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Aqara “Everything” M3 Hub

The list of supported protocols is long

The appearance of new Thread sensors from Aqara wasn’t a surprise. After all, I’m expecting all big players to move to Matter sooner rather than later and leave ZigBee behind*. What took me by surprise, was not releasing the Aqara M3 Hub at the same time as the Aqara P2 sensors as for a couple of weeks, they had no Thread router in their ecosystem. This changes now – I have Aqara M3 Hub (AmazonUK|AmazonUS) in my hands and it’s time to talk about it

*ZigBee isn’t going away, not for a long time

Aqara M3 Hub

Don’t panic! Your Aqara M2 Hub (or rather fancy Camera G3 Hub) isn’t obsolete just yet. Aqara made sure that your older devices still have their uses in the Aqara ecosystem. Getting Aqara M3 Hub still makes perfect sense even if you don’t have any Thread-enabled devices and you want to future-proof your smart home.

Aqara M3 Hub brings quite a lot to the table. It joins WiFi, Bluetooth, ZigBee (told you it’s not going anywhere), Thread, IR and Ethernet with PoE support together. That’s pretty much all the protocols I could think of. The black box integrates nicely sounded speakers, an IR blaster, and the hub is powered by Power over Ethernet (PoE) or trusty USB-C.

The box has a nifty bracket that allows the hub to be mounted in places out of sight, and the box simply clicks in place. I like how both cables (the Ethernet and USB-C) are tucked inside, but my OCD is triggered by the fact that the hidden away cables are pointing up (in reference to the Aqara logo), if you want the cables to go down, you’ll have to stare at the logo being upside-down. A small price to pay for a nice cable management, and frankly speaking the logo is barely visible!

Unfortunately, the device is as hubby as it gets, meaning, there are no additional features other than providing a bridge between smart devices and the cloud and playing custom ringtones that can be uploaded via the Aqara app. I could also mention the ability to link up your AC unit – even though the list of compatible devices is long, my boiler brand wasn’t even on the list, so I wasn’t able to test it. Aqara M3 Hub isn’t as fun to use as their smart cameras with integrated hubs. It’s a shame as I was on board with what Aqara has done with IP cameras having smart hubs inside (namely Camera G2H and Camera G3 Hub).


Which leads me to the pricing of the hub. Aqara asks for €129.99 which is a lot to spend on a hub. For anyone in the UK, you can cushion the blow with a code: HUBM3UK1 (valid 8-12 May), but as far as smart hubs go, this is one of the most expensive ones on the market


I recently bought a PoW 5 port switch in Amazon (AmazonUK|AmazonUS) to test some cool SMLight coordinators, so I decided to spare one port to try PoE support and got Aqara M3 Hub. No problems there! Within a minute, I had the hub added to my Aqara app. Note, that scanning the Aqara code is mandatory (as an early tester I had to manually type in the code to pair it, but that should be resolved on launch).

In-app instructions show you how to re-bind and migrate existing devices, and how to use other Aqara hubs to create a self-managing network. It means that the Aqara M3 Hub will be your top commander, while other hubs will act as sub-devices before connecting to various end-devices. This approach allows you to take advantage of the older hubs you may have in your possession already.

Aqara M3 Hub smarts

Other than the ability to upload custom ringtones (Camera G3 Hub already had this option), there isn’t much else. The Aqara M3 Hub can be used to trigger a sound alarm or issue an IR blaster command if you add your IR remotes. There is a long list of Air Conditioners listed – probably for thermostat controls, but as I don’t have anything compatible – cannot comment on how useful this could be.

In line with other Matter-enabled devices, Aqara M3 Hub can be exposed to existing Matter ecosystems (Google Home, Alexa, HomeKit etc) and exposed to linked devices this way, or you can generate the Matter migration codes in the app and share compatible subdevices too. There is a limit to how many ecosystems the device can be linked to: 4.

Playing with Thread

A couple of weeks ago I received Aqara Thread sensors. Aqara quickly disclosed to me that the compatible hub (the M3) is coming, but having these early, and being unable to test them in the native ecosystem was strange to me.

I have Aqara M3 Hub now, so I can try it out and see what these have to offer. Pairing initially gave me issues. The app would not accept the codes typed in the manual, not the tiny QR code from the back of the Motion Sensor P2. I grabbed the manuals with proper QR codes and these worked fine. I also grabbed the M3 Hub manual by accident, and you’ll be pleased to know that you can add the hub to itself via Matter 😂! Happy days!

Aqara P2 sensors tested with Amazon Echo Hub were a bit rudimentary. I hate that only basic options are exposed via Matter. Once you link the Aqara P2 sensors with the Aqara Hub M3, you get extra access to the luminosity sensor on the Aqara Motion Sensor P2.


Aqara M3 Hub is Matter-compatible. This is my biggest complaint about Matter in general. It applies to most of the devices. The hub can expose its ecosystem to Matter hubs (like Alexa or Google Home) but it doesn’t offer coupling with Matter-enabled devices (other than Thread).

I was able to generate the Matter QR from the Aqara app to add this to my Alexa ecosystem via Matter but that’s about it when it comes to Matter.

No more short timeouts

The P2 sensors worked well and were responsive, but I was confused by the lack of advanced settings in the device options. Once I opened the Automation panel, I noticed that extra trigger types were listed there instead. After Aqara introduced the Motion Sensor P1 with a 1-second timeout, I was keen to check what P2 would offer. As the sensor has no settings to customise the timeout of the sensor, the device is stuck with a 1-minute timeout by default.

Get Aqara devices:

Find out more about Aqara ZigBee 3.0 range and outfit your home with their excellent sensors and smart devices:

Final thoughts

It’s a well-made hub. I appreciate that the Aqara M3 Hub (AmazonUK|AmazonUS) isn’t making your existing devices obsolete, which is often the case when upgrading hubs but enables older models to create a better mesh and therefore a more reliable smart home. Thread and Matter support will future-proof your Aqara ecosystem, but for the time being, investing in Aqara ZigBee sensors seems like a better idea. In short, it’s a good hub that won’t hold you back when Matter comes. Let me know your thoughts in this Reddit thread.

🆓📈💵 – See the transparency note for details.


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