Thanks to our inside source, a new image and video have surfaced of a new Zigbee-based smart plug designed for the EU. In the very short video clip below, we have what appears to be a developer, recording a test on his/her phone, turning on an EU style smart plug, named with Chinese characters followed by ‘Zigbee’ in brackets. You can also see that there’s the ability to monitor electricity usage within the Mi Home app.
The video also shows that it’s being tested in the Mi Home (Xiaomi Home) app, so we can glean the following from this; If this is Zigbee based, which it appears to be, then it would need to go through a hub – most likely the Aqara hub. As it’s still being tested, chances are that it’ll be equipped to work with ZigBee 3.0 when it is finally released, which would preclude it from working with the current Mi Gateways. This would also indicate a high likelihood that the smart plug would also be exposed to HomeKit, given that the US Aqara smart plug is also exposed to HomeKit, along with the Zigbee-based Taiwan Mi Smart plug, which is essentially the same product as the US model.
Mijia recently brought out their own smart plug that closely resembles the current Ikea Smart plug, although in the case of this plug, it’s purely wifi based, so it doesn’t require the hub, and isn’t HomeKit compatible, only working with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. This new Aqara Zigbee plug does also resemble Eve’s EU smart outlet, which uses Bluetooth for communication. So, besides the smaller form factor, along with ZigBee’s reputation at being more stable and faster (generally) than either wifi or bluetooth, as well as having the ability to create a mesh network, this is definitely a superior option if you are in the market for a smart plug in the EU.
We Don’t have any other info on this device at present, so no details of how powerful it is, for example, and of course, there’s no guarantee of HomeKit support, however likely it may be, so when we have more information to report, we’ll post an update.
Thanks to Sebastian G for the tipoff.