- Apr 12, 2001
Aqara's Camera E1 is a new addition to the smart home camera space, offering a range of key features including 2K resolution, pan and tilt, support for HomeKit Secure Video, and more.
The Camera E1 emerges as a noteworthy option in Aqara's lineup of smart home cameras, especially for those seeking a balance between functionality and affordability. Priced at $59.99, this camera positions itself in a competitive spot in the market, particularly for a device with 2K resolution, pan and tilt, and HomeKit Secure Video support.
The Aqara Camera E1 boasts a sleek and modern design. Its compact form factor makes it suitable for various placements around the home. Whether placed on a shelf or mounted on a wall, the camera can be easily adjusted to capture the desired view.
The camera features a privacy mode, which physically reorients the camera lens away from the viewing area. This design choice reassures users through its visible action — a clear indicator that the camera is not recording or monitoring.
Setting up the Aqara Camera E1 with Apple HomeKit is straightforward. With the Camera E1 powered and placed in its intended location, setup begins by scanning the HomeKit setup code found on the camera, like many other smart home accessories. This can be done directly through the Home app by tapping "Add Accessory" and using the iOS device's camera to scan the code.
Once the camera is recognized by the Home app, it prompts you to assign the camera to a room and give it a name. While you can adjust settings such as the status light and stream quality via the Home app, setting up the Camera E1 directly with HomeKit might limit access to some of its features compared to the full range available through the Aqara Home app. Essential functionalities such as live streaming, two-way audio, and motion-triggered notifications are still accessible in the Home app.
The camera features a 2K video resolution, which provides exceptionally clear and detailed images and sets it apart from many HomeKit-compatible cameras that only offer 1080p. This high resolution, combined with a wide-angle f/2.0 lens, ensures that users receive a clear and comprehensive view of their home environment.
The Camera E1 is also equipped with concealed infrared night vision. The invisible infrared LEDs ensure that the camera can capture clear footage even in low-light conditions without the obtrusive glow often associated with night vision cameras.
Unlike many HomeKit cameras in this price range, the Aqara Camera E1 offers pan and tilt capabilities, greatly expanding its field of view and monitoring capabilities. The mechanism operates very quietly, ensuring that the camera's movements are discreet.
The Camera E1 supports HomeKit Secure Video, enabling it to detect distinct motion types such as people, animals, and vehicles, and store the recorded footage securely in iCloud. Users can tailor notifications to their preferences based on the type of motion detected.
Like many Aqara accessories, the Camera E1 appears to have very steady network connection and good stream quality. Compared directly to a Logi Circle View, it performed noticeably better on the network.
Final Thoughts and How to Buy
Overall, Aqara's Camera E1 is a compelling HomeKit-compatible smart home camera at an affordable price point. With its 2K resolution, pan and tilt, the ability to physically reorient for privacy, reliable network connectivity, and support for HomeKit Secure Video, the Camera E1 is a robust addition to any smart home set up.
Buyers should be aware that HomeKit Secure Video is limited to 1080p resolution, meaning that if this is your main use-case, you will be unable to take full advantage of the camera's hardware. In addition, like many HomeKit accessories, far more expansive capabilities are offered by the manufacturer's own app, with only limited control in the Home app.
The Aqara Camera E1 is available from Amazon in North America and Europe, as well as selected Aqara retailers worldwide, for $59.99.
Note: Aqara provided MacRumors with a Camera E1 for the purpose of this review. No other compensation was received.
Article Link: Review: Aqara's Camera E1 Offers 2K and Pan and Tilt With HomeKit Secure Video Support for $60
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