Aqara’s new USB-powered controller, the Smart Hub E1, makes it easy to control devices and sensors through Apple’s HomeKit and other smart home systems. The company’s Zigbee-based devices, such as smart sensors, connect to the cloud through a smart central hub.
Because Aqara connects all of its devices with HomeKit, you can combine and match automations using different vendors. In addition, you can power the Aqara Smart Hub E1 with any USB port you have, whether it’s a wall outlet or a USB port powered from a console, computer, or smart TV.
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Aqara Smart Hub E1: small form factor
The E1 hub has a slim design, measuring just 4.25 inches x 1.18 x 0.3 inches and weighing just 58 grams. The minimal form factor and low price – $ 29.99 – make it a good starting point if you are interested in creating an affordable smart home setup.
Works in any smart home
Like the previous Aqara hubs – M2, M1S and Aqara Hub Hub G2H – E1 allows Aqara devices to work with popular smart home ecosystems.
The hubs work with HomeKit from Apple, Alexa from Amazon, Google Home and IFTTT. All sensors and smart devices powered by batteries from Aqara are accessible to any voice-controlled smart home system you prefer.
E1 can accommodate up to 128 “baby” devices, Aqara said. And you can add 32 “terminal” devices, such as sensors or battery-powered buttons. Beyond that, you need to include a relay device to add up to 16 additional devices.
The E1 also has a 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi repeater that lets you add a few Wi-Fi devices to your home network. Not bad for $ 29.99.
Where to buy: Amazon