonos one in the kitchen and echo in the study. This may be solved by software update at some time, but at present, it is an impossible problem and a strange limitation.
- We also missed the physical dialing and lighting scheme of the original echo (disappeared in the second generation echo) and the hardware buttons of the play: 1 – there is touch control at the top of the play, and the volume shares the same icon up and down. We have never seen an unfathomable scheme composed of four points used on any other audio device, which puzzles anyone trying to adjust the volume.
How much is Sonos one?
Sonos one is available in black or white, one for £ 199 and a pair for £ 349, valid until April 4.
In contrast, the second-generation Amazon echo costs ￡ 90, echo plus costs ￡ 140, Google home costs ￡ 129 and apple homepod costs ￡ 319.
How do I use Sonos one?
Using the Sonos application on a smartphone or tablet, connecting the speakers to WiFi or Ethernet, then configuring music services and Alexa, starting and running the application is relatively simple. If you haven’t used any Sonos or Alexa devices before, setup takes about 10 minutes because you have to set up your account, but you only need to do it once.
As an intelligent wireless speaker, the best thing is that Sonos one supports 49 different music services, which means that home assistant devices may be applicable to the music services you already have, rather than requiring you to register another service just to use home assistant devices.
This includes spotify, apple music, Google play music, Amazon music and tunein, which means you can also get any number of local and international radio stations. The complicating factor is that Alexa only supports full voice control of Amazon music, tunein and spotify, which means that other functions are limited to simple playback and volume control.
Sonos one uses an already good wireless speaker in the form of a script: 1 and puts most of the advantages of Amazon Alexa at the forefront. The result is the best omni-directional music focused smart speaker in the UK.
Home assistant devices itself sounds wonderful, even better in a pair of stereos, and can be used as part of a multi room audio system with other Sonos devices. Best of all, you can plug almost any music service into the Sonos application, which unifies home assistant devices into a searchable system. The only disadvantage is that you can only have full voice control over spotify, Amazon music and tunein, but the rest have basic functions.
Alexa brings a lot of intelligence, skills and functions, but later, through software updates, it can add the promise of Google assistant, making home assistant devices the best device for agnostics in the future. If you find that you don’t want to install a listening device at home, you can turn off the microphone and use it as a fully functional wireless speaker through the application.
This £ 200 phone is a difficult combination to beat. Compared with cheaper smart speakers such as Amazon’s echo or Google home, home assistant devices is a major upgrade.
2.SmartThings Hub 3rd Gen
What is SmartThings hub 3rd Gen?
Samsung’s SmartThings hub has long been the best choice to integrate all such devices. For example, when I open the front door, the light will light up. The latest version of SmartThings hub adopts a lighter design and is equipped with Wi Fi, but it is this application that distinguishes this device from all other devices and makes it one of the best smart home hubs.
SmartThings 2018 (V3) hub covers roughly the same floor area as the old model, but home assistant devices are thinner and rounder. Although you can connect this hub to the router via Wi Fi, newer routers also have Ethernet ports for hardwired connections.
The center can connect ZigBee and Z-Wave devices 50-130 feet away (depending on the structure of your home). However, because you can connect the hub to your router via Wi Fi, it’s much easier to place it in the ideal location in your home.
There is a USB port on the back – one less than the previous generation – but, like the second generation hub, you can’t use this port for any purpose. Samsung has promised for many years that you can use this port to plug the device into it; I’m starting to lose hope. The same is true for the Bluetooth modules in the two hubs, and home assistant devices is only used for setting up.
How does SmartThings hub 3rd Gen work?
Samsung’s SmartThings application has changed a lot since our initial review. First, the interface is clearer than before. The home screen is now divided into sections based on the equipment in each room and its status. Each device has a small card that allows you to control each device.
The menu in the upper left corner allows you to deeply view rooms, equipment, scenes, automatic devices, etc. By pressing the plus icon in the upper right corner, you can also add devices to the system and create scenes, automates, and lighting groups.
I like that I can control the color of Philips tone lights through the SmartThings application, but this is only the scope of home assistant devices. You cannot control the Philips hue scene (as you can control in the Alexa application); I also wish I could view the feed from the security camera.
What are the functions of SmartThings hub 3rd Gen?
The main reason for using SmartThings is not that you can control smart home devices from a single application, but that you can link home assistant devices together. So, for example, if the doorbell camera detects movement, the water sensor gets wet, or when you get home, you can have the smart speaker play sound.
You can create automation based on the time of day, the status of the device (such as the door sensor open), or the location of you or family members. SmartThings has some recommended automatic features, such as warning you when windows are open and a rainstorm is imminent. The hub can also be set to close the thermostat if the window is open.
The automation of SmartThings is more complex than that of Alexa and Google home, although Alexa has become better. However, Google home is still quite limited because you can only start routines by verbal commands or by programming at some time of the day.
Yes, you can use ifttt with Alexa or Google home to perform more complex operations, but you can also use ifttt with SmartThings.
Pros and cons of SmartThings hub 3rd Gen
SmartThings Hub 3rd Gen Pros
- Wi Fi makes it easier to install this hub
- Allows more automation than other hubs
- Used with ZigBee and Z-Wave equipment
SmartThings Hub 3rd Gen Cons
- It’s hard to upgrade from an old hub
What is the price of SmartThings hub 3rd Gen?
The third version of the Samsung SmartThings hub was released in 2018 (when this review was originally released) at a retail price of $99. Since then, the price has dropped to about $69.
If you are looking for a product integrating smart home hub and mesh router, we recommend Samsung’s SmartThings WiFi mesh router, and home assistant devices integrates the functions of SmartThings hub into the router. The basic unit starts at $120 and the three packs cost $279.
How do I use SmartThings hub 3rd Gen?
Buying a traditional hub is not the only way they now sell routers and SmartThings links, but in this article, we will discuss building a security system around a V3 hub using the smart home monitor section of the SmartThings application.
Start at the center
To build a family safety system using SmartThings V3, you need a hub.
As a hub, V3 lacks two key security hub functions: mobile phone and battery backup. V2 uses four AA batteries to provide 10 hour battery backup, but V3 lacks battery backup.
V3 requires Internet and power supply, but without Internet, it can perform some functions locally (you can read more about what SmartThings can and cannot do without cloud here.)
Both hubs lack mobile backup, which is a disadvantage when comparing SmartThings with competitors such as ring alarm and nest secure.
In addition, V3 lacks a keyboard, touch screen and alarm, which are common functions of the family safety center.
SmartThings V3 hub is attractive because home assistant devices can connect a large number of third-party products, eliminating the need to manage smart homes separately.
Samsung SmartThings multipurpose sensor
With the center in place, you need to buy and add home safety related sensors.
Most self-monitoring systems start with kits containing door and window sensors and motion sensors. According to your needs, we recommend that you add the same. The advantage of SmartThings is that hub is also used with third-party products, so you can build a quite creative system.
To create a family safety system using SmartThings V3 hub, we recommend that you purchase the following devices. We also suggest going deep into SmartThings forum to see if we can find a good glass breaking sensor. We read some comments, but we didn’t find one we felt confident to recommend.
SmartThings application vibration notification
First, you need to add a motion sensor. Home assistant devices can help you protect a large room. We recommend that you set the motion sensor to arm when you go out, but not when you sleep, which will help prevent false alarms.
The new motion sensor has been redesigned with a magnetic bracket, which means you can plug it into the magnetic connector and rotate home assistant devices for the best possible view. The sensor has a 120 degree field of view and a range of 15 feet. Although we did not test the new motion sensors, those who claimed that home assistant devices had a better range than their predecessors.
Multi purpose sensors are ideal for protecting doors and windows. We recommend that you set up a multi-functional sensor to protect your home when you sleep at home and go out. At a minimum, you need to add one on each entrance door, or even one on the garage door. Although home assistant devices can be used as an on / off contact sensor, home assistant devices are “multipurpose”. You can use the sensor as a tilt sensor to protect the garage door, as well as a vibration sensor and a temperature sensor.
In the test, the new multi-purpose sensor works very well as a contact sensor. Home assistant devices are responsive and easy to install. We also tested it as a vibration sensor, and the effect is good.
Finally, the aeotec alert is just an alert. Home assistant devices is a third-party device, but many people claim that home assistant devices is one of the best and loudest alarms for connecting to SmartThings hub. 1 105dB alarm provides backup battery and 210 lumen strobe. Also note that if you choose to add a camera and choose Arlo pro or Arlo Pro 2, the attached base station contains an alarm that you can connect to the SmartThings system.
Next, you need a camera. We don’t like to manage your camera separately from our security system because we haven’t found an impressive integration yet. We prefer to choose the best camera for this situation, rather than just one because home assistant devices works with our security system.
In other words, SmartThings has successfully partnered with several of our favorite cameras. Although you may find a device handler, home assistant devices, that allows you to connect cameras that are not officially supported to SmartThings, we will continue to use those that are officially supported.
Among those supported cameras, only cloud connected cameras can be used with V3, and home assistant devices happens to be the same camera approved by us. We have tested Arlo pro, Pro 2, Q and ringtone video doorbell. We also tested the Arlo Pro using the V2 SmartThings hub.
With its more advanced automation functions and the ability to connect Z-Wave and ZigBee devices, Samsung SmartThings hub is still the best choice to connect multiple smart home products together.
Those who invest more in Alexa ecosystem may prefer Amazon echo (fourth generation). Home assistant devices has a ZigBee hub built in; Alexa also has some good automatic devices. But for those who need to connect to a wider range of products, SmartThings hub is the best choice.
When summarizing SmartThings hub (the third generation), it is difficult to avoid the fact that home assistant devices are only part of a very big puzzle, but there is no doubt that home assistant devices are the core part of any next-generation smart home. The hardware is attractive and the response speed is fast. The software provides a lot of customization. Even home assistant devices can still use some compression and folding on the user interface. We also like that SmartThings has a growing choice of first-party devices because they provide greater compatibility guarantees. We still want to see better third-party device support, whether between brands or within specific brands. Distinguishing between different products (such as wired or wireless cameras) will only confuse consumers. The good news is that Samsung is obviously vigorously promoting the SmartThings brand and further integrating it into the broader Samsung product field, which should be transformed into the continuous improvement of the SmartThings ecosystem.
3. Apple Homepod Mini
What is the apple Homepod Mini?
Apple’s original homepod may never be officially aimed at Irish consumers, but Homepod Mini, the little brother of home assistant devices, has been successful.
The product was launched in November last year and announced at Apple’s global developer conference last week that it will be listed in the Irish market, but sharp eyed observers may have seen home assistant devices appear in Apple’s online store for pre order a few weeks ago.
Don’t be fooled by the small size of home assistant devices: the Homepod Mini can make a loud sound. This speaker is designed by apple from the beginning. It is less than 9cm high and less than 10cm wide, but home assistant devices can make 360 degree sound, which is louder than the small size of home assistant devices.
Spherical speakers are available in two colors – white and gray – and are wrapped in mesh. The touch screen at the top shows some features of Siri. When home assistant devices listen to your command, it will be lit in Siri color.
When on, the panel displays the plus and minus signs of volume, but you can also click play and pause tracks, double-click to jump forward, three times to jump back, and so on.
Like most Apple devices, setting up the Homepod Mini is a relatively simple and painless process. Plug in the Homepod Mini and place your Apple device close to the speakers. A pop-up menu on the phone prompts you to start the process.
It takes less than five minutes to connect to my phone and get ready, and the software updates of the device can be installed automatically. It’s obviously not involved. That’s what I want from a speaker.
Then you can master various homepod options, from controlling music through mobile phone or voice commands to making it the core of smart home settings.
But the first thing to master is audio. As mentioned earlier, Homepod Mini sounds amazing, which makes home assistant devices compete fiercely on higher specification and higher price speakers.
How does the apple Homepod Mini work?
You can control lights, heating, door locks, security cameras and power outlets through the center. Supported manufacturers include hive, lifx, TADO, netatmp, eufy, IKEA, nanoleaf, Philips hue, Yale, Eve and wemo, but the complete list can be found on the Apple website.
Because a device has all these functions, it is not uncommon for people to worry about giving so much access to their lives. One thing Apple places great emphasis on is privacy. You can disable “Hey Siri” in settings or ask homepod to disable it, which means that your speakers will no longer listen to commands.
However, even if you choose to keep home assistant devices active, Apple has tried its best to explain how home assistant devices handles this access. Homepod will only listen to “Hey Siri”. Once this command is detected, home assistant devices will send your request to the server for processing – except for personal requests processed on the device, such as messages and comments.
The recording you requested will not be stored. This is the default setting, not an option you must select.
The request is encrypted and anonymous and is not associated with your apple account. The data sent between your Homepod Mini and homekit enabled smart home accessories is also encrypted to prevent unnecessary peeping.
In addition to voice commands, you can also adjust the volume by clicking the plus or minus sign at the top of the speaker. Tap the disc center to pause or play music, or stop Siri. Double click and three taps skip a track forward or backward respectively, while tap and hold call Siri.
Controls and music sources
Homepod Mini also has some very clever close-up based techniques. Access home assistant devices with a recent iPhone equipped with apple U1 ultra wideband chip. Home assistant devices will transfer anything played on the phone to the speakers and vice versa – it’s a surprising experience. Later this year, Apple will also use an update to make a set of controls pop up when you get close. Home assistant devices is available for iPhone 11 or later.
Otherwise, apple music, cloud iTunes (purchased to match iTunes) or the radio listened to through tunein can be played directly on the Homepod Mini through voice or apps on iPhone or iPad. In the near future, some third-party music services will be able to play directly on Homepod Mini like apple music, but spotify or BBC broadcasting will not be able to play directly, which may be a transaction killer for some people. However, iPhone can manually transfer audio from the app over the wireless network via airplay 2, including spotify and BBC sound.
Unlike most other smart speakers, home assistant devices has no line input for analog audio and no option to transmit to the Homepod Mini via Bluetooth. The only option is airplay 2. Home assistant devices is only supported by Apple devices, so you can’t send audio from Android smartphones or windows PCs.
Unlike its recent competitors, the Homepod Mini has only one driver inside that emits down to the acoustic duct, which is basically a conical base that directs sound around the speaker. The two passive radiators also use excess energy from the main drive to amplify the bass.
For such a small thing, the sound of Homepod Mini is surprisingly loud and full. One speaker can easily fill a medium-sized room. If you have two speakers, you can also create stereo pairing.
The audio generated by home assistant devices is comprehensive, with good tone balance and rich details in the whole volume range. There is enough bass to sound rich, the midrange is strong, and the treble is a little weaker than I thought. The results are very clear, the voice is clear, the tone separation is good, and the ability to deal with complex fragments is very reliable.
Home assistant devices cannot produce really deep bass; It sounds a little quiet in Lindsay sterling’s “crystallization” and other tracks. The heartbeat in John Martin’s introduction to “hour light” lacks a bit of impact, and “Nirvana” smells like adolescent spirit and doesn’t sound as stiff as I thought.
In general, Homepod Mini sounds great in most music types. The size of home assistant devices is impressive, but the pitch of home assistant devices is not comparable to some of the best smart speakers, even stereo speakers.
Homepod Mini is generally repairable, and the service charge outside the warranty period is £ 86.44.
Speakers contain 99% recyclable rare earth elements, fabric mesh contains at least 90% recyclable plastics, and 35% recyclable plastics are used for a variety of other components. Apple also uses renewable energy in the final assembly of mobile phones, and analyzes the impact of speakers on the environment in detail in the report.
Apple offers replacement and free recycling programs, including non Apple products.
What are the features of Apple’s Homepod Mini?
The Homepod Mini has an apple designed full range driver that provides deep bass even at low volume, and a dual force offset passive radiator. The entire design is optimized to reduce distortion and provide consistent 360 degree audio. Its custom designed sound guide guides the sound down and out from the bottom of the Homepod Mini.
The end result is the sound that fills the room without obvious distortion.
Like other smart home speakers, homepod supports multi room audio. You can let Siri play a track in the kitchen and pick it up in the living room, or you can let Siri play music anywhere without selecting speakers with the help of your mobile phone. The more Homepod Mini at home, the better.
This also means that when you want to call everyone at home for dinner or broadcast other information to everyone at the same time, you can use mini’s walkie talkie function and Siri voice commands.
The clever thing about homepod is that Siri will receive your voice commands with the help of four microphone design even if the music is played at volume. Homepod Mini uses three microphones and advanced signal processing to receive hey Siri commands and act quickly; The fourth microphone is used for echo cancellation to enable Siri to hear your voice in music or eliminate background noise. Home assistant devices works well with voice commands at normal volume and can accurately pick up my voice.
If you decide to allow, Siri can recognize different members of your family through their voices, so as to obtain personalized results.
Homepod Mini’s new software also introduces some proximity features that will be used with Apple’s latest iPhone (a mobile phone with a built-in ultra wideband chip). By placing the phone close to the speaker, you can transfer calls, music and other audio to the speaker and complete the tactile effect, or view the media controls on the iPhone without unlocking.
Siri can also make your iPhone work. Let Siri find something for you, and Homepod Mini will send the results to your iPhone. Home assistant devices are seamless and very smooth.
Once you set up and connect homekit enabled devices, you just need Siri to control home assistant devices. The integration with apple smart home controller is very simple. When you connect the Homepod Mini to your home in Apple’s smart home app, you can access these devices remotely without installing a separate hub for everything. It can be said that one center can rule everyone.
Pros and Cons of apple Homepod Mini
Apple Homepod Mini pros
- Homepod Mini is worth waiting. As a speaker, home assistant devices provides good sound and compact design. As a smart home center, there are many choices in equipment, which will only increase with the improvement of material standards, which will provide a standard for smart home devices.
- Good voice
- Small and beautiful
- Improved Siri
- AirPlay 2，
- Thread, U1 proximity feature
- Use data on your phone to improve privacy
- Made of recycled plastic.
Apple Homepod Mini cons
- If you’re not addicted to Apple’s ecosystem, this may not be your speaker. First, you need an apple device to set up and an icloud ID. In addition, if you already have some smart home devices, home assistant devices may not support homekit, so Homepod Mini may not be able to take over all your smart home controls.
- There are no local spotify or BBC broadcasts
- Apple music subscription is required to take full advantage of home assistant devices
- No Bluetooth streaming or line input
What is the price of Apple’s Homepod Mini?
The apple Homepod Mini is grey or white and costs ￡ 99.
In contrast, the RRP of the larger homepod is £ 279, the price of Google nest audio is £ 89.99, the price of Amazon echo is £ 89.99, the price of echo dot is £ 49.99 and the price of Sonos one is £ 199.
How do I use the apple Homepod Mini?
Setting up the Homepod Mini is very simple: insert it, place the iPhone close to the speaker, click the prompt on the screen, and then follow the instructions.
The home application handles settings, alerts, Siri voice, and various options. The application also manages a variety of smart home devices that Siri can control, which are limited in number compared to Alexa or Google assistant. The speaker also supports the new cross platform threaded smart home standard, which is expected to be more widely supported in the next few years.
Since the first homepod, Siri has improved significantly in speech understanding, knowledge and ability. Home assistant devices can complete simple tasks such as timer, calculation and conversion, tell you the time, weather or current moon phase of the next premier league game, or find traffic news.
In terms of knowledge breadth, home assistant devices still lags behind Google assistant. It usually passes the results to the notification on the iPhone rather than reading the answer – Home assistant devices will send you to the Wikipedia page rather than just tell me someone’s age. Compared with competitors, the session function of home assistant devices is also very limited, but you can change the accent and gender of the voice of home assistant devices.
The home application handles alarms and settings and displays what is currently playing on the Homepod Mini.
Requests for personal data (such as calendar or reminder) are valid only when your iPhone is on the same WiFi network as your Homepod Mini, because for privacy reasons, this information is extracted directly from your phone. Asking for your “personal update” will read your calendar, weather, reminders, your commutes, and play news clips.
Siri can also make phone calls or send and receive messages, including information from third-party applications such as WhatsApp on the iPhone. Ask the direction of a place. The answer can wait in line in Apple maps when you connect it to the car with Carplay.
Homepod Mini is a smaller and cheaper Apple smart speaker. It sounds great, especially the size of home assistant devices.
This is an attractive but insignificant device, well integrated into the background. Siri is more capable than ever and is closing the gap with senior Alexa and Google assistants in most ways. The proximity feature of iPhone 11 or later is also a bit magical.
However, unlike most other smart speakers, Homepod Mini does not cross platform, requires Apple music subscription to make full use of home assistant devices, and requires you and your family members to fully integrate into the apple ecosystem – Android users do not need to apply.
Homepod Mini is the best new smart speaker for those who live in apple, but for others, there is a better choice.
4.Wink Hub 2
What is Wink Hub 2?
Like SmartThings, Wink Hub 2 is a square white box that can be connected to your home network. Wink has a direct advantage over SmartThings: Wink Hub 2 can be set on 2.4 or 5GHz Wi Fi (so it can be placed anywhere), and SmartThings hub must be connected to the router through Ethernet cable. In fact, wink recommends that if you connect to a wireless router via Wi Fi, you place the hub at least 15 feet from the wireless router.
How does Wink Hub 2 work?
After you start the hub and install the application, you can start adding smart devices to your home network. Wink Hub 2 also provides the advantage of manually and locally controlling the bulbs and switches required by the hub in case it loses its connection to the Internet. The preconfigured automation system will run locally on SmartThings hub, as will Wink Hub 2, but manual control through Samsung applications depends on the cloud.
Wink Hub 2 has a radio under the hood, enabling it to work with a large number of other incompatible wireless devices, including a large number of Z-Wave and ZigBee products, Bluetooth Le gear and Kidde smoke alarm, wireless protocols used by Lutron lighting and electric curtain control. However, the center is not compatible with apple homekit; It would be great if wink could simply claim compatibility with any Z-Wave, ZigBee or Bluetooth Le product, but the smart home industry has not yet reached a mature level.
Wink’s application is very simple. Home assistant devices will automatically discover wink hardware and optimize it to make adding smart home equipment quite simple. It provides personalized setting instructions according to the characteristics of each product you add. The application is a little slow because home assistant devices, like SmartThings, divides all products it supports into different categories; However, home assistant devices cannot provide a way to search for products by name. For example, it is not entirely intuitive to find out whether the nest smoke detector belongs to the alarm category, and adding a search seems to require no brains at all. Or, if you have a box at hand, you can also scan the bar code of the product (this is unlikely to happen unless you buy everything and install everything at the same time).
Once added, intelligent lighting devices can be divided into multiple groups (mostly by room) to control light as a group, even if home assistant devices come from different manufacturers. Other devices can also be grouped. From here, you can use “robot” – Wink’s term for its ifttt like automation system, so that one device can affect another. For example, if the light in the corridor is on, you can also turn on the smart plug in the bedroom. Or, if the smoke alarm goes off, you can ask wink to send you an email. If you want to play games, you can also use ifttt directly.
What are the features of Wink Hub 2?
Wink Hub 2 connects to your network (and Internet) via Ethernet cable or WiFi and supports 2.4GHz and 5GHz, so you should be able to easily connect to your devices at home. You can put home assistant devices anywhere, because home assistant devices do not need a wired internet connection, but home assistant devices must be close to the power outlet. We recommend connecting it to the Ethernet port on the router for a more reliable connection. However, wink recommends placing the hub at least 15 feet from the router so that you may need longer cables.
Once connected, the auto discovery feature makes it easy to install new devices, but if there is a problem, you can also turn to manual discovery. We’ll talk about it later.
Wink Hub 2 pros and cons
Wink Hub 2 pros
- It can be used with a variety of devices: Z-Wave, ZigBee, WiFi and Bluetooth Le support – a large number of official wink certified products
- Connecting wink to new devices is easy, especially with autodiscover and boot settings
- Local control makes commands fast – avoiding delays due to round-trip server calls
- Allow multiple users / telephone control devices
- Clean application interface for easy navigation
Wink Hub 2 Cons
- Monthly subscription is required to run
- Programming automation (called robots) can be complex for non-technical people
- If you do not add Amazon echo or Google home, voice control cannot be performed
- It is quite large when the thickness is 7.25 “x 7.25” x 1.25 “
- It should be at least 15 feet away from WiFi routers and other WiFi devices
- No backup battery
What is the price of Wink Hub 2?
Wink Hub 2 is undoubtedly an excellent product. Home assistant devices have a large number of compatible devices, attractive price points obtained from various channels, easy to use and very good-looking appearance.
For $89.99, you can connect wirelessly with various smart devices in your smart home. SmartThings has no monthly fee. Therefore, when you purchase home assistant devices for the first time, you can continue to enjoy home assistant devices without paying a recurring fee. We can imagine that as part of a large enterprise group, namely Samsung, home assistant devices has advantages in absorbing costs and expanding revenue
Are you a DIY type? Then you’ll find the SmartThings hub very easy to install and use. Home assistant devices comes with easy to follow instructions, and the application will also guide you on how to set up your account.
How do I use Wink Hub 2?
The installation is very simple, and the manufacturer’s website will guide you through these steps.
First, download the app (IOS app store) (Google play store) and create an account. Click add product in the application and select Wink Hub 2. If necessary, plug in the hub and connect it to Ethernet. Follow the instructions in the application to connect the hub to your account.
After you set up the hub, you can add devices through the auto discovery feature or manually configure components using guided settings. Certified products appear in the menu, but there is also the option to add a generic Z-Wave or ZigBee device. The application guides you through the installation step by step, but sometimes the system needs several attempts to discover the device.
Programming wink robot, which is a nickname for automation, needs a little habit. Select a series of events from the list of options that must be true, and then tell the device what to do (commonly known as “if this, then that”). You can require multiple events (IFS) to be true; For example, the indoor temperature must be below 65 degrees and must be after 3 p.m. on Wednesday. You can also execute multiple commands (that is; e. G. turn the thermostat to 72 degrees and turn on the porch light. This may be complicated for non-technical people, but once you get the hang of it, setting up your robot will be very interesting.
Of course, the wink website provides more detailed and thorough support than we can provide.
Wink Hub 2 is mainly designed for mainstream consumers because home assistant devices have a sleek and complex design and is compatible with selected brands. The device provides enhanced connectivity and easy-to-use applications for novices.
The wink application makes it very easy for first-time consumers to connect multiple smart home devices that can be controlled under the same roof. If you’re just starting to use a smart home hub and don’t maintain a long list of smart devices at home, Wink Hub 2 is the right choice.