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Product Review: SmartThings Motion Sensor (2018)

Continuing along with the fresh revisions to the SmartThings line of accessory devices, today we are going to be taking a look at the newly redesigned SmartThings Motion Sensor. The old SmartThings Motion Sensor was pretty ugly and I was excited to see a refreshed version become available. Let’s take a look at the new SmartThings Motion Sensor and see if it is a valid contender in the motion sensor market.


  • As with all of the new SmartThings releases, the price is excellent
  • Modern design
  • Flexible mounting options


  • Size
  • Only monitors temperature and motion

If you look at the old SmartThings Motion Sensor the first thing you will notice is that it is a square box. Why someone would think that was good design is beyond me. Well, I am happy that while still squarish the new SmartThings Motions Sensor is much better looking than the previous generation. I was however very shocked at the size of the SmartThings Motion Sensor when I took it out of the box. From looking at the box it gave me the impression that it was going to be small, well it’s not so I guess I will have to get over that. The rounded corners and flowing lines on the SmartThings Motion Sensor give it a much more modern and less boxy look than its predecessor which is very nice and makes the SmartThings Motion Sensor something that if you can get over the size of should fit nicely into your home.


Another big pitfall of the previous generation SmartThings Motion Sensor was mounting, because of its box design and no thought going into pretty much any of it you were stuck mounting it flat against a wall. I am happy to see that Samsung corrected that with this release and the SmartThings Motion Sensor now comes with a magnetic ball mount that is very flexible and allows for just about any mounting accommodations you can think of. The only complaint that I can come up with in terms of mounting would be that I wish the base had a screw hole in it allowing for you to screw it into something instead of relying solely on double-sided tape.


As with just about any Zigbee sensor setup in the SmartThings App was pretty straightforward and my hub picked it up right away. I went into this kind of blind intentionally and was surprised once I had the SmartThings Motion Sensor set up to find out that it only monitored motion and temperature. Now that is not so much a complaint because I would have easily found that information out from the packaging but I decided not to. As I mentioned when I opened the box I was surprised to see just how big the SmartThings Motion Sensor was so in the back of my head I just had this idea that there would be additional sensors onboard, perhaps something to monitor lux or humidity? Again I can not hold this against anyone as there are no claims of additional sensors in this device and I guess I was hoping there was just to that I could justify the size.

The SmartThings Motion Sensor triggers pretty fast and resets quickly as well. The actual sensor on the SmartThings Motion Sensor is mounted in a recess in the casing design and this recess appears as though it gives the SmartThings Motions Sensor a fairly large field of view which is what I attribute its ability to pick motion up fast too. I found that the motion reset was about 20 seconds which was nice as most motion sensors are in the 30-second range. I do however wish that this reset could be customizable like I have on my Fibaro Motion Sensor as having this flexibility opens up so many more use cases when it comes to automation and not just security.

Overall Rating


The 2018 revision of the SmartThings Motion Sensor is a night and day improvement over the previous generation without a doubt. It looks more modern and performs very well, if you can get over the size of it (which I can not) then you should absolutely consider the SmartThings Motion Sensor for your application.

Is anyone using the 2018 revision of the SmartThings Motion Sensor? Let me know in the comments below.


Mike View All

I am passionate about the IoT and connected devices. Using connectivity to automate our lives will empower civilization to achieve greatness.

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