Aqara Camera Hub G2H Review: Playful protector

Cupertino, October 9, 2020

Read G2h Camera ReviewSource: Christopher Close / iMore

For fans of the Apple HomeKit, 2020 will definitely drop like the year of the camera. In 2020, the rare accessories category once exploded with an attack of quality HomeKit cameras, many of them accepting the Apple HomeKit Secure Video function. Cameras of all shapes and sizes have recently hit stores - indoors, outdoors and even at the first HomeKit ringtone, although it lacked a fairly significant feature.

So it should come as no surprise that the latest version of HomeKit accessories is another camera, the Aqara Camera Hub G2H. Despite the fact that it is still a room, the Aqara offer comes with a playful design, HomeKit Secure Video and an affordable price. I've been testing two of the G2H cameras in my house for the past few weeks, and while they offer excellent picture quality at the price and are very bright, the hub portion of the camera name is where it shines.

Playful protector

Aqara Camera Hub G2H Review Playful protector

Read Camera Hub G2H

Bottom line: Aqara's G2H combines a solid HomeKit Secure camcorder experience with the functionality of the Zigbee hub, which makes it much more than its playful appearance and price suggest. Fast viewing speeds and superb reliability place it at the top of the HomeKit room list.


  • Accessible price
  • Playful, compact design
  • Fast response times, reliability
  • It acts as a Zigbee hub
  • Supports HomeKit Secure Video

The river

  • The Aqara app is weird
  • Built-in alarm functions are not exposed in the HomeKit
  • Available only in white in North America

Enabled HomeKit Secure Video

Read Camera Hub G2H: features

Read G2h Unboxing Camera Review

Source: Christopher Close / iMore

The G2H camera from Aqara has a clean and playful design, with a soft white-touch frame, with a soft curve to round things off at the top. The only compact and light interior room measures about three and a half centimeters high when in a flat stand position and two and a half centimeters wide. The bracket folds from under the camera, giving it the ability to pivot and tilt, plus it is magnetic, allowing it to glue surfaces without an additional mounting piece. For non-magnetic surfaces, Aqara includes a metal plate that attaches to a wall and a pad that attaches to the mounting tape. Strangely, however, Aqara does not offer the actual screws for the metal plate in the box.

The Aqara also includes a micro-USB cable and power brick to power the G2H with its juice in the box. The room does not require a specific brick; it works very well with standard 5V USB sockets and the same goes for the USB cable. As you would expect, the input power is on the back of the camera, under a set of ports used for the internal speaker. Finally, Aqara includes a small tool that looks very similar to Apple's sim eject device provided with iPhones for resetting the camera.

Aqara G2h Camera Review Back

Source: Christopher Close / iMore

The front of the G2H is quite empty, with the portion of the camera lens occupying about half of the visible part. The camera can record and stream video at 1080p high definition resolution with a 140 degree wide field of view. For night viewing, the G2H uses a standard infrared system that provides a black-and-white image in the dark, and an option is available to turn the orientation to fit its flexible mount.

Below the lens is a small indicator light used to communicate its states, such as solid blue for power and connection, and red for active streaming and recording. Just below the LED is a small port for its noise-canceling microphone, which allows two-way audio along with the on-board speaker. Under the folding stand is a micro-SD card slot, which supports up to 32 GB for local recordings, and the small hole that houses the reset tool to erase everything.

Read G2h Camera Review Sdcard

Source: Christopher Close / iMore

Even if it consists of a single button, the top of the G2H is where things get interesting. The lone button acts as a way to leave video messages for others in the house by holding it down for five seconds, which is the first time I've encountered this feature on a HomeKit camera. However, the actual action begins by pressing the button three times in quick succession, which triggers a Zigbee 3.0 radio inside the camera. This feature allows the camera to act as a hub for other Aqara accessories, including temperature sensors, light switches, buttons and more. In most cases, the accessories that pair with the camera will automatically work with the HomeKit, making the G2H essentially a complete alternative to the existing Aqara hub.

Aqara G2h camera association button

Source: Christopher Close / iMore

Unlike other Aqara accessories, the G2H connects directly to 2.4 ghz Wi-Fi networks without the need for the company's other hub. The camera is paired using either the Aqara Home app or entirely through the Apple Home app using the standard HomeKit code scanning process. The camera does not require an Aqara account when used in this way, which is fantastic for privacy. However, leave all the recordings up to HomeKit Secure Video, which requires an iCloud storage plan.

With the HomeKit Secure Video, the G2H benefits from Apple's standard feature set, as do other compatible cameras. Smart notifications powered by local image analysis by a resident HomeKit device, such as an Apple TV, ten days of recorded recordings, and easy camera sharing by sharing family and invitations to the Home app. In addition, with the recent release of iOS 14, the camera has access to custom activity areas that allow it to ignore certain areas of its view and face recognition that adds additional filtering and even smarter notifications.

More than just a room

Read Camera Hub G2H: What I like

Read G2h Camera Review Mount

Source: Christopher Close / iMore

As mentioned earlier, the Aqara camera takes a different approach to design, opting for a more playful look, which I love. The design makes it perfect for a kindergarten, a playroom or just an accent accessory in the house, because it looks unpretentious. Moving on to the camera stand, I like how it folds if you want to place it on a flat surface, giving the whole package a nice clean look. I would definitely like to see this type of support applied to several accessories, because I think that the typical design of the support for narrow interior rooms is a bit ugly.

The G2H is so fast that it undresses the crown of the previous HomeKit speed champion, the Yobi B3 video ringtone, which is impressive considering its low price.

The G2H's performance was pretty good, with the live view of the camera loading almost instantly after you touched the thumbnail in the Home app - it's so fast. The G2H is so fast that it undresses the crown of the previous HomeKit speed champion, the Yobi B3 video ringtone, which is impressive considering its low price. The Aqara camera was also extremely reliable in the few weeks I tested it. The camera loaded on demand every time I tried to look and saw none No answer messages from it so far.

Day view Aqara G2h Camera Review

Source: Christopher Close / iMore

Speaking of live camera viewing, G2H produces detailed images with precise colors both in well-lit areas and through IR night vision. It's certainly not perfect, as you'll see some cases of pixelation around the edges, but for a 1080p budget camera, it's good enough for most scenarios. G2H can also keep up with motion in live viewing or through recordings, with minimal smears or drips observed.

The audio from the camera does the job with the ambient noises transmitted on the live screen with a delay of one second. The camera speaker was very loud to have a two-way conversation, but I will notice that turning on the microphone in the Home application initially produces an audible noise that will alert those in the room. Respecting the sound, I was shocked to see that the camera speaker can play alarm sounds when the camera detects movement; and other Aqara security accessories. The Aqara app offers several different alarm sounds as well as volume controls, and these small touches make the room feel like a real home security solution.

Read G2h Camera Review Night View View

Source: Christopher Close / iMore

Now, no matter how much I like the speed, the reliability and the images of the camera, of mine favorite feature is the inclusion of Zigbee radio in G2H. Allowing the camera to act as a hub for other Aqara accessories is great because it opens the doors to a whole range of affordable smart devices. Aqara's range of HomeKit compatible accessories features some of the cheapest options around, many available for $ 20 or less. The company's water leak sensor, in particular (review soon!), Is half the price of its nearest competitor.

Read G2h Camera Review Home App

Source: iMore

Before setting up the camera, I expected the hub's functionality to be a complicated process, based on using the Aqara application to enable pairing mode. Surprisingly, this was not the case at all, as you can enter the camera pairing mode directly from the camera itself, just by pressing the top button three times. The camera will announce that it is looking for devices, and putting an accessory nearby is all it takes. After pairing, it is automatically added to the HomeKit and Home application, if compatible, without the need to scan a code or use the Aqara application at all - it just works.

Missing colors, alarm limitations

Read Camera Hub G2H: What I do not like

Read G2h Camera Review Colors

Source: Christopher Close / iMore

Room colors Aqara G2h

Source: Gearbest

I don't have too many complaints about G2H, so my list is just a few minor things. While I like the playful design of the G2H, I was a little annoyed to hear that the Aqara camera will not have the same variety of colors as in China. For my review, Aqara first sent a G2H in a red-orange hue, giving it a unique feel compared to other camera options. Red happens to be one of my favorite colors, so I think it looks all sorts of amazing in person and I could easily see the black, blue and yellow versions of Aqara being a hit.

Set the nitpick color, as expected, as with other hardware applications, the Aqara Home application lacks polishing and is quite strange. The Aqara application offers two modes of interaction with G2H, one of which is a HomeKit-specific method that provides access to basic settings and firmware updates. The other is an account-based mode that unlocks all of its features, live camera viewing, and local storage recordings. Whichever way you choose, navigating the app is a bit confusing, as multiple home screens seem to be a home overview, but each leads to different settings. Because Aqara gives you the option to use it strictly as a HomeKit camera via the Home app, you can bypass the Aqara app altogether if you want, which is great, but you'll miss the alarm features.

Read G2h Camera Review Read Home App

Source: iMore

My last complaint is that the camera's siren / alarm functions are not available in the HomeKit. I would have loved to have seen the camera displayed as an alarm system in the Home app, so that it can be set to arm when it is away and the ability to use the audio alarm feature with other HomeKit accessories through automation. Without HomeKit integration, the use of alarm functions only works with Aqara accessories and only through the Aqara application.

Playful protector

Read Camera Hub G2H: Bottom line

of 5

Despite its low price and playful outfits, Aqara G2H still manages to offer a serious HomeKit experience. Incredibly fast live view loading times, solid reliability, 1080p daytime viewing and fast setup make the G2H one of the simplest HomeKit cameras to recommend.

If all this was not enough, G2H blends into the functionality of the Zigbee hub and HomeKit Secure Video, adding only to its overall value. Whether you’re starting your HomeKit journey, want to expand your existing smart home with a few unique accessories, or want an affordable indoor room, G2H covers all the basics. Well, except for the color options, which I hope Aqara will reconsider.

Playful protector

Aqara Camera Hub G2H Review Playful protector

Read Camera Hub G2H

Bottom line: Aqara's G2H combines a solid HomeKit Secure camcorder experience with the functionality of the Zigbee hub, which makes it much more than its playful appearance and price suggest. Fast viewing speeds and superb reliability place it at the top of the HomeKit room list.

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