Aqara Motion Sensor vs Aqara Motion Sensor P1

With Aqara’s rapid growth and innovation, we’re starting to see many new products that either replace an older version (like the G2H Pro replacing the G2H), or released as a higher-end version to coexist with an older product (G3 and G2H Pro cameras; H1 vs D1 switches). Even the humble motion sensor isn’t spared!

Aqara’s new release of the Aqara Motion Sensor P1 is a significant upgrade of the Aqara motion sensor. It’s not a replacement, just an upgraded version exisiting together with the original. This is probably going to cause some confusion – the biggest problem is in the names.

The original Aqara motion sensor is simply called Aqara Motion Sensor – no model name, number, or any other descriptive words. The new one, thankfully, has the P1 suffix – Aqara Motion Sensor P1. There’s a difference, but it can still be confusing.

We’re hoping that by the end of the article, it’s pretty clear to you of the differences! First, our two motion sensors:

Aqara Motion Sensor

Aqara Smart Motion Sensor

The OG workhorse sensor of Aqara products, the Aqara Motion Sensor is much loved for its diminutive size, accurate sensors, fast wireless connection, and long battery life. It’s easy to mount and aim.

Aqara Motion Sensor P1

Aqara P1 Motion Sensor

The latest addition, the Aqara Motion Sensor P1 is a bit more grown up – with a slightly larger size and a bigger chin – now with the Aqara logo emblazoned on it. It retains the familiar design but adds more features and functionalities.

The Similarities

As usual, it’s easier to start with the similarities. Both products are functionally the same – functionally meaning that they are both smart sensors that notifies your smart home system when motion is detected. It’s up to you to configure what happens when motion is detected – you could turn a light on, receive a notification on your phone, or even trigger an alarm.

  • Both are motion sensors
  • Both have the same design
  • Both are swivellable on the stand
  • Both also have a light sensor (measuring the intensity of light in the area, or lux)
  • Both are completely wireless – running on Zigbee and running on batteries
  • Both are compatible with Apple HomeKit

The Differences

The differences between the two models are most notably physical, with some new features on the P1.

Physical differences

The Aqara Motion Sensor P1’s size was increased. The original’s size (with the stand) is 6.9 x 3.1 x 3.1 cm – the P1 now measures 7.9 x 3.4 x 3.4 cm. The P1 is also heavier, weighing in at 40g vs 25g.

We’ll let these photos do the talking.

Aqara motion sensor vs Aqara Motion Sensor P1
The P1 on the right is larger and taller
Aqara motion sensors top view
The P1 on the right has a larger diameter – 3.4 vs 3.1 cm
Aqara motion sensor profiles
The original motion sensor’s reset / pairing button is on the side, the P1 has it moved to the back. Their sensor is actually the same size of 2cm, even though there’s probably some optical illusion making the P1’s sensor look smaller.
Aqara motion sensor P1 vs normal
Button on the back of the P1
Motion sensors on wall
Both can be mounted on a wall and articulated to the correct angle
Aqara motion sensor comparison
Accessing the battery compartment

New Features in the Aqara Motion Sensor P1

The P1 has a larger size for a reason – it uses two CR2450 batteries – twice that of the original! This gives it a longer battery life. Besides that, The Aqara Motion Sensor P1 now has a few more new features.

Configurable Timeout

Timeout can now be configured to be between 1 second to 200 seconds. This refers to the time the motion sensor shuts itself off after detecting motion. In the original, it was set at 60 seconds, and not changeable by most users.

This can help you set better automations, and save battery life. By increasing the timeout to 180 seconds, for example, the increased amount of time the motion sensor shuts down will drastically improve its battery life.

Battery Life

With a doubling of batteries, and the possibility to increase the timeout, the Aqara Motion Sensor more than doubles the original’s battery life. The official number is 5 years (timeout set to at least 30 seconds)

Configurable Sensitivity

Sensitivity can now be adjusted between Low, Medium, and High – this refers to the distance the sensor will be triggered from, which can help to reduce false positives. At the high sensitivity configuration, the motion sensor detects motion as far away as 7 metres (with a 150 degree angle). To only trigger the motion sensor for nearby movements, set the configuration to low – and it’ll only detect motion 2 metres away (170 degree angle). 

This would be useful in places where you want the light to trigger only when motion is nearby.

Zigbee 3.0 and future Matter support

The new P1 motion sensor has Zigbee 3.0, vs the original Zigbee 1.2. Aqara’s official statement is also that the P1 will support Matter in a future OTA (over-the-air) update.

Matter support … will be rolled out as an OTA update of a compatible Aqara Zigbee 3.0 hub.

Aqara’s P1 website
Blue LED on motion detection

It’s possible on the P1 to flash the blue LED light when motion is detected – something unavailable on the original. You can also disable this setting.

Another Difference – Battery Access

It might be just us, but it was extremely difficult accessing the P1 motion sensor’s batteries. We broke a few catches while struggling with it. In contrast, the original motion sensor’s battery compartment was relatively easy to access with a quick twist.

Motion Sensor P1 battery
Broken parts on the Aqara P1 while we were forcing it open

Still, if the battery life is 5 years, it’s something you’ll only have to contend with much later.

Differences – Summary

Aqara Motion SensorAqara Motion Sensor P1
Size (with stand)6.9 x 3.1 x 3.1 cm7.9 x 3.4 x 3.4 cm
Weight (with stand)25g40g
WirelessZigbee 1.2Zigbee 3.0
Batteries1 x CR24502 x CR2450
Battery life2 years5 years
Timeout60 secondsConfigurable from 1 to 200 seconds
Sensitivity adjustmentNoYes

Conclusion

The biggest question now – is the Aqara Motion Sensor P1 worth the higher price? We’re not so sure. None of the features (other than the battery life) are things most consumers would want or need. The battery compartment design of the P1 is also much to be desired.

Ultimately, both sensors are great value for money and quite simply the best designs for motion sensors among the many brands we’ve tested (Eve, Ikea, Philips Hue, Broadlink), so either way, it’s hard to go wrong!

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