Aqara Hub M1S test: the ZigBee 3.0 bridge that watches and alerts

Our opinion on the ZigBee 3.0 Aqara M1S gateway

Aqara hub M1S

Zigbee 3.0 Hub Aqara M1S Home Automation Gateway EU Version - HM1S-G01

Price on: July 5, 2022 11 h 35 min

Aqara markets many devices operating under the ZigBee protocol, thus lightening the load on our Wi-Fi networks. These can also be integrated very easily into nps voice assistants, but also our Home Assistant, Jeedom or even Homey home automation boxes. However, this requires a hub or a gateway capable of making the link between the connected object and the Internet network. After the Aqara Hub M2 test, today we are going to present you the new Aqara Hub M1S.

Among other advantages, this hub offers the ZigBee in version 3.0 and embark a night light and a alarm device. Offered at price of around 50 € in its European version, we will see together its main characteristics and functionalities.

Aqara Hub M1S: a ZigBee 3.0 bridge

Presentation

Aqara, brand of the company Lumi United Technology, was created in 2016 and comes from the Latin "Acutulus" smart and "Ara" House. Its philosophy follows the principle of "less is more", which is why the brand provides less energy-consuming solutions with products supported by as many platforms as possible: Amazon Alexa, Google Home but also Apple HomeKit or even Xiaomi Home. Although the confusion is largely maintained by resellers and the media, Aqara does not belong to Xiaomi, but has conquered 192 countries in 5 years thanks to a partnership with the latter by manufacturing in particular a substantial part of the Mijia range ...

Unboxing

If the new Aqara Hub M1S is round, the thin and glossy cardboard packaging is an almost perfect cube of 8.2 cm x 8.5 cm x 8.5 cm in the brand's white and blue colors. A visual of the gateway Aqara EU is offered on the front with the mention  "Works with Apple HomeKit" while the rear displays an everyday scene. On the sides the different functions and below, the main characteristics.

Le Aqara M1S Hub is accompanied by a multilingual user manual, including French, very detailed and accompanied by a "business card" of the company.

The ZigBee 3.0 gateway comes in the form of a "big button" in ABS and white PC de 8 cm in diameter et 8 cm deep total including 4.15 cm for the hub itself. Everything displays 138 grams. It is dotted with small perforations in the shape of rosettes to let the sound of its built-in speaker pass. Indeed, it embeds an alarm functionality with very… percussive sounds.

On the back, the electrical outlet is type C, and therefore does not require grounding. The CE certification is affixed under the form. On this side too, i perforations dot the object and are just interrupted by three small silicone pads to protect any friction with the wall. A QR Code sticker that does not refer to a document.

On the top, there is a multifunction button:

  • Support : turns the night light on / off.
  • Long press (10 seconds) : resetting the network connection.
  • Support increased tenfold : factory restoration.

The button is also an indicator light:

  • Solid yellow : startup in progress.
  • Flashing yellow : waiting for network connection.
  • Flashing yellow or white : connection to the network.
  • Flashing purple : addition of an accessory.
  • Off : normal function or out of mains.

A bunch of 18 LED RGB bends the circumference of the gangway and acts as a night light. A light sensor is also integrated, very practical for triggering, for example, the night light in a corridor when entering according to the number of lux captured.

Although imposing at the risk of taking the place of two sockets, the Aqara Hub M1S "gateway" is a very good quality product and does not suffer from any finishing defect.

 

Technical sheet :

  • Brand : Aqara
  • Model : HM1S-G01
  • Size 8 cm 8 cm x 4.15 cm
  • Weight : 138 grams
  • Protocol : Wi-Fi EEE 802-11 b / g / n 2.4GHz ZigBee
  • Wi-Fi operating frequency : 2412 - 2472 MHz
  • Wi-Fi maximum transmission power : ≤ 20dBm
  • ZigBee operating frequency : 2405 - 2480 MHz
  • ZigBee maximum transmission power : ≤ 13dBm
  • Food : 100 - 240V, 50 / 60Hz, 0.2A
  • Operating temperature : -10 ° - 40 °
  • Operating humidity : 0 - 95% RH (not condensed)
  • Light sensor : yes integrated
  • Lighting function : Yes
  • Type of lighting : 18 RGB LEDs
  • Loud speaker : 2 Watts
  • Number of accessories taken into account : up to 128
  • Compatibilities : Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, HomeKit, IFTTT,

Aqara hub ZigBee 3.0: a multifunction gateway

Installation and use

The Aqara Hub M1S gateway works with the home application Aqara Home available Android ou iBONE. It is not compatible at this time with the Xiaomi Home application. 

If this is your first Aqara device, you must create an account. To do this click on " Sign up ". Accept the terms of use. For your peace of mind, select Europe (by clicking at the top right) instead of China, this will switch the application to European servers which are in compliance with the GDPR. Fill in a e-mail.

Un verification code will be sent to you to postpone. Create your mot de passe. Remember to'' activate your GPS . Here you are on the home page

For install the Aqara Hub M1S gateway, plug it in and wait for the yellow LED to flash quickly. A charming English-speaking voice invites you to return to the app.

For a good link with other products, iIt is recommended to place the hub at the center of the device machines, avoid metal obstacles or other load-bearing walls between it and your box for good network capture.

On the app, click « Add accessory" page (in French). Select in Gateway the model concerned, in this case the M1S Hub. Confirm that it is flashing yellow. It is usually quickly found and you have to pair it with your Wi-Fi on the 2.4GHz network.

If you are having difficulty with the straightforward procedure that does not want to complete, use the manual method. This consists of fetching the temporary Wi-Fi of the gateway in the settings of your smartphone. If ever you are asked if you want to keep this connection, answer yes to continue the operation. You will come back to re-select your box settings after installation. Go back to the app and there you will see that the hub continues to register successfully.

You can then rename your Aqara Hub M1S, choose a designated room for him, select a “wallpaper” for the designated room. Finally, if you have already activated the Aqara Home skill for the EU, you can see that the gateway is recognized well by our favorite voice assistant.

The gateway, in addition to being the essential link between your ZigBee accessories and your Internet box / router, is also a night light full-fledged which can be installed in a hallway or a bedroom for example. So let's see its use ...

Night light function

From the home page, go to the tab of the room where you have integrated your Aqara Hub M1S. When the night light is off, no settings are available. Slide the "Switch" button to the right and there you have access to the pilot light control, both for the colors with the ball to move to the desired one and for the brightness with the outer circle.
In the lower part, you have the recorded colors for quick and direct access. You can add more by clicking on the "+" and by selecting your favorite color on a pallet. You can add up to four shortcuts and set four presets.
By clicking on the " … " top right, you access the parameters of the Aqara M1S Hub where you can rename it, change it to another room or see the number of accessories attached to it.
With the heading Homepage Card, you can also administer the home page, as here for example by integrating it into "Favorites". This will duplicate the thumbnail in the other tab, not move it. This is interesting when it comes to having a large number of devices to manage. You can also rename the night light here and change the icon to assign it.
With the function " Alarm ", you will be able to push further than the simple management of a bulb with on / off, that of colors or brightness. Indeed, you will be able to program a scenario with the following parameters:
  • Conditions :
    • The night light turns on
    • The night light goes out
    • The night light is on
    • The night light is off
  • Alarm Period :
    • Define the repetition: daily, week, weekend or choose the day (s) at your convenience.
    • The start / end time range of the alarm
  • Card background color or "background color of the map": you have three colors available
    • Red: high level
    • Orange: middle level
    • Yellow: low level
  • Push notification: you can receive a notification when your alarm goes off:
    • Default Notification: this is the classic notification that we often receive with applications that allow it.
    • Customize Notification: You can personalize the notification by recording a message of up to 100 words. And that is very good.

Once the parameters are entered, if your night light meets the criteria of your alarm, you will see the sticker on the home page take the color you have configured and it is not enough to want to turn off the night light for the white / color flashing. defined in the alarm stops because a message appears at the bottom of the screen telling you that the alarm is in progress. To stop the message and the flashing, click on "confirm" and the night light will remain in the defined position if you do not modify it.

Finally, " Summarized into the overview " or " overview summary »Allows you to integrate the night light when it is active in another tab "Overview" accessible from the home page.

 

To our great regret, the Aqara Home application is still not translated into French!
In category " More Settings" , you can :
  • Adjust the parameters specific to the M1S Hub like, prevent accidental removal of the accessory, or turn off the light indicator between 21 p.m. and 9 a.m. (no possibility to change the times) but also the language of the hub. For the latter, not too many choices, you have to choose between English, Russian and Chinese. Finally, you can adjust the volume of it.
  • Create automations according to the principle: If / Then or Si / Then in French. So you can define for IF a schedule, days to repeat the action THEN execution of such device or another automation / scene / notification ... All with or without an execution time / shutdown.
  • Create scenario (s) with either the night light or the audible alarm, or both at the same time and which will go up in the application Alexa. You have a great choice with special mentions for the sound of the missile being launched, the ghost (we hope the nice Casper) or childhood.
  • Logs, it is the log of the activity of the night light.
  • network information, concerns the Wi-Fi settings, Mac address….

Alert System function

At the top of the home page, you have a very practical function: Alert System. It is neither more nor less than an alarm system. We refer you to the Aqara M2 Hub test for further information and uses since they are the same.

But back to the home page where you can see the recording of the scene above the rooms. A click on the active ones.
  • Overview. In this tab, only active devices are listed. If you only have the hub at the moment, Overview will only be active if the night light is active. The pictogram of the square compound lights up in white and the device (s) concerned are listed there.
  • my home, resumes the parts created or by default. On the right, the pencil will allow you to modify the home page, the scenes and the wallpaper of the different rooms.
  • Accessories allows you to add (like the "+" on the home page) accessories, enter the device and manage it.
  • Automation et Scene takes again the possibility of creating / managing one or the other of the categories.
  • Profile resumes your information and those of the gateway, the messaging of the alert log or the system.

With Amazon Alexa

As we have seen previously the European gateway Aqara Hub M1S is recognized by Alexa as long as the skill Aqara Home for the EU is installed. On the other hand, it is necessary to be satisfied with the one and only night light. The alarm system is not recognized as such, so you will not be able to voice arm or disarm it.

You then have additional lighting with only 1 white offered and 15 colors which you can modulate the intensity and integrate into a routine.

Vocally you can say, as with any light bulb:

  • Alexa, turn on / off [nightlight name]
  • Alexa lights at 20%, for example, [name of nightlight]

With Google Assistant

Here too you have to install an add-on called Aqara Europe, link the two accounts by entering email and password of your Aqara Home account… And there you have it, the gateway is recognized and goes up two devices. Only the night light is available in configuration.
The voice management of the night light with Google Assistant is done on the same principle as with Alexa. Here 42 colors are available, but not all of them respond to oral requests. As it is ultimately a light bulb, it can of course be integrated into a routine.
In use, the hub is certainly not really intended to work on its own, it will have to be integrated with compatible devices, but by itself it already provides two interesting features: the night light and the alarm.

Compatible connected objects

Obviously, the whole point of this Aqara Hub M1S is to be able to use the entire rich ecosystem of the brand.

Here is the non-exhaustive list of devices tested by us:

You can also add some Xiaomi ZigBee devices such as:
In conclusion, the gateway Aqara Hub M1S a very good starting point to indulge in the joys of home automation with the excellent ZigBee devices offered by Aqara or even Xiaomi. By itself, this hub offers functions that not all gateways are able to offer and that is already a lot. All you have to do is explore the various connected objects above that you can integrate into it, but be sure that for around € 50, you have one of the best ecosystems on the market ...

Simple user and novice fallen into the pot Alexa, this one fascinates me and thanks to the boys, Jean-Christophe and Alexien Modo, I learn a little more every day. Loving the different aspects ofAlexa, I turned to skills to share my discoveries with you.