Aqara Hub M3 Evaluation – Matter over Thread Sensible Hub

The Aqara Hub M3 is the newest good residence hub from Aqara, providing a variety of options and enhancements over its predecessor, the M2. This hub is designed to bridge the hole between Aqara’s Zigbee and Thread gadgets and the Matter ecosystem, making it simpler for customers to regulate their good residence gadgets seamlessly.

Specs / Options

Aqara Hub M3 vs Aqara Hub M2 Comparison Design 1
Aqara Hub M3 vs Hub M2
  • Connect with Matter and Multi-Protocol: The M3 Hub is your all-in-one resolution for linking Aqara Zigbee and Thread gadgets to the Matter ecosystem. You don’t have to fret about wi-fi protocols; simply get pleasure from the advantages and options of your good gadgets.
  • Edge Computing & Simple Native Management: The M3 improves stability and machine administration by shifting automations from cloud to native, in contrast to older Aqara hubs. Its “hub substitute” characteristic permits easy upgrades from earlier fashions, guaranteeing clean automation and management.
  • IR controller integration with Matter: The M3 allows you to management your IR and AC Thermostat gadgets seamlessly by way of Matter, bringing Apple House’s first IR assist. Place the M3 close to your air conditioner and see each distant adjustment, from temperature to settings, immediately proven on the M3 app for a constant good residence expertise.
  • Higher Wired and Wi-fi Connectivity: Take pleasure in quicker speeds, wider protection, and extra dependable web with dual-band Wi-Fi and an RJ45 port, plus versatile energy choices by way of PoE and Sort-C.
  • Privateness and Encrypted Storage: The M3 protects your privateness by preserving your knowledge safe on the machine itself, with out importing to the cloud, guaranteeing your private data stays personal.
  • Simple Setup, Wherever You Need: The M3 is designed for flexibility, providing varied energy and connectivity choices plus simple app setup, making it user-friendly for newbies throughout totally different set up eventualities.
  • Loud Speaker for Alerts and Bulletins: The M3 hub has a speaker that performs sounds and customized ringtones to fit your wants. For instance, it will possibly routinely sound an alarm when the Movement and Gentle Sensor P2 detects somebody, matching your necessities completely.

Unboxing

Aqara Hub M3 vs Aqara Hub M2 Power and Ethernet 1
Aqara Hub M3 now has a sq. design with USB-C and POE Ethernet.

The Hub M3 has a easy, sq. design, which is a departure from the round design of the M2. The principle variations in design are using USB-C for energy, which is extra handy, and the flexibility to be powered by POE, providing extra flexibility with placement.

One factor value noting is that the M3 doesn’t have a USB-A port whereas the M2 does.

Set Up – Computerized Migration from Hub M2

Organising the Hub M3 is simple, and customers can simply migrate from the M2 hub. Nonetheless, some customers have reported points with gadgets showing offline after the migration. This may be resolved by repairing a couple of gadgets, which frequently results in all gadgets reconnecting routinely.

Hub Clusters / Self-Therapeutic Mode

For customers with giant houses, a number of Aqara hubs might be arrange, with one M3 hub performing because the grasp controller. If two M3 hubs are paired, the second hub can deal with Thread connections if the grasp hub goes offline, guaranteeing a extra resilient good residence setup.

The M3 may even perform all automations domestically, permitting your good residence to proceed working in case you lose Web connectivity.

Resolving Offline Units

After I migrated to the Hub M3, all my gadgets, besides one, had been offline. I left it for a day to see in the event that they got here again on-line themselves, however they didn’t.

The hub was situated in the identical place as my M2 hub, so vary shouldn’t have been a problem. However, assuming it was a variety subject, I reset up my M2 hub to be a part of a hub cluster, putting this on the ground above. This nonetheless didn’t resolve the problem.

This was a irritating state of affairs as I’ve plenty of Aqara merchandise. Fortunately, it was fairly simple to repair.

To begin with, don’t take away your previous gadgets; as a substitute, undergo the add accent course of, the place it’s a must to put the machine into pairing mode. As soon as it connects to the machine, it is going to present up precisely the way it labored earlier than, so there isn’t a must recreate all my automation.

I paired solely three wall switches earlier than I acquired bored and moved on to one thing else. The subsequent day, I woke as much as discover all of the equipment linked.

I seen on Reddit that different customers had had the identical downside and had the identical outcomes when repairing simply one in every of two equipment.

Pairing Aqara Matter over Thread Sensors – Movement and Gentle Sensor P2

The launch of this hub is necessary as Aqara has began to launch equipment that use Thread over Matter, however no different Aqara hub helps Thread, so it was unimaginable so as to add these to an Aqara hub.

In my earlier opinions, I paired the Movement and Gentle Sensor P2 to HomeAssistant with SkyConnect and in addition examined it with Samsung SmartThings and the Google Nest WiFi Professional.

With HomeAssistant and SkyConnect, I’ve at all times had a nightmare getting Matter over Thread gadgets to attach correctly. It usually requires a number of makes an attempt.

For the Aqara hub, I nonetheless had some points. I needed to place the accent and telephone proper subsequent to the hub earlier than it linked correctly, however it did work the primary time I did this.

Connecting Philips Hue to Aqara Hub M3

The Aqara Hub M3 permits customers to attach Philips Hue gadgets and create residence automation scenes that combine each Aqara and Hue merchandise. This permits customers to create extra complete and customised good residence setups.

Aqara hasn’t made this course of significantly intuitive, however it’s fairly easy when you recognize what to do:

  1. Go to the Hue app > Settings > Sensible House > Different Apps > Get Matter Code
  2. Return to the Aqara App > scan new machine > add manually> paste matter code

Sadly, Aqara provides all of your Philips Hue gadgets utilizing the mannequin quantity quite than an easy-to-identify identify. I assumed this was a problem with Hue or Matter not passing over the right data. Nonetheless, after I adopted the identical course of so as to add Hue to House Assistant through Matter, all of the gadgets had been imported with the right names.

You may establish the gadgets both by switching the sunshine off or by utilizing the discover machine operate within the settings. Whereas this works completely effectively, it is rather time-consuming if in case you have plenty of Hue bulbs unfold throughout your property.

Unable to import different Matter gadgets

Importing Phillips Hue was simple sufficient, however I used to be not in a position to import my SwitchBot Hub 2 and I assume this will likely be true for a lot of different Matter gadgets.

It is a bit disappointing because the Hub M3 would make a improbable various to House Assistant or different multi-protocol hubs such because the Homey Professional.

Creating House Automation Scenes with Aqara & Hue

When you have the persistence to rename all of your Hue gadgets, you may create intricate automation scenes combining Aqara and Hue merchandise, enhancing the performance and interactive functionality of their good residence setup.

The wonderful thing about that is that you simply use the reasonably priced Aqara movement sensors for automation. On the time of writing, the P1 with a 5-year battery life is simply £20 vs £33 for the Hue sensor.

Matter Integration With House Assistant

The M3 hub might be built-in with House Assistant, a preferred open-source residence automation platform. This integration permits customers to regulate and automate their Aqara gadgets alongside a variety of different good residence merchandise supported by House Assistant.

Similar to the M2, you may simply combine all of your gadgets by connecting by way of Matter.  It’s not at all times excellent; some features aren’t obtainable. For instance, below the Hub settings, there are not any features in any respect; you may’t set off the speaker or something. Nonetheless, most options can be found, and I’m certain they may enhance with time.

Dangerous Opinions On-line

Some customers have reported points with the Aqara Hub M3, akin to gadgets showing offline after migration or issue pairing equipment. Nonetheless, many of those points might be resolved by following the troubleshooting steps talked about earlier, akin to repairing gadgets or guaranteeing the accent and telephone are near the hub throughout pairing.

Early opinions additionally indicated that some Matter-based Aqara gadgets, such because the P2 Door and Window sensor, couldn’t be added. Nonetheless, Aqara have been fast to roll out updates, and I’m certain they may proceed to considerably enhance issues.

Worth and Various Choices

The Aqara Hub M3 is obtainable on Amazon for £130

Buy from Amazon

That’s a major worth hike from the Aqara Hub M2, which has an RRP of £55 and is presently obtainable for simply £45.

Aqara then has different good hubs, together with:

  • Aqara Digicam Hub G3 for £100
  • Aqara Digicam Hub G2H Professional for £70
  • Aqara Sensible Hub E1 for £30

For various choices, you will have:

Aeotec SmartThings Hub for £100 which is a Zigbee 3.0, Z-Wave, WiFi hub with Matter however no Thread.

Homey Professional for £400, which has Bluetooth, Zigbee, Z-Wave, Infrared, Thread, Matter and native WiFi, it additionally works with a variety of manufacturers utilizing both native integrations or neighborhood integrations. There’s the Homey Bridge, which might work independently however requires a subscription.

HomeAssistant + SkyConnect is a well-liked choice for lovers. SkyConnect offers Zigbee and Thread connectivity and prices simply £31; you may then set up HomeAssistant on quite a lot of gadgets, together with the Raspberry Pi 4 or 5. I’ve HomeAssistant put in on the GEEKOM Mini IT11 with Proxmox.

General

The Aqara Hub M3 is much from excellent and seems to have had a little bit of a rocky launch. Aside from the preliminary downside with gadgets not connecting and Hue names not importing, I’ve personally had no issues with it. The whole lot has labored reliably, simply because it did with my M2.

The principle motive to purchase this hub is for the Thread Border Router, which can future-proof your good residence, and it really works effectively for this operate.

It’s nice you can import your Philips Hue and Sonos audio system into the Aqara app however I’d love for them to completely open it as much as all Matter enabled gadgets permitting it to operate as the primary good residence hub.

Aqara Hub M3 Evaluation – Matter over Thread Sensible Hub

Abstract

The Aqara Hub M3 is a crucial launch for Aqara because it permits patrons to combine Matter-enabled Aqara merchandise into their Aqara-based good residence.

The preliminary launch was a bit rocky, which took the shine off, however this hub has had important enhancements from its predecessor. It’s nice you can import Philips Hue and Sonos, however it might be top-of-the-line good hubs in the marketplace in the event that they opened it up for all Matter enabled gadgets.

Execs

  • Works as a Thread Border Router, permitting you so as to add Thread-based Aqara gadgets
  • Works as a central hub that handles all automations domestically
  • You may import Philips Hue and Sonos gadgets, hopefully, extra assist will likely be added sooner or later

Cons

  • Excessive worth vs M2
  • Product assist and performance lacking at launch
  • Hue gadgets import with mannequin numbers not names