AQARA HUBS – Choose the right Hub for your Homekit Smart home

thank you for stopping by i'm the brad lloyd and this channel is all about making our lives easier using apple homekit today i'm talking akara specifically their hubs i'm relatively new to using akara and i recently did a video going over my first experience using the akara brand akara supports google alexa and of course homekit and they've been well known in the homekit space for having affordable products with good quality i want to thank akar for sending me these hubs free of charge so i could test them out and provide you my honest feedback to help you decide which hub is the right one for you [Music] car devices communicate using zigbee if you've seen my channel before then you know how much i'm digging thread but zigbee is a close second for me the downside is that it requires an additional hub instead of just using your homepod mini as a thread border router but the speed is comparable i would much rather have a separate hub than crowd my wifi network or use bluetooth which tends to be slower with limited range the car accessories are so well priced that it really does make sense to give them a look if you're looking for a single motion sensor for example then you may be deterred from looking at a car because well you need a hub but if you think long term and you plan to add more accessories and sensors over time then you can definitely save a lot of money a car offers a number of accessories like switches smart plugs and sensors like door and window vibration water leak and temperature and humidity and for the most part they're extremely affordable compared to other homekit products on the market for example their wireless mini switch is 29.99 canadian and their motion sensors 20.49 if you shop for homekit accessories before then you know these are really inexpensive akara finally came to canada on amazon.ca last fall but their availability has been a little bit all over the place so if you don't see what you're looking for then just keep checking back i'm hoping to see more consistent stock on amazon.ca in the future i also find that prices do fluctuate so even the prices i quote in this video may change by the time i upload you can also find a car accessories even cheaper on aliexpress if you're willing to wait a couple of months for shipping so if you're thinking of entering the world of akara or maybe you just want to learn a little bit more about the different hubs that are available then stick around and if you're enjoying this video then please consider subscribing so you can catch my future videos car hubs are not your typical hubs that sit on a shelf and serve no other purpose than simply communicating with their accessories they come with a few surprisingly helpful little hidden talents let's take a closer look at four hubs that can be purchased in north america including the original cara hub the m1s the g2h and finally the new m2 let's start by looking at the original cara hub often referred to as the m1 hub and the m1s basically the m1s is an upgraded version of a car's original hub you can see they basically look identical these like all the car hubs use zigbee but the m1s uses the newer zigbee 3.0 which is said to be faster more reliable and more energy efficient than the previous version both of these hubs have a colored night light on them that can be customized by changing the color or adjusting the brightness it's a nice touch for sure but probably not the main reason someone would buy one of these hubs another difference is the number of child devices that can be connected to these hubs the limit with the original hub is 32 compared to 128 on the m1s in order to connect 128 devices though you do need to use repeater devices meaning devices that are plugged in so that's either their smart plug or their wall switch but only the neutral wire version it's nice having the flexibility to connect that many devices but i'm sure that 32 will be plenty for most people another difference between these two hubs is the security system they both have a security system that's exposed to home kit however the original hub is only on or off while the m1s has a home away and night mode the alarm system can be triggered using a car accessories only you can specify which devices trigger an alarm and which alarm sound is played [Music] the additional night alarm mode simply provides more flexibility in terms of the devices that would trigger your alarm at night between these two hubs i would recommend the m1s since you get the zigbee 3.0 and you can connect more devices unfortunately here in canada though the m1s is not available as of time of recording this video the original hub is selling for 79.99 canadian currently on sale for 64.99 if you're in the us the m1s is available on amazon.com for 49.99 i will include links in the description if you decide you want to pick up any of these hubs now let's take a look at the g2h what i really love about this hub is that it's not just a hub it's a camera and a pretty good one at that if a car had just sold this as a camera for the same price i would think okay that makes sense but by making this a hub as well i really think this will and has been a popular choice for many in terms of a hub it's also zigbee 3.0 like the m1s but like the original hub it's limited to just 32 child devices like most cameras it has a two-way speaker but no security mode that's exposed to home kit like the other two hubs however if you have another acara hub with a security system then the g2h will still participate and play the alarm sound through its speaker as a camera the g2h is an indoor 1080p camera with a 140 degree lens and the video quality is pretty decent the camera also has night vision and it's easy to mount by popping out and adjusting the stand best of all it's compatible with homekit secure video this means camera recordings are included if you have a compatible icloud storage plan you also have the option to add up to 32 gigabytes of local storage by adding a not included micro usb card and then this will provide you with continuous recording like other homekit secure video cameras you have the option to set activity zones and record and receive notification when pets vehicles motion or people are detected it also has facial recognition faces that are analyzed compared to those faces tagged in your photos app to determine the person being recorded the g2h sells on amazon for 89.99 and on amazon.com it's 74.99 on sale for 64.99 this is an excellent deal in my opinion since you're also getting a camera as well as a hub last let's go over the m2 this is the newest acara hub to hit the north american market just over a month ago let's start with the most obvious it's black and a little bit more sleek in design so right there it may fit better into your home decor the other thing that's different is that it connects using a usb to micro usb cord compared to the original hub and the m1s that had to be plugged in directly to an outlet personally this is a huge advantage for me because the other two hubs take up both outlets i really wish they could be redesigned to only take up one plug so because this connects using a cord it's also easier just to find a home for it worth noting is that the power brick's not included so you will need to use an existing one that you have around your house or you might be stuck having to order one i guess we should be used to supplying our own power bricks by now this is another zigbee 3.0 hub and like the m1s it's capable of connecting up to 128 child devices again as long as you have some repeaters in the mix i didn't mention it earlier but all of these hubs connect using the 2.4 gigahertz wi-fi band but the advantage of the m2 is that you can also hardwire it directly into ethernet this should give you the best and fastest connection i'm using mine over wi-fi and my devices have been really fast but it's nice to know that i have that option the other big difference here is that it has an infrared controller there aren't too many ir devices these days but it's a really nice addition i have an apple tv connected to all of my tv so they already control my tv's power in order to test this out i actually had to dig up some old battery operated candles that i bought one time from costco adding an ir device is really easy you just select the type of device that you're trying to add and it will walk you through selecting the manufacturer and the model there was no way these candles would be under any of these categories and that's okay i simply hit customize then i just added each of the buttons that i wanted to program which for me was just on and off [Music] a couple of things to point out here first you do need line of sight for the infrared to work and second it won't expose those ir devices to home kit though you can really easily add a series shortcut so you can still control it using siri there's also a security mode with this hub same as the m1s home night and away but it's much quieter than the other hubs hmm [Applause] [Music] lastly this hub has bluetooth 5.0 but currently no accessories that support this a car said that they're coming soon but i'm not really sure if there are any bluetooth devices that would be coming soon that i would get too excited about the m2 sells on amazon.ca for 69.99 or 57.99 on amazon.com for us customers i'll include a link that will work with all countries where available so in terms of which hub is best that is really up to you if you're looking to add a home kit camera anyway then i would suggest the g2h otherwise i'd probably go with the m2 since you have the option to connect it via ethernet you get the ir controller and it doesn't take up your full wall outlet but if the security system is really important to you then the m1s is a solid option and that gives you that louder speaker i tested all of these hubs out and while i'm not coming close to the 128 child devices or even the 32 really they've all worked extremely well and i don't think you could go wrong with any of these options let me know in the comments which hub you would go with and what's your favorite feature i hope you found this video helpful and if you did please show your support by giving this video a like thank you so much for watching and i'll talk to you soon

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