Update 12/17/19: As announced, Aqara’s HomeKit line is now available on Amazon. Aqara also offers 20% off on Amazon with the promo code AQARA017. Aqara’s low-price HomeKit accessories have long been available through various third-party sellers from stores like GearBest and Amazon, which makes it a bit confusing to find the right things at the right price. Fortunately, however, Aqara takes things into their own hands, announcing via Twitter the last days when it officially launches its product line on Amazon in the United States, Tuesday, December 17th. Although the exact prices have not yet been revealed for their accessories, we were able to determine which products will be available next week, as registration is already active on Amazon.
The Aqara lineup uses the ZigBee wireless standard for communication between the Aqara Hub and its associated devices. Although ZigBee devices are known for their fast response time and high reliability, this means that in order to enter the Aqara ecosystem, you will need the hub to add them all to HomeKit. Here are the details of all launch devices:
Read Hub: The brains of the Aqara product line, which communicates to your home network over Wi-Fi, and its accessory devices using ZigBee (up to 32 in total). The Hub is unique in that it has a built-in night light as well as a siren / alarm. Unfortunately, while the alarm appears in HomeKit, it cannot be triggered by sensors, such as motion or contact sensors that are not made by Aqara. However, you can weapon and disarm the alarm through the Home application.
Window and door sensor Aqara: Aqara’s take over of the standard contact sensor is about the same as the one on the market. However, the company claims that the battery life can last up to 2 years, which makes it somewhat set and forget the type of device. The sensor can be used to create an audio / visual alarm if opened with the Aqara Hub.
Aqara water leak sensor: One of the most compelling devices released by Aqara is their water leak sensor, which is only the second HomeKit compatible water sensor known on the market. Aqara’s price will probably be much lower than its Fibaro competitor and promises the same 2-year battery life as with contact sensors. The sensor can be used to create an audio / visual alarm if opened with the Aqara Hub – Update, the water sensor is not part of the launch line. Aqara says it will come soon.
Temperature and humidity sensor Aqara: Pretty standard fare for wireless sensors, but Aqara’s compact device also claims to detect changes in air pressure, in addition to temperature and humidity. The sensor has the same 2-year battery life and can be used to create an audio / visual alarm if opened with the Aqara Hub
Aqara motion sensor: The unique design of the Aqara motion sensor offers up to 22 feet coverage and has a viewing angle of 170 degrees. The motion sensor also has a built-in light sensor and promises a battery life of up to 2 years and integration with Aqara Hub.
Read Mini Switch (button): The Mini Switch is a button that allows you to trigger different scenes or actions of the device and does this with combinations of 3 pressing keys (single, double and long press). The button works in combination with the Aqara Hub to provide features such as the ability to be used as a door bell, with audio feedback coming from the hub, as well as a panic button. The battery life of 2 years is also promised for this device.
Read smart plug: The company’s Smart Plug is the standard start / stop plug for various devices around your home. The plug accepts energy monitoring through the Smart Home application in Aqara and offers the possibility to include it in automation and scenes. The socket is up to 15 amps, which is enough to supply air conditioners and heaters.
Aqara vibration sensor: The vibration sensor from Aqara is still a small white accessory that has a battery life of 2 years. As its name suggests, the sensor can detect vibration, tilt and fall, and notify you if its condition changes. Since HomeKit does not have a defined category for vibration sensors, this accessory will be displayed as a standard motion sensor in the Home application, but it will still complete the intended work. Examples of placements might be above a dryer to let you know when laundry is being done or for drawers that contain valuable items.
Also, Aqara will sell a start-up kit, which includes the hub mentioned above, and one of each of the following: smart plug, door and window sensor, motion sensor and mini-switch. How do you think about the Aqara line of smart home products? Are you planning to invest in the hub because of the potential low cost potential of other Aqara accessories? Do you have any experiences with the accessories you want to share? Tell us in the comments below or on Twitter.