When you think of smart home gadgets, you might think of them like a digital butler — keeping track of appointments, setting timers and answering the front door. But here at SPY, we think of smart home gadgets first and foremost as security tools. And to better secure your home, Aqara has a line of affordable smart security products.
One of the most under-appreciated benefits of smart home gadgets is how they help us to stay informed about all the happenings in and around our homes. It’s always better to be informed rather than blind. There are so many reasons to be cautious in 2022, from theft and break-ins to extreme weather events, which is why having a robust smart home ecosystem is so critical.
Aqara’s line of smart home products ranges from indoor security cameras (that offer no-subscription options) to sensors that keep you well-informed about possible accidents and intrusions. We’ve tried Aqara smart home security gadgets for ourselves, and there’s more to these products than meets the eye.
Aqara 2K Security Indoor Camera Hub G3
GREAT FOR PRIVACY
Coolest Feature: Pan and tilts to track subjects in frame.
- 2K 1296p video recording resolution
- 360-degree viewing angle
- Built-in Zigbee 3,0 Hub
Adequate coverage is necessary to ensure there are no gaps, but most security cameras have limited vision because they’re mostly fixed and have a narrow field of view. With the Aqara 2K Security Indoor Camera, however, there’s no shortage of coverage because it has the ability to pan and tilt for true 360-degree coverage.
You’ll also be saving money in the long run because it’s a security camera that doesn’t need you to be on a subscription service. In fact, it’s a local storage security camera that saves footage onto a microSD card for extra privacy. If that’s not enough, it captures video in crisp 2K resolution and can also identify faces, pets and react to motion.
It even makes for a handy baby monitor because of its adorable design.
Aqara Security Camera Hub Indoor G2H Pro
BEST FOR APPLE USERS
Coolest Feature: Supports Apple HomeKit Secure Video for even more privacy with your cloud storage.
- 1080p video recording
- 146-degree field of view
- Magnetic base
There’s no denying that there are still very few security cameras that support Apple’s HomeKit. Well, you can add the Aqara Security Camera Hub Indoor G2H Pro as one of the select few to consider because it’s specifically made to work with it.
This means you’ll be able ask Siri to see a live stream of the camera through Apple’s Home app on an iPhone or iPad, but you can be assured that the video clips you store in iCloud through Apple HomeKit Secure Video will remain secure and encrypted — preventing hackers from stealing your data. We also love that it’s still a local storage security camera when you insert a microSD card into it, so you can technically keep and archive all the footage it captures.
Aqara Smart Curtain Motor E1
Smart Blind Alternative
Coolest Feature: Telling your voice assistant to open the blinds.
- 12 cm/s moving speed
- 12kg maximum load
- Up to 1 year of battery life
Smart blinds aren’t cheap, which is why there’s an easier and less costly solution with the Aqara Smart Curtain Motor E1. Call it the Chromecast of curtain movers because it turns any set of curtains you already have over your windows into a smart one.
Not only can you schedule the Aqara Smart Curtain Motor E1 to open the curtains when you wake up (or close them in the evening), but you can also activate it at any time with a simple voice command to Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, or Siri. Now, you can stay in bed all cozy and let it automatically open and close — all without you having to get up.
Aqara Motion Sensor P1
Best For Discreet Security
Coolest Feature: Battery life upwards of 5 years.
- Built-in light sensor
- 170-degree field of view
- Up to 5 years of battery life
Not everyone wants to have a security camera in private places in the home, like the bedroom or bathroom. That’s where the Aqara Motion Sensor P1 presents itself as a logical alternative for the privacy it offers.
For better overall home security, motion sensors are essential. With this gadget, you can still take notice of any activities going on in your cameras’ blind spots because its 170-degree coverage ensures it’ll notify you the moment unexpected motion is detected. We recommend placing it in the corner of a room where it’ll have the best vantage point. Even better, it’s rated for upwards of five years with its battery life, which means it has minimum upkeep.
Aqara Temperature and Humidity Sensor
Coolest Feature: Custom If-then routines allow you to set thresholds for notifications.
- Up to 2 years of battery life
- Monitors ambient air pressure in room
You could look at your phone to see the temperature, but it doesn’t really give you the exact temperature of your home. Instead, you’ll get an accurate recording with the Aqara Temperature and Humidity Sensor because it measures temperature, humidity and atmospheric pressure.
We like that you can create custom if-then automations to receive notifications whenever it reaches a threshold. If you have pets at home or an indoor garden, it’s a nifty little accessory to keep you in the loop about the temperature conditions at home.
Aqara Smart Plug
Coolest Feature: It records power consumption of the connected device.
- Monitors power consumption data
- Overheat and overload protection
- Maximum 1875W power consumption
Smart plugs are one of those simple tech gadgets that can turn just about anything into a smart device. However, the Aqara Smart Plug adds in a special feature that we think is useful.
Yes, not only can you remotely turn on/off the Aqara Smart Plug through Aqara’s mobile app, but you do the same task with a simple voice command to your favorite voice assistant. What’s really interesting is that it can actually monitor and log the power consumption of whatever’s connected to it. Now, you’ll be able to know what’s adding the most to your electricity bill each month.
Aqara Water Leak Sensor
Coolest Feature: Know when there’s a water leak to prevent costly damage.
- IP67 water-proof housing
- Up to 2 years of battery life
If you’ve ever experienced water overflowing from a dishwasher, a leak from a water heater, or even faulty plumbing with the toilet, then you know the disastrous effects of water leaks inside of the home. Rather than coming home to this unsuspecting event, you can prevent it entirely with the Aqara Water Leak Sensor.
Much like the other sensors in its portfolio, it may appear discreet, but this tiny button-shaped device can save you hundreds, or even thousands of dollars with repairs due to water leaks. We placed one in the bathroom, since it’s one of those places in the home that is more susceptible to leaks from faucets, pipes and possibly overflow from the shower or tub.
For more advanced users, you can set up automation with the Aqara Smart Plug and a solenoid water valve to instantly shut off the water line.
Aqara Vibration Sensor
Great For Valuables
Coolest Feature: It can also tell you if it were dropped or tilted.
- Senses vibrations, drops, and tilts
- Up to 2 years of battery life
Now why in the would would you need a vibration sensor? Actually, a lot. You can’t appreciate a gadget that’s this simplistic until it has a profound effect on your life. This tiny sized gizmo can be attached to just about anything, from doors that open and close, to a drawer that hides all of your valuables.
We actually used it to track when our cat went to use the litter box throughout the day, just to see if the new food he was eating was causing him to go to the bathroom right away. This is just one of the many situations a sensor like this could be used. Regardless, it’ll inform you whenever it detects vibrations, if it were dropped, or tilted in any way.
Automations For an Even More Harmonious Smart Home
Individually, Aqara’s line of smart home devices offer a ton of utility and convenience, but you’ll realize how much useful they become when you create custom routines. Through the Aqara app, we were able to create a few of these routines:
- Have the lights go on when the camera senses motion
- Turn on the indoor fan when the temperature reaches a certain level
- Automatically open the blinds in the morning
- Start recording video when vibration sensor is tripped
We found it really simple to set up routines because it relies on if-then triggers. You can really get into detail on what you can have happen.
One of our favorite routines was setting the the table lamp in our living room to turn on (with the help of the smart plug) when the vibration sensor placed on the stairs leading to our front door was triggered. Another really handy one was using a routine that involved the temperature sensor and a fan connected to a smart plug whenever the temperature exceeded a certain level.
These routines show how all of these gadgets can work with one another to work for you. We appreciate that it’s relatively simple to set up, as well as having a rich ecosystem of devices to choose.