GearBest is a fast growing e-commerce platform that origins in China and sells tons of products in over more then a hundred categories, we like them especially for their (electronic) gadgets.
The gadgets we reviewed on this website are all available from GearBest. Why GearBest.and not Ali-express or another Chinese store.
A lot of the products we review or use in our how-to articles are available at Gearbest. If possible, we link to this product on Gearbest. A couple of reasons why we buy at Gearbest:
Gearbest is a Chinese webshop that has proven to be reliable.
Almost every must-have electronic gadget is available,
They are working often with discount coupons (we share them with you under deals)
They have good support and after sales (chat, ticket system, Facebook etc),
Lots of shipping methods and possibilities.
They have a loyalty system, which gives you points for every product you buy. This can save you a lot of money on future purchases.
They provide you insight into the warehouses and offer you the choice to choose the warehouse where your order will be shipped from (and sometimes even stock levels). This is very transparent but makes ordering a bit less simple.
Depending on the chosen warehouse and shipping method shipping will usually be a bit longer than when buying at a local web shop. However, Gearbest already has a large number of warehouses in Europe which cuts down the shipping time significantly (for the exact details, continue reading).
Some Important buying tips
If you want to buy a product, check out the availability in the different warehouses. If you reside in the European Union, it is better to choose one of the GW warehouses. They are located inside the EU which saves you customs excise costs. Not only do you save on customs costs but because of the location, you will get the goods faster, mostly within 7 workdays. The trade-off of using one of the GW warehouses is that it is often a little bit more expensive compared for example the China warehouses.
When you choose for shipping from warehouses in China or Hong Kong and the total order + shipping costs exceed 22 euro, we advice you to choose the shipping method ‘Priority line’. When you choose this method, most of the times customs will not charge you any import duties. But if they do charge them, Gearbest will pay them. The only downside of this method is that it costs about four weeks of delivery most of the times. If you got charged the import duties you need your invoice, so you can raise a ticket at Gearbest support so you can receive a refund of the charged import duties.
Is there a warehouse in your country?
GearBest has many warehouses around the world, and you can check Gearbest warehouse country location codes in the following table:
1tracking is a website that can automatically distinguish different couriers, and it makes multiple order tracking possible while allowing you to access from different platforms, like GearBest, Banggood, Zaful and etc. Simple designed for you to use, all you need to do is to insert your tracking number and click search.
When visiting the 1tracking official site(www.1tracking.net) on your PC, you could experience its functions or characteristics as follows. It includes tracking all your packages with multiple numbers in one place,auto-detecting local and international logistics providers, easily duplicating logistic proces info, auto-filter out invalid tracking number, getting instant updates and sending reminder emails. No matter u are e-commerce retailers or shopaholic users, 1Tracking is a necessary website for u to track global parcel with free access. Get started with your fast search experience.
You can track your orders with 17track. https://www.17track.netType in your tracking number here and choose a carrier.
17TRACK provides ALL-IN-ONE package tracking service. The web/apps are translated into multiple language versions, and the users are from around 220 countries and areas. Why 17? 17TRACK pronounces as ‘Track All Together’ in Chinese. This is a well functioning platform and has also a good app to track your order. When you log in with an account like Facebook you can track all your orders on all of your devices.
You can also use: Track24 For Priority Line orders you can also track your orders with Faryaa en DPD.
How to use discount coupons
GearBest is working a lot with coupon codes. Gadget-freakz provides the codes on the discount codes page. How to use the coupons you find out below. But keep in mind that the coupons only work with the links provided. Most of the time the coupon is valid for a certain period and also a specific warehouse.
Search on GearBest or Gadget-freakz.com for the product that you want to buy. In our reviews, we link to the right product pages.
When you are on a product page of GearBest through our links click ‘Add to Cart‘. add-to-cart
Go to your shopping cart. In the right upper corner: view my cart.
Here you can fill in the coupon you got from gadget-freakz.
Then you see changing the values of totals and you can proceed the checkout.
20 things you need to know when shopping on GearBest
In order to control our Xiaomi Mii Robot Vacuum, the app of Xiaomi (iOS and Android) does a good job. But when you have a Domoticz setup present at home, it would be a shame not to integrate the vacuum into this system. In this post I will explain how to set up the Xiaomi Mii Robot Vacuum into Domoticz using Amazon Alexa and leverage the Domoticz platform to control the Vacuum in a smarter way.
A bunch of new devices in Domoticz to control the vacuum manually, blocky or scripting. As you can see in the screenshot below there are several new devices after adding.
A few examples of what you can do with the Xiaomi Mii Robot Vacuum after it is added in Domoticz:
Start the cleaning process with your voice (Alexa or Google Home)
Start cleaning when Domoticz knows you are away from home
Start cleaning if you have dust sensors that report that cleaning is needed
Stop cleaning if TV turns on
Your Robot Vacuum needs to have a fixed IP address (remember this IP). This can be done in your router.
Ensure you can use the Robot Vacuum in your app of xiaomi (Mi Home).
Ensure you have Java on your computer. Check this in your overview of installed software or download it at http://java.com.
Have the latest Domoticz version running. Check the latest version on the Domoticz site.
In order to configure the Robot Vacuum in Domoticz you need to know the IP address and its token. The token is needed for the communication between the Robot and an external app.
Obtain the token from the Vacuum Robot
There are different methods to get the token. In this tutorial, I use an Android tablet and Windows 10 computer to do this.
The most simple method is to download the old version of MiHome on an Android device that is not decoded.
My Samsung Android phone is decoded and making a backup is only possible when using a password. The tool we use to get the token out of the backup doesn’t like a password, so use a device that is not decoded.
Starting from version 5.0.31, the MiHome app no longer stores tokens locally but on the Xiaomi servers so we need an older version of the app. So uninstall the newer version (or use another Android device) and install the older version of the app and login with your Xiaomi account to get access to all of your devices (including the Robot Vacuum) again.
Download version 5.0.0 here and install it on your android.
Enable developer mode and USB debugging on the Android device and connect it to the computer with a USB cable.
Open de MiToolKit (it opens in German language but you can change it to English)
Click “Extract Token” in the toolkit.
On your Android device, you will see a screen that asks you to confirm a backup. Confirm the, but Don’t use a password. (as mentioned before that was not possible on my Samsung so I needed to switch to an old tablet for that)
Once confirmed you can check the toolkit on the computer to see your token
That’s all!! More methods for obtaining a token on Android and IOS are available on GitHub.
Setup plugin in Domoticz
There is a Python plugin manager under development (Linux only) that enables a simple and easy to use plugin manager in Domoticz. With this PP-manager users can install plugins from there without the need of SSH, GitHub etc. But because it’s still in development we are focusing on the manual procedure.
git clone https://github.com/mrin/domoticz-mirobot-plugin.git xiaomi-mirobot
virtualenv -p python3 .env
pip3 install -r pip_req.txt
Open and edit miio_server.sh by vi/nano:
# 1. Check and update absolute path to miio_server.py
# 2. Update IP and TOKEN for robot# 3. Optional. Change MIIO server host-port bindings if need it# file miio_server.sh
DAEMON_ARGS=”$DAEMON_ARGS –host 127.0.0.1 –port 22222″
Check path to python3
. By default is
. If your path different than default, update miio_server.py first line with your path.
If server and test is ok, time to restart the Domoticz:
sudo service domoticz.sh restart
The steps above are created by Mrin, and we thank him for this great work! Also the plugin is made by the user Mrin (Igor Sankovich). More info can be found on GitHub.
Once Domoticz has started you go to hardware > and you can add and enable the plugin.
After enabling the hardware you see all devices in the settings>devices and you are ready to start scripting and using them.
Control cleaning with your voice
In this example, I show you how to use the vacuum with your voice. Check out the video to hear me commanding my vacuum.
Amazon Alexa with Controlicz
When you have Google Home or Alexa you must use the plugin Controlicz. Controlicz let you use Domoticz in your voice system. To enable Controlicz you have to use https! How to install and configure I will explain later in a new post, but you can check out Domoticz forum now for more info.
If you are able to use Domoticz in Alexa there are a few minor things:
Alexa doesn’t recognize selector switches, and ‘xiaomi_vacuum’ is not a nice name to speak out. So you have to create a dummy on/off switch with a nice simple name: I named it ‘Dusty’.
Put the switch in a room plan, so you can use it in Alexa.
When you have the new switch in Alexa, it doesn’t do anything. That’s why we are using a dzventz script. When we switch Dusty on, the script will change the real selector switch for you.
Welcome to my Smart Home Setup with Domoticz page, on this page, I proudly present the products and software I use to make my home smarter. I hope to inspire others and will add links, photo’s and tutorials of each product later.
Almost 5 years I go I got my house and started with Domotica. I started with 433mhz and almost every light had his own COCO (Click On Click Off) dimmer. I was running on a Raspberry Pi1 and used Domoticz (it was a less known then nowadays). I came in contact with GizMocuz and asked him if I could help because I saw the potential in Domoticz. I cannot code in C++ but could help with ideas, testing and maintaining the forum.
After a while, I bought a z-wave stick and some sensors. those were much more expensive but also much more reliable. More functions and most important: two-way communication. Because I’m a real gadget/IT freak I bought new gadgets once in a while: A Synology, Philis Hue, Milight LED Strips, Ip cameras and much more. And almost every single product or brand has his own app. And that is why I love Domoticz. Everything controlled by one system. ! webpage/app.
With Domoticz You got the options to notify, schedule a device, but you can also create rules with blocky of scripting with Lua. And with Lua, you can build the most advanced stuff. Not only a simple thing like when you press this button, Light X goes on. But much more complex.
If it is x time, and darkness is x and device x is on and so on and so on, then set light x to … Sometimes I had the wish to automate something, another time I was hanging around at the fora And got inspired by others.
After running a long time very stable (on a pi 3) there was something new for me. Xiaomi. A nice brand with Apple stylish products for a very good price. all based on ZigBee protocol and it worked like a charm. So it was time to replace some devices, combining different protocols and brands.
One of my latest additions is Alexa, My wife was skeptic at first, but now she is commanding Alexa to control the whole house with her voice commands.
My Smart Home setup started simple: Physical wireless switches to control the lights, then controlling with a phone, scenes, voice control, and smart scheduling. My goal: My house must smart. And must think ahead.
Philips Hue Bridge
Ikea tradfri (disabled because hue can also use ikea lights)
Aeotec z-wave stick
Logitech Harmony Hub
RFLink (not only 433Mhz, but also to control milight bulbs, it’s a cheaper and open source version of RFXcom)
I bought the Xiaomi Mi Robot Vacuum product at GearBest and integrate it into my home automation system Domoticz. I already had a vacuum cleaner but a dumber one (the ILIFE A4 Smart Robotic Vacuum Cleaner). My goal for this article is to provide an overview of the functionality and usability of the product, integrate it in my home-automation platform and end up with a clean living room and a happy wife.
After having excellent experiences with multiple other Xiaomi products, I had high expectations of the Xiaomi Mi Robot Vacuum.
When unboxing the product, you immediately notice the beautiful en slick design of the robot. We can expect a smart vacuum cleaner, with an app that can be used easily and is compatible with Domoticz.
Will it meet these expectations? Let’s find out…
Is the app usable? Is the vacuum really efficient and smart? Is it possible to connect it with Domoticz and control it from there?
Let’s start with the review:
You can switch on the Xiaomi Mi Robot Vacuum from the app, scheduled or by pressing 1 of the 2 buttons on top of the robot. The other button is to send the robot to his docking station for charging.
When I first used the robot I controlled by using the app. After a firmware update the product was complete and ready to use. First thing I did was setting the language pack to English because I don’t understand anything of the Chinese voice.
When the motor switched on I immediately noticed that the suction was strong. According to the specs it is 1800pa, which is almost double the suction of the Ilife A4 (1000pa) but this is perfect for a robot vacuum.
Through the app I discovered that the Xiaomi Mi Robot scans the entire room, every detail was accounted for, until it has completely mapped the room. The robot starts with the corners and edges of the room, then it goes through the center of the room, covering every space. When finished, the robot goes back to his dock (home). During testing I put a box in front of the dock, and the robot immediately told me there was an obstacle located in front of the dock. I even received a push message on my phone, in which the robot alerted me of the problem. What a nice feature.
After a while I noticed that the robot collected some dust and was slightly scratched on the cover of the top sensor of the robot. This was caused by the sweeping under the furniture. It doesn’t effect the capabilities of the robot, but it’s something you have to accept when choosing for this product. The app monitors the amount of square meters the robot has cleaned.
The dust bin of the Xiaomi Mi Robot has a capacity of 0.42 liter and is easy to empty. You just flip open the top cover of the robot and take the dust bin out.
Main brush cleaning tool
Dimension & Weight
Product weight: 3.8000 kg Package weight: 6.6500 kg Product size (L x W x H): 34.50 x 34.50 x 9.60 cm / 13.58 x 13.58 x 3.78 inches Package size (L x W x H): 56.60 x 43.30 x 15.20 cm / 22.28 x 17.05 x 5.98 inches
What’s in the box
For me as a Domotica fan one of the biggest advantages of the Xiaomi Mi Robot is the ability to control the robot from the app.
The vacuum has multiple sensors:
LDS sensor (laser Distance Sensor)
this generates a digital map of the space that needs to be cleaned. Distances will be measured.
makes sure that there is a one centimeter gap between the wall and the robot (to avoided damage)
Dust bin sensor
gives you a warning when dust bin is full and needs to be emptied
predicts what object can be an obstacle for the robot
another sensor to avoid objects in the room
Electronic Compass Cliff sensor
detects staircases and capes to make sure the robot doesn’t drop
monitors the movement, directions and stability of the robot
when the wheels of the robot are out, there’s no contact with the floor
makes the robot go slower when cleaning. The robot accelerates when going for a new spot
Fan Speed Sensor
measures the speed of the dust fan
Build Quality and Design
The device has a solid feel to it. One of the reasons for this is it’s weight. The wheels are steady en the protection rubbers feel durable.
The dock features the ability to store the cable and can be plugged into a wall outlet through the left or right side of the dock.
The design is what we expect from all Xiaomi products: simple but well thought out (It can be compared with the style of Apple products).
A small disadvantage that comes with this choice of style is that you van easily see the dust on the white and shiny surface of the robot. And, what I stated earlier, the sensor cover (placed on top of the robot) gets easily scratched when cleaning under furniture with a bottom of hard materal.
The battery is a 5200mAh (14.4V/74.88Wh) Lithium Ion battery which can deliver 2.5 hours of cleaning without recharging. But in my tests the cleaning was done before this time. When it needs charging it saves it last cleaned position and returns to that point after charging. I didn’t have a large enough house at my disposal to test this out. But I can imagine that the vacuum is able to do this correctly because the mapping of the room is very accurate and therefore it is able to completely swipe the whole space.
I don’t have a professional db-meter, the only thing I can say is that the noise is depending from mode the vacuum is in. Sucking with an air pressure of 1,800 Pa is about 64db. It is a bit louder then the Ilife A4 and therefore I only let it clean the room when I am not in it.
Portability / Mobility
Because of the small height (10 cm) of the robot, it cleans easily underneath your sofa, closets, and bed. Much better then the reach of an ordinary vacuum cleaner.
It’s also possible to pick up the robot and take it upstairs to clean other areas. You don’t have to temporary move the dock to this other location.
Now that we know how smart and easy to use this robot is, make sure you that the robot has the opportunity to clean the area without any unnecessary obstacles, like shoes, eliminate cables etc. So clean the room, So make it a robot friendly area 🙂
To eliminate lose cables you can use a magnetic wall strip.
There are stickers for sale, which you can use to customize your robots appearance.
Accessories kit (this is going to be reviewed in another post/review)
Magnetic strips as virtual walls
Ofcourse there are lots of alternatives. For example the much more expensive Roomba or the cheaper Ilife robot vacuums. I have also a Ilife a4. I don’t have any experiences with the new line of Roomba, but know the Ilife A4 is also a good player.
The Xiaomi is a design robot which I use automated in my living room. The dumber ilife I use at my attic (which is my master bedroom). I have also made my Ilife compatible with Domoticz with the Broadlink rm3 mini, so I can start the robot from Domoticz. But that’s the only thing you can do with the Ilife A4: starting. The Xiaomi has the potential to be fully controlled and automated through Domiticz.
When adding the robot in the Mihome app you can create a shortcut on your dashboard for the vacuum. After new releases of functionalities or translations also new material is placed. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L194Hezyoo4 a video which show most of the options.
At first you needed hacked (translated) apk files of Mihome to get the app in English, but now the original app is available in English.
An important feature is the possibility to download language packs from within the app. It lets the robot talk to you in English, through it’s build-in speaker.
A few nice things you can do with the Mi Home app:
Notifications: clean dustbin, replace brushes, obstacle in front of the charging dock.
Scheduling the robot.
Check floor map that is mapped by the robot. Nice feature is that you can see what the path of the robot was.
Change Speed fan mode
Consumable status (the status of the health of brushes and filters)
Locate my robot (find my robot, “Hi, I’m over here”)
Mi Home app you can found on the Apple store and on Google Play.
Is the Xiaomi Mi Robot Home automation compatible
Yes, the default app is a great app to control the robot and let it do it chores. But I don’t like to have an apps for each device. My goal is to integrate the Xiaomi Mi Robot Vacuum Cleaner in my home automation platform (Domoticz) and control it from there. And of course not manually automated by scripts.
The price/quality of the Xiaomi Robot Vacuum Cleaner is very good. I don’t know an alternative that is so smart for such a low price.
Despite of the launch of a second (newer) version of this robot, I think this robot still is the better choice. This version of the robot is cheaper. The differences are minimal. The extra option to mop your floor, is an option I would never use.
To buy this product with discount , click on this link: Xiaomi Mii Robot Vacuum and enter the following code: GB4thGW4017
And if you want the swap function, but don’t want to pay for it, here is a little hack: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dug5za9B4sU
My advice to you.. Buy the Xiaomi Mi Robot! You won’t be sorry. It makes vacuuming so much easier and more fun, because you have more time to do other things 🙂 And the fact that you can link it to home-automation platforms like Domoticz (for free!), you have yourself a Home Run!