Philips Hue announces new availability, subscription pricing option, and enhanced integration with Samsung SmartThings

Philips Hue Smart Sync TV
(Image credit: Signify)

If you're someone who enjoys their lights to be smarter than the average bulb, you're no doubt already very familiar with the Philips Hue lineup from Signify. The company's range of smart lights is second to none, and the Philps Hue Sync TV app takes things to a whole new level by changing the color of your lights to match what's on your TV. It's like the Philips Ambilight of yesteryear but better, and now it's been enhanced thanks to improvements to the existing partnership between Philips Hue and Samsung SmartThings.

The two companies have announced a number of changes as part of the enhanced partnership including changes to the Philips Hue Sync TV app pricing structure and more. Among the changes is the expansion of the app's availability to new countries while SmartThings owners will gain new integrations as well. We're told to expect a change that "revolutionizes the entertainment experience, creating a connected, engaging, and intelligent environment for families to enjoy unforgettable moments together."

“We are excited to continue our collaboration with Philips Hue to bring these transformative features to life,” Mark Benson, Head of SmartThings US said via a press release. “This partnership underscores our commitment to delivering seamless and innovative solutions that enrich the lives of our users, making their smart home experiences more immersive and enjoyable.

Light it up

So what's the story? At the top of the list is the new SmartThings integration that will allow users to adjust the brightness of their Philips Hue lights, switch between Video, Game, and Music mode, and even control whether the light syncing feature is enabled or not using the Sync TV app on their Samsung Galaxy devices, including the latest iPhone 15 competitor, the Galaxy S24. Any SmartThings-compatible device should also be good to go, so you won't necessarily need a Samsung phone to benefit from the new features. "Thanks to the integration with the SmartThings ecosystem, Samsung users will be able to control the Sync TV app via their smartphone alongside their other SmartThings-compatible devices," a Signify press release reads.

More important for some will be the expansion of the Philips Hue Sync TV app's availability to new countries including Brazil, Hong Kong, Poland, Czech Republic, and Slovakia.

As for the pricing structure, the app will also be available as a monthly subscription for people who would rather avoid the rather costly $129.99 one-time outlay that could well be enough to put people off. Philips Hue probably knows that as well, so it's going to offer a $2.99 per month option for those who want to go that route instead. While some people may not like subscription models, there is no doubt that they allow people to access apps and services that they might otherwise not be able to use and so long as there's a one-time payment option as well, we see little reason for complaint. More pricing flexibility is always good, after all.

As for when this will all happen, we're told that the new availability and pricing will launch this spring. The Philips Hue Sync TV app is available for Samsung Q60 series or higher QLED TVs manufactured from 2022 onward, so you might need to check your model year to confirm compatibility.

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Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.