I was looking at the Cyber Monday deals here and there when I came across a piece of interesting information. Looks like Zigbee is making even more waves in home automation, as the protocol has been adopted by Tasmota developers and ITEAD guys in their latest product: Sonoff Basic ZBR3!

Sonoff Basic ZBR3: ZB = Zigbee

A couple of months ago, I got the latest devices from ITEAD: Sonoff Basic R3 and Sonoff R3 RF. Apart from DIY mode (which isn’t great just yet), Sonoff Basic device had their hardware redesigned. Sonoff Basic ZBR3 is on sale at the moment and you can get if from the ITEAD store for $8.49.

This redesign made the Sonoff Basic R3 more modular, so it comes as no surprise that a Zigbee edition just popped out at their storefront. The new Sonoff Basic ZBR3 will be compatible with Alexa Plus devices and SmartThings hub from Samsung.

Specification of Sonoff Basic ZBR3:

  • Max Current: 10A;
  • Max.input: AC 100-240V 50/60Hz 10A;
  • Max.output: AC 100-240V 50/60Hz 10A;
  • Gang: 1;
  • Zigbee: IEEE 802.15.4 2.4GHz;
  • Enclosure Material: PC V0;
  • Product Dimensions: 914325(mm);
Other Sonoff R3 series

There are no differences in hardware specification between WiFi R3 series and Zigbee edition (other than the connectivity protocol). The Sonoff Basic ZBR3 still switches up to 10A of power and retains the updated shell.

Mine is on the way, so expect a couple of articles soon! For now, you can read about Sonoff Basic R3 teardown in this post. And if you want to see if you need to flash it with Tasmota, read the post about using Sonoff Basic R3 Zigbee.

Tasmota 7.1 Betty Zigbee

Apart from the omnipresent dark theme, the biggest update to the Tasmota firmware is the support fro ESP82xx based Zigbee devices! This means that you should be able to flash the latest Tasmota on Sonoff Basic ZBR3! Tasmota 7.1 can be downloaded from this link.

The main changes include:

  • Everything is Tasmota now, Sonoff-Tasmota is no more.
  • WebUI went to the dark side but managed to pick up colour picker powers on the way.
  • Default and only supported Arduino cores are >2.6.
  • Expanded TuyaMCU support with new commands.
  • Better I2C device address management.
  • Zigbee devices support.

Zigbee support is the most exciting feature for me, but bear in mind the documentation states that due to lack of the support for the USB interface my favourite cc2531 won’t be supported!

Conclusion

For now, I have to wait for the new Sonoff Basic ZBR3. I already have IP cam from ITEAD on its way as well so as soon as these are with me, I will post my thoughts. Is the Zigbee protocol an indication that ITEAD guys are planning smart sensors? I reached out to them – I will keep you posted. What do you think about the new Sonoff? Let me know in this Reddit thread.

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