Aqara’s first Matter-over-Thread sensor is now available to buy. The Door and Window Sensor P2 is priced at $29.99 / £29.99 / €32.99 and slots right into existing Matter-enabled smart homes since it doesn’t require an Aqara hub to operate. But those who choose to use the sensor with Aqara’s upcoming Hub M3 will enable extra features like a built-in programmable button.
The Door and Window Sensor P2 uses a magnet to identify if a window or door is opened or closed, a feature that can be useful in any number of smart home automations. For example, they can be used to enhance security, remind you to close a window when it starts to rain, or alert you that a freezer door has been left open too long. The Door and Window Sensor P2 comes with an adhesive mount “that will not damage the wall if removed,” says Aqara, and a thin magnetic plate for additional mounting options.
Fortunately, Aqara’s plain white two-part sensor is nondescript, with no visible logos or wordmarks. That’s important if you’d like to install dozens of such sensors around the house without turning it into Times Square. I know plenty of people who paint their sensors to better blend in with their doors and windows, but be warned: there’s a small Matter logo and pairing code hidden on the inner edge of this new Aqara sensor that you’ll need to keep track of.
The main sensor unit houses a new large-capacity 1,400mAh CR123 battery, making it much longer than the company’s Zigbee-based Door and Window Sensor. It measures 77 x 22 x 22mm, which is about as long as a typical smartphone is wide. Aqara doesn’t offer any longevity claims for the new battery, saying it depends on how frequently the low-energy sensor is polled and which apps and border router it connects to. Weird, because the company says its old sensor “can last over 2 years under normal usage.”
Unlike the company’s old Zigbee-based Door and Window Sensor that required a connection to an Aqara hub, the Thread-based P2 sensor works with any Matter-enabled Thread border router. That allows it to seamlessly integrate into any Matter-enabled ecosystem like Amazon, Apple, Google, and others. You might even have a Thread border router in your home already in the shape of a fourth-gen Echo, Apple TV 4K, or second-gen Nest Hub, to name just a few.
Aqara will release its first Thread border router, the Hub M3, in early 2024 alongside an update of the Aqara Home app to support Matter. Door and Window P2 sensors paired to the Hub M3 will gain extra features like tamper alert, adjustable sensitivity between one and three centimeters, and a programmable button that can activate a customized home scene or automation when pressed. Until then, the functionality of the button on the main unit is limited to setting up and resetting the device.
The company first teased the Door and Window Sensor P2 alongside a Thread-enabled Motion and Light Sensor P2 back at CES in January 2022. The motion sensor is still coming sometime “later this year,” according to Aqara representative Michelle Li in an email exchange with The Verge. Yes, that’s a delay from the original “early 2023” release plan.
Aqara is also well underway adding Matter support to its existing hubs as a way to bridge its suite of legacy Zigbee devices to the new unifying smart home protocol and has “various smart sensors, dimmer switches, smart plugs, and lights” on its Thread-enabled roadmap still to come.