Xiaomi Mijia Air Quality Tester for your Smart Home

The air quality in your home is important for your health. There are a lot of products improve it, starting with HEPA filters like the Alfawise P1 which we reviewed a while ago. To measure factors like temperature and humidity in your house there are lot of affordable options. To measure the other factors that determine air quality there are less products, and when you find them they are often more expensive. But there are options! In this article we will talk about a plug-and-play and also standalone Xiaomi product. The Xiaomi Mijia Air Quality Detector (model number KQJCY02QP). So If you want to improve your indoor air quality you first have to measure, but this device is also very nice if you like data (it handles: PM2.5, T∨OC, COa, temperature and humidity) and gadgets 🙂

The picture below is from co2.earth and shows the part per million (ppm) that it is normal now. You can see that our co2 level is rising quite fast! But what’s normal? The xiaomi air quality tester should always display above the number below.

CO2 Past.  CO2 Present.  CO2 Future.
https://www.co2.earth/


XIOAMI CO2

Xiaomi has a lot of affordable smart home devices and now they have also a (new) CO2 meter. With build in battery and tft touchscreen. Therefore it can be used stand alone, but we want to include it also with the mi home app and integrated in your own smart platform like Domoticz or Home Assistant.

Main Features

  • Desktop handheld can be used as a stand alone device
  • Remote monitoring, view home air quality anytime, anywhere with the mi home app.
  • Built-in Bluetooth Gateway function (works with mi flora for example)
  • Power connector: USB Type-C
  • Support system: Android 4.3, or iOS9.0 and above
  • Wireless connection: WiFi IEEE 802.11b/g/n 2.4GHz

Specifications of the Mijia Air Quality Tester

  • Product size: 109 × 64 × 29.5mm
  • Product net weight: 182g
  • Battery type: lithium ion battery
  • Input parameters: 5VE: 1A
  • Power connector: USB Type-C
  • Support system: Android43 or S90 and above
  • Wireless connection: Vi-Fi IEEE 802.11b/g/n 2. 4GHZ
  • Screen size: 3.97 inches
  • Screen resolution: 800 × 480p

Package Contents

  • Air Monitor
  • USB Charging Cable
  • Chinese Manual

Official Mi Home Mobile apps

The Mi Home App can be used for remote monitoring and connecting the device to your smart home system, so that the Air Quality Tester becomes an extension. The Mi Home apps be downloaded from the following places:

Setup the Xiaomi Air quality tester

Setup the Xiaomi MiJia Air Quality Detector KQJCY02QP is very easy:

Testing the Xiaomi air quality tester

First, we take a closer look to the hardware.
The device has an sensor for changing orientation: landscape of portrait. It looks like it’s designed for landscape because the holes are on the sides and the USB connector is also in landscape.The device are operating the whole day with screen on brightest and it would not warm.
The air quality tester has a simple but effective design. It’s robuust and has rubber on the bottom so it can’t slide from the table.

Next it is time to speak about the software side.
Default language on the device is chinese, but luckily this can be changed to english.
Wifi is only 2.4ghz and the typing the password to connect to your Wifi is very easy.
The screen is responsive and typing is like an Android telephone.
When you would use this device in mi-home, choose Mainland China. It’s not designed for Europe, and when writing this article it’s not visible in europe. So set you mi-home app> settings> region > mainland china.
Weather: It can show weather info but in my situation it did not work because i’m not in China.
Data is everything 🙂 and the app is really handy to show graphs with historical data.


Xiaomi integrated in your smart home

Xiaomi products like for example the air quality testers, vacuums, air purifiers all communicate with the gateway in a secure way, they therefore require a token. So if you want to use a device in other software than Mi Home you need to obtain the token. Retrieving the token can be difficult. We link to https://github.com/jghaanstra/com.xiaomi-miio/blob/master/docs/obtain_token.md and https://www.home-assistant.io/integrations/vacuum.xiaomi_miio/#retrieving-the-access-token because they have several methods and keep them actual.

I retrieved my token with the old Android version of Mi Home method.

Xiaomi Air quality tester into Hass.io

When I wrote this article native integration was not yet possible. We linked to the russian tutorial for hass on linux to help at least some readers. But on facebook people showed me the link: https://www.home-assistant.io/integrations/air_quality.xiaomi_miio/. But this means native integration if you are running version 0.102. Therefore, you only need to have your token and the right IP.

Adding the xiaomi air quality tester is very simple:
Add it into the mi-home app, retrieve token and add it to you configuration:

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# Example configuration.yaml entry
air_quality:
  - platform: xiaomi_miio
    host: IP_ADDRESS
    token: YOUR_TOKEN

Xiaomi Air quality tester into home assistant

We found an interesting tutorial written in russian to get it work. And it works! So here is a video to get the Xiaomi MiJia Air Quality Detector (KQJCY02QP) working in home assistant:

And the text version of it: https://telegra.ph/Dobavlenie-Xiaomi-Mijia-Air-Detector-v-Home-Assistant-08-26. All credits goes to this russian guy who wrote it for the telegram group: @configit

Time needed: 5 minutes.

  1. Install php

    apt-get install php

  2. Clone repository and get the latest files

    git clone https://github.com/skysilver-lab/php-miio.git

  3. Check connection and get device info

    php miio-cli.php –ip IP_УСТРОЙСТВА –token ТОКЕН –info

  4. create script file and save it as: air_tester.sh

    #!/bin/bash
    id=$(echo $RANDOM % 1000 + 1 | bc)
    php miio-cli.php –ip YOURIP –token YOURТОКЕN –sendcmd ‘{“id”:'”$id”‘,”method”:”get_air_data“,”params”:[]}’ | tail -1 | sed ‘s/{“result”://g’ | sed ‘s/\,”id.*//g’

  5. Give this file execution permissions

    chmod +x air_tester.sh

  6. test created script file

    ./air_tester.sh and check the output.

  7. Create sensors in Home-assistant config

    sensor:
    – platform: command_line
      name: Air Tester
       command: ‘/home/your_user/scripts/air_tester.sh’
       value_template: “{{ value_json[‘co2e’][‘pm25’][‘humidity’][‘temperature’][‘tvoc’] }}”
       json_attributes:
        – co2e
        – pm25
        – humidity
        – temperature
        – tvoc
       scan_interval: 30


      – platform: template
       sensors:
        air_tester_co2:
         friendly_name: “CO2a”
         unit_of_measurement: “ppm”
         value_template: “{{ states.sensor.air_tester.attributes.co2e }}”
      – platform: template
       sensors:
        air_tester_tvoc:
         friendly_name: “TVOC”
         unit_of_measurement: “mg/m3”
         value_template: “{{ ( states.sensor.air_tester.attributes.tvoc | round(2)) }}”
      – platform: template
       sensors:
        air_tester_pm25:
         friendly_name: “PM 2.5”
         unit_of_measurement: “ppm”
         value_template: “{{ ( states.sensor.air_tester.attributes.pm25 | round(1))}}”
      – platform: template
       sensors:
        air_tester_humidity:
         friendly_name: “Humidity”
         unit_of_measurement: “%”
         value_template: “{{ ( states.sensor.air_tester.attributes.humidity | round(1))}}”
    – platform: template
       sensors:
        air_tester_temperature:
         friendly_name: “Temp”
         unit_of_measurement: “°C”
         value_template: “{{ ( states.sensor.air_tester.attributes.temperature | round(1))}}”

Xiaomi into Domoticz

There is no official support yet for the Xiaomi MiJia Air Quality Detector (KQJCY02QP). But the method for Home Assistant in russian can be modified to get it working in domoticz. php-miio will work on your domoticz linux installation. So the bash file can be modified to push that data to the IDX of a virtual Domoticz dummy sensor. Another option is to modify a python plugin that is available for the older version of the xiaomi air quality tester.
When I found a easy way I will update this article.


Ideas

It’s nice to have the air quality data into your home automation platform. But that’s not the goal. But we want to do something with that data! So what can be achieved with this data?

  • Control your mechanical ventilation based on this data
  • Control airco or purifiers
  • Check presence of humans in the room
  • Open windows automatically
  • Alerts to change something

Xiaomi MiJia Air Quality Detector (KQJCY02QP) VS DIY alternative

Product Features Overall Price Buy Now
Xiaomi Air Quality

Xiaomi Mijia Air Quality Tester

  • Design
    (5)
  • Quality
    (4.5)
  • Usability
    (4.5)
  • Home-Automation compatibility
    (3)
  • Price
    (4.5)
(4.3)
MH-Z19 sensor 0-5000PPM Infrared CO2 Sensor.png

MH-Z19 0-5000PPM Infrared CO2 Sensor For CO2 Indoor Air Quality Monitor UART/PWM

  • Design
    (3)
  • Quality
    (4)
  • Usability
    (3.5)
  • Home-Automation compatibility
    (4)
  • Price
    (4.5)
(3.8)

Conclusion

We think it’s clear that the Xiaomi MiJia Air Quality Detector (KQJCY02QP) is an easy option for most of the reeders. It has more sensors and a nicer design then the DIY sensor. But Xiaomi could improve the software with other language and weather info for outside China. Also, adding the Xiaomi sensor data into Domoticz or Home Assistant can be hard!


Xiaomi Mija Air Detector Air Quality Monitor
Xiaomi Air Quality

Product Name: Xiaomi Mija Air Detector Air Quality Monitor

Product Description: Measure the indoor air quality with the Xiaomi Mija Air Detector Air Quality Monitor (KQJCY02QP). It does TVOC, CO2, PM2.5, Temperature and Humidity Measurement.

Brand: Xiaomi

SKU: KQJCY02QP

Offer price: 72

Currency: Euro

Availability: InStock

Offer URL: https://www.banggood.com/nl/Xiaomi-Mijia-Air-Quality-Tester-High-precision-Sensing-3_97-inch-Screen-Resolution-800480-USB-Inter-p-1381312.html?p=OD1302964369201412GS

  • Design
    (5)
  • Quality
    (4.5)
  • Usability
    (4.5)
  • Home-Automation compatibility
    (3)
  • Price
    (4.5)
4.3

Summary

We think it’s clear that the Xiaomi MiJia Air Quality Detector (KQJCY02QP) is an easy option for most of the reeders. It has lots of sensors (TVOC, CO2, PM2.5, Temperature and Humidity Measurement.) and an Apple stylish design. Xiaomi could improve the software with other languages and weather info for people outside China.
Adding the Xiaomi sensor data into Domoticz or Home Assistant can be hard!

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Real Time data (accurate)
  • Clear display
  • Also in English
  • plug and play

Cons

  • it can be hard to obtain the token.
  • you need to put some effort into it to get it working into Home Assistant or Domoticz.

Where to buy?

Oclean Z1 Smart LED Light Acoustic Wave Electric Toothbrush Review

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You want the best care for your teeth, so you want the best toothbrush and preferably an electric one. But once you’ve bought an electric toothbrush you start noticing that not just the toothbrush is expensive, and also the replacement toothbrushes are. Luckily, the Xiaomi powered brand Oclean releases electric toothbrushes that are affordable, well-features and above all: the replacement brushes are not that expensive. We sometimes review personal care products,  and we are interested what this smart toothbrush has to offer. The Oclean Z1 Smart Electric Toothbrush seems to fill the gap that the major brands leave open. This by offering a decent smart electric toothbrush at an attractive price point and integrated with the Oclean App.

Specifications

Specification as stated on Gearbest:

  • Brand: Oclean
  • Model: Z1
  • RPM: 40000
  • IP rating: IPX7
  • Input voltage: 5V
  • Input Current: 1A
  • Chip: Dialog
  • Frequency: 40000rpm/min
  • Twisting Force: 220 gf.cm
  • Features: 3-segement LED display
  • Battery: 800mAh
  • Charging Time: 2 hours
  • Standby Time: up to 30 days
  • Bristles: DuPont Tynex
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.0 BLE
  • Supported devices: Android 5.1 or higher / iOS 9.0 or higher.

Expectations

According to the product page on Gearbest, the Oclean Z1 smart electric toothbrush is a very personalized smart toothbrush. When you connect your toothbrush to the Oclean App, you can get extra brushing options and can customize your brushing plans. The toothbrush supports 32 intensity levels, which is safe use for more sensitive teeth and dentures. It can identify and monitor 8 areas to thoroughly clean your teeth and help improve your oral health.

This sounds very promising, but in the iOS store the app only has an average rating of one star and the Android version scores 2.6 out of 5 stars. So I am curious about the added value of the app. The brand Oclean is a brand powered by Xiaomi Youpin. Since the products are therefore backed by Xiaomi, this should mean that the product is a Xiaomi Electric Toothbrush and its quality, design and user experience should be pretty good.

Packaging

The Oclean toothbrush comes double packed in a cardboard outer box and a retail branded inner box. The inner box is has some Chinese texts on it but is primary English.

What’s in the box

The package of the Oclean Z1 contains the following items:

  • The Toothbrush
  • One Brush Head
  • A Charging Dock with USB cable (type A)
  • An English Manual and Quick Start Guide.
Box content of the Oclean Z1

Features

The main features as stated on Gearbest:

  • Magnetic brushless motor: low noise and long service life.
  • Blind zone detection: Built-in 6-axis gyroscope can identify 8 areas of your oral and detect blind zones.
  • 32 intensity levels: you can choose the best intensity to brush your teeth.
  • German non-metal tufting: provide higher the bristles density and more powerful cleaning efficiency.
  • Easy to operate: combine the features together, simply the steps of operation,
  • Portable size: you can carry it to travel, camping or business trip.
  • IPX7 waterproof and lightweight.
  • Magnetic suction metal ring: 30 days super long standby time and 2 hours for fully charging.

Build Quality & Design

The Oclean toothbrush feels light (it is 94 grams) but premium. The toothbrush only has one button and it lies very well in your hand (because of the shape, weight and grip). So no problems here. Placing the brush on the head takes a little bit of force, but removing the brush head from the toothbrush takes a lot of force. Luckily you only need to do this once every three months.

The charging dock (or better: the piece of plastic with an attached USB cable that you need to use to charge the tooth brush) feels a bit cheap and lacks a USB adapter. The base is magnetic but the magnets are not very strong. Because of the size of the dock, placing the tooth brush will result in a setup that is balanced but probably very often will tip over. If you really have to, then you can fix this by using a piece of double sided tape to fix the dock on the surface.

Usability

Using the Oclean Z1

As you probably expected from a toothbrush that is smart, the Oclean Z1 allows you to monitor your brushing and plan the way you take care of your teeth. It even allows you to send reminders and report on how well you brushed. Using the Oclean without the app will limit these functions: you get a well functioning tooth brush with a standard two minute program.

Charging the Z1 takes about two hours, but I only charged it overnight. A charged battery will last for about 30 days, when brushing two times a day. After using the Z1 for 10 days the battery was still on 80%. No hard numbers here, but you can safely bring the toothbrush on a trip without taking the charger with you.

Oclean Z1 Indication led

The LED indicator looks very fancy. When charging, the indicator shows the charging status. When using the brush, you can press and hold the button for two seconds to change the intensity (four settings). This is also shown on the LED indicator.

The things you miss out on when not using an app are things like the builtin 6-axis gyroscope that acts like a Blind Zone Detection, that allows the app to show which zones have been brushed properly and which zones need some additional work. It sounds a bit gimmicky but it is functionality that is available when you decide to use it. But if you just want to use the Oclean Z1 without the Oclean App, you definitely can.

Setting up the Oclean App

You can download the Oclean App here (for iOS and Android). In order to use the app, you need to register for an Oclean account (you can also use your Facebook or Twitter account) and login first. This is disappointing because the app could have been built without using accounts and still worked fine.

When setting up the device you need to enter a tooth profile, with details like your date of birth, condition and color of your teeth and whether you do things that affect your teeth (smoke, drink coffee, wine, tea). After this, the app recommends a type of toothbrush head. Yes, you just uploaded the condition of your teeth and all you got was a product recommendation.

Connecting to the Oclean Z1 Toothbrush with your Phone is pretty easy. The first time you need to select the device (the device does not have to be switched on). When connected successfully you will feel a short vibration in the toothbrush. When opening the app at a later time, you get a popup to quickly reconnect to the brush.

Brushing with the Oclean App

After knowing what toothbrush head you need and connecting to your Xiaomi Oclean smart toothbrush, you are ready to go. You start brushing your teeth using the default profile is set to ‘2 minutes Standard Cleaning’. There is no live monitoring of the action, but after a session is finished you can sync it to the app. Then it will show you a detailed report. This report gives you an overall score. Next, there are detailed scores on the Duration, applied Pressure and the Coverage of the different areas. You can also share these from the Oclean App on Twitter and Facebook. Because everyone wants to bother the world with their dental brushing performance.

The true added value of the app is the different brushing plans you can load into the toothbrush. Next to the Standard Cleaning it has different plans focused on for example Whitening, Sensitive Cleaning and Bracelet Cleaning. Each profile determines a specific duration and instructions can be found in the app which area of your teeth you need to cover. The brush gives a short pulse when you need to switch. You can also create customized plans, but these won’t show up in the detailed reports. You can also monitor the condition of the brush head.

Complementary Products / Alternatives

Replacement Brushes

Oclean has a number of replacement brush heads available that are compatible with a large part of their product line. These replacement brush heads also work for the Oclean Z1 and are very affordable. They are available in Warm White and Sky Blue, but also more exotic colors like Light Pink.

Other tooth brushes from the Oclean lineup

In the Oclean lineup, there are different toothbrushes, for example the Oclean X. This smart toothbrush is a bit pricier but comes with a better mounting dock. It also has a bit more features, like a touch screen. Top of the line is the Oclean One, which has more features. It brushes at a higher frequency, has a 60 days battery life and comes with a travelling case.

If you just need an electric toothbrush with a travelling case, you can also order one separately. They you can even go for the way cheaper Oclean Air. This electric toothbrush has a pressure sensor but it does some compromises on for instance battery life.

Just as a comparison: the top of the line Philips Sonicare Smart edition (HX9954) is one of the few that comes with app integration, but this one will cost you about 260 dollar. Sonicare brushes in the starting range are around 50 dollar (Philips Sonicare EasyClean, HX6512). Howver, they come with only a single brushing program and are miles away from LED displays and app integration. And

Where to buy?

Build your own Universal Zigbee logic sensor by modifying a Xiaomi sensor

Sometimes you want to integrate some of the old technology into a smart home environment, but there is not the right sensor available. So why not build one yourself or modify an existing one into a DIY Zigbee logic sensor? That’s what happened to me a while back when I was looking for a way to monitor the doorbell. In some rooms it is not easy to hear and integration into an existing smart home environment offers some additional possibilities.
Since my devices mainly come from Xiaomi / Mijia, the sensor should of course fit (Zigbee output). A first try with a Mijia vibration sensor was OK, but not very reliable. Therefore, I have built a sensor, which I can switch directly to the AC voltage parallel to the bell and it reports the state to Mi Home. I think there are many other uses for this easy and cheap sensor.

Guest post by Volkmar L. (Antenne519)

What is needed?

  • Door/Window sensor from Xiaomi / Mijia (MCCGQ01LM)
  • Optocoupler, preferably with AC input e.g. a SHARP PC81411NTP (I purchased it very cheap at Pollin Elektronik)
  • a SMD resistor for current limiting (depending on the voltage and current requirements of the coupler, for example 10 KOhm)
  • Thin 2-core wire

Assembly of the DIY Zigbee Logic Sensor

Time needed: 30 minutes.

The door sensor MCCGQ01LM has a reed contact, which is normally operated by the supplied magnet.

  1. I installed an optocoupler parallel to this contact, which allows me to monitor any sources for ON / Off.

    Conveniently, the MCCGQ01LM already has two pads at the appropriate location, which are connected to the reed contact. The optocoupler ensures potential separation.

  2. First, open the sensor and remove the button cell. The circuit board can be easily removed (locking lugs).

    After opening the sensor, the pads can be seen on the free space of the board. These are labeled GND (Ground / -) and D+.

    Positive pole D+ marked in red

  3. These pads are used to connect the output of the optocoupler (emitter GND, collector +).

    A component in a DIL housing with “pins” could be plugged directly into the pads, with the SMD type I used, I have slightly modified the pins and connected them with small wires to the PCB.

  4. The optocoupler with the parallel to the circuit board bent terminals was fixed with a dab of glue.

    You must be careful that the component does not protrude too far over the small sticker with QR code, otherwise the round support of the lid will find no place.
    (Note the round impression of the foot, this space must remain free, so install the opto-coupler a bit at an angle.)

  5. The two opposite pins are the input of the optocoupler. By using an AC model with 2 LEDs, the polarity does not matter later.

    Since the SHARP PC81411 is also a “low power” model, it needs very little current to trip. With an input level of 9..12V AC to be monitored I have therefore chosen a 10 KOhm resistor to limit the current and soldered it directly to one of the pins.
    However, the input voltage should not exceed about 48..60V, otherwise you must better isolate everything and choose a resistor capable for a higher voltage.
    A 2-core cable leads the input out of the housing through a drilled hole.

  6. The finished sensor can now be put back together, the battery is inserted and the lid closed.

    The cable can then be fit with a plug or soldered directly to the source. The modified unit can still be used as originally intended (operated by the magnet) because the reed contact is still in place and will work as before the mod.
    Universal Zigbee Logic Sensor

Results / Conclusion

Due to the built-in resistor, the Zigbee logic sensor can be directly connected to the doorbell (about 9V AC). When a voltage is applied (someone operates the bell) the opto-coupler turns the sensor on and it can e.g. send the signal to a Mijia Gateway as a ringtone or report it to your smartphone. The Mi Home app also creates logs about the switching process.
I have used the Xiaomi / Mijia door contact sensor (MCCGQ01LM) as it is compatible with probably all Mijia gateways (and is also included in the Xiaomi sensor kit sold in Europe)
The comparable sensor from Aqara may also be suitable. Since the door contact sensor used is very cheap and uses the Zigbee protocol, I could imagine that there are a variety of other uses for my modified version. Whenever a logic level (voltage on / off) is to be monitored, it is applicable.

Next project planned: Connect the DIY sensor to a 230V AC 20A current sensor module to monitor the washing machine…

This is a guest post by Volkmar L (nickname Antenne519). He approached us about sharing this project with the community and we are very glad he wanted to share his experiences with us. Thank you very much for this contribution! If you also want to share an interesting home automation project with us, feel free to drop us a message.

Zigbee2MQTT 1.7: New minor version with new major features!

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As you know we love the zigbee2mqtt project. Great news for everyone who wants to be in control of all the Zigbee powered devices in their home by using Zigbee2MQTT! A new version has just been released. But don’t overlook this release, because version 1.7 is a minor update with some major changes. A lot of Fixes, a bunch of new supported devices and two new supported boards (which are better than the much cheaper CC2531). If you are running the Hassio.io Addon the update is already available. Please continue reading to know what’s changed and why we are so happy with the work of Koen Kanters and all the others who put in a lot of effort in Zigbee2MQTT 1.7.

Changelog of Zigbee2MQTT 1.7

The changelog is quite impressive!

  • Once upgraded from 1.6.0 to 1.7.0 you cannot switch back to 1.6.0 when not having a backup of the  database.db !
  • Zigbee2MQTT 1.7 has fully been refactored from zigbee-shepherd to the new zigbee-herdsman, among many other things, it improves:
    • Pairing of devices, especially Xiaomi battery powered ones.
    • Logging, it is now much clearer when a devices connects and pairs successfully
    • Speed and stability
    • For more, read #1888
  • The new CC26X2R1 and CC1352P-2 are now officially supported, these 2 adapters are a powerful alternative to the CC2530/CC2531 which can become unstable in larger networks. For more info read Supported adapters
  • For Docker users: Zigbee2MQTT switched to manifest listed images, user that are currently using the  arm32v6  or  arm64v8  should switch to the  latest  tag. Fore more info read Docker.

Features

Improvements

  • Make force remove explicit (documentation)
  • #2020 More properties for Coordinator
  • #592 Improved Livolo compatibility
  • Verify  configuration.yaml  schema on startup
  • Logging layout
  • #1876 Don’t allow duplicate friendly_name
  • #764 Publish state change for group members when group changes it’s state (documentation)
  • Publish  color_temp  when setting  xy  and  xy  when setting  color_temp  when device (bulb) supports it.
  • #641 Xiaomi MFKZQ01LM Mi/Aqara smart home cube add  side  for  flip90  event
  • #675 Improved IKEA ICTC-G-1 TRADFRI wireless dimmer integration
  • #671 Support power readings and state changes via button for Iris 3210-L Smart plug
  • #2124 Improve Eurotronic SPZB0001 Spirit Zigbee wireless heater thermostat integration
  • #2156 Improve support for MCT-340 E, MCT-340 SMA, XHS2-SE
  • #2122 Poll Hue bulb brightness when changed via Hue dimmer switch or IKEA TRADFRI remote control when reporting feature is used
  • #2256 Add device name to “failed to ping” message
  • #2113 Xiaomi JTYJ-GD-01LM/BW MiJia Honeywell smoke detector support selftest, sensitivity and smoke density (documentation)

Fixes

  • #2017 Fix devices dropping from network
  • #2059 Fix IKEA E1743 TRADFRI ON/OFF switch controlling Xiaomi ZNCZ02LM Mi power plug ZigBee
  • #1965 device_group_add/remove log format not correct
  • #1967 Xiaomi SJCGQ11LM Water Sensor – False Positives
  • #2033 Don’t publish cached states when  cache_state  is disabled
  • #2052 Docker Timezone not working
  • #897 Prevent  SML001  red LED blinking on motion detection
  • #1731 #1711 Fixed integration of various Gledopto bulbs and LED controllers
  • #2071 Read-only configuration file
  • #2094 Missing climate entity for Eurotronic SPZB0001
  • #1810 Brightness not applied for IKEA TRADFRI bulbs when setting both color temperature and brightness.
  • #2233 Salus SP600 power measurement under-read by factor of 10
  • #2250 Subscribe to nested topics for bind
  • #2220 Presence of  transition  parameter influences brightness in ON and OFF command

The new supported devices list is too long to show here!

original source: https://github.com/Koenkk/zigbee2mqtt/releases

The things I like the most

  • #2113 Xiaomi JTYJ-GD-01LM/BW MiJia Honeywell smoke detector support selftest, sensitivity and smoke density (documentation).
  • zigbee2mqtt/bridge/config/remove improved
  • new adapters! (Gonna test them instead of my cc2531)
  • better pairing and logging

https://www.zigbee2mqtt.io/information/supported_adapters.html for more info.

Difference between the two new added boards:

The new supported SOC boards have some improvements over the use of the CC2531.
– No debugger and flasher needed, it’s built in.
– Support the Zigbee 3.0 protocol.
– More powerfull and a better range.

On the github of Zigbee2MQTT I found the differences explained by james-fry  to help making the decision. the whole thread can be found here.

LAUNCHXL-CC1352P-2:

  • 👍 Has a built in PA/LNA for potentially better range (assuming Z2M will support enablement – enhancement is raised). RF design includes shield.
  • 👍 Has a built in SMA antenna connector (although its necessary to de/re-solder a tiny SMD capacitor to switch from PCB antenna to SMA. Should provide increase in range.
  • 👍 Can support sub 1GHz – opening the possibility for 868MHz (EU) and 915MHz (NA) zigbee for better range (technically possible but no idea how many end devices support it) and possibly other applications in the future… IMO this “benefit” should not be a consideration at the point.
  • 👎 Bigger PCB (~2cm) than the CC26X2R1
  • 👎 A little ($10) more expensive than the CC26X2R1
  • There are two versions with different RF suitability – The P-2 version favours 2.4GHz rather than sub 1GHz and this would be the recommended version to obtain for Z2M
  • 👍 STL for 3D printed case here: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3928171

LAUNCHXL-CC26X2R1:

  • 👍 Slightly smaller PCB than the CC1352P
  • 👍 A little cheaper than the CC1352P and more sellers than just TI.
  • 👍 There is a STL for 3D printed case: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3305478
  • 👍 Another STL for 3D printed case here: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3928171
  • 👎 Theoretically less range than CC1352P due to lack of RF frontend
  • 👎 Possibility to use external antenna (with move of the tiny SMD capacitor) but the required JSC-SMA antenna adaptor is not cheap (~20 euros)
  • 👎 No support for sub-1GHz but there is no clear advantage of this currently

Conclusion on Zigbee2MQTT 1.7 update

So if you are running a Docker container or have Zigbee2MQTT installed manually, we recommend that you update to Zigbee2MQTT 1.7 right away.

If you are running the Hassio Addon from Daniel Welch you need to have a little patience. Keep an eye on https://github.com/danielwelch/hassio-zigbee2mqtt for an update.

Go to home assistant > Hass.io en see this:



For Domoticz watch: https://github.com/stas-demydiuk/domoticz-zigbee2mqtt-plugin

You can also check out our tutorial on how to get started with Zigbee2MQTT.

11 November: Take your chance on the Singles Day Sale

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In China 11 November (11-11) is annual Singles Day, a holiday. On this day, Chinese people either celebrate the pride of being single but also celebrate their relationships. Over the last year, this day became this the largest shopping day in China (and the world). Where both offline and online shops celebrate with big sales. Just like Black Friday, Singles Day also crosses borders and boost sales in the rest of the world.

What do shops offer on the 11 november sale?

This festival is known for having timed sales, treasure hunts but above all very good discounts on a almost all products. So this day is a good moment to look at the Domoticz and Home Assistant compatible products and expand your smart home setup. Use this list to find the best smart sensors, sockets, lights and gateways and add the products to your cart on Gearbest or Banggood. You can also take it easy and add products to your shopping cart a couple of days in advance. Just wait for 11-11 to checkout and get all the discounts.
We made sure the list is up to date and added some new Zigbee articles. Next to that we added the affordable Tuya compatible devices like the ones from Alfawise and Blitzwolf.

How can you get the best deals?

So wait for checking out until the 11 november sale begins so you can see how much you save. So it’s can be worth to have some patience and wait a few days, it can save you some money. Last year both sites had some very good deals on the Zigbee compatible products from Xiaomi, we expect the sites this year will go beyond the special offer by having even better offers in a broader product range. All links are affiliate links, that helps us in keeping the site running, reviewing gadgets and writing tutorials.

Happy shopping!

The biggest shops that take part in the 11-11 sale, click on the logo to enter their sales page. Like mentioned before, there is a lot to do on these sites around 11-11. There are not only special discounts but also events like treasure hunts. The discounts can be timed and can also start during the run-up in the days before of the event. So it is definitely worth checking out the sites often during the period around 11 november.

Gearbest logo
Banggood Sales
Ali Express Logo

QiCYCLE EF1 Smart Electric Bike from Xiaomi Mijia

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We already have two electric scooters (the Segway ES2 and the Alfawise M1). They are fun and we use them very often, but have two mayor downsides. First, they are not allowed in on the public road in the Netherlands. Second, they are not handy when you go for a little shopping. And because we live in the Netherlands (a real bicycle country) we ordered the Xiaomi Mijia QiCYCLE EF1: afoldable electric bicycle from Xiaomi. The e-bike is primary aimed to be sold on the Asian market, and therefore the bike is relatively small. Since both my wife and I are about 1.90 meter, this can become a bit interesting.

Specifications

The specifications as can be found on the product page of the Xiaomi Mijia QiCYCLE EF1 on Gearbest:

Specification:

  • Unfolded size: 1247mm x 556mm x 928mm
  • Folded size: 1000mm x 450mm x 650mm
  • Frame: aluminum alloy
  • Front fork: aluminum alloy
  • Crankset: aluminum, 52T x 170mm
  • Seat tube: aluminum, 33.9 x 580mm
  • Hub: three-mode derailleur
  • Weight: 14.5kg
  • Wheel size: 16 inches
  • Wheel rim: 1250mm

Motor:

  • Rated power: 250W
  • Rated torque: 7.3N.m
  • Maximum speed: 20km/h

Battery:

  • Type: 18650 lithium-ion battery
  • Working distance: about 45km
  • Capacity: 5800mAh / 208.8Wh
  • Charging time: about 3 hours
  • Limited charging voltage: 42V

Brakes:

  • Braking methods: caliper brake for front wheel, IM31 roller brake for rear wheel
  • Braking distance: not more than 4m in dry state, not more than 15m ( speed of 20km/h ) in wet state

Control Dial:

  • Screen: 1.8 inch, 160 x 128 TFT
  • Wireless connection: Bluetooth 4.0 BLE, effective range of 15 – 30 meters

Expectations

My expectations are clear: A Xiaomi Mijia product with the same quality as the electric scooter. But I also hope QiCYCLE EF1 will be comfortable when riding it. It is build for the Asian market, so I hope it also works well when European people ride it (who are in general a bit longer).

Packaging

The QiCYCLE EF1 is delivered at your doorstep neatly packed in a cardboard box. The package weight is about 20.5 kg and the size is 132.50 x 26.50 x 66.50 cm.

Xiaomi QiCycle – the box

What’s in the box?

  • Xiaomi Mijia Smart Folding Bike,
  • EU Charger
  • Open-end Wrench,
  • Allen Wrench
Xiaomi QiCycle – everything out the box

Features of the QiCYCLE EF1

  • This bike is powered by 18650 lithium-ion battery pack with the total capacity of 208.8Wh, which means the cycling distance can be up to 45km at the condition of 100pct electric power.
  • The smart folding bike comes with a trip computer, so you can directly view the mileage, speed, power and other data without a mobile phone, and the built-in space can store 30 days of riding data, moreover, these data can be exported at any time.
  • The bicycle is equipped with three-mode derailleur, which makes it effortless to ride even without power.
  • Equipped with TMM torque sensor and professional electric boosting system, the smart bike can automatically sense your tread power, and output the appropriate electrical power to assist cycling.
  • Longitudinal folding design, easy to operate and no harm to the bike frame.
  • Aluminum alloy frame, lightweight and exquisite.
  • The max loading: 100kg

Testing the Xiaomi Mijia QiCYCLE EF1

Unpacking and assembly

Assembling the bike is really a piece of cake: unbox it, unfold it, remove the protection foil and pads and attach the (foldable) paddles. When this is done you connect the charger to charge the battery. It took three hours to charge the battery. You don’t need to remove the battery from the frame in order to charge it. But you can. Often it is easier to remove the battery than taking the entire bike inside to charge. Flip the small rubber cover of the side of the battery and insert the connector of the charger.

The QiCYCLE EF1 has a LED indicator on the end near the rear ligth. Press the button to check the battery state level. is has 4 leds every 25%. and when the indicator is flashing you only have left 10 percent.

After charging you are ready to go! Take the bike outside and don’t forget to pump up the tires. Xiaomi recommend a tyre pressure between 35 and 40 psi.

Install the Qicycle app

In the manual you find a QR code but that leads to a dead link. The Android app from Xiaomi is old and only downloadable from APK sites, but because it’s outdated and depreciated the app crashed on my Smart Phone with Android 10.
But there is an answer: QiCYCLE (not oficial) an android app from ChriSoft that has the features of the original app and more. With this app you can install other (custom) firmwares and also even downgrade the bicycle computer.

Riding

The e-Bike had a nice small bike computer on the steer. It is a 1.8inch 160×128px screen with 3 buttons. Up, down and power (also ok button). While Biking you almost never switch from modes, and switching modes and watching speed/battery are the only things you can do with it.

The Xiaomi QiCycle has 3 speeds modes: economy, normal and boost (bo+):

  • Eco-mode help with 50%, this way the battery runs the maximum range.
  • Normal-mode helps with 100 percent, which feels natural.
  • Bo+ mode give the most assistance. When riding you feel the front wheel pulling you forward. I like this power and behaviour the most.

Hacking / unlocking the QiCycle

This is the fun part. The QiCYCLE EF1 has a computer and just like the electric scooters the smart e-bike can also be flashed and therefor tuned to reach a higher maximum speed. How to flash en hack your bike, it can be found on the internet. If the demand is there, we will write an article about it.

Fold and store

  • The bike can be easily folded
  • Remove the saddle (from the lowest hole), unlock and fold the steer
  • Slide the mudguard into the smallest position
  • Lift the the bike while holding the saddle, the wheels come to each other. On the wheels there are magnets that will click together
  • When the e-bike is folded it’s not easy to carry it with you, you have to do two things. Slide the mudguard, so the wheel can rotate on the floor, but you can damage the saddle pen. But a mini wheel for it should cover this and so the walk with the bike would be very easy

Build Quality & Design

I’m really impressed with the build quality of the QiCYCLE EF1. Not only the way it is designed, but also how easy it is to fold and unfold, and the way things are attached. And the small details like a height indication on the saddle pin and integrated lights are well done. The photos below give an impression of the quality of the QiCYCLE EF1.

Portability / Mobility

We already wrote how to fold, but this video provides a better view of the process. Although it’s not really the same bike, because is has no mudguards, that needs an extra handling (slide it into each other).

Usability

The QiCYCLE EF1 is cheaper then e-bikes in The Netherlands (both folding and normal e-bikes). But this bike also has a downside. There is no easy and good way to lock it and keep it secured. So I don’t dare to take my chance and take the e-bike to the city and park it outside. But even if you manage to secure the bike, the saddle and battery can both be removed. And both of them can be stolen. This is a common problem with e-bikes in general, especially batteries get stolen quite often here in The Netherlands. But because folding is so easy, you can take the QiCYCLE EF1 inside with you and store it more easily than a normal “big” e-bike. Or you can secure the e-bike and take the battery (and sadle) inside.

Customizability

There are a few things that you “have to” buy to improve the bike. Those items are below in the complementary paragraph. A bike is a collection of moving parts and these parts are exposed to wear and tear. Sooner or later you need to repair or replace something: gears, and brakes can break and tires can run flat. The good thing is that these are “normal” products so you can take the bike to a normal bike store and let the specialists fix it.

But if you are handy and you like it you can also order the components and do it yourself. Youtube is full of bike repair videos, and Ifixit even has done a teardown on this specific bike which give you a good overview of the components and how to change/fix them. IFixit published a very detailed teardown of the Qicycle.

Parts of the QiCycle EF1 e-bike
Check the teardown completely on Ifixit.

Complementary Products

We selected some top product to improve the bike.

e-bike double stand raise

AliExpress.com Product – XIAOMI QICYCLE EF1 electric folding bicycle parts Modification Double stand Raise the handle Aluminum alloy ultralight.

The saddle can be set very high but that’s not possible with the steer. With this product the steer can be mounted a little higher.


e-bike phone holder

AliExpress.com Product – For Xiaomi M365 Adjustable Anti-Slip Mobile Phone Holder M365 Pro Electric Scooter Qicycle EF1 Handlebar Mount Bracket Rack

In The Netherlands it is prohibited to hold your phone while riding a bike. That and the fact that there are many apps you can use while riding (I mean navigation and sporting apps, not Youtube) are reasons to buy a good phone holder.

e-bike charging adapter

AliExpress.com Product – Original 42V 2.0A Charger for Xiaomi Mijia Qicycle EF1 Smart Electric Bicycle Portable Mini Foldable Ebike Charger Accessories

Its always handy to have a charger at home and one on your work, so the ride back won’t be a problem.

AliExpress.com Product – XIAOMI QICYCLE EF1 electric folding bicycle modification parts Oxford wheel auxiliary wheel Tool free quick release Quick

When folded, this is a must have to roll the bike in front of your. And it protect you saddle pen from scratching on the floor.

Xiaomi QiCycle- side view

Where to buy?

This version of the Xiaomi Mijia QiCycle EF1 has a rubber belt, the mudguards and kickstand!

Xiaomi Mijia Portable Mini Shaver Review

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Earlier, we tested two different Xiaomi shavers. The Mijah is a really designish shaver and the Xiaomi Youpin ES3 3D Smart Razor looks like a normale non xiaomi shaver. But now it’s time for a review on the Portable Mini Shaver from Xiaomi. As it’s name implies, the Xiaomi Mijia Portable Mini Shaver is a really small shaver with a USB port and a typical Xiaomi design. Is it as good as the rotating head versions?

Specifications

BrandXIAOMI Mijia
Waterproof GradeIPX7
Charging Time1 Hour
Working Time60 Min
Motor Speed 7800RPM
Rated Power5W
Rated Voltage5V
Size16.5×56.6×95.0mm
Weight107g

Expectations

A quality product with an outstanding design. But I’m not sure about the effectiveness of the blades.

Packaging

The Xiaomi Mijia Portable Mini Shaver comes in a really small package. It is retail package and contains Chinese text. Good news: This package does fit in your mailbox.

Xiaomi Portable shaver – box front

What’s in the box?

In the box of the Mijia Portable Mini Shaver you can find the following:

  • Xiaomi Electric Razor
  • Clean Brush
  • Type-C Charging Cable
  • Manual

Features

  • Minimalist slim all-metal body.
  • Lightweight and portable, only 13.2mm thick, weighing about 100g.
  • Skin-friendly fit Blade, shaving quickly and more comfortable.
  • With Voronoi geometry, the design is inspired by the dragonfly’s wings.
  • Use sharp and tough Nippon Steel.
  • The blade is at an acute angle of 27 degrees, greatly enhancing the blade cutting force.
  • High-speed silent operation, 7800 rpm, run-time noise only 65dB.
  • Shave for 3 minutes daily for 30 days.

Build Quality & Design

The design is typically Xiaomi. Simple, minimalistic and a good choice of materials. In my hand it feels solid, high quality and premium.

Portability / Mobility

This is the smallest electric shaver I know. And because it’s flat and compact, it’s really easy to take on a holiday, or in your car for when you are in a traffic jam :P. You can even leave it in your bag or backpack, which can be while on travel or for emergencies.

Testing the Mijia Portable Mini Shaver

Okay, the Xiaomi Mijia Portable Mini Shaver looks and feels nice, but more important is whether does it do the job? I don’t have a big beard, so I expected it would get the job done easily. However, when I used it on my chin I discovered that I need to do the area over and over again before it gets all the hairs. Leaving me to use my Mija 360 to make my skin look and feel clean and smoothly shaved again.
It’s easy to open and clean but I’m honest when i’m saying: spend a little extra and go for the Mija 360 shaver.

Complementary Products / Alternatives

Where to buy?

Buy at banggood

Portable mini shaver from xiaomi

Domoticz Community Update October 2019

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The latest time we focused ourselves on lots of gadgets. But in the background the Domoticz developers, and also the community still are continuously working hard on the development of the Domoticz platform. In this article we highlight some interesting projects and developments from the Domoticz community. We discuss the internal development, the Android App, developments in themes, give a quick peak on the new beta version of Dashticz. Next, we also talk about using Tuya with Domoticz and what can Docker can offer to your Domoticz setup.

Android App

A while ago, we wrote about the Domoticz app, which still remains best app for Domoticz! Currently the app is still under active development, which means that updates are released occasionally. This is very positive, because this means the developers keep the app up to date and safe, and even add some new nifty features now and then. Below the latest changes for the Android version:

  • Changed the buttons for all types of Blinds
  • Fixed auto refresh function for plans
  • Added temperature widget
  • Reworked the widget config screens
  • Added temperature widget
  • Reworked the widget config screens
  • Fixed issue with Cameras
  • Fixed Security widget
  • Added the option to specify a different auto refresh timer value

There are two different versions of the Android App: the Lite Version and the Premium version. Both versions work well, but the Premium version offer some extra features like geo-fencing and Android wear support.

Domoticz Lite (free)
Domoticz Premium

Are you a IOS user? There is also an iOS version of the app, and there is an special thread for this app as well.

App widget on the Domoticz Community Update

Themes

We have to be honest: the interface of Domoticz is a bit outdated. On slack, there is a active Domoticz user and developer that is very active to update Domoticz to a newer version of the Angular framework. He told us that he expects (and also hopes) to have the new version ready around Christmas.
So for now we are depending on themes to give your Domoticz a fresh appearance. We wrote earlier about the advanced theme Machinon (still my favorite). But user DewGew took the design of Thinkpad and improved it, and the results made us smile. His work can be found on his github and the info thread is still the original one.

Theme on Domoticz Community Update

Dashticz v3.1.0 beta

If you want more flexibility on the user interface than a standard Domoticz installation can offer and have nice theme as well, you should have a look at Dashticz. You can create a dashboard and extend Domoticz screens with third party applets like: Weather, TV, Traffic Info and many more. We talked earlier with the creator of Dashticz, but at the time of the interview it was just version 1.0. Currently version 3.1 is live. Have a look at our our interview for all the backgrounds. The code can be found on Github and documentation can be found here.

Dashticz on the Domoticz Community Update

Tuya in Domoticz

Tuya is HOT! Devices that support Tuya are sold in a Dutch Retail stores like Action, but you can also find them on Aliexpress. Tuya devices are sold under hundreds other brand names. Also the bigger ones like Blitzwolf or alfawise vacuum uses tuya. The main reason is that it’s very affordable. But also the usability: you can use it with the default Tuya apps, that are mostly integradable, but the products can also be firmware flashed (with projects as tuya-convert) and programmed with software like tasmota. So there are plenty of options to use them in Domoticz. A discussion thread with some tips can be found here.

Domoticz Core Functionality

Besides all the third party developments described above, development on Domoticz in the Domoticz community is still very active. You can check the commits on Github. Latest commits are: stability and security improvements, OZW (Open Z-wave) and translations.

Dockers

Ever heard of dockers? I hope so! Dockers are very popular because of the flexibility, scalability and the ability to work cross platform. If you like to run Domoticz on a virtual system (a docker) you can check Linuxserver.io, they have several Dockers of popular open source projects. https://hub.docker.com/r/linuxserver/domoticz . Very useful to test it out, develop or learn.

Amazfit GTR 47mm Smart Watch after using it for three months

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After publishing our review on the Amazfit GTR about two months ago, we noticed that a lot of people found the Amazfit to be a very interesting smart watch. We received a lot of feedback and additional questions through the socials (thank you!). Of course, I kept wearing the device and kept receiving compliments (on the watch) and even an offer to buy it from me. Amazfit also released new firmware on the watch introducing Always On Display and additional watch faces. Next to that, the GPS of the watch started to annoy me a bit. Sufficient motivation for an update on my experiences and findings on the Amazfit GTR.

This is a follow up review on our review of the Amazfit GTR 47mm. Make sure to check out the original review as well, it covers the basics and core functionalities of of the smart watch.

How I used the Amazfit GTR

My main uses for GTR are notifications, tracking activities and checking the time. I tried to use it as well for sleep tracking, but after a couple of nights I stopped wearing it. During that time I quickly found out I really didn’t like wearing any watch or band during the night.

I found the function to display notifications on the watch to be very useful. Unfortunately, as I mentioned in the original review, the app does still not support every app to be configured individually. Another point of improvement is how emoticons and images are displayed on the watch, because they are not. Pictures will just display an empty message. But for emoticons, it is worse: the emoticon, which can set or change the tone of a message, is not shown at all on the watch. Having at least a placeholder for pictures and emoticons would be very useful.

I used the Tracking activities mainly for Walking and Outdoor Cycling. During these activities the GPS tracks the trail and heart rate, pace, intensity and distance is measured. When the activity mode is active, there is no way to check the time, except when you pause the activity (There is, just swipe left). Further, activity tracking works well (except for the GPS, which I will discuss in a moment).

Amazfit GTR Watch

Build Quality and Design

The version of the Amazfit GTR we reviewed in august was the 47mm variant, but there is also a 42mm version. Both versions are available with an aluminum alloy and stainless steel alloy case.

The case and the glass have fortunately not been scratched at all. Sure, I am careful with the watch. But when wearing a device all day, you cannot always avoid bumping and scraping the watch to some extend. However, the watch face and case do not show any major scratches or damage.

The band shows some wrinkles from wearing and closing the clip, and some minor scratches. But nothing too bad. The leather band still looks decent enough for me to keep it wearing with the watch. I have been browsing on Gearbest for a different band, but I think I will replace the current band eventually but only when it wears out. But maybe in a while I will change my mind and choose for a different type of band.

Software Updates

During the past couple of months, Amazfit has released two firmware updates. Releasing these kind of updates for smart devices is not uncommon, and it is good to know the software of the GTR keeps getting improved. I haven’t been able to find a changelog that contains all the changes, but Amazfit has even added some new functionality. So Amazfit: keep up the good work!

Amazfit GTR Firmware version

Always On Display

The biggest change introduced after the firmware update is the Always on Display. Just like the newer Apple Watch, the GTR now has a function to keep the display on all the time. When not using the watch or showing the actual watch face, a different watch face is shown. It can be compared to a screen saver, but the goal is to show basic information to you all the time. You can activate it in the settings menu, and you can choose between a digital and a pointer dial.

The layout of both faces are rather simple: Amazfit maximized the black surface and pinched on the refresh rate to maximize the energy efficiency. However, turning on the Always on Display has major impact on the battery life: forget those 24 days and be happy when you reach over 7 days. You can easily reach 20+ days of battery life with the GTR, but only if you don’t enable the Always on Display option.

Watch Faces

Next to the firmware updates, Amazfit also released a number of additional watch faces for the GTR. That’s pretty cool, because this increases the change you will find the watch face that is perfect for you. I found that I like using watch faces with black elements in the background, because that is where the AMOLED display shows its power.

GPS

After the most recent firmware update was installed, getting a GPS signal fix felt a bit quicker. Unfortunately, GPS performance is still not optimal. When you look further into it, this seems largely inherent to GPS in watches. Although some features like AGPS help the watch to obtain a GPS fix quicker, things like the weather and the presence of trees and large buildings can cause the signal to be obstructed very quickly. The GPS function is not unusable, but if you require very high quality GPS data you shouldn’t use the Amazfit GTR. You probably should not use a GPS in a watch at all. I’ve had no problem with the slight inaccuracy of the GTR, and just used it to track and map my activities.

In the screenshots below you can find three GPS logs of hikes I did with the GTR. Every time I took the same path (fourth picture) between the riverside and a number of tall buildings. As you can see, the signal is pretty distorted and I think it is caused by a number of factors, varying from the obstructions from the building, the weather and my carrying an umbrella to the way the GTR records the coordinates and ‘connects the dots’.

Things I (still) like:

  • The device in general, from its aesthetics to its functionality.
  • The way Amazfit supports the software and adds functions like Always on Display.
  • The market reception, initiating initiatives like custom watch face communities and Free My Band to make it work with custom apps.

Things I dislike:

  • The GPS is still not accurate, but sufficient enough for me.
  • Amazfits pushes Firmware updates. They just happen when you startup the Amazfit app.
  • There is room for improvement in the Notifications functionality. First, you cannot configure every app notification individually. Second, the watch does not display emoticons or image placeholders.

Verdict

After using it for three months, the Amazfit GTR still is a great device and therefore a great buy. The build quality has proven to be very good, only the band obtained some minor scratches. During the past months, Amazfit has released two new firmware versions which added Always on Display and additional watch faces. Activating the Always on Display has significant impact on your battery life, which will only last a week when activated. There are some perks, of which the GPS is the most annoying: it is not always very accurate and the updates have not changed this. However, we still recommend considering the Amazfit GTR when looking for a high quality activity tracker or smart watch.

Xiaomi Mi Scale 2 Review

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As you probably may already know, Xiaomi offers a large range of products to improve peoples lives. The Xiaomi Mi Scale 2 is a great extension on this range. It is not just a weighing scale but it can do much more through the Mi Fit App. But do you need all this functionality, and can this scale help when you are trying to improve your health or does it just look good in your bathroom? And what is that Body Balance Test you can do on this scale?

Specifications

The specs as can be found on Banggood:

  • Brand: Xiaomi
  • Category: Weighing scale
  • Material: Toughened Glass
  • body datas: Body weight
  • Battery Capacity: AAA alkaline dry battery
  • Display mode: LED
  • Dimensions and Weight
  • Product weight: 1.2000 kg
  • Package weight: 1.5000 kg
  • Product size (L x W x H): 28.00 x 28.00 x 2.20 cm / 11.02 x 11.02 x 0.87 inches
  • Package size (L x W x H): 28.50 x 28.50 x 2.80 cm / 11.22 x 11.22 x 1.1 inches

Expectations

I expect a high quality scale that quickly and clearly displays your weight when standing on it. Although the Mi Scale 2 has integration with the Mi Fit App, I hope you can use it to a certain degree without having the app activated. Next to that, I am very curious about the added value of the app and how it integrates with the scale.

Packaging

The Mi Scale 2 comes in a white retail box. This product is aimed for the Chinese market and contains the product name in Chinese and English in front. Further the package is sober and does not contain text but only a product photo and some icons.

The scale is packed well protected in the inner box and two sleeves that contain warnings in several languages.

What’s in the box?

The box contains the following:

  • Weighing Scale,
  • Chinese Manual

The package looks a bit like a pizza box 🙂

Features of the Mi Scale 2

The following features are stated on Banggood:

  • Housing material: tempered glass
  • Working temperature: 0 – 40 Deg.C
  • Device requirements: Android 4.4 / iOS 9.0 and above
  • Weighing range: 100g – 150kg
  • Wireless connection: Bluetooth 5.0
  • Power: 3 x AAA ( not included )
  • The high-precision sensor accurately senses physical changes every day
  • The intelligent analysis automatically identifies every family member
  • Can automatically identify family members based on body data, and can support up to 16 members to share, so that the whole family can share
  • It is also possible to set the guest mode so that other people can measure the data without leaving any traces
  • Hidden LED screen, the display is clear and brings an integrated look and feel
  • Rounded corners, CNC precision processing, smooth and delicate, reducing bump damage
  • Uses low-power Bluetooth 5.0, the weight data transmission speed is faster and more stable

Build Quality & Design

My old body scale has some sharp edges. I lost count of the times I bumped into them with my toes (that hurts like standing on a Lego brick). Luckily, the Xiaomi Scale has rounded off edges. The scale really is pretty simple: it has a glass top and there, no visible buttons and switches and the LED display only shows when the scale is activated. In the stands of the scale the on-switch is positioned, and the switch turns off automatically after it is left idle for a couple of moments.

Heath / Power consumption /Noise

The Mi Scale 2 requires 3 AAA batteries to operate but these are not always included. There is no way to switch off the Bluetooth 5.0 and removing any of the three batteries will only turn of the entire scale.

Usability

For some people, using a scale is a confrontational moment. The slick design, easy of use and Bluetooth connection on the Mi Scale 2 will not change anything about that. Another handy feature is that the scale can measure light weight products, so not only heavy bodies.

Using the Mi Scale 2 without an app

You can use the Mi Scale 2 without connecting it to the app. It will then show your weight in kilogram. After a couple of moments the scale will turn off. You can also use the scale to weigh other (lighter) items, precision is up to 50 gram.

Using the functions of Mi Fit App

The Mi Fit app from Xiaomi is available for Apple and Android. The app is simple but effective, and nice to combine with miband and other Xiaomi products.

download mifit for IOS.
Download for Android

Connecting the Mi Scale 2 to the Mi Fit App

Registration can with Mi account, Facebook, Google or your email address. After you logged in click on the ‘+’ and choose ‘Scale’. The app will tell you to step on the scale and you are paired. Simple but effective.

Complementary Products / Alternatives

Online, you can find loads of different scales but they won’t fit as well in the Xiaomi Fit ecosystem. The Huawei Honor AH100 is a similar scale with similar functionalities, but with a different ecosystem. Same story for the Icomon FG260LB scale, which uses the FitDays app. Icomon scale, Huawei.

pro / cons of the Xiaomi Mi Scale 2

pros

  • Great design
  • Mi Fit App support
  • Very fast
  • Pairing with app is easy and fast
  • Automatically detects an other person or a light weight product.

cons

  • Only shows weight on the scale. (no BMI, fat, or other things)
  • Mi Fit App requires registration.

Verdict of the bluetooth smart scale

The Xiaomi Mi Scale 2 is a good and very smart scale, but whether it is the best option depends on how you plan using it: when using it combined with the Mi Fit App, the Mi Scale 2 is the best, because how well it integrates in the ecosystem. After all, the scale really has added value when tracking your health through the app. When you decide not to use the app, the scale is still very good looking, but all you will get from it is your current weight. It is a very affordable scale, but if you don’t plan to use the app I think you can get more functionality from a scale from the competitors.

Where to buy?