Hands-on with the first Matter-compatible smart home devices – The Verge
It’s here: we have Matter devices and the platforms to use them on. Well, three of each, but still — progress. So, after three years of reporting on the development of the new interoperability standard designed to make the smart home easier to use, I finally got my hands on Matter-enabled gadgets to test.
Apple, Samsung, and Google all now support Matter, and I had three Matter devices from Eve to test with. The good news is I got all three devices to work with all three platforms. The bad news is it was anything but simple to get there and involved jumping back and forth between a Google Pixel and iPhone 14. It’s not currently possible to do without both.
But I successfully paired the three Eve devices — an Eve Energy smart plug, an Eve Motion sensor, and an Eve Door & Window sensor — to all three smart home platforms. I controlled each device with each app on either iOS or Android (but obviously not Android for Apple Home, which doesn’t exist). I could use each voice assistant — Google, Siri, and Bixby — to control the devices.
I set up basic routines and automations on each platform — using both Matter and non-Matter devices. And, once set up, everything worked quickly and reliably. At some point, I’ll be able to test with Amazon Alexa, too — which just announced its Matter over Wi-Fi rollout. But Alexa doesn’t support Matter over Thread yet, and all Eve’s Matter devices are Thread only.
While a smart plug and sensors working with multiple ecosystems isn’t noteworthy at face value, what’s exciting here is the back-end connectivity. There’s no cloud integration happening, no account sharing needed, and no passwords entered. The smart plug and sensors are talking directly to each other and to the Matter controllers.
The Eve devices are also Thread-enabled. Thread is a mesh-networking protocol designed to be faster and more reliable than current protocols. It works alongside Wi-Fi as the main protocols Matter runs on and requires a Thread border router. I tested three Matter controllers that are also Thread border routers: a HomePod Mini, Google Nest Hub Max, and Aeotec SmartThings hub. But I don’t need all three controllers — just one could talk to the devices and to the other platforms.