The new Camera E1 comes with a 2k sensor. (Source: Aqara)
Aqara's latest smart home camera offers great value for very little money. For less than $100, the Aqara Camera E1 features a 2K sensor, wide-angle lens, night vision and is compatible with a range of third-party platforms including Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa and Google Home. The Camera E1 is the fifth in Aquara's home surveillance range. After its initial announcement in September at the IFA 2023 show, this smart indoor camera is now available in stores in Europe and the US. In terms of specifications, Aqara's latest and cheapest camera is most similar to the Camera Hub G3 – with a 2k sensor, a sharp 1296p resolution and f/2.0 wide-angle lenses with infrared backlighting. It even has 360° pan/tilt zoom. But unlike the Hub G3, the E1 is not a smart home hub, which makes it more affordable and lowers the barrier to entry into Aqara's smart home ecosystem. Like other Aqara smart home devices, the Camera E1 shines in multi-platform support, including Amazon Alexa, Google Home, Apple Home, and the dedicated Aquara app. Aqara has also confirmed that the E1 will work with Matter when the specs of the cross-platform standard add camera support. Near-universal compatibility puts the Aqara Camera E1 in a rather niche position. Few other cameras fully support Apple HomeKit Secure Video, and even fewer for an asking price of $59.99. However, users will still need to set up the camera in the Aqara app before they can connect it to Apple's end-to-end encrypted HKSV service. The new Privacy Mode feature in the Aqara app makes the camera turn to a wall or other desired area before going to sleep. Users also have the option to disable two-way audio on the Camera E1 for improved privacy. While the Camera E1 can't connect to the Zigbee-based motion sensors in Aqara's lineup, it has a dedicated NPU for person and motion detection. Aqara also promises to add sound detection in a future OTA update. All these features are expected to work without an internet connection. Yet the E1 has WiFi 6 built-in, a first for the Aqara product range. The Aqara Camera E1 currently costs US$59.99 on Amazon and offers 24 hours of free critical storage on the Aqara cloud service. Users can access additional storage space through the iCloud platform. There's also the option of up to 512GB of local storage via a microSD card, which can be backed up to the NAS via the Aqara app. I was lucky enough to be exposed to the awesomeness of technology as a child. I had a blast looking for the nerdiest sci-fi gadgets I could afford to play with. Today, I have a professional interest in biotechnology, especially wearables for health tracking, and futuristic smart home appliances. If you ever come to Unilag's College of Medicine, you will probably find me interested in some biomedical discovery. That's when I'm not scrolling through YouTube shorts. Or sleep. Share our article, every link counts!
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