I’m not going to beat around the bush, or post one of my usual “The Good, The Bad, The Ugly” reviews. Why? Simply put, I really don’t care much for the Samsung Connect Home Pro router. There are some great things about it, such as its 4x4 MIMO capability (the “standard” Connect Home only has 2x2 MIMO), as well as its integrated SmartThings features (it’s (supposedly) 100% compatible with Zigbee & Z-Wave devices). It, like the Samsung Connect Home, has Bluetooth 4.1, but it outshines its ‘little brother’ by including a 1.7GHz dual-core processor (the Connect Home only includes a 710MHz processor), as well as providing AC2600 vs the Connect Home’s AC1300 (1733Mbps @ 5GHz & 800Mbps @ 2.4GHz vs 866Mbps @ 5GHz & 400Mbps @ 2.4GHz). Unfortunately, it falls short in other areas, especially when compared to other mesh Wi-Fi systems (I realize that the Connect Home is a mesh system, whereas the Connect Home Pro is a single unit, but it does have mash abilities, while will come into play once Samsung starts selling the nodes individually).
On the “plus” side, Samsung has incorporated a SmartThings hub into the router, thus, if you own Zigbee and/or Z-Wave devices, you no longer need a stand-alone SmartThings Hub. Also, in regards to the app (as long as you have…for now…a Samsung smartphone, the Connect Home, and Connect Home Pro, incorporates these features into a single app, as opposed to using two different apps (ie. if using a different brand’s mesh Wi-Fi, and also using a Samsung SmartThings Hub)…plus, there will soon be Bixby functionality incorporated into the app.
Unfortunately…and the primary reason I don’t care for the Samsung Connect Home Pro…this fails in the same way as most other home mesh Wi-Fi systems – the lack of a built-in Ethernet hub. If you ONLY connect devices via Wi-Fi, then you’re all set, and this could be a good-to-great choice for you. However, if you’re like most people, while many/most devices are connected via Wi-Fi, you probably have several devices (TV, network-connected printer, DVD/Blu-ray, home theater receiver, cable/satellite TV box, etc) that you prefer to connect via Ethernet cables. Sure, you can buy a multi-port switch, and that problem is resolved…at the cost of purchasing additional items. But, what if you want to connect your printer to the network via USB? What if you have USB hard drives you want to map to the network? There are other “what ifs” I could add, but, the point is, with the Samsung Connect Home Pro, there are no USB ports. – no USB 3.0…not even a USB 2.0 port. Because of this, you completely lose out on the ability to connect any of these types of devices to the network. Personally, I NEED those Ethernet & USB ports, as do many others. To show what I mean, I have the following devices connected to our network via Ethernet: printer, HDTV, Logitech harmony Hub, Blue-ray player, home theater receiver, home security DVR, cloud drive, Apple Time Machine; and I have the following connected via USB: 2x hard drives.
I tend to be, on average, fairly pro-Samsung. Our phones are Samsung, our HDTV is Samsung, one of my tablets is Samsung…you get the picture. Basing only on this, one would think that I’d love Samsung’s new Connect Home Pro…but you’d be mistaken. Would I recommend the Samsung Connect Home Pro? The answer is yes…and no. Honestly, it depends on your needs. If you need to connect devices via Ethernet and/or USB, then the answer is a hard NO!!! If you connect all your devices via Wi-Fi (and even if you connect four, or less, via Ethernet, ton which you’d have to purchase a 4-port switch), then the answer is “maybe”. Finally, if you fit into that second grouping AND own/use Zigbee and/or Z-Wave devices, then…and only then…might I say “yes”. If you already have a SmartThings Hub, as well as a router you are completely happy with, then don’t waste your money on the Samsung Connect Home Pro (or its “Connect Home” little brother). On the other hand, if you’ve been considering getting Zigbee and/or Z-Wave devices, haven’t purchased a controller/hub, and have been considering upgrading your router, then the Samsung Connect Home Pro could be a great option.
Disclaimer: This product was provided free, or at reduced cost, for the purpose of reviewing the product. Nevertheless, the above review, be it positive, negative, or somewhere in-between, is a 100% honest review, and the price paid played absolutely no part in my review.