My new laptop came in over the weekend, so you know what that means—product reviews! Having been able to spend a week or so using the product, I want to share my thoughts. I’ll keep checking in on social media as I continue to test features out.
Thanks to the team over at The Insiders, I’m able to test out and review the Samsung Connect Home Pro. This product is promoted as a “wi-fi router and SmartThings Hub, all in one” and retails for $249 (single Home Pro) or $379 (3-pack). As a new grad student, I felt like this was already going to be a win. However, my room has horrible wi-fi connection in general, so this was going to be a solution for a serious need. You can only type on a smart phone for so long…
For your convenience, I’ve separated the review into a few parts: overview, the setup process, how it’s been working so far, and more information on The Insiders. Hopefully this helps you skip right to the area of interest. Do you have one of these as well? If so, make sure to leave a comment below so that I can get your opinion.
Packaging. It’s forever a weakness of mine and Samsung always does such an awesome job. Your device is carefully wrapped and comes with instructions, a power adapter and an ethernet cable. Let’s all take a moment to remember when the latter was the only way to connect to the internet.
Setup takes minutes, and it’s nice to be able to just open the app to check the status while you’re out on the road. All of my Bluetooth headphones are recognized. Adding new devices can be done automatically or manually. Just seeing the options really showcases that we are closer to a completely smart home.
The Setup Process
You can have everything running within minutes. No, seriously. I really mean it. Both the Quick Start Guide and Wi-Fi Hub Setup give clear step-by-step instructions with images. I recommend you do this when you are fully cognizant, as I first set mine up late at night and took a few minutes to realize I never plugged in the adapter…I don’t think you’ll have that same issue.
- Make sure to download the Samsung Connect smart phone app (available on Android and iPhone).
- Open your Connect Home Pro box and confirm you have the Smart hub, ethernet cable and power adapter.
- Plug the ethernet cable into the IN slot on the hub and to your modem.
- Plug in your power adapter to the DC slot on the hub and your outlet.
- You should see the indicator light on the hub light up in green. If it’s not, check your Quick Start Guide for a legend of each indicator color.
- Open the app and follow the on-screen prompts.
- You should get a confirmation that your connected. If you have any other Bluetooth devices, you’ll see their connection status as well.
At this point, you can enjoy the Wi-Fi extension and play around with other devices you’d like to control in the app.
How it’s working so far
I love how smooth the setup was. I’m already in the Samsung ecosystem (e.g. Galaxy S7 Edge, Gear VR, Gear Icon X, etc.), but there’s no learning curved involved. As my bedroom has the weakest connection in my apartment, it was the first place I went to test out the mesh network.
When I’m using my cable modem, I usually get anywhere from 1-3 bars on a good day. With the Connect Home Pro, I’m averaging 4-5 bars consistently. If it keeps this up, I’ll definitely look into additional devices to use more of the SmartThings Hub capabilities.
The promotional materials claim a single Home Pro can cover a space up to 1,500 sq. ft. That’s larger than my place, so I’m curious to find out how it works for others. These are also available in packs of 3, which are suppose to cover up to 4,500 sq. ft.
With the Bluetooth capabilities, I’m also able to use the app to confirm if everything is still online. Knowing that I can do my homework or work projects uninterrupted, especially out of the comfort of my home, that satisfies my as a consumer.
While I’m someone who tends to shy away from smart home features (tracking like this really makes me uncomfortable), the fact is that it’s how we are moving forward with technology. So it better work smoothly If I’m going to have these devices in my home.
About The Insiders Program
As I mentioned at the top of the review, I was able to test this product out because of The Insiders. This program allows users to register for specific campaigns, often involving a deposit to secure your spot. If you aren’t chosen to participate, you get your money back.
For this particular campaign, I want to disclose that I did receive the product for free in exchange for reviewing it. However, should I plan to keep it, I will have to pay for it. All the opinions I’ve shared are my own thoughts and I’m not serving as a perfect review because I received it. I only do reviews on products that are of interest to me and that I feel I will get a real use out of.