New Xiaomi Mijia Multimode Smart Gateway

Well I was hoping to have received something revolutionary, but other than being a damn good buy for a Xiaomi Gateway that has HomeKit, there's not much to get overly excited about yet.

First, I will say that if you're an Apple HomeKit user, and have an Apple TV 4, this is a good buy, as it's going to allow you to join a wide range of Xiaomi Mijia and Aqara devices to Hubitat Elevation for a very low cost. I paid just $35 CAD ($25 USD) for this Gateway. Can't say if it's as good at keeping the connected Xiaomi devices humming along as the Aqara HomeKit hub has at this point, but I will change over and do some long term testing. I'll update this post at a later date with the results. The previous experiences that others have had with the Mijia gateways suggest that it will be just as good.

There are lots of reviews at this point, so I'll spare you the unboxing photos and just give you some comparisons to the size of a C-5 hub and some stuff buried in their app that show what's coming.

The power adapter only has a China Compulsory Certificate mark. No ETL Intertek certification like the Aqara Hub has (even the Aqara hub with the plug for the Chinese market has ETL certification). But it's just a standard 5v 1.0A adapter, so I just used my own UL/CSA approved adapter, instead of this potential fire hazard.

The Xiaomi Mijia Multimode Smart Gateway in packaging weighs in at 187.39 grams. Most of that weight is the gateway, since the adapter, power cord and tiny manual included weigh almost nothing. I'm guessing they added weight inside, since typical Chinese engineering would likely produce something they weighs much less. I'm not willing to open mine up, but I would assume this has been engineered into a single board, not a main board with daughter cards.

The gateway, while loaded with the latest tech (Zigbee 3.0, Bluetooth Mesh, and WiFi) is pretty well not useful in an HE environment unless you are an iOS user and have an Apple TV 4 or later (or something to run HomeKit automations). But if you are, or are considering this route, this is a really inexpensive option for that. I've posted about this before, so I won't go into another long post about it, but Xiaomi devices joined to a Xiaomi gateway are exceptionally good and very inexpensive. To me, if you have the wherewithal to integrate them either with HomeKit or MiConnector and the special Mijia Gateway needed for using MiConnector, it's well worth the effort.

Things I tried.

Don't get too excited about this gateway for anything but the price at this point in time. It apparently supports IKEA bulbs, but they must be either newer firmware than I have, or the bulbs contain special firmware for the Chinese market. I tried joining a relatively new IKEA Trådfri E14 warm white bulb, and it wouldn't find it.

I tried a Hue bulb with the IKEA driver, and while the gateway actually can communicate with the bulb and dims it slightly during the pairing process, it doesn't complete the process. There are some Philips drivers in their app, but they don't work with the Hue bulbs.

It's not listed, but for grins I tried to join an IKEA outlet. Nope!

I tried a few Xiaomi devices and they all joined immediately. No problems at all (and none were expected). However, for usable devices in HE, they need to be exposed to HomeKit. So while there are some intriguing devices in the list like Philips Wiz drivers (they call them ZhiRui bulbs in China), and Yeelight, I have no clue if those would show up in HomeKit. If they don't we cannot control them from HE, so in my opinion, there's no point in that.

Having said all that, there are some devices coming (or are already be available) that I do hope will be exposed to HomeKit. Here's a few of them...

Some interesting insight to Bluetooth Mesh and a list of what's available from Xiaomi right now for use with it.


Note: If you can speak that Chinese phrase, I'm impressed (especially if you're not Chinese).

There are FAQ you can access from the app and I found a few very interesting and informative.

What's better than the Aqara, what's not as good, and what's improved from the original firmware at launch.

I do like that this Mijia Multimode Smart Gateway, versus the current Aqara HomeKit Hub (not the upcoming Aqara M2 Hub) has Zigbee 3.0 and Bluetooth Mesh. Those will hopefully be a useful addition in the future, even though they don't significantly improve things today. The one exception is the number of child devices. There are reports out there that the Mijia Multimode Smart Gateway was increased from 32 directly connected child devices, to 64, but I think that is some misinformation in a HomeKit News review that just keeps getting repeated. I couldn't confirm any such thing, and one of the FAQ screen shots above seems to confirm that without a repeater, the gateway does indeed only support 32 directly connected child devices. However, although it's not clear if they're talking about 1 repeater or several, they do note that up to 128 child devices can be supported if there is a repeater. They make it sound like you only need one, but maybe that's just a bad translation from Chinese to English? :man_shrugging:

What is not as good starts with the Mi Home app. It's garbage. Half the app is ads aimed at the Chinese market, versus the completely ad free and much better UX experience of the Aqara Home app. The Aqara HomeKit hub is also designed to plug directly into the wall and double as a nightlight with adjustable color, and as a siren and doorbell. The Mijia Multimode Smart Gateway has no speaker, just a beeper (more on that in a few), and it has no light. As mentioned it uses a standard Micro USB cable for power and a typical 5v 1.0A DC power adapter. This is a disadvantage in my view, but it's something that isn't critical for most, so I understand the decision to leave them out to reduce the size and cost. The Aqara HomeKit hub doorbell is nice and I do use that, but the siren isn't all that loud (but I do use it anyway). The siren and doorbell cannot be triggered from HomeKit, they have to be triggered via a Xiaomi sensor so I use a Xiaomi Aqara contact sensor with a regular doorbell button tied to the reed switch, and to trigger the siren, I have a Mijia contact sensor tied to a Xiaomi Zigbee relay (with a regular 110v relay in between for dry contacts). So as you can see, it's a bit of effort to use it anyway. There's also the disadvantage that even though the Siren and Doorbell sound automations run local on the Aqara HomeKit hub, they will stop functioning every few months when I block the hubs access to Chinese servers. Therefor I need to unblock access, let it reconnect and then once they're working again, I can block access until the next time it stops working. So as a separate siren, that's kind of useless and I'm thinking of replacing that functionality with a dedicated siren at some point. Just waiting for something better than the Dome Siren for my Ring Alarm system.

Previously, the reviewers all pointed out that there was an intermittent beeping. Indeed there was. This was a "feature" they added that each time the gateway dropped its connection to the host service, it would beep, and each time it rejoined it would beep. So since the gateway would either occasionally lose connection, or when a change was made it would briefly disconnect, there would be a rather annoying beep. The recent firmware removes this problem. You still hear a beep when it boots, and you still hear a beep when it's pairing and when pairing has failed, but otherwise the annoying beeping that seemed random to the reviewers, is now resolved.

While I'm not going to change my opinion of their terrible Mi Home app (Named Xiaomi Home on Android), I did like this feature for checking the Link Quality of devices. That would be pretty nice to have that kind of easy to understand tool on the HE platform.

Is this better than a Hubitat Elevation Hub :joy: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:
NO! Doesn't even come close. I was longing to go back to my laptop and play with my HE hub more, every single minute I was testing this gateway. There's just SO MUCH MORE you can do and so much greater control with HE. This kind of gateway is a nice bridge to a lot of very small and nicely designed devices, but I would be very unsatisfied with something like this as my primary hub.

If you're good with the idea of linking Xiaomi devices to your Hubitat Elevation hub via Homebridge/HomeKit, this is a good buy. Otherwise, it is not. For the non-HomeKit method that lets you expose Xiaomi devices directly to HE with the special Mijia gateway, use MiConnector instead, or just don't use Xiaomi devices. Yes you can join them directly to Hubitat (eventually) but keeping them connected is a real pain that I'm glad to have resolved with the Xiaomi gateways and HomeKit.

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Update 1: Moved most of the Xiaomi devices to the new Mijia Multimode Gateway tonight to test for stability over time. So far, it's been a breeze. Everything paired just as fast at they do on the Aqara HomeKit Hub, with the exception of the Opple 6 button controller. That takes slightly less time to pair on the Mijia Multimode gateway. Maybe that has something to do with both devices supporting Zigbee 3.0 :man_shrugging:

BUT, there's a problem right now for me. I have to keep the Opple 6 button controller paired to the Aqara HomeKit Hub, because for some odd reason, that one device is not exposed to HomeKit when paired to the Mijia Mulimode Gateway, but it is exposed to HomeKit when paired with the Aqara HomeKit Hub. :crazy_face: This make no sense, and I hope for the sake of those that will buy this Mijia gateway that they will change that soon, because this is a fantastic button controller. One of my favorites. I have also created a simple RM rule that gives you toggle capability in HomeKit, which isn't normally supported for some odd reason.

Other devices I have not moved are an Aqara contact sensor and Mijia contact sensor, because I need them to be joined to the Aqara hub in order to trigger the doorbell sound and the alarm sound. You cannot trigger sounds from one bridge to another from the Mijia Mulitmode Gateway. This is very odd too, since in previous Mijia gateways this was always possible. Maybe it will change in the future, but it's very strange that the first gateway they produce without a speaker, cannot trigger the speaker of another gateway to make up for it. :roll_eyes:

I have also not moved a my Mijia motion sensor at my front door. This one I may test later, but for now it will stay paired directly to HE. Where everything has fallen off at one point, this one never does. Maybe for two reasons – ONE: It is a Mijia motion sensor not an Aqara, and they seem to stay paired to HE better for some reason. TWO: It is constantly powered by a 5v adapter with a 5v to 3.3v buck module, and this may be a key factor. This sensor has also received the hack that lets it update every second if you wish. Mine is set to update every 5 seconds. It's been working fine in HE, but when I once tried to pair it to the Aqara HomeKit Hub with the hardware hack in place, it would pair, but the status wouldn't update. Perhaps it will be different with the Mijia Multimode Gateway.. This isn't one I'm going to rush to find out though. It's been so stable in HE, there's nothing but knowledge for me to gain from such a change.

Lastly I have not moved my Aqara Leak Sensors. They are still paired to HE and will stay that way. Why? Because they have never dropped once. The last thing I want to do is experiment with them on the Mijia hub. I'm sure they would be as solid as everything else Xiaomi is on their gateways, but the one under my Kitchen sink just saved me this last Sunday. Worked exactly as it should have. Not broken, so I'm not going to "fix" it.

I'll update this post in a few weeks with how things have been working. So far, everything is just as responsive at the Aqara HomeKit Hub, so except for the missing Opple button controller in HomeKit, it's still a good buy. But for now, if you're interested in using an Opple controller, stick with the Aqara HomeKit Hub (Or maybe the special Mijia Gateway for MiController if it's supported there and shows up in HE).

Update 2:

I'm out for now.

Turns out there is still a beeping. This thing must have been driving early reviewers nuts! It's not that bad now, but it's still annoying. I can understand how it must have seemed so random to the them.

What they did in update 1.4.5_0005 and 1.4.5_0006 was to remove a startup confirmation beep and a successful connection to the internet confirmation beep. What they did not remove was the Zigbee link confirmed beep. The Aqara HomeKit Hub does that, but it speaks it. What they're trying to do I guess, is confirm that the Zigbee network is up. With the Aqara HomeKit Hub, it says "normal link confirmed" every so often, but only when you trigger the first device that you paired to the hub.

The Mijia Multimode Gateway is beeping twice when I pass in front of the same motion sensor that I paired first to it, and it's only happening every so often. I'm almost certain that's what it is. With the Aqara hub, you just turn down the speaker. The alarm and doorbell are local automations, so you just set their volume levels in the automation and then you can turn the hub main volume down so you never hear it. Can't do that with the Mijia's beeper.

Thought about opening it and blocking, or removing the beeper if possible, but the thing looks like it's been welded closed. I don't see any way to open it. Nothing pries away from the sides or bottom. I'm interested in it's potential, so I don't feel like destroying it just yet. I'll wait and see if they come out with an update.

In the meantime I do have an experiment going. I have no idea what they thought was so useful about the link confirm feature, since a light turning on pretty well confirms it. :man_shrugging: But I got to thinking that maybe it's an Aqara thing for security devices. I have a Mijia motion sensor in the basement and it's the only thing joined to it. I'll test that tomorrow and see it beeps in the same way. If not, then just making sure you use only the Mijia security devices, like the motion sensor and the contact sensor may be necessary. I have both of those to test with. They are sometimes a little more expensive, but they do look nicer than the Aqara in my opinion. devices with it may be the only way to fix that issue. I have a Mijia button, but not an Aqara, so it won't be a conclusive test.

Otherwise, it's a great little gateway for the price, but that beeping isn't tolerable :-1:, especially when I have the Aqara HomeKit Hub and it's great :+1:. The Mijia did seem a little faster responding to the motion sensors, so that's something to look forward to with the T1 devices and this gateway, as well as the Aqara M2 still to come.

Update 3: Latest firmware update may have removed the beeping for link confirmation, but I cannot be sure. I also changed the pairing order (e.g. Mijia sensor first, then Aqara sensor) at the same time that I did a firmware update. But I have lost interest in this gateway after discovering that if it does not remain connected to their cloud, it stop communicating with the paired devices, and in fact does not restore the link to the devices. The think drops it's connection to Mijia and Aqara devices alike!

If you don't care about their hub constantly needed to communicate with their server in China so that you can use local HomeKit, then maybe you're fine with one of these. For me, I am absolutely not OK with that. I purposely block the internet connection of my Aqara hub to their servers, and HomeKit together with all the sensors, continue to work. I'm not certain, but I think this Mijia hub may be using the new software based HomeKit authorization, so that would explain why the need the constant internet connection for HomeKit as well as their own automation software. However, that doesn't fully explain why it drops connection to its own devices.

The Aqara HomeKit Hub does for certain have an Apple MFI chip for HomeKit, and it can remain blocked from the internet indefinitely. All the Aqara and Mijia devices will continue to work perfectly.

Mijia Multimode Gateway for HomeKit now receives a DO NOT BUY from me :-1:

Aqara HomeKit Hub is excellent and the software is very easy to use and well designed. For Small, inexpensive and good battery life in a sensor, I do recommend the Aqara HomeKit Hub if you're an iOS user and have one of the required always on Apple devices to link HE virtual switches to it via HomeKit automations.

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Very good information and thank you for posting. I have personally been waiting for the new T1 devices as they are supposedly Zigbee 3.0 and theoretically should work better directly with HE without an additional GW.

Do you happen to have any of the new T1 devices and can you test pairing directly to HE ?

I have the Opple 6 button controller. It is Zigbee 3.0. It pairs, but a press of button 2 turns everything Zigbee in your home ON and button 1 turns everything Zigbee OFF. It’s not a good scenario when one of those things happens to trigger your alarm and it’s early in the morning. :flushed:

Xiaomi Opple 6 button remote

This issue is known by others and SmartThings has the same result. There’s no driver and it’s not believed there will be a fix for that particular problem. I’m using it with the Aqara HomeKit hub which is not Zigbee 3.0 and syncing it via Homebridge. It works great that way, and I’m using rule machine to give me toggle capabilities, which HomeKit doesn’t support.

The T1 devices are indeed Zigbee 3.0, but I don’t have a need for them so have not purchased any.

Ah, yes. My mistake for thinking that Zigbee 3.0 might actually mean that they would work. I too have the Opple, which I was hoping to use as it looks nice, but it shows up as a Sprinkler device on my Hub :wink:

The problem is that I really like the Aqara devices and would like to use them.

I notice a few times you reference a special mijia gateway for MiConnector. Is it not possible to connect this one the same way? And if not, do you think it's something that will be exposed in the future?

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Not possible. Opposite really. You need to be able to access this hidden developer option. It’s shown in the MiConnector instructions. If you update the older Mijia, I believe that it takes that option away. So this older special model, without any upgrades is what’s needed.

How the Opple shows up as isn’t the problem. The driver can be changed, but the way it behaves when joined is. Somehow Xiaomi got away with doing this on the current Aqara hub that is not Zigbee 3.0, but their Zigbee is not compliant, so they can do things that don’t follow a standard.

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@SmartHomePrimer I am wondering about Aqara high precision motion sensor in your 1st post. I've never heard about nor I can goggle it.
Am I missing something?

Indeed! Are we all?

Post #2 updated - I'm already done. Beeping still happens, see post update for the reason.

Post #2, update 3 added - Changed recommendation to DO NOT BUY