Smart switches are a way to control HomeKit that many users prefer, and Aqara offers us an original and very versatile cube-shaped. We tested the Aqara Cube T1 Pro and we will tell you what it is for.
Can you imagine a switch with 18 buttons? It would be big and difficult to place anywhere. Well, Aqara has achieved it with a simple cube, a dice that allows you to control all Aqara devices and all those that are compatible with HomeKit by moving it. Twist it, flip it, shake it, touch it, push it… and you will get a different action with each of those actions.
It’s a cube, obviously with six sides, like a giant dice. Each side is screen printed with a number, like a die, so it’s easy to identify. Made of plastic and white, it is easy to place anywhere without raising suspicions that it is a switch that can do something. One of the sides can be removed using a small metal lever that is included in the box to replace the battery that will last about two years according to Aqara. It is also necessary to lift that cover to press the button that allows it to be linked to an Aqara hub.
It connects to the Hub using the Zigbee protocol, and that Hub will be the one that gives it compatibility with HomeKit. There is therefore no code to scan on the device, adding it to the Aqara app will automatically add it to our Home application. inside it has a 6-axis sensor that is the one that detects both movements and changes in position. You can connect up to 32 devices to control them, all of them must be added to the Aqara application. For HomeKit it is not necessary to add anything to it, any device added to the home can be controlled with it, as long as something can be done with it, of course.
Akara vs. HomeKit
On the one hand we can use the device with Aqara for all compatible devices, on the other for HomeKit devices. The use with the Aqara accessories is much greater, with many movements to execute different actions: push, rotate, double tap, rotate 180º, shake, rotate 90 degrees and leave one minute unused. With HomeKit we will only have six movements, depending on which face of the dice we leave on top, without more. For example, if we have Aqara bulbs we can control their brightness by rotating to the left or right, in HomeKit that is not possible.
We are already used to the limitations of Casa in many accessories. Apple should give its application a spin because manufacturers have evolved their products a lot, and yet the Home application has evolved little more than some aesthetic change. I am more of a HomeKit user than of the Aqara app, so I suffer from these limitations, but the Aqara Cube is still a very useful switch despite it.. Like those six buttons, it allows me to run HomeKit environments and accessories, and its design and size make it perfect to place on the table next to the sofa, at the entrance of the house, or on the nightstand.
It may seem like a toy but when you start using the Aqara Cube T1 Pro you realize everything it can offer you. With many more functions within the Aqara ecosystem, also for any HomeKit user it is a very interesting accessory. Wireless and with great autonomy, we cannot forget its excellent price: €29.99 on Amazon (link).