Since the Matter standard was ratified at the end of 2022, more and more companies are adopting it. And, why not? Matter has the potential to greatly improve smart homes by simplifying installation, configuration, compatibility concerns, and more. SwitchBot enters the Matter fray with their brand new SwitchBot Hub 2, which is a follow-up to the original SwitchBot Hub Mini. What does the SwitchBot Hub 2 do? How does it differ from the SwitchBot Hub Mini? How well does it work with Matter? Those questions and more are answered in this article.
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Editor’s Note: SwitchBot provided me with the SwitchBot Hub 2 free of charge. However, this in no way affects my review. These are my honest opinions. See my disclosures for more info.
SwitchBot Hub 2 description and specs
- Smart WiFi Thermometer Hygrometer: The SwitchBot Hub 2 features a built-in industrial Swiss-made chip (accuracy up to ±1.8% RH/±0.36°F) in its cable. Additionally, the panel comes equipped with a light sensor, which enables the screen brightness to adapt to the environment seamlessly. The WiFi functionality allows you to monitor your home’s temperature, humidity, and light data, as well as their variations, anytime, anywhere.
- Helps Consolidate All Your Infrared Remotes: With Smart Learning, our smart home hub can help you add tons of home appliance infrared remotes to our app to help make home life simple. You’ll then be able to control appliances such as TVs, Air Cons, and more using Voice Commands (e.g. Alexa) or even using our app or your Apple Watch.
Editor’s Note: You can receive 15% off at Amazon or by buying directly from SwitchBot by using the coupon code XM15HUB2.
The SwitchBot Hub 2 is like a combination of the SwitchBot Hub Mini and the SwitchBot Meter Plus. Like the original hub, it has the ability to control devices via infrared. It also gives you the ability to control linked SwitchBot devices (e.g. the Blind Tilt, Bot, Smart Plug, Smart Lock, and Curtain) via the cloud (out of Bluetooth range) and voice assistants.
Like the SwitchBot Meter Plus, the Hub 2 measures, displays, and tracks the ambient temperature and humidity. Additionally, it has two buttons on the screen that can be used to trigger scenes that you’ve set up in the app.
SwitchBot Hub 2 Specifications
|Dimensions||3.15 x 2.76 x 0.91 inches|
|Wi-Fi support||802.11 b / g / n（2.4 GHz）|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Matter|
|Third-party services||Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri Shortcuts, IFTTT, SmartThings, Line Clova.|
|Power input||5V 2 Amps USB-C connection|
Additional capabilities over the original hub (including Matter support)
In addition to the temperature and humidity sensors, and the scene-triggering buttons, The SwitchBot Hub 2 has a couple of improvements/features over the original SwitchBot Hub Mini.
First, the infrared sensor on the Hub 2 is more powerful than the one on the Hub mini. This means it can control infrared devices from a longer distance.
Second, it supports Matter over Wi-Fi. It can make Bluetooth-only SwitchBot devices that it manages Matter enabled by serving as a Matter bridge. This includes devices like the SwitchBot Bot, the SwitchBot Curtain, and the SwitchBot Blind Tilt.
How does this feature improve your smart home? Right now these devices are primarily controllable through a Bluetooth connection through your phone, or in the SwitchBot cloud via a Bluetooth connection to the SwitchBot Hub Mini. But, if you have a SwitchBot Hub 2, they can be integrated and controlled by any Matter controller.
So, say you have a Matter controller like Samsung SmartThings or a Google home product (like the Google Nest Hub Max). Then, you can easily add these now matter-enabled devices to be controlled, automated, and triggered by actions from your Matter controller.
Now, while it is true that the SwitchBot hubs have their own integrations with Google Assistant- and Siri-powered devices already, having matter integration opens up the possibility for supporting more hubs that SwitchBot doesn’t currently natively support, and it potentially simplifies the process of adding these products to these hubs (scan and add).
Also, Matter devices integrate via your local network, so Matter controllers that can work without an Internet connection will still be able to control the devices even when the Internet is down.
Set up and configuration
Setting up the Hub 2 is simple and straightforward. After plugging it in, open the SwitchBot app and press the Add Device button (the “+” symbol on the top right of the app). Assuming you are near the SwitchBot Hub 2 you should see it detected in the app.
Select “Hub 2” in the app and then follow the instructions to press the two display buttons at the same time to put the device in pairing mode:
After that, you need to enter the Wi-Fi credentials that you want the SwitchBot Hub 2 to connect to. Note that it doesn’t support 5 GHz signals.
And then you are done. You’ll see the humidity and temperature values from the device inside the app. Note that app uses your app unit settings (Fahrenheit/Celsius). For me, the display still defaulted to Celsius. A nice improvement over the Smart Meter Plus is that you can just use the app to change the display to be the same as the app. On the original Smart Meter Plus you have to press a physical button on the device to change units.
Usage and adding devices with Matter support
As you can see above, you can use the app to add infrared devices to control and determine which scene the 2 display buttons trigger when your press them.
Also, you can use the buttons to turn the display on or off, which is helpful in a dark room where the display may be a distraction or you only want to see the readings in the app and/or use them to trigger other scenes.
You add SwitchBot devices to the Hub 2 for cloud and smart assistant control just as you do for the original SwitchBot Hub Mini. From the app’s settings screen, you select Cloud Services and then connect the device to the Hub 2.
If, like me, you already have a SwitchBot Hub Mini, then chances are you already have other SwitchBot devices connected to the mini for cloud and smart assistance control. You can easily move these devices to use the SwitchBot Hub 2 if they are in range using the app.
As you can see below, just go to the device’s settings screen, select cloud services, then select Hub ID and you can pick which Hub you want it to connect to.
As of the writing of this article, SwitchBot plans to give the Matter capability through the Hub 2 to the:
- SwitchBot Curtain
- SwitchBot Blind Tilt
- SwitchBot Lock (Bluetooth)
More Bluetooth devices could be added in the future. SwitchBot also plans to give its Wi-Fi devices Matter support without the use of the Hub 2 sometime in the near future.
Using the newly Matter-enabled devices
The process of adding SwitchBot Matter devices to another Matter-capable controller was straightforward. Since I have Google Home Matter controllers in my house, I went with using the Google Home app to add the Hub 2 as a Matter bridge.
Making sure the SwitchBot Hub 2 is ready for Matter
First, you must make sure you have an updated version of the SwitchBot App (version 7.23.13 or above), and Google Home App (126.96.36.199 or above). Then go to the SwitchBot Hub 2 settings screen in the app and select Matter Configuration as seen below.
Editor’s Note: I was running beta software at the time I was testing this functionality. Everything worked smoothly and should reflect the experience past when the software is out of the beta phase.
If your SwitchBot Hub 2 needs a software update, you’ll see a screen like this:
It took a couple of minutes and then after rebooting the SwitchBot Hub 2 I was able to see the Matter setup screen when going to the Matter configuration page of the SwitchBot Hub 2 in the app. It showed me a QR code and gave me a pairing code (both obscured in the pic below) that I could use to add the device as a Matter bridge in Google Home.
Adding the SwitchBot Hub 2 as a Matter bridge to Google Home
I used the pairing code to add the device to Google Home like any other Matter device (instructions taken from Google)
- Open the Google Home app and make sure that your Matter-enabled device is powered on.
- The Google Home app should automatically detect the Matter device and send a pop-up notification. Tap Set up in the notification. If you don’t get a notification, at the top left, tap Add Set up device New device Matter-enabled device to manually add your Matter-enabled device.
- Scan the Matter QR code of your Matter-enabled device, or enter the pairing code (which is what I did).
- Tap I agree to connect the device to your Google Account.
- Select the home where you want to add your Matter-enabled device.
After I did this I was presented with the lovely confirmation screen:
At this point, I could see the SwitchBot Hub 2 Temp and Humidity in the Google Home app. After a minute, I was able to see the SwitchBot Hub 2 labeled as a bridge.
Adding other devices via the SwitchBot Hub 2 Matter bridge
Adding other SwitchBot Matter-capable devices is simple at this point. I have a few SwitchBot Blind Tilt devices which fit the bill. All you have to do is go back to the Matter Configuration screen of the SwitchBot Hub 2 in the SwitchBot App and add the devices you want.
SwitchBot refers to them as “Secondary Devices.” After adding the Blind Tilt device here it showed up as controllable via Google Home within a minute.
The SwitchBot Hub 2 improves on the SwitchBot Hub Mini in every way. And, it serves as a temperature and humidity sensor. But its main claim to fame is acting as a Matter bridge for SwitchBot’s Bluetooth smart devices. Matter has come to SwitchBot, and now you can take your SwitchBot devices wherever Matter goes.
SwitchBot Hub 2 is one of the first Matter products out there. You can learn what other Matter products are already on the market here.