Hubitat vs SmartThings: Comparing Smart Home Hubs for Optimal Automation

When setting up a smart home, choosing the right hub to connect and control your devices is paramount. The decision often comes down to two popular choices: Hubitat and SmartThings. Both platforms aim to provide comprehensive control over a wide array of smart home devices, but they come with distinct features, advantages, and drawbacks.

Hubitat is renowned for its local processing power and privacy, offering fast, reliable automations without the need for the cloud. SmartThings, on the other hand, is often celebrated for its user-friendly interface and its seamless integration with a broad ecosystem of devices.

The process of installation and setup varies between Hubitat and SmartThings, with SmartThings generally being more user-friendly for the non-technical user.

On the compatibility front, both hubs support a vast range of devices using Z-Wave, Zigbee, and now more protocols like Matter and Thread.

Considering the automation capabilities, user interface, and the overall experience they deliver, alongside the support provided by their respective communities, users must weigh their willingness to tinker against the need for a straightforward and accessible system.

The cost-effectiveness of either option can be the deciding factor for many, as both the initial investment and the long-term value must be considered.

Key Takeaways

  • Hubitat offers robust local control, whereas SmartThings shines in user-friendliness and cloud integration.
  • Both platforms support a multitude of smart devices and are evolving to include newer standards like Matter and Thread.
  • Users must consider ease of use, community support, and overall value when choosing between the two hubs.

Hubitat vs SmartThings Hubs: Price Comparison

Feature Hubitat Elevation Hub (C-7) Aeotec SmartThings Hub
Price $148.95 $129.99
Connectivity Zigbee, Z-Wave, Bluetooth LE Zigbee, Z-Wave, Wi-Fi
Voice Assistant Compatibility Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Samsung Bixby
Platform Local processing with optional cloud access Primarily cloud-based
Availability Widely available  Available for purchase on Walmart

Hubitat and SmartThings Overview

In the landscape of smart home automation, two prominent hubs stand out for their capabilities and user experience: Hubitat Elevation and Samsung SmartThings. Both hubs offer unique features and cater to different user preferences, touching on aspects like local versus cloud processing, compatibility with various devices, and ease of use.

Hubitat Elevation Characteristics

Hubitat Elevation is designed with a focus on privacy and local control, ensuring that automation runs swiftly and reliably without dependency on the cloud. Key characteristics include:

  • Local Processing: Hubitat operates independently of the internet, providing increased privacy and speed.
  • Protocol Support: Offers wide-ranging compatibility including Zigbee, Z-Wave, and more.
  • Latest Technology: Incorporates support for advanced technology such as Z-Wave 800 and Zigbee 3.0.

Details on its functionality can be found in this comprehensive review.

SmartThings Hub Features

The Samsung SmartThings Hub, on the other hand, is renowned for its user-friendly interface and extensive device compatibility. Its features highlight:

  • Mobile App: Available on both iOS and Android, the app is intuitive and functional.
  • Connectivity: Unlike Hubitat, SmartThings can be connected via both ethernet and Wi-Fi.
  • Integration: Excels in linking to Virtual Assistants and supporting a variety of compatible devices.

For more insight into the SmartThings setup process, refer to this comparison article.

Installation and Setup

Ease of installation and initial configuration are crucial for users when choosing between Hubitat and SmartThings, as these factors determine the starting user experience and the initial impression of the smart home system’s capabilities.

Setting Up Hubitat

When setting up Hubitat Elevation, users must connect the hub to their router via an Ethernet cable, as it does not support Wi-Fi during the setup process.

Once the hub is powered on and connected to the network, the user will access the Hubitat web interface to begin the configuration process, which involves creating an account and discovering compatible devices to include in their smart home setup.

Configuring SmartThings

Conversely, SmartThings provides more flexibility in its setup by offering both Ethernet and Wi-Fi connectivity options.

The user starts by installing the SmartThings mobile app on an iOS or Android device. The app guides the user through creating an account, connecting the hub to the internet, and pairing smart devices.

The simplicity of the SmartThings app-based setup can be a significant advantage for users who prefer wireless connections and mobile interfacing.


When considering smart home automation, the connectivity and range of compatible devices are crucial factors. Both Hubitat and SmartThings offer a broad device compatibility spectrum, supporting a variety of protocols that are essential for a comprehensive smart home system.

Hubitat Device Support

Hubitat is known for its local processing capabilities, meaning it can run without relying on the cloud for routine automation, which enhances privacy and reliability.

The Hubitat Elevation hub notably supports Zigbee, Z-Wave, and Lutron, among other protocols.

Its compatibility includes a vast array of smart devices, from sensors to locks, and lighting to thermostats.

Hubitat’s latest hub, the Hubitat Elevation C-8, leverages Z-Wave 800 and Zigbee 3.0 for an improved range and faster inclusion process.

SmartThings Integration Capacity

SmartThings is recognized for its user-friendly experience and wide-ranging integration. It is designed to work seamlessly with a myriad of smart home devices across different brands and protocols, including but not limited to Wi-Fi, Zigbee, Z-Wave, and even Bluetooth.

The Samsung SmartThings Hub requires an internet connection, which enables its compatibility with virtual assistants like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, facilitating voice control and remote access.

User Interface and Experience

In exploring the user interfaces of Hubitat and SmartThings, one finds distinct experiences in navigation, accessibility, and control. Each platform caters to a different type of user with its own approach to managing a smart home ecosystem.

Navigating Hubitat’s Interface

Hubitat’s interface is often described as utilitarian, targeting users who prioritize function over form.

Access to the various controls and settings requires navigating through a web-based dashboard. Users interact with a menu-driven interface composed of multiple sections such as Devices, Apps, Settings, and Logs.

Each section provides comprehensive control, although the learning curve can be steeper for those unfamiliar with home automation.

Muscularity in functionality shines through particularly in complex automation setup, which is achieved through the Rule Machine that Hubitat offers.

Using SmartThings App

In contrast, the SmartThings app is considered by many to be more user-friendly, primarily due to its more polished and intuitive mobile interface.

Users manage their smart home devices with a few taps on their smartphone or tablet. The homepage presents an overview of connected devices, while detailed controls are easily accessible.

The SmartThings app integrates well with both iOS and Android systems, offering widgets and voice command options that enhance the user experience. Moreover, its ability to connect via ethernet and Wi-Fi adds a level of convenience in setup and operation.

Using this information, individuals can decide which platform better suits their needs in managing their smart home devices: Hubitat’s depth of customization and local control, or SmartThings’ user-friendly design and broader connectivity options.

Automation Capabilities

When comparing the automation capabilities of Hubitat and SmartThings, one should consider the complexity and flexibility of Hubitat’s local processing versus the user-friendly routine creation offered by SmartThings.

Complex Automations with Hubitat

Hubitat is distinguished by its ability to handle complex automations.

The Hubitat Elevation C-8 is specifically lauded for running automations locally, which translates to enhanced speed and reliability.

Advanced users appreciate Hubitat’s support for a multitude of protocols, including Zigbee, Z-Wave, and LAN devices, allowing for intricate automation scenarios that go beyond the basics.

  • Local Processing: All automations run on the device, ensuring faster and more reliable performance.
  • Protocol Support: Employs Z-Wave 800 and Zigbee 3.0 for flexible device compatibility.
  • Advanced Customizations: Offers possibilities for unique automation rules tailored to the user’s specific needs.

Routine Creation in SmartThings

On the other hand, SmartThings excels in the arena of routine creation with its user-centric approach.

The platform’s interface is designed to be intuitive, enabling users to set up routines with minimal hassle.

SmartThings combines cloud storage and broad device support to offer a balanced ecosystem for day-to-day smart home operations.

  • Cloud-Connected: Relying on Samsung’s cloud, SmartThings can execute a variety of automated tasks, from managing smart thermostats to garage door openers.
  • Ease of Use: The SmartThings app simplifies the process of setting up and modifying routines.
  • Virtual Assistant Integration: Supports voice control via virtual assistants, like Amazon Alexa, for routine activations.

Community and Support

The choice between Hubitat and SmartThings can be influenced by the quality of community engagement and customer support each platform offers. Users should consider the availability of community resources and the reliability of customer service when making their decision.

Hubitat Community Resources

Hubitat has a growing community that actively participates in their forums.

With the forums, users can find custom drivers and applications and discuss various topics with fellow Hubitat owners. The collaborative nature of the community helps in problem-solving and sharing insights on device compatibility and advanced automation.

SmartThings Customer Service

SmartThings, on the other hand, offers a comprehensive customer service experience including support channels such as live chat, phone support, and an official community forum.

The forum is a platform where users can share experiences, device handlers, and smart app ideas. Samsung’s backing ensures a wide range of support resources that cater to diverse user inquiries.

Reliability and Performance

When evaluating smart home hubs, reliability and performance are crucial for a seamless experience. Each system’s stability and consistency in operation are key factors that affect user satisfaction.

Hubitat System Stability

Hubitat’s Elevation hub is designed to run locally. Automation rules and connected device interfaces are managed on the device itself, rather than relying on cloud services. This local processing capability can lead to increased stability and speed. It is less susceptible to internet outages.

The latest Hubitat Elevation C-8 hub also includes advancements such as Z-Wave 800 and Zigbee 3.0. These can enhance signal reliability and range.

SmartThings Operation Consistency

On the other hand, SmartThings primarily operates through the internet, with a heavy reliance on cloud-based services. Although this may introduce some dependency on network stability, it allows for integration with virtual assistants and remote access. Users have found that the SmartThings Mobile App offers a very functional and intuitive experience across iOS and Android devices. However, if the internet connection is lost, users may temporarily lose some capabilities until the connection is restored.

Price and Value for Money

When considering smart home hubs, consumers often weigh the initial outlay against the long-term benefits. Specific pricing and the value for money offered by each brand are crucial factors in this decision-making process.

Cost of Hubitat Setup

Hubitat Elevation Model C-8 is currently priced at $149. It stands out for its strong local control ethos, assuring privacy and speed by avoiding reliance on the cloud. The latest iteration provides integrations with Z-Wave Plus 800 and Zigbee 3.0. Dual external antennas also enhance its connectivity.

Investment in SmartThings

SmartThings, by comparison, presents a less expensive entry point. SmartThings hubs tend to be lower in price than Hubitat but historically offered fewer integration options. However, updates now support Matter and Thread protocols. This increases their value for users looking for a broader range of connectivity without a significant rise in cost.

Final Thoughts

When comparing Hubitat and SmartThings, consumers must assess their unique needs in home automation.

Hubitat excels in local processing, which offers increased privacy and speed. It is ideal for those who prioritize a robust, local network without the reliance on the cloud. Their latest hub leverages advanced technology such as Z-Wave 800 and Zigbee 3.0.

SmartThings, on the other hand, is recognized for its user-friendly interface and a wide array of compatible devices. Its dependency on the Internet connects users with virtual assistants and offers a more streamlined setup process. This setup can include Wi-Fi connection, an important factor for those who prefer wireless connection.

Before making a decision, individuals should evaluate the importance of:

  • Local vs. cloud processing
  • Privacy concerns
  • Ease of use and setup
  • Compatibility with existing devices
  • Desire to use wireless technology
  • Integration with virtual assistants

Users should balance these considerations with the understanding that both platforms aim to provide comprehensive smart home automation solutions. They share the goal of enhancing the efficiency, comfort, and security of one’s living environment through technological integration.

Choosing the one depends on certain factors

If you’re a fan of smart home technology and enjoy outfitting your residence with the latest gadgets, the Hubitat Elevation Hub might be the perfect fit for you. It’s especially suited for those with an extensive array of sensors, cameras, locks, lights, and more, offering innovative and complex integration options.

An added advantage of Hubitat is its local processing capability, which means your smart home isn’t as dependent on an internet connection to function.

On the other hand, if you prefer simplicity and the convenience of positioning your smart hub anywhere with WiFi coverage, SmartThings might be a more appropriate choice.

Nevertheless, if you’re willing to tackle a steeper learning curve for a more robust and customizable smart home experience, we believe Hubitat is the way forward.

Another explanation of SmartThings vs Hubitat

Type 1 Consumer

Some buyers prefer a simple home automation system that’s easy to use, cost-effective, and quickly deployable. They seek a smart hub compatible with Alexa and Google Home, eliminating the need for extensive setup and maintenance. Cloud-based remote access is acceptable, but local control of smart devices remains essential for seamless operation. Users in this category prefer platforms like SmartThings for their simplicity and convenience.

Type 2 Consumer

The pro-consumer Smart Home user prioritizes privacy and is meticulous about the installation of their automation devices. They prefer running their controller network locally (z-wave, Zigbee, wifi) without relying on the cloud, but are open to using cloud services via apps. Popular choices in this category include Hubitat, Home Assistant, and Open HABL.

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About The Author

Hassan Zaka

I am an expert in accounting and possess diverse experience in technical writing. I have written for various industries on topics such as finance, business, and technology. My writing style is clear and simple, and I utilize infographics and diagrams to make my writing more engaging. I can be a valuable asset to any organization in need of technical writing services.

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