SwitchBot Hub 2 Review Matter Hub Apple Home Compatible

Friday, October 06, 2023

SwitchBot Hub 2 is a Matter hub that acts as a central point to facilitate communication between different smart home devices using the Matter protocol. 

Unlike some earlier smart home protocols that used Zigbee or Z-Wave and required specific hardware for communication, the SwitchBot Hub 2 allows devices to connect directly to a standard Wi-Fi network, simplifying the setup process and eliminating the need for additional hubs or bridges.

SwitchBot Hub 2 retains the ability to manage infrared devices within your smart home, a feature shared with the Hub Mini. However, the significant distinction lies in the design – unlike the Hub Mini, Hub 2 is not just a compact plastic unit hidden away in a cupboard. With its display functionality, Hub 2 allows you to prominently showcase it, displaying humidity and temperature values. Additionally, any device paired via infrared is seamlessly integrated into 3rd party services, enabling control of your infrared devices through Alexa voice commands.

Hub 2 predominantly features a plastic construction with a 45-degree opening kickstand, a rubber strip on the bottom for stability, and a rear-facing USB-C port. Internally, it houses various electronics, including a Wi-Fi chip, two infrared emitters, two infrared receivers, a light sensor, and a BLE chip. Notably, Hub 2 is not battery-operated, lacking a built-in rechargeable battery. The display on Hub 2 can be manually deactivated using two capacitive touch buttons, subtly illuminated when the main display is turned off. This illumination proves helpful for visibility in the dark.

Hub 2's dimensions are 8cm in length, 7cm in width, and 2.5cm in thickness, weighing 63 grams. The accompanying cable, a sturdy flat rubber design, integrates a small white box housing temperature and humidity sensors. Extending 2 meters in length, the cable weighs 46 grams. The sensor housing enclosure, measuring 3.5cm in length, 1.5cm in width, and 0.5cm in thickness, is positioned approximately 13cm down the cable, closest to the USB-C connector end.

Another distinction between SwitchBot Hub 2 and Hub 1 is that Hub 2 is compatible with Apple HomeKit, allowing Apple users to control Matter-enabled devices through the Apple Home app, Siri voice commands, and automation routines. 

Additionally, Hub 2 incorporates temperature and humidity sensors, an illuminance (light) sensor, manual scene touch operation, and IR support. The cable that is included with SwitchBot Hub 2 is a non-waterproof cable with a temperature/humidity sensor attached to it. The temperature/humidity sensors cannot be detached but they're located externally, making them more accurate than built-in sensors in the SwitchBot Outdoor/Indoor meter.

The Hub 2 requires the use of the SwitchBot app to setup the hub. After initial setup, you can use the two smart buttons on-board the hub to control some functions so, you don't have to exclusively reply on the phone app or voice commands. That said, the app is very useful and you will likely like using it because the SwitchBot app doubles as an IR remote control, allowing you to control IR-remote control appliances directly through the app.

SwitchBot Hub 2 can be mounted to a wall via the included double-sided tape or can be used on a desk via the built-in kickstand. Currently, SwitchBot Hub 2 only supports 2.4GHz Wi-Fi; hence no 5Ghz Wi-Fi support. 

If you're currently using the Hub Mini to manage SwitchBot devices such as Switchbot Blind Tilt, SwitchBot Curtains and SwitchBot Lock & Keypad upgrading to Hub 2 is a worthwhile move - even though Hub Mini also supports Wifi and Bluetooth low energy connectivity. 

That said, with Hub 2, you can directly control SwitchBot Curtains through the Apple Home App and Siri. While it's possible to achieve this with the Hub Mini, it requires setting up various shortcut routines in the iPhone shortcut app. However, these shortcuts may not consistently work, often requiring multiple attempts to get the curtains to open when using Siri.

Because Hub 2 is Matter Compatible, it now directly links SwitchBot Curtains to the Apple Home App, allowing direct control through the Home App and/or Siri. Commanding Siri to open/close the curtains is now consistently responsive, with significantly faster response times compared to the older and less efficient Shortcut app method required for Hub Mini. This enhances the usability of curtains, streamlining their integration into HomeKit routines and timer settings—all conveniently managed through the HomeKit app after the initial setup on the SwitchBot App.

Selling points
  • Intuitive easy t read data
  • Graphs for Temperature, humidity, and lighting
  • Push notifications alerts
  • dual connectivity WiFi and BLE (bluetooth low energy)
  • Matter-enabled
  • Celsius/Fahrenheit reading
  • Built-in kickstand
  • Seamless Integration with HomeKit for Curtains
  • Compatible with Apple HomeKit
  • Works as an IR remote control
  • Compatible with Infrared (IR) appliances
  • Allows you to automate devices via scenes and timers
  • Unlimited monitoring range
  • Thermometer, Hygrometer, Light Sensor built-in externally to cable

Potential deal breakers
  • Only supports 2.4GHz Wi-Fi
  • Not compatible with 5Ghz Wi-Fi
  • Requires the SwitchBot App for initial setup
Accessories include 2 meter long charging cable, 10W power adapter, double-sided 3M adhesive tape. You can buy SwitchBot Hub 2 from amazon.

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