Based in China, Xiaomi is a technology company that once held the title of the world’s highest valued startup and the fastest growing smart-home creator. Currently Xiaomi is worth $45 billion.
Known for a plethora of home automation and technology tools, including: smartphones, robot vacuums, smart lights, and rice cookers—among other products—the Xiaomi smart home kit clocks in at a reasonably priced $75.
As you can imagine with a China based company, the large problem that arises with Xiaomi and their products is that many of them can only be used in China, and those that can be used in the United States are used with specific adapters, but they still integrate poorly.
The Xiaomi Specs
The Mi Smart Home Kit has six components: a gateway that acts as the central hub for the system, a smart wall plug, door and window sensors, motion sensors, temperature and humidity sensors, and a wireless switch. All of these devices are controlled via the Mi home application. Users simply must set up a Mi account to get started.
Whenever users log on to the Mi home application, they must set China as their location of the device for everything to function properly. From there they can configure and set up each of their products. All of the device pages and instructions for Mi home are in English, but the storefront portion of the Mi home application does default to Mandarin, though users won’t have to bother with the store to use the products or Home Kit.
The gateway hub is Zigbee powered, has a built-in speaker, RGB Led Lights that double as night lights, and a standard Chinese three prong plug that needs to be connected to a wall or surge protector. This plug is rated for 100V-240V, so if you have a compatible socket and you’re in the US you can plug it in directly, or one can be purchased for as low as $7.
Not Without Flaws
Once the gateway hub is set up, it’s rather easy to connect all of the home automated or security products to the system. Connecting is relatively straightforward, and custom scenes can be created, but the Xiaomi isn’t without its share of downsides.
The Mi Smart Home Kit is not IFTTT (If This Then That Technology) compatible, the radio only plays Chinese stations (unless you’re able to tweak it otherwise), and the system does not provide fire, smoke, disaster, or monitored home security. Xiaomi is not an all-encompassing home security system by any means.
Similar to other modern security systems that aren’t monitored that we’ve reviewed, if a break-in occurs Xiaomi will send you push notifications, but it will not alert the proper emergency authorities for you. You’ll have to do that yourself. They also lack in smart home locks and other important security features.
With Xiaomi, you also won’t be protected from other likely and dangerous disasters. Though Xiaomi clocks in at a rather low price, it doesn’t seem to be equipped with all of the necessary requirements to be a quality option for home security.
Stick to the Pros
Other concerns with the Mi Home Kit is that Xiaomi is a China based company that has not fully integrated their products to the United States. Some of their products are either unavailable, don’t work in the US, and the product inventory is often out of stock or unavailable in the United States.
In the future Xiaomi may do a better job of integrating with the United States—especially considering their worth and how large their ecosystem of products and companies is—but for now, Xiaomi is best used if you are based in China.
We suggest not only opting for a US based home security company, but a company that provides a DIY product offering that is monitored and ensures that emergency personnel will respond when you need them.