I was informed by one of the users about the new Aqara gate Twitterthanks for the information. Ever since I found out about a new product, I have found out that I must have it. Every day I use the Apple ecosystem so integrating with Xiaomi's smart home would be a great thing.
The product is not yet available in Europe so I had to download it on my own from China. After a few weeks from the order he reached me, I immediately took charge of unpacking and testing new products. I do not know why, but from the Works with Apple HomeKit badge the product looks more prestigious. I already had dozens of Aqara devices but none of them had such a thick manual. Usually in the box there is an information card, and here a small book containing several languages, but there is no Polish language.
Aqara Gateway working with Apple HomeKit [unpacking]
Inside the box there is a gateway, gate, central unit - the device has many names, but there is also a manual. The device looks similar to the first Xiaomi Mijia gate, but the front is a bit different. The white plastic edge around is bent at a different angle. The device has one button for the enclosure used to turn on the glowing ring around. The button and the glowing ring can be seen in the third picture.
Aqara Gateway has, unfortunately, a Chinese plug and you need to use an adapter that significantly extends the whole.
Integration with Homekit
It's time for the most important or integration with HomeKit. The pairing process runs very smoothly. All you have to do is connect the device to the electricity and use the Home app to add a new accessory. On the device and box there are special QR codes which should be scanned and the gateways, smartphone and router will automatically establish a connection. The Aqara gate does not support 5 GHz, it is only possible to connect to the 2,4 GHz frequency.
The door has been added, what about other accessories? The remaining elements must be added in a separate Aqara Home application. Before buying, I was wondering if the old Aqara sensors will work with the new central unit? The answer is: it works like that. I connected the motor to control curtains, temperature and humidity sensors and reed switches for doors and windows. I do not know what the problem is but the button does not want to connect.
Only Aqara sensors
The control unit can only be connected to Aqara devices. It can not be combined with Yeelight or Xiaomi products, so it will not work with a vacuum cleaner, air cleaner or Yeelight bulbs. One of the users on facebook wrote that Aqara announced that by the end of the year the new gate will work with all Mijia / Xiaomi / Yeelight devices, but I sincerely doubt it.
If you own an iPhone and are looking for devices to create a smart home, Aqara products will be the cheapest option. All sensors cost under 100 zlotys, but you have to buy on your own from China. The application works much more efficiently and faster than Mi Home from Xiaomi which is charging very long. Reactions in the Home app from Apple and Aqara Home are immediate, but not everything is refined ...
I do not know what the problem is, but I can not set up an account in the Aqara Home app. An account is needed to create scenes, i.e. create mini programs in which one device calls specific responses to the other. For example: the curtains have closed to the end, the light is on. Without the Aqara account, I can not view the measurement history in the temperature sensor and update the devices. When I click to check the software version, the device asks you to log in. I would like to do this, but to do this you need to enter the email address to which the verification code will come. The problem is that it already tries 24 hours and the code does not reach.
It is worth to buy?
In my opinion, it is definitely a better choice at the moment Xiaomi gate or Aqara without HomeKit, but with an IP camera. If you are interested in HomeKit, it is even more time to wait or order from China, the parcel will arrive within 2-4 weeks and we hope that at that time you will be able to create an Aqara account at the same time.
You can buy the Aqara HomeKit gate here.