HomeHome AutomationSonoff Mini vs Shelly 1

Sonoff Mini vs Shelly 1

A deadly duel of Sonoff and Shelly

Right now, when it comes to automating lights, two choices spring to my mind. You could go with Chinese Sonoff Mini (review) or Bulgarian Shelly 1 (review). So which one is better?

I have tested both for some time now and I think I’m ready to pick my favourite. You don’t have to agree with my choice, but if you read Sonoff Mini vs Shelly 1, you’ll find out what both devices excel at and what are the shortcomings. Neither is perfect, unfortunately.

Specs

The main difference between Sonoff Mini vs Shelly 1 is the power rating. Shelly 1 wins this* with extra 6 Amps (16A vs 10A), but don’t despair. 2200W (10A) is more than you need for all your lights, and enough for most of the sockets.

Taking a peek inside paints a little different picture. Shelly 1 is rated for 8A inductive load, while the Sonoff Mini comes with 16A-rated relays which would suggest a better inductive load (not tested, was not able to confirm that via the spec sheet).

EDIT: Upon closer inspection, I discovered that Sonoff Mini comes with ESP8285 while Shelly uses ESP8266.

Price

It’s a draw, but, if you pay attention to online listings, you could snatch Sonoff Mini for about $6, even if the RTP is the same for both $9.99. So if you are patient and look around, outfitting your home may save you a decent amount! I have not seen any significant offers for Shelly 1.

Size

At the first sight, Shelly 1 is the clear winner with its smaller dimensions and a more compact enclosure, but once you try to install it, you will find yourself adding extra wires and clips to split the wires correctly. I actually run out of space underneath my ceiling light fitting due to that! So against the first impressions, Sonoff Mini wins this one – comes with 6 terminals for 6 wires – the way it should be.

Connectivity

It’s a draw, both Shelly Cloud and eWeLink app come with the app (obviously) and integrations like Amazon Echo, Google Home or IFTTT. Shelly 1 gets extra praise here for having a web client running, so you can actually access the interface directly through the browser – no need for the app.

But if you are not a filthy casual…

If standard functionality isn’t your thing, and you love to watch things burn just to troubleshoot them for hours… then you are more like me and I like you already!

DIY mode vs Shelly Cloud

DIY Mode sucks, and Shelly Cloud shines. Shelly 1 is a clear winner here as it comes with REST API. You can easily integrate Shelly devices with NodeRED or HomeAssistant without losing the app or smart speaker functionality! Sonoff guys have lots to learn!

MQTT

Shelly wins hands down, even if you can’t use MQTT with the app or smart speakers at the same time, you don’t have to flash anything to take advantage of this protocol. If you want to use Sonoff Mini with MQTT you have to flash Tasmota or AFE Firmware.

3rd party firmware

It’s a draw. Both modules are ESP8266-based, so there are plenty of alternatives. Both devices can be flashed, so you are no longer required to solder anything. Shelly 1 gets extra points for already available headers, but Sonoff Mini matches that with the OTA flash and additional GPIO exposed.

Other…

  • Sonoff Mini comes with an external antenna
  • Sonoff Mini doesn’t use high voltage to operate the switch (you can use 3.3V rated toggle buttons
  • Shelly 1 comes with switch behaviour options
  • Sonoff Mini has inching options
  • Shelly 1 can issue HTTP requests directly
  • Sonoff Mini case can be opened

Get Shelly

Check out other devices from the Shelly series to build your ultimate DIY automation:

Shop with Sonoff

Take a look at the ZigBee and WiFi range of the devices compatible with eWeLink:

Conclusion

In the Sonoff Mini vs Shelly 1 fight, it’s hard to pick a clear winner. If all you care is the app, and smart speaker functionality (I don’t judge) Sonoff Mini would be my recommendation (if you can stay under 10A). If you want more than that, the choice gets harder, I absolutely love the Shelly 1 REST API, so as long as I can fit inside with all the clips – I would pick the blue gadget. Otherwise, it’s Sonoff Mini as I can still integrate Alexa with NodeRED, even with their rather peculiar DIY Mode. I’m sorry Shelly lovers, If I cannot fit it under the ceiling light, I won’t use it. Which one is for you? Let me know in this Reddit thread.

PayPal

Nothing says "Thank you" better than keeping my coffee jar topped up!

Patreon

Support me on Patreon and get an early access to tutorial files and videos.

image/svg+xml

Bitcoin (BTC)

Use this QR to keep me caffeinated with BTC: 1FwFqqh71mUTENcRe9q4s9AWFgoc8BA9ZU

Smart Ideas with

Automate your space in with these ecosystems and integrate it with other automation services

client-image
client-image
client-image
client-image
client-image
client-image
client-image
client-image
client-image

Learn NodeRED

NodeRED for beginners: 1. Why do you need a NodeRED server?

0
To server or not to server? That's a very silly question!

Best Automation Projects

Tuya SDK for beginners: Intro to Tuya Cloud API

0
Working with Tuya Cloud API. A guide to Cloud automation for beginners, get started with REST!

NEST your old thermostat under $5

0
Nest-ing up your older thermostat under $5

Nora – Google Assistant in NodeRED

0
Integrate Google Assistant with NodeRED thanks to Nora - NodeRED home automation

Sonoff Zigbee Bridge – review

0
Sonoff line up will soon include Sonoff Zigbee Bridge and more Zigbee sensors - here is the first look

DIY Smart Washing Machine – for about 15 bucks!

0
Learn how to add washing machine notifications to your Google Home on the cheap

Smart Home

Sonoff for households and gardens

0
ITEAD released two ZigBee devices to manage water in your household and gardens. Now you can monitor the flow and dispense water with Sonoff SWV and prevent water damage using the Sonoff Water Leak sensor with a twist.

I wish I had known about the SMLIGHT ZigBee/Thread Coordinators sooner!

0
SMLIGHT coordinators are the perfect choice for anyone just diving into ZigBee. SLZB-06 series is easy to use and comes with future-proofing Thread support.

Sonoff ZigBee Bridge U isn’t what you think!

0
I expected Sonoff ZB Bridge U to be a next gen ZigBee bridge with Matter support. Turns out, there is much more to talk about!

Aqara “Everything” M3 Hub

0
When I started my home automation adventure, the current problem was the number of ecosystems needed to outfit your smart home. Aqara M3 Hub has a long list of protocols to match that!

Sonoff ZB Micro did it! (and bonus ZigBee device)

0
A long time ago, I took an angle grinder to the humble Sonoff Micro, will I do this again? Meet Sonoff ZB Micro and Sonoff ZB Contact (SNZB-04P) - the latest devices from the ZigBee ecosystem.