Review: Aqara Sensor – Smart Home Must-Haves
More and more homeowners are choosing to enhance their home’s security and comfort through smart home systems. While smart devices were insanely pricey in the past, fortunately, they’ve become accessible and affordable thanks to companies such as Aqara.
Through their two new devices, the Aqara Door & Window Sensor Alarm and Wireless Smart Temperature and Humidity Sensor, Aqara has proven (yet again) that smart technology doesn’t have to be eye-wateringly expensive.
In this article, let’s test out Aqara’s smart devices to see if they live up to the standards of premium products.
Aqara Door & Window Sensor Review
According to a survey by Safe Home, those who live in single-family homes lock their doors only 72% of the time. This means that, for the rest of the time, they’re at risk of being burglarized. Since one break-in occurs every twenty-six seconds, securing your home should be of paramount concern.
Fortunately, with Aqara’s tiny piece of technology, you can be alerted whenever your doors and windows are open. Read on for our Aqara Window & Door Sensor review:
The window and door sensor comes in a white box, a striking contrast to the standard packaging of Aqara’s partner Xiaomi. The device itself is incredibly lightweight, but it does feel a bit flimsy. It is made of plastic components that could do better in the durability department. Removing the battery cover felt risky as the plastic felt like it could break apart.
Fortunately, the flimsiness isn’t a dealbreaker, considering that this device doesn’t need to be tinkered with. The only time you’ll have to handle is it when you have to switch out the batteries.
At 4.1 x 2.2 x 1.1 cm, the sensor is small. To put that into perspective, it’s around the size of a standard Apple AirPods case. Its structure allows it to be inconspicuously attached to any surface.
Setting It Up
To set up the Aqara Door & Window Sensor, you’ll need the Aqara Hub. Think of it as the “command center” for all of the Aqara smart home appliances you’ll be buying down the road, like the Aqara Temperature and Humidity Sensor (more on that later).
To activate it, you’ll need to connect it to the Aqara Home, an app that lets you control your smart home systems from the comfort of your smartphone. Setting it up is straightforward, as it should be. To set it up, simply select “Add Accessory”, and then go to “Sensor” where you’ll find the “Aqara Door & Window Sensor”. Then, reset the sensor by pressing the button on top, and you’re good to go.
The mechanism is simple. It’s split into two parts: the sensor and the magnet. Once the sensor detects that the magnet isn’t in its “ideal” position, it alerts the user that the door or window may be open or closed.
By connecting it to Aqara Home, you can “tell” the sensor to act as a trigger for Aqara’s alarm system. This means that whenever the sensor detects that the door or window is open, it can signal the Aqara Hub to, say, turn all of the lights on. There is an infinite number of “if-then” situations you can create for all of your smart devices.
The downside is that the app can be confusing once you get past the “Add Accessory” page. You’ll need to spend some time on the app to get the hang of it.
To test the Aqara Door & Window Sensor, we installed it on a wooden door. We then set up our alarm system to send us push notifications each time the door was open. We discovered that the door doesn’t even have to be wide open to trigger an alarm. It can detect even the tiniest crack. We also discovered that the app displayed your activity logs. With it, you can access real-time records of the opening and closing of your doors and windows.
By itself, the Aqara Door & Window Sensor doesn’t shine, but it does seem useful when it’s used with other smart home systems. With that said, it’s the type of device that’s worth it only if you’re willing to spend your money on more smart home devices, such as smart lights and locks. For its price point of under $17, it’s definitely a steal, but you can probably get sturdier products for a few more dollars.
Aqara Temperature and Humidity Sensor
If your home is too hot or too humid, you should check out the Aqara Temperature and Humidity Sensor. At 1.42 x 1.42 x 0.35 inches, it’s the smallest temperature sensor we’ve ever seen. It’s also one of the cheapest at $23.99.
The Aqara Wireless Smart Temperature and Humidity Sensor has Apple-like aesthetics with its plain white plastic casing. Similar to the Aqara Door & Window Sensor, it’s powered by a battery that you’ll have to replace every two years. It comes with an adhesive that lets you stick it to smooth surfaces.
By connecting it to the Aqara Home app, you can be alerted whenever the indoor temperature or humidity levels aren’t ideal. For instance, if the temperature drops to below 20°C, you can receive push notifications on your phone. Through the Aqara Home app, you can even configure an automatic change in temperature.
Do note that aside from the Aqara Hub, you also need the Aqara Smart Plug and Aqara Air Conditioning Controller to automate your home’s heating and cooling systems.
The sensor has a detection accuracy of ±3% (humidity) and ±0.3°C (temperature). To check how accurate it really is, we installed it next to two other sensors, the HT1 Temperature and Humidity Smart Sensor and the Sonoff Temperature and Humidity Sensor. It’s worth mentioning that there aren’t many temperature and humidity sensors on the market. Hence, the Aquara Wireless Smart Temperature and Humidity Sensor definitely doesn’t have a lot of competition.
We placed the three sensors in our office, and they all displayed the same temperature and humidity. So, it’s safe to say that the readings are accurate.
The downside, though, is that it can’t be installed in areas that could get wet. We would’ve wanted to put it in the bathroom but it seems that Aqara still needs to work on making sure that it’s waterproof.
There aren’t that many smart sensors that can monitor temperature and humidity at the same time. Usually, it’s always one or the other. At under $24, the Aqara Wireless Smart Temperature and Humidity Sensor takes the lead, considering that similar devices such as the HT1 and Sonoff sensors cost much more. Plus, it’s probably the nicest-looking sensor on the market.