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Samsung SmartThings Wifi vs. Google Wifi: Which mesh router should you buy?

Samsung Smartthings Wi-Fi Hub
Samsung Smartthings Wi-Fi Hub (Image credit: Android Central)

Samsung SmartThings Wifi

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Samsung SmartThings Wifi is a mouthful of a name but it has the features to back it up. In a rounded plastic shell with dual Ethernet ports, it looks good too. With fast AC1300 Wi-Fi speeds, Mu-MIMO, and a SmartThings hub built in, Samsung leaves out very little in this great mesh network starter.

Samsung SmartThings Wifi

More speed and features

Reasons to buy

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AC1300
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MU-MIMO
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Small size
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SmartThings Hub

Reasons to avoid

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Requires two apps for full control
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Only two Ethernet ports

Google Wifi

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Google Wifi brings powerful and robust mesh networking to an attractive circular package. This router supports fast Wi-Fi 5 standards and even brings along a couple of Ethernet ports on each unit. This is a great addition to a wired network or the base to your entire home network.

Samsung SmartThings Wifi brings a ton of features and leaves nothing out when compared to Google Wifi. Google's product leans more into simplicity with only one app needed for connections but falls behind due to a lack of functions like multi-user, multiple-input, multiple-output, or MU-MIMO that can help when a lot of devices are connecting. With a slightly higher top speed and a shorter stature, the Samsung SmartThings Wifi is the better product here.

Similar products with similar goals

When names as big as Google and Samsung enter a market like Wi-Fi routers, you can expect years of expertise in software and hardware to come together to make a strong product that benefits the company as a whole. Samsung takes this a little further building in a SmartThings hub to control a large number of compatible smart home devices. If you have a Samsung device, you've probably heard of SmartThings. There is an iOS app for both devices as well so setting these routers up from an iPad or iPhone is also possible.

Samsung SmartThings WifiGoogle Wifi
Wi-Fi speedAC1300AC1200
MU-MIMOYesNo
Ethernet22
CPU710Mhz quad-core710Mhz quad-core
RAM512MB512MB
Storage8GB4GB

Samsung just edges out Google on the spec sheet with a couple of big wins in top Wi-Fi speed and support for MU-MIMO. These two features make sure that when the network fills up with a lot of Wi-Fi devices the connection stays consistent. Including them makes a lot of sense since Samsung sells a lot of Wi-Fi devices. Google still provides a strong experience for the vast majority of users that haven't fully converted to a smart home. Google Wifi also has a price advantage that will allow you to build a larger mesh network on a tight budget.

Google stays focused

Samsung makes very powerful software and the SmartThings platform can do so much more than most of its users will ever ask of it. Here is where Google Wifi makes a come back with a much more focused product that only really aims to get you connected and put you in control. This is plenty for a lot of people and if it weren't for the stronger speeds and device management features onboard the Samsung SmartThings Wifi router, Google would have made a comeback here at its lower price.

If you are a SmartThings user or want to build your smart home with Samsung then Samsung's router makes a ton of sense.

Curves and materials

Samsung makes a nice looking router in a small package with matte white plastic forming its rounded corners and sitting just over an inch tall. This type of design is consistent with the other devices in the SmartThings lineup but feels further away from it's bigger electronics. The Samsung Router has its small size as an advantage and can be tucked away out of view very easily.

Google, on the other hand, offers more consistency across its other products making the Google Wifi look at home next to a Google Home speaker or Pixel device.

When it comes down to actually buying a router for your home, the Samsung SmartThings Router is faster with support for more simultaneous devices. Google has a great design with a respectable speed and feature set but doesn't do enough to pass Samsung's offering. Samsung's solution is a no-brainer if you already use Samsung's smart home services and still provides stronger Wi-Fi speed and features even if you don't.

When Samuel is not writing about networking or 5G at Android Central, he spends most of his time researching computer components and obsessing over what CPU goes into the ultimate Windows 98 computer. It's the Pentium 3.