After about a fortnight of speculation as to when and if Aqara were readying the release of the UK version of their popular HomeKit compatible hub, the company has now officially announced the device itself. This puts to an end a year of questions as to whether there would be a UK version of said hub, which originally came out over a year ago, although at this time the only version available was the Chinese version.
If you’re new to HomeKit in general, or Aqara in particular, Aqara is the main brand of Lumi United, a manufacturer of smart home devices, including sensors, switches, cameras and of course the Aqara hub. The hub is the device that brings all of their Zigbee-based devices together, as well as connecting to your wifi network and your HomeKit Home, via Wifi. From there it exposes (nearly) all of its own devices to HomeKit, in addition to some of the equivalent switches and sensors made by Mijia that are all installed via either the Mi Home or Aqara apps. The two-fold benefits are that you not only get to control these devices in the Mi Home app, which allows for automation and triggers to control other Xiaomi smart home ecosystem products that aren’t HomeKit compatible but possibly, more importantly, access to lots of very inexpensive, reliable and super fast sensors and switches that generally leave the equivalent wifi and Bluetooth-based device in the dust.
There’s no word on where or when it’ll actually come out in the UK, or even a price point, although there is mention of the hub being made available via amazon.co.uk soon. Our guess is to expect to pay somewhere in the region of £50-65. One word of warning, however; There are a couple of sellers on amazon.co.uk that are selling the Aqara hub, although it’s highly likely they’re selling the Chinese one with a UK adaptor, so do check with them to make sure before buying. In the US, only one store – AqaraDirect – is selling the US version (currently out of stock), with other sellers advertising the Chinese hub with an adaptor.