The good folk at Sonoff have sent me yet another gadget to review. This is a slightly curious device - an IP to 433MHz remote. This allows a smartphone to control smarthome gadgets which usually require an RF remote control.
It costs £8 plus postage direct from Itead.
This is similar to an Infrared device I reviewed a few years ago.
It's a cute little box, small and light enough to hide away anywhere. Even under use, it doesn't get hot.
Note - it only connects to 2.4GHz WiFi. That's standard for these cheap gadgets.
Powered by the ubiquitous micro-USB, it comes with a short cable, but no plug socket. I assume you have plenty at home.
Blinken lights! Little status LEDs so you know what's going on.
You need to use the eWeLink app. Like lots of smarthome apps from China, it isn't the prettiest - but it works. The translations on the app and the user guide would benefit from a more professional approach, but it is adequate.
The app is quick to respond - but I found that it would occasionally log me out, and I'd have to re-enter my password to continue.
It also supports Amazon Alexa! Incredible for a device this cheap. As I mentioned in my previous review, setting up the eWeLink Alexa skill is a bit cumbersome - but it works!
You also get a keyfob with four buttons on it.
It is an RF remote which you can pair with the box. Kinda neat if you don't want to unlock your phone to activate something.
It works - but there's a catch - how many 433MHz devices do you have? I had to dig out some old demo kit in order to play with this gadget. If you've got compatible devices, this is a useful gizmo - but most modern devices have WiFi built in, so it may be worth upgrading older devices if you can.
If you have devices which need 433MHz controls, this is a ridiculously cheap way to add them to your home network. The Alexa control is the icing on the cake.
It isn't a review if you don't get to see the guts 🙂
The retail model I've got has populated debug headers and an internal on/off switch.
Nice and neat design. I'm told that it should be fairly easy to flash and dump the firmware. For those who care about such things, the main chip is the ESP8285.
- You can find out more information on Sonoff's website
- Full specification - including schematic - is on the Itead Wiki
- Finally, you can buy it for £8 (US$10) from Itead directly