HomeReviewAqara G2H Pro brings ZigBee and NAS

Aqara G2H Pro brings ZigBee and NAS

IP camera and ZigBee 3.0 hub in one

Aqara may not have the cheapest devices on the market, but they always stand out thanks to good quality, interesting design and innovative approach to home automation. Adding ZigBee hub to the Aqara G2H IP camera was a brilliant move to make the hubs more appealing, but there was one problem, the camera was only available in Chinese markets. Aqara G2H Pro (AmazonUS, AmazonUK) brings an even better device to western consumers.

The same, but better

I could easily re-use pictures from my previous review, as on the surface both devices are identical. In fact, if not for the product sticker at the bottom, I wouldn’t be able to tell which one is the Aqara H2H Pro. Inside, however, the device brings exciting new options to play with. Unlike, the other one I have, this one is fully supported in western countries.

It’s still the same quirky looking IP camera that resembles a crewman from “Among Us” and looks suspiciously in any given direction. The camera uses a magnetic base that can be attached to surfaces and positioned in any direction thanks to a swivel base. Powered by micro USB (unfortunately), it comes with 1080p resolution, 2.4GHz WiFi connectivity, 2-way audio and infrared for night mode. It also doubles as a ZigBee hub for the Aqara ecosystem in case you don’t feel like splashing out on Aqara M1 and Aqara M1S hubs.

You will find a button on top of the device, which is used to initiate a voice call with the app holder. A handy way of sending a message across.

Audio/video

It’s a 1080p stream, which has a decent dynamic range. In sunny conditions, the shaded areas are not too dark and there are enough details in the footage to recognise the faces and reg plates from about 10m away. Clips are recorded at 20FPS.

Night performance is pretty standard. Thanks to IR illumination, night footage comes as a familiar B&W stream. Aqara G2H Pro illuminates rooms well to capture all the details.

The audio is very good. The camera supports 2-way audio, so you can have a proper conversation with the person on the other side. Whether you are talking over the app or via smart speakers, the latency is very low and the audio comes clear on both ends.

Detection

Event detection comes with motion, human and abnormal sound detection. Each event can be also marked with a custom label (and colour tag) which will highlight the event on the timeline. Scrolling through the timeline is easy, quick and pinch to zoom makes it easier to focus on highlighted ranges in the continuous recording.

Motion events can be also filtered by sensitivity settings (both motion sensitivity and timeout) and you can customise motion areas as well as privacy zones to avoid recording things that you shouldn’t. All that combined with timers for active and sleep times, you have yourself a nice way of deciding when to record your footage, and when not have the eyes on you.

What’s so PRO about Aqara G2H Pro?

You already know that you are getting a ZigBee 3.0 hub for your Aqara ecosystem inside the Aqara G2H Pro. That’s not the only feature worth writing about. Especially since the IP camera has a couple of more fun features.

One of the cool features (not necessarily practical) is the ability to generate timelapses lasting up to 24h. These can be tailored to your liking and start at a specific time. Whatever your timelapse period is – the final render will be 15 sec long. On sunny days, these look spectacular.

Smarts

Thanks to the Aqara app and direct linking with ZigBee 3.0 accessories, these can be used to trigger recording events, change settings and enable/disable surveillance or play custom ringtones. This would enable automation like:

  • enable motion detection when curtains are up
  • enable sound detection at night
  • play greeting tone on entry
  • trigger other Aqara devices when motion is detected

As the camera is coming to the EU, Canada and US – it’s also fully compatible with HomeKit, Alexa and Google Home including streaming the video and 2-way conversations. I tested stream speed, and the delay is minimal, I got less than a second of latency between the live events and stream on Amazon Show 8″. That’s awesome, as some of the cameras come with latency as big as 8 seconds.

It seems that the company is listening to the feedback and the latest device comes with new options as well as changes to the app’s interface. Scrolling through the app I come across new menus and options to try out, but by far the biggest change was the ability to hook up your own NAS.

NAS storage

Footage recorded to the micro SD card can be mirrored to a NAS drive. While SMB share on Windows didn’t work for me (Samba 1.0 support only) I had absolutely no problems setting NAS up on my RasbperryPi 4 inside DeskPi case which has a generous SSD inside.

The footage can be uploaded in real-time (events and continuous recording), stored and automatically deleted after a set number of days. What’s even cooler, is the fact that the files are stored as .mp4 – for the ease of access. Files are stored as 1 min clips and take up approx 14MB each.

While the NAS option is welcomed, there are no settings for Aqara Cloud. HomeKit users send me a message that Aqara G2H Pro can use iCloud storage for video hosting, so look into that, as I’m an Android user.

It seems, that for now, the camera comes without the option to host your event-based recording. If you are going to get this camera, make sure to get a miniSD card to access the timeline. You can pick cards up to 512GB. Without the micro SD card, you won’t be able to access NAS settings as well.

Aqara ZigBee 3.0 line up so far:

Final thoughts

I’m glad Aqara G2H Pro (AmazonUS, AmazonUK) finally hit western markets. It’s a great little device that increases the security of your smart home and builds up your ZigBee mesh at the same time. Anyone looking to access files via 3rd party – can utilise the NAS storage. Considering the price of £69.99 and the cost of an average ZigBee router, it’s not a bad deal. Especially if you get it with a 15% launch discount. Let me know what do you think about Aqara G2H Pro in this Reddit thread.

🆓📈 – See the transparency note for details.

REVIEW OVERVIEW

Video
Audio
Motion detection
Features

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Aqara G2H Pro brings ZigBee and NAS Aqara may not have the cheapest devices on the market, but they always stand out thanks to good quality, interesting design and innovative approach to home automation. Adding ZigBee hub to the Aqara G2H IP camera was a brilliant move to make the hubs...