When Samsung announced its SmartThings Station at this year's CES, we were surprised: after all, Samsung said it wasn't going to make any new SmartThings hardware such as hubs. Now the device is shipping (in the US and Korea at least), it looks like Samsung's change of heart was a good idea: the Station is a really useful bit of smart home kit, provided you have a Samsung phone.
The $59 Station is a home hub that also doubles as a wireless charger. Samsung has effectively taken its existing wireless charger and made it smarter. There's a programmable smart home controller button on top, and the Station is a Matter controller, Thread router and SmartThings Find scanner.
That's the good news.
Why doesn't the SmartThings Station make sense if you don't have a Samsung phone?
The main selling point here compared to other SmartThings hubs is the wireless charging. If you don't need that, the Samsung SmartThings Hub Dongle is half the price and just as useful, or it will be when it gets Thread support. That's imminent and will come via a software update.
As for the wireless charging, it depends on what device you want to charge. If you have a phone such as the Samsung Galaxy S22 or Samsung Galaxy S23 it's all good, with wireless charging at 15W. But other devices such as Samsung Galaxy Watch models can't be charged on it, and non-Samsung devices such as iPhones only charge at 7.5W.
There's no indication of a UK launch for this device just yet, which is a shame: SmartThings has superb compatibility with all kinds of smart home kit, and that's only going to improve thanks to its membership of the Home Connectivity Alliance alongside other kitchen/utility smart appliance manufacturers. Although Matter will make it easier to get different firms' products to connect, your smart home still needs to have a platform to run on – and Samsung's one is one of the very best.