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Samsung Connect Home Trial and Testimonial

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Old 27-07-2018, 12:00 AM   #1
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Samsung Connect Home Trial and Testimonial

With Samsung Connect Home, you can now monitor and automate your home’s smart devices and appliances right from your phone, anytime, anywhere.* It, too, connects every part of your home to provide a wider Wi-Fi coverage. Say goodbye to Wi-Fi dead zones!

Check out the testimonials that our kind trial users have provided down below to vote for your favourite testimonial. 3 lucky voters will win a Samsung Connect Home device worth $198 each!

Good luck folks!

Meanwhile, for those who want to find out even more details and experience of either the Smart Connect Home or other accessories, please feel free to reply to the thread and the trial users can further share their point of view to address any queries

* May vary based on environment and other surrounding factors and conditions.
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Old 27-07-2018, 12:10 AM   #2
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Introduction to the Smart Home

I remember watching the first Iron Man movie in 2008 feeling very impressed by J.A.R.V.I.S. the powerful voice-activated personal assistant of the hero Tony Stark, who basically run’s Tony’s entire home. This particular scene left me in awe, in which J.A.R.V.I.S. eloquently wakes up one of Tony’s friends in the Stark Mansion with the opening of the blinds and gives an update on the weather conditions.



It is now a reality. Who would have thought years later that we would have something similar in Samsung’s Bixby, Alexa from Amazon, the Google Assistant and of course Apple’s Siri.

If you were a kid who grew up in the 80’s, you probably would have remembered this futuristic cartoon series called the Jetsons with elaborate robotic contraptions and whimsical inventions such as the robot vacuum cleaner.


The robot vacuum cleaner from The Jetsons.

The Jetsons were indeed ahead of their time. Fast forward 25 years later, Samsung launched their robot vacuum (which looks a lot more compact by the way).

Or perhaps you might remember this scene from 1993’s Demolition Man, where Wesley Snipes turns on and off his office lights with his voice.



These movies from yesteryear have offered us little snippets of what is called a Smart Home today.

So what is a smart home exactly? It is one that is equipped with technology to automate and remotely control household systems such as doors, lighting, AV systems, surveillance systems, door locks and other connected appliances. Samsung has gone beyond remote controls and programmable settings to create a unified home monitoring ecosystem with their range of products.

With all these smart appliances and Internet of Things(IoT) in place, a smart home becomes capable of learning the routines and habits of the occupants and automates processes and tasks that come with operating a modern household. It is built with the concept of making your home life better.

Last edited by WestGuy; 18-03-2018 at 11:40 PM..
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Old 27-07-2018, 12:20 AM   #3
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Introduction to Samsung’s Smart Home

Samsung brings your smart devices together in the simplest fashion. The key word is simple, because most of the time it is really not that simple, but Samsung has made it simple with an integrated solution called SmartThings. SmartThings is Samsung’s way of bringing all your connected devices, be it ZigBee or Z-Wave (which are different formats of Smart Home connectivity) and a WiFi Mesh solution into a single Smart Hub called the Samsung Connect Home.

Samsung has a wide range of Smart Home products, but to keep things simple I will just highlight the following products which were provisioned for my testimonial:


The suite of smart home products kindly provisioned by Samsung.

Samsung Connect Home
Samsung Galaxy S8
Samsung POWERbot Star Wars Darth Vader Special Edition
Samsung Digital Door Lock
SmartThings Multipurpose Sensor
SmartThings Motion Sensor
SmartThings Outlet
Philips Hue White and Colour Ambience Starter Kit



Samsung Connect Home

WiFi Mesh systems are becoming extremely popular nowadays, and you should consider getting one if your home’s WiFi network has dead spots or does not reach across your entire house. Samsung’s offering is the Samsung Connect Home, which has AC1300 speed and a 2x2 MU MIMO antennae.


The main unit is connected directly to my router.


The sub unit is placed in my bedroom and is wirelessly connected to the main unit. Also in the picture is the Philips Hue Bridge.

Now what I really like about the Samsung Connect Home is that it also doubles up as a smart IoT hub! If you were to get another brand and if you wanted to set up a Smart Home, you would have to purchase a separate IoT hub. Not only that, all your smart devices and home appliances can be controlled with a single app called SmartThings which I will cover later. It is so easy to setup the Samsung Connect Home via the SmartThings app. Just ensure that your phone’s WiFi and Bluetooth is turned on, and you are done in a matter of minutes.

Before I installed the Samsung Connect Home, my dad was always complaining to me about dodgy WiFI reception in his bedroom. I live in a 5 room executive HDB flat, so it is quite a distance from the router to my dad’s room. As his room is the furthest away from the router, my router had problems broadcasting WiFi reception there as there are many walls for the signal to penetrate. However, after installing the Samsung Connect Home, I am so glad to have solved this poor WiFi reception problem. As I installed one of the Samsung Connect Home units in my bedroom, it helps to extend the WiFi reception all the way to my dad’s bedroom. In the past I had tried out homeplug adapters (which transmit data through the powerlines) before, but the signal is highly prone to interference and the download/upload speeds are erratic. If a number of households in your block are using homeplugs as well, the leaked signals can build up.

Not only that, but I had to install another router at the furthest homeplug to act as an access point. This is not the most efficient way because there will be 2 different WiFi networks(SSIDs) in my house. I have tried making a video call on my handphone and walking from one end of my house to the other. Midway, the video call will disconnect as my phone jumps to my other WiFi network. Now the beautiful thing about the Samsung Connect Home, which is using Mesh technology, is that all of the nodes still broadcast the same WiFi network throughout the house, hence I have a seamless connection once I make a video call in my house even when I am walking around. My smartphone will automatically connect to the strongest unit as I move about the house.

I had also tried WiFi extenders (or repeaters) before in the past, but I took them down after a while because it had a huge drawback. The WiFi extender effectively halved the bandwidth of my internet speed. The reason for this is because the repeater receives the signal, processes it then rebroadcasts it in both directions. And in doing so, halves the connection speed.

Mesh networking is the hottest thing in networking these couple of years, and I have come to a conclusion that it is indeed the best way to solve dodgy WiFi reception in my house and probably yours. It now blankets my entire home in WiFi as each unit of Samsung Connect Home covers up to 1,500 sq ft. It does it’s work beautifully, as each unit has an aesthetically pleasing design with only a single green light(which you can turn off if you wish) and can blend into any household. You can rest easy knowing that your network is securely protected by Knox, Samsung’s integrated network certification system which provides protection across several layers of hardware and software against malicious threats.


The network diagram of my Samsung Connect Home setup from the SmartThings app.

Last edited by WestGuy; 26-03-2018 at 12:25 PM..
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Old 27-07-2018, 12:30 AM   #4
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Samsung Galaxy S8

The Samsung Galaxy S8 was one of the best flagship phones in 2017. It has an awesome display, a stunning camera and feels really light and sleek. As a Samsung phone, it works best with the Smart Things app. (I will tell you why in my coverage of the SmartThings app section later. I shan’t delve into the specs of this phone, because it’s successor the Samsung Galaxy S9 was recently launched.


The S8(bottom right) creates a desktop experience for me once i pair it with the Samsung DeX Station and wireless keyboard/trackpad.

Just a shout out that I really love the AR emojis and super slow-mo camera function of the new S9! Even I have been captivated by the new lilac purple - Pantone’s Color of the Year, which by the way looks absolutely gorgeous on the S9. It was also recently rated by DXOMARK as having the best smartphone display and best smartphone camera. So if you love my testimonial so much that you have an unexplainable urge to run to your favourite handphone shop to get the latest and greatest Samsung phone, get the S9 or the S9 Plus!



Samsung POWERbot Star Wars Darth Vader Special Edition

As a huge Star Wars fan, I was honoured to join the suck side (sorry for trying to be punny) and have Darth Vader clean my home. Not quite, but this robot vacuum is so cool that it breathes just like Darth Vader when I power it on, and it plays the signature Imperial March tune when it starts to move off for its cleaning duties. Yes you can mute it, if you’re not a fan like my mum who got a wee bit of a shock when this black ominous creature started marching down on her.


“No, I am your father.”

As a smart device linked to the SmartThings Hub, I have scheduled him to vacuum my house daily at 2pm when no one else is on the house of course. Darth Vader prefers to have the house by himself when he is vaporising all that dust from the floor. He is smart enough to send notifications to my handphone even when I am at work, if he has accidentally choked himself on a rogue rag on the floor, and once he has finished vacuuming for the day and returned to his charging station. As the pivotal antagonist in Star Wars, he has lived up to his reputation and mapped my entire house with his sensor to calculate the most efficient path. He is now the new favourite son in the family because he keeps the floor spick and span daily.


Samsung POWERbot Star Wars Darth Vader Special Edition in action.

Last edited by WestGuy; 26-03-2018 at 12:23 PM..
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Old 27-07-2018, 12:40 AM   #5
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Samsung Digital Door Lock

The Samsung SHP-DH525 Digital Door Lock is a premium model that can be accessed 4 ways. Namely smartphone app, key tag, password or the emergency key.


The Samsung digital door lock comes with 2 key tags, 2 access cards and 2 RFID stickers.


It needs to be installed by professionals.

It integrates well into the Smart Home as it has a function which notifies me whenever my family members return home. This is useful to me, as there is peace of mind knowing my little nephew returns home safely from school every day. Another useful function for me is to be able to remotely unlock the door through the SmartThings app even when I am outside. There was once where a courier attempted to deliver a big parcel to me while I was outside and no one else at home, so I informed him that I would remotely unlock the door and he could drop the parcel off.


Unlocking the digital door lock from anywhere in the world.

But of course, I would highly recommend to get an integrated CCTV surveillance system as part of the Smart Home before letting anyone in to the house. After all, you would not want to arrive home only to find your valuables cleaned out, including the Darth Vader Vacuum. Now that would be disastrous.


No need to worry about forgetting to lock your door ever again, as it automatically locks once the door is closed.


The front of the Samsung SHP-DH525 digital door lock.


The back of the Samsung SHP-DH525 digital door lock.

Last edited by WestGuy; 18-03-2018 at 11:41 PM..
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Old 27-07-2018, 12:50 AM   #6
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SmartThings Sensors and Outlet with home automation rules

These little SmartThings accessories communicate to the Smart Home via Zigbee and serve a variety of purposes.

The multipurpose sensor can monitor whether doors, windows, and cabinets are open or closed.


The first multipurpose sensor is connected to my kitchen window.

The motion sensor can detect motion up to 4.5 metres away with a 120-degree field of view.


The motion sensor which i pair with my fan via home automation and the outlet.

Both of these sensors can also monitor temperature. The outlet can be used to monitor and control lights, electronics and small appliances from anywhere.


The outlet which i plug my fan to.

These accessories can be used together for all sorts of home automation rules.

For example, one of my favourite home automation rules which I customised is to connect my fan to the SmartThings outlet and set it to turn off once the temperature in my room is below 25 degrees Celsius after I have turned on my aircon. I have to admit I am quite the polar bear, but a polar bear who wants to save electricity and be green as well. Another useful home automation rule which I created is to use the multipurpose sensor to turn my balcony light once I arrive home. After all I would not want to trip over the Darth Vader Vacuum, who would not be pleased if that were to happen. My parents are particular about closing the kitchen windows before sleeping and before we leave the house. With the multipurpose sensor installed on my kitchen window, that is a thing of the past because I have set a home automation rule to alert me if it is open.


My dad is serious about closing the windows if there is no one at home, hence the little notice hung on the main door. With a smart home, this notice is now a thing of the past.


I get an alert on my handphone if there is no one at home and the kitchen window is left open.



Philips Hue White and Colour Ambience Starter Kit

This kit works hand in hand with the SmartThings app and consists of 3 hue light bulbs and a hue bridge. It is capable of 16 million colours and a tuneable white light which can be controlled via the SmartThings app or the Philips Hue app. Lightning in a room is important, because it can affect your mood depending on the colour and brightness of the bulbs. In this case, there are many different lighting scenes offered in the Philips Hue app such as Savanna Sunset, Spring Blossom, Relax, Reading etc.


A screenshot of the Philips Hue app with some of the preset lighting scenes.

The lights can even be synced to your music, TV and games for immersive effects! What I like to do is to set my light to turn on automatically at 645am and have the light brightness increased gradually, mimicking the effect of sunrise.


Talking to Bixby to turn off my bedroom light.

Last edited by WestGuy; 18-03-2018 at 11:41 PM..
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Old 27-07-2018, 01:00 AM   #7
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The SmartThings App and Home Automation

The SmartThings app acts as the control centre for all your home automation needs and rules. It is well thought out, and neatly segregated into 3 tabs, namely Dashboard, Devices and Automations.


The main dashboard is where you can discover useful features and learn from other people's home automation stories. You can customise your shortcuts here.


The devices tab gives you an overview of all SmartThings devices and lets you configure each individual setting.


The Automations section lets you create your own home automation rules or you can follow some templates.

It is so user friendly that my parents who are not very IT savvy were able to know how to navigate the app within a matter of minutes.
You can customise the dashboard page with different shortcuts and cards. There are also tips and How to Use guides. The Devices tab displays all the smart home devices linked to the SmartThings app and you can manage each device there. The Automations tab is where you select from a list of recommended home automation rules or customise your own.


A home automation rule i created to turn off the outlet(connected to my fan) once the temperature is below 25 degress celsius.


Another home automation rule i created to turn on my balcony lights for 10 minutes once the multipurpose sensor on my main door is detected as 'open'.


Now this app works even better on a Samsung phone, and if you are generally in the Samsung ecosystem. Earlier on in the Galaxy S8 section I did mention it and now I shall tell you why. I am using a fairly recent Samsung LCD TV model. I was pleasantly surprised that there was this feature whereby I could mirror the TV display onto my phone.


Mirroring the display of my TV to my S8.

Now this is rather special because while most other TV brands can mirror your handphone contents onto the TV, not many can mirror your TV display onto your phone. I tried the SmartThings app on my other Android phones and my fruit phone, and discovered this unique function was not available on them. This function was really useful to me which I discovered while watching the huge football match between Manchester United and Liverpool recently. When nature calls, it can be tough at times to avoid that call. So I used my Galaxy S8 to mirror the football match while off I went to the toilet to do a number two (or even a three or four). Too much info I guess, but hey this is an honest to goodness testimonial!



Summary

Being a tech geek myself, I was so glad to have been given the opportunity to jump on the smart home bandwagon. From my testimonial above, it has certainly enhanced my life in many aspects. Well not only my life, but my whole family as well. My house is more spick and span than before because of Mr Darth Vader, and that is important because my little nephew is asthmatic. And best of all, the dirty work gets done while everyone is at work or in school. No more fumbling with keys because of the digital door lock and once I go out and hear the familiar chime once the door automatically locks itself, I know my home is safe and secure. With all the home automation rules I had mentioned earlier, it is all about convenience and a better quality of life. Why not live life the smart way and turn your home sweet home into a home smart home?

Last edited by WestGuy; 18-03-2018 at 11:41 PM..
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Old 27-07-2018, 01:10 AM   #8
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I’ve always wanted to upgrade my house the way we upgrade our computer and smartphone. With more and more smart home solutions out there in the market, having a smart home is now more and more accessible to the average consumer. The only problem is that it can be a bit scary to turn your ordinary home into a smart home by yourself. There’s a lot of things to research about. And perhaps that’s why I haven’t attempted turning my home into a smart home.

But when Hardwarezone announced the Samsung Connect Home trial, I thought it might be a good opportunity for me to get started. So I signed up without much thinking. And I was surprised that I got selected.

When I received all the Samsung products for this trial, I got a little shocked and overwhelmed. There are so many different devices. I was starting to get worried about setting them up. How do I start? What mess did I get myself into.


Siao lah! Where to start?!?!

Luckily, the setting up was easy and straightforward. The first thing I setup is the Samsung Connect Home. The Connect Home basically a Wi-Fi router that provides Wi-Fi mesh network with extended range. It is also a Samsung SmartThings hub that allows you to connect all your smart home devices such as Philips Hue and Samsung SmartThings such as Motion Sensor and Outlet Sensor.


One device to connect them all.

Setting up the Samsung Connect Home was easy. Simply plug the provided ethernet cable to my router, power up and use the Samsung Connect App to do some simple setup. It’s so easy that even a primary school kid can do it.

Did I say that the Samsung Connect Home is a Wi-Fi mesh? This means that if you have another Samsung Connect Home or Samsung Connect Home Pro, you can use it to extend the Wi-Fi coverage of your house. You can connect up to 5 Samsung Connect Home or Connect Home Pro. But generally most people just need 2 or 3 Connect Home to cover a HDB flat. The benefits of a Wi-Fi mesh is that you can walk around your house and the mesh network will be smart enough to seamlessly transfer you from one Connect Home to another to give you the best connection. Wi-Fi mesh is getting more and more popular nowadays. It’s great for covering those Wi-Fi deadspot in your house such as your toilet. Yes, everyone wants internet in their toilet nowadays. Lol.



Setting up the Samsung SmartThing sensors is just as easy. All you need to do is to decide where to place them, connect them using the Samsung SmartThings app and you are done. The SmartThing app is like your main Mission control to your smart home. You can see the status of all your sensors and set up automations. And its available on both Android and iOS.


Status of all your SmartThings sensor on one simple screen.

There are several different types of SmartThings sensors and each of them have a special role. The Outlet sensor lets you control electronic that’s plugged to the power plug and allow you to turn it on/off. The Multipurpose sensor detects if a door or window is open/close. Motion sensor, as the name suggest, detects motions.


Outlet sensor: control power on/off.


Multipurpose sensor: Detect if your door or window is open/close and if there’s any vibration.

Besides the Samsung SmartThings sensors, there’s other things that you can get to make your house smarter such as the Samsung POWERbot Robot Vacuum and Philip Hue. For the Samsung Connect Home trial, I was given the Samsung POWERbot Robot Vacuum Star Wars Limited Edition - Darth Vader. It’s a regular POWERbot Robot Vacuum cleaner but with Darth Vader design and sound. As a huge Star Wars fan, I love it. The sound effects made the POWERbot much more interesting than a regular robot vacuum cleaner.


Filled with power from the Dark Side


Luke.... Join me, and together we can clean this house as father and son

The most important thing about setting up a smart home is to make sure that everything works well together. The Samsung SmartThings app help tie all the smart devices together and make them work like a charm. From the app, you can see the current status of all your smart home devices that are connected to your Samsung Connect Home. You can also set up some simple Automations from the app to trigger some action whenever some conditions are met.

For example, you can put the Samsung SmartThings Multipurpose sensor on your store room door and set it to turn on the lights when you open the door and off the lights when you close the door.

You can also set the Samsung POWERbot Robot to start cleaning after you step out of the house.

My favorite automation is to send a notification to my smart phone when someone opens my room door. Too bad I can’t rig a nerf gun and fire a dart at the intruder. Maybe Samsung will do that next time.

The Samsung Connect Home has greatly improved my daily life ever since I’ve installed it in my house. I connected my electric kettle to the Outlet Sensor and set it to turn on every day at 7:30am so that I can have hot water for my coffee when I wake up. When I leave the house, the POWERbot Robot will start its cleaning routine. I have the habit of forgetting to turn off the lights when I leave the house. With the Samsung Connect Home, I can easily check if I’ve turn off the lights at home when I’m out and turn off the lights to save electricity. (I’m intending to buy the Samsung SmartThings Arrival Sensor so that it can automatically turn off all the lights at home when I’m out.)

Before I end my testimonial, I want to take this opportunity to thank Samsung for sending me all the cool gadgets that help me kickstart my quest to setup a smart home. The stuff that they send me are a great starter kit to setting up a smart home. I’m now looking up for more smart home devices that I can add on to my Samsung Connect Home to upgrade my house. Yes, my house is now like a computer that you can constantly upgrade with the latest smart devices.

I would highly recommend all my friends who want to setup a smart home to start from getting the Samsung Connect Home and a couple of SmartThings sensors that suits their need. Then slowly expand from there.

Last edited by deekay99; 07-07-2018 at 02:01 PM..
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Old 27-07-2018, 01:20 AM   #9
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hi all

firstly need to send my utmost thanks to Hardwarezone and Samsung.

I am 1 of the 3 privilege to win the following prizes.

1x Samsung Galaxy S8,
2x Samsung Connect Home,
1x Samsung POWERbot Star WarsTM Darth VaderTM Special Edition,
1x Samsung Digital Door Lock (SHP-DPH525) with Installation,
3x SmartThings Multipurpose Sensors,
1x SmartThings Motion Sensor,
1x SmartThings Outlet and
1x Philips Hue White and Colour Ambience Starter Kit.
let the pictures do the talking. all the items(unfortunately door lock not in the picture)






let's start with the pair of Samsung Connect.
Setting up was relatively easy. As i am on SingTel Fibre Home, i connect it to my SingTel router(turn off WIFI) to enjoy my Mio TV and yet use the Samsung Connect to function as mesh.
it acts as the main hub for all the smart home devices which u can access using any andriod phone, not limited to just Samsung to control them.
nothing much to complain about except it is only 2X2 whereas SingTel Mesh Airties is 3X3.
doesnt affect me much but more of a good to have.


Samsung POWERbot Star WarsTM Darth VaderTM Special Edition
Before this, i already owned Haier Vacuum Robot with Mop feature. however it will always be either too wet or brush need to change blah blah blah..



When i collected the Samsung Powerbot, i was very excited about it.
click here to see it in action

it was really fun to listen to all the different sound from Star Wars when u activate the different function.



cleaning is good and it also shows the map that it have went to within the house. if you're lazy, just set it on a schedule on a daily basis.


Apart from all of these, there are the multipurpose sensor, power outlet and also the Philips Hue light set which i will not go into details.

i would like to focus more on the sensors and power outlet. as i have limited of the power outlet, my usage for automation also will be abit limited. however it doesnt stops me.

i have set some rule as per the pictures.

Last edited by ah_cleo; 01-04-2018 at 01:29 PM..
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Old 27-07-2018, 01:30 AM   #10
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when the Samsung door lock unlocks at night after 8pm, it will automatically trigger the power outlet which i have connect to a table lamp. this will allow whoever who open the door at night to immediately see, on top of that, i have activate a multipurpose sensor right on my main door. In the event the main door is open after 12mn, i will get an notification since i know the schedule of the others at home.

for the motion sensor, i put it along the passage way so that anyone who come out in the middle of the night will trigger it and turn on the same table lamp which can offer some light instead of walking in the dark.


all in all, everything can be controlled by the samsung connect app, now known as samsung smartThings.

it connect everything about the entire eco system.

benefits of the entire eco system as follow.

1) Smart door lock

i now no longer required me to bring my keys out. i can use the app to unlock the door or even set it to auto open it using location services when the app detect i am home.

of course, other than just app, there is smarttacs and cards provided which i just use it to scan and the door will unlock. super convenience especially when u are carrying things and your hands are full.

2) motion sensor with smart outlet.

this smart outlet is basically like your usual power plug. Plug the smart outlet to the wall plug and connect the 3pin plug of any device u wish to it. in my case, i connect it to a table lamp.

It is also 1 of the thing i like. having kids or old folks at home, this is especially useful when the need to go toilet and have a sip of water in the middle of the night when all lights are off.

the motion sensor will trigger the smart outlet which i connect to a table lamp and turns it on. at least there is light and wont tripped or hit things along the way like a blind bat.

i would consider it as an safety feature.

3) multipurpose sensor

i connect it at my main door for this. so in the day, when i am out at work, i am very sure that no one will be home or the main door will not be open. so in the event the main door open, it will send a notification to my phone and i will be notify that my main door is open. time like this, quite obvious i should panic and check if it's my family members or my house is being broken into(extreme example).

another safety aspect for the house. of course the multisensor can be place on windows, not just the door.


To conclude, Samsung have been very innovative to include such features to help users improve in their lifestyle, not just in terms of convenience but also safety.

prices are also set very affordable and after support is also very prompt. suggest for all future home owners to start getting these products to improve the quality of your life. it has certainly made mine alot more convenient.

Last edited by ah_cleo; 06-07-2018 at 03:19 PM..
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Old 26-02-2019, 09:52 PM   #11
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Looks really cool, but is it really good to use?
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