“What the hell is this?” you may well ask. Well in short it tells you the room temperature and the humidity. The Xiaomi Smart Temperature and Humidity Sensor is smart in that it has Bluetooth, but what other strings does it have to its bow?
- Internet connected thermometer
- Historical temperature tracking
- LCD Screen
Okay so I actually started using one way before I wrote this and it’s not the only Xiaomi temp and humidity thingy I’ve used so that will help put into context that I was, disappointed with it. The LCD screen, not like some backlit phone LCDs but like something from a £2 calculator. Now I get that you want low power but I’m sure there’s a better option here. Xiaomi makes another similar device with an E-Ink screen and that screen is stunning. This in comparison makes me sad.
Clearly Xiaomi has some schizophrenia as this device has the Smart provided by Bluetooth. Yeah, Bluetooth and not Zigbee like most of their IoT devices so the current Gateway I have doesn’t have the ability to act as a Bluetooth gateway meaning I had to buy one of the new Smart lamps which have Wi-Fi and can act as a Bluetooth gateway to then link up the Bluetooth to the internet to make it smart. A fun little adventure! You use the Xiaomi Mi Home app and after a couple deleting and re-pairing loops, the lamp began to see the thing and is now accessible over the internet. So now I can tell if I turned the AC on while I’m at work.
The screen is functional, it works but is nothing interesting.
It takes 1 AAA battery and it would seem to last forever. It’s been running for months now and it still shows full battery. I was worried Bluetooth would eat more than Zigbee but maybe not.
It’s nice, well, it’s fine. Well, then again, it’s quite bland and boring. Xiaomi seems to love white but I’d love it if it was in black and had an E-Ink screen more. One thing that is nice is that it comes with a magnetic attachment with a little sort of hook meaning you can attach the odd hook thing with the attached sticky pad and then pull the actual device off as you wish. I’m not sure why you would want to detach it in this fashion other than to replace the battery though.
On its own, it tells you the temperature and the humidity. With a Bluetooth gateway connected it becomes accessible to online Mi Home app and then you can set up controls. For example, you could set up the AC unit to turn on if the ambient temp hits 25 degrees, thus making it part of a more intriguing smart home setup. So you set up a heater, AC, humidifier and a dehumidifier and you could have yourself a seriously climate-controlled room.
If all you want is a thermometer this is a bit costly, but if you’re jumping into the Xiaomi ecosystem then it gives you the data and has a display which the other alternatives from them don’t – the alternatives provide one or the other. I really wish the E-Ink screen one had the smart aspect too. I’m really missing that. However, the fact this Xiaomi device uses only Bluetooth as a gateway and not Zigbee means existing gateway owners may (like me) need to buy something that has that functionality thus increasing the total cost of the solution.
Well, I don’t love this. It’s a fudge of a product in my opinion. I have a Zigbee based sensor which has no screen and it worked effortlessly and instantly. I also have the E-Ink sensor (I love it) but it has no smarts so can’t connect to anything. The Xiaomi Smart Temperature and Humidity sensor here sits slap bang in the middle. It works, it looks reasonably fine and is not very expensive. There isn’t really any bad points to it, just improvements I can think of instead, but yet it manages to not feel cool or interesting.
That said, once I am back in the UK there is a very good chance I will buy one of these for every room in the house and maybe one for the fridge too as it does serve the functionality I require from it even if it is as sexy as a dulled spoon.