Aqara Camera Hub G3 Review: A Security Camera, Smart Home Hub in One

Don’t let the pointy ears and whimsical appearance of the Aqara Camera Hub G3 fool you. It may look like a refugee from a Miyazaki movie, but it’s a serious smart home camera that can monitor a room with video and artificial intelligence triggers.

At 5.6 x 3.5 x 2.5 inches (HxWxD, including its iconic ears), the G3 is more than twice the size of Cove’s inner camera. Still, the G3 is easy to hide on a shelf, desk, or mounted on a tripod.

A step up from Aqara’s G2H camera, the G3 checks almost all the boxes for a smart home camera. Based on a 2304 x 1296 pixel sensor, the G3 captures higher resolution video than the HD standard, and its 110-degree field of view can span an entire room. The view can be panned nearly 360 degrees horizontally and tilted 30 degrees up or 15 degrees down. Unlike the Wyze Cam Pan, the G3 lacks a zoom lens to get up close to a detail.

This review is part of TechHive’s coverage of the best home security cameras, where you will find reviews of competing offerings, as well as a buyer’s guide on the features to consider when purchasing this type of product.

There is also no security console to view the video. Instead, I needed to use the Aqara Home app. The camera connects via a 2.4 or 5 GHz Wi-Fi network and can be streamed to a smart display powered by Alexa or Google Assistant.

aqara camera hub g3 privacy mode Brian Nadel / IDG

Fold the privacy screen of Aqara Camera Hub G3 over its lens and you get this fun look.

While active, the camera’s LED lights red. Do you need some privacy? The comic face of the G3 folds up to cover the camera lens and reveal a pair of tabs. It also opens a slot for storing video on a microSD card that can be up to 128GB, but you’ll need to provide one.

The G3 uses artificial intelligence that goes beyond video streaming. The camera can track a person or pet, as well as respond to five hand gestures, such as turning off the lights.

Inside the Aqara Camera Hub G3

adding a aqara g3 camera hub Brian Nadel / IDG

The Aqara Camera Hub G3 has a built-in Zigbee smart home hub, but is limited to controlling Aqara devices.

In addition to its camera, video processor, and dual-band Wi-Fi circuitry, the G3 has a Neural Processing Unit (NPU) for AI work. Its integrated Zigbee hub can consolidate up to 128 devices, yet it only connects directly to Aqara devices. This can be extended to other items by using Alexa, Google Assistant, and HomeKit to trigger events.

The camera’s infrared receiver can be used with an infrared remote control. It has a microphone on the front and a speaker on the back which is part of the camera setup routine, but extends the camera to an intercom. It is perfect for listening to a baby crying in a nursery and sending a soothing message.

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