Aqara is continuing to outpace all competitors in the smart home race, with device after device being released at a startlingly regular pace. Admittedly, some of these are only meant for the Chinese market, but that doesn’t detract from the fact that the company seem to be arguably one of the biggest players in HomeKit right now.
Case in point, their latest product to hit stores in Mainland China, the H100 smart lock; like pretty much all the locks have released to date, this is HomeKit compatible and has a list of features many smart locks could well do with, including the no almost ubiquitous fingerprint sensor, which in the case of the H100 uses sapphire as part of its construction, built-in doorbell, numeric keypad, an anti-tamper alarm, and a series of security features, many of which pertain to the strength of the cylinder portion of the lock itself.
Whilst the H100 contains a Zigbee 3.0 chip, like the newly updated European N100, there’s no mention of what the Zigbee side of things is capable of, but you still have more than enough options for opening the door, which includes the aforementioned fingerprint sensor, a built-in keypad, which can also be programmed to accept date/time-restricted passcodes, NFC unlocking with Aqara’s own NFC keycard, unlock and lock via HomeKit and Siri, as well as a standard key for emergency purposes.
Like the company’s P100 smart lock (also HomeKit compatible), the H100 comes with a built-in camera. It should be noted that the camera – and the doorbell for that matter – are not exposed to HomeKit, but they do provide some excellent specs, which includes 1080p recording (to the Aqara Cloud server), with a 161º, ultra-wide-angle lens. The accompanying light sensor detects the ambient light so that when it gets too dark for the camera to pick up images in the dark, will activate a 940nm infrared light, for accurate night vision. Additionally, the camera features person detection, which will enable automatic recording if the person in front of the door stays for too long. These clips then get automatically pushed to your phone, so you can check on any suspicious activity.
Finally, and Interestingly, the H100 uses 2.4GHz WiFi (b/g/n), due to the fact it has a camera capable of recording video footage, so Bluetooth alone wouldn’t be an option in this case, although it’s not entirely clear if the lock uses WiFi for a HomeKit connection, as the H100 also has a separate Bluetooth 5.0 chip is used solely for HomeKit. The WiFi connection also explains the 4980mAh rechargeable battery that the H100 contains, which can be recharged via a USB-C cable connected to a relevant power source. Like all of Aqara’s locks to date, the H100 is designed for Chinese or European style doors, and especially apartments, as the H100 is not designed for outdoor use. In this respect, it may not be as useful to European customers, who have doors facing the outside, exposed to the elements.