This one took me by surprise. I knew about the new version of the Sonoff TH Elite for some time (sadly I couldn’t talk about it), but no one from ITEAD has mentioned that Sonoff POWR2 is also getting elite treatment. In my latest parcel from China, I found one more device I wanted to talk to you about: Sonoff POW Elite.
Sonoff POW Elite – more of the same
If you had a chance to read my Sonoff TH Elite article (and look at the pictures) you will know that Sonoff POW Elite looks exactly the same: a white shell void of any lettering with an LCD screen that dominates the front face of the enclosure. It’s DIN rail mountable and it includes the features of the POW series: power metering.
I have a couple of original Sonoff POWs and I used them for various projects. They usually end up flashed with Tasmota at some point, then I take advantage of the power metering to turn my cheap and dumb washing machine into a smart one that lets me know when the washing is done, remotely control my PC, or calculate the cost of electricity used to complete a 3D print.
Sonoff POW Elite finally looks competent. The terminals are nice (unlike those hated by many, push-fit terminals that would never stay in place), the footprint is reasonable (read as: smaller than the original POWR3) and the included LCD screen displays the most important power metrics. The data changes every couple of seconds between Voltage/Current and Power Consumption/Power.
As the device only has a single button to interact with, there isn’t much to talk about, it simply toggles the relay. It’s a simple single-channel relay capable of switching up to 16A/20A of current (depending on the model you have). It uses ESP32 to connect to 2.4GHz WiFi and Bluetooth to complete the pairing procedure. Thankfully, the pricing is also reasonable, the 16A version will cost you $16.99 and the 20A version just under $20.
Get the latest devices from ITEAD – the new product line: Sonoff Elite includes:
Features in the eWeLink app
The interface in the app hasn’t changed much. Easy access to the relay toggle in the card and the main device menu, followed by detailed information about the power consumption. The information available to users is as follows:
- Power consumption (kWh) Today
- Power consumption (kWh) Yesterday
- Power consumption (kWh) Month
- Current (A)
- Voltage (V)
- Power (W)
If you open settings, things get more interesting. We are familiar at this point with power-on state, LAN mode, and inching, sprinkled with typical eWeLink stuff like the ability to add schedules, timers and loops. Other settings bring custom mobile notifications based on the state of the relay as well as consumption goals per day and month.
If you are more safety inclined, thresholds will give you software limits to keep your devices from overheating or failing. These are not as fast as fuses, but allow you to cut the power to your device based on the power/voltage/current settings. This is not your primary electrical defence so please don’t use it as one.
While values are updated every 5 seconds on the display and the app, the actual cloud resolution is less generous. Power consumption is recorded in 1h intervals and accessible as graphs and exported files. It would be nice to have more frequent logs at least in the first week before the data gets aggregated this way.
eWeLink is by default compatible with smart speakers from Alexa, Google Home or Smart Things. Sadly, you can’t ask for anything other than turning the relay on and off. No matter how nice you ask, Alexa won’t tell you the usage data coming from the device. I may follow this article with a NodeRED-based solution to that. Sounds like a good idea so watch this space!
Sonoff POW Elite in use
Once paired (Bluetooth makes it a breeze), Sonoff POW Elite is ready for use instantly. I experienced no lag or issues, which was the case for about 2 min with the TH version of the Elite. In both LAN and Cloud mode, the response and app updates were adequate and quick.
It’s a shame that LCD doesn’t have a backlight, in case you want to check things in person, but considering the fact you can always use the eWeLink app to read the values yourself, it’s not a big deal.
Sonoff POW Elite suffers from the same problems as the Sonoff TH Elite. Included status LEDs are very dim, making it hard to read in anything but shaded conditions. They should definitely use a much stronger LED for this task. The only button doubles as a reset, pairing button and relay toggle so you can switch your output without opening the app.
Inside the Sonoff POW Elite
Bluetooth pairing (and the promo materials) reveals ESP32 inside (ESP32- D0WD-V3) with a faster CPU than the original switch. It also means that the device has Bluetooth & WiFi in the 2.4GHz band. Sadly no 5GHz compatibility.
Traditionally, Sonoff devices come with everything you need to tinker with the firmware and Sonoff POW Elite is no different. The PCB contains pads to flash the ESP32 inside (TC,RX, GND, Vcc) and something tells me that the main button is wired to GPIO00 to enable the flash mode.
The relay on my model was rated for 16A. Extra dev pads are exposed probably to access the LCD IC – so it’s a matter of time before we going to see Tasmota running on it. I don’t have any information about support for Sonoff DIY mode. It would be nice to see for anyone looking to integrate these with DIY automation without flashing with Tasmota or using eWeLink API.
It’s nice to see another device from the Elite series. I’m looking forward to more of them in a similar form factor, especially that so far each device from the Elite series had increased its max current rating to 20A. Perhaps ITEAD will look at their ZigBee series and gives us something similar? For now, Sonoff POW Elite feeds my curiosity and nicely fits the niche. Anyone looking for a DIN rail power monitor will be pleased. Let me know what you think about it in this Reddit thread.
🆓📈 – See the transparency note for details.