The chinese company has now formally announced the phone itself after about fortnight of speculation as to when and if Aqara was preparing to release the UK version of their famous HomeKit compatible hub. This puts an end to a year of issues as to whether there would be a UK version of that hub that was initially released more than a year earlier, although the only version accessible at this moment was the Chinese version.
If you’re new to HomeKit in general, or Aqara in specific, Aqara is Lumi United’s primary brand, a smart home device manufacturer that includes sensors, switches, cameras, and the Aqara hub, of course. The hub is the tool that puts together all the odds of its Zigbee-based apps and connects via Wifi to your wifi network and home kit home. From there, it exposes (virtually) all of its own appliances to HomeKit, as well as some of Mijia’s equivalent switches and sensors, all mounted via either the Mi Home or Aqara applications.
The two-fold advantages are that you can not only control these phones in the Mi Home app, which enables automation and triggers control of other Xiaomi smart home ecosystem products that are not compatible with HomeKit, but potentially, more importantly, access to lots of very low-cost, reliable and super-fast sensors and switches that usually leave the corresponding wifi and Bluetooth-based device.
There is no word on where or when it will actually come out in the UK, or even a price point, although the hub will be made accessible via amazon.co.uk in the near future. Our guess is to expect to pay around £ 50-65 somewhere. However, one word of warning; there are a few dealers on amazon.co.uk who sell the Aqara hub, although it’s extremely probable they’re selling the Chinese one with a UK adapter, so check with them to make sure they’re purchasing. In the US, the US version (presently out of inventory) is sold by only one shop–AqaraDirect–with other vendors advertising the Chinese hub with an adaptor.