Samsung's SmartThings Hub v2 starts pre-order

Samsung seems to be on a roll. After unveiling the Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 edge+ and announcing the actual launch of Samsung Pay, the company's year-old subsidiary is also making a big splash. Delayed by almost half a year, SmartThings is giving the green light for pre-orders of its brand new Hub device. Although owners are not required to upgrade to this new version, some might consider it worth the purchase considering a crucial update to the capabilities of the smart home central brain.

Early this year, SmartThings promised a revamp of its smart home device line, starting with a smarter Hub. In March, however, it revealed that it is pushing the timetable to Q3 this year. With the third quarter practically half over, it's about time that the company start the pre-order process, promising an early September retail launch.

SmartThings promised to update is entire line but the most notable upgrade is with the central Hub. In particular, v2 gains what SmartThings refers to as the "AppEngine". This practically means that the processing of SmartApps and devices now happen on the Hub itself instead of being shipped to the cloud first. This has the benefit that functions will continue to work even if your Internet connection gets momentarily cut off, whether they be powered by ZigBee, Z-Wave, or LAN. Plus, the new Hub has its own backup battery so things will still work even when power is cut off.

Those features alone might be worth the $99 price tag, especially since these aren't things that can be added just with software updates. SmartThings also promised updated versions of the Multi, Presence, and Motion sensors, though details of those have yet to surface.

SOURCE: SmartThings (1), (2)