SwitchBot test: press a button for you!

The robot that presses any button!

SwitchBot - Connected button

SWITCHBOT - WHITE BLUETOOTH CONNECTED BUTTON (JEEDOM COMPATIBLE)

Price as of: May 28, 2022 18 h 58 min

We are regularly interested in connected switches. But it's not easy with this damn 3rd wire called neutral! There is therefore the connected bulb, which is a very good option because the switches will not allow changes in colors, elaborate scenes, or other ... But when you think about it, if you want to put a connected switch, it is precisely because it is not possible to put smart bulbs and this for several reasons: too expensive, too many or non-existent in the desired references. So how do you do it? No bulb, no neutral, no desire to use electricity… The Alexiens have found a solution for you with the SwitchBot !

But what is a SwitchBot ? As the name suggests, for those familiar with the language of Shakespeare, this is a robotic switch (Bot). The principle is also very ingenious: you set up your box in the immediate vicinity of the rocker or the push button of your switch. the SwitchBot will come, on demand, to press your switch to toggle it in one position, with a small mechanical arm, or on the contrary to move it away to put it back in its initial position, always with the arm but with the help of a wire system. The wire being attached to the rocker of the switch via a double face, going up, the arm will pull on the wire pulling on the adhesive bringing the rocker with it. In the event of a pusher returning alone in place, the single arm is sufficient. He will come to apply a pressure to turn on and a pressure to turn off. So only one box is needed to turn off and turn on the most common types of switches. But the Bot can also be put on a press-stud coffee maker or a PC tower for example.

The SwitchBot is a product of the Wonderlabs company. This company specializes in the creation of products dedicated to the connected home. The SwitchBot is their flagship product, along with the associated Hub. The Bot was created in 2015 and launched at the end of 2016 for sale in 2017. The products are made in Shenzhen, China under their responsibility.

SwitchBot: a switch… robotic!

The connected button SwitchBot comes in red and white packaging. Qualitative and very well illustrated, it is quite thick and protects devices relatively well which is also highlighted through a window hidden by a flap. Having a view of the products is quite rare and well seen.

The tone is immediately set: the SwitchBot is compatible Alexa et Google Home, But also IFTTT… A small diagram explains the principle and gives some examples of use… The first impression is very good: it exudes quality. But do not let ourselves be swayed.

In the box, we find our SwitchBot box, a manual in English and Japanese (rather brief in both languages), a double-sided advance to glue your box (one is already in place) and two addons (the small links used for the on-off function). The connected button is white or black plastic, relatively qualitative and solid.

In terms of size, the box is a rectangle of 4,2 x 3,7 cm and 2,4 cm thick for 40 grams only. The small motorized arm is in the upper part of the case. It works at CR2 battery included (it is necessary to remove the protection at the first use) given for 600 days.

The set-up is relatively simple. There are two modes of use: single push and on / off. In both cases, the place in which to glue the case is identical. It must be put close enough to the pusher or the rocker so that the arm comes to press firmly on it. To put it on / off, you will have to hook the "add-on" by passing it through the notch at the end of the arm and gluing the other end to the top of the rocker. And there ... you will realize that the size of the case is not quite suitable to our French switches.

Indeed, it is made above all for UK or Asian type switches, with a small push button or a small rocker and therefore much more space on the cover to stick it there. In our case, it will only be possible to stick half of the case on the cover… But despite everything, it is sufficient for it to be stable and anchored. A smaller case or a longer arm (to glue the case next to the cover and not straddling it) would be a plus for a version perfectly suited to France.

SwitchBot: a switch… Bluetooth

The box will be used with the application SwitchBot running on Android and IOS. Pairing is extremely quick and easy.

Here is the operating mode with the help of their little mascot!

Once the email and your password have been entered, you will receive a password that you will need to enter in the code confirmation area. Pay attention to activate your bluetooth, because once this code is entered, pairing is instantaneous. Your box appears immediately. It will have to be renamed.

As it stands, your SwitchBot can be used as a push button function. To turn it on / off, you have to enter the parameters and activate "Use light switch add-on". Thanks to this, two buttons ON and OFF appeared in the application. Depending on where you stuck your box, you may have to reverse the ON and OFF, hence the reverse button available in the settings.

And There you go ! Your box is paired with your phone! By pressing the Bot icons and being nearby, you can turn your room on and off! … Eh ? What ? It's bluetooth and isn't it enough for you? Ah yes, it's true! Onward for operation in Wi-Fi mode !!

SwitchBot Hub: an additional universal remote control!

To use the SwitchBot in Wi-Fi mode, it is necessary to purchase another element: the SwitchBot Hub. It is indeed the latter which will transform the Wi-Fi control into a Bluetooth control for the Bot. Here, we carried out the test with Hub More which is no longer marketed, but you can obviously do the same with the SwitchBot Hub Mini tested here.

The SwitchBot hubs are also universal IR remote control that can operate TVs, Hi-Fi systems, air conditioners… Ah, you surely want to know how to use the hub to replace your remote controls?

OK… Here is the tutorial for a TV:

  • press the small IR (in the cloud), add appliance
  • select the desired device type. Function smart will consist of pressing one of the buttons on the remote control until the hub plus turns green. If that doesn't work, there are two other specific modes to help you: choice with a brand or manual mode.

From there, the application will offer you several configurations that you will test to find the one that works best (by pressing next or previous). Be careful, because depending on your equipment, the hub must be placed close enough or in alignment for the IR beam to hit it well and work. This is not due to the device itself, but to its sensitivity (you can tell with your standard remote whether or not you need to aim precisely to change channels or increase the sound).

 

SwitchBot: a compatible switch robot Alexa and Google Home!

Now that we have seen how to set up the box and how to connect it to Wi-Fi via the Hub, let's see how to use it with our voice assistants.

With Amazon Alexa

For Amazon Alexa, you need activate the SwitchBot skill Smart then show the box in the same way as a plug or a connected bulb ... But be careful, before that, you must go to the Bot's parameters to give it the instruction to get in phase with Alexa as well as choose "Hub" at the Cloud Service level. Thus, everything will go through the Hub which will communicate directly with Alexa.

 

Then the way to do it is the same as for all the other pairings. You must activate the skill, enter your username and password, then validate.

After confirming the association of the account, close the window and leave Alexa search for new devices.

 

 

From there, you can use your voice assistant to control your SwitchBot by voice, but also the devices connected to the Hub (TV in our case). Depending on your network, you may have one to three seconds of latency. The following are examples of requests:

  • « Alexa, turn on (or turn off) the bathroom (name of the Bot in our case) ",
  • "Decrease (or increase) the sound (or volume) of the TV". This will vary the volume by one unit.
  • "Turn off (or turn on) the TV". This will put your device to sleep.

For Google Home, the procedure is more or less the same and you have to go to "+" and “Configure a device” and “Works with Google”. There, search for SwitchBot and link your accounts.

However, there are small problems or inconsistencies with the application that are not not always very easy to understand. If your Hub disconnects from the internet, remember to put the rear button on ON so that it reconnects on its own, otherwise this is not possible. But if it is ON, it will remain permanently illuminated (but it will also reconnect on its own). With use via Alexa, no particular concern, but with the application, it is sometimes necessary to turn on a Bot that is already ON to be able to turn it off. It is only possible to enter the Hub and Bot parameters in Bluetooth mode and not in Wi-Fi mode. You must therefore switch the Hub to ON (pairing mode) to access it and activate its Bluetooth… Next the request made to Alexa, for the Hub function in particular, it may tell you that the firmware is out of date and an update is needed. But this one is not present. The application and the link with the hub could therefore be facilitated but updates seem to be in the works.

With Google Home

For Google Home, the procedure is more or less the same and you have to go to "+" and “Configure a device” and “Works with Google”. There, search for SwitchBot and link your accounts.

In conclusion, the SwitchBot is a very smart product allowing to bypass the installation of a connected switch or to press any non-connectable button. The installation of the whole is very simple and everything works well. This product is therefore a very good idea. We can possibly blame it for its size and bulk, but especially the mandatory use with a Hub which increases the price. However, if at the launch of the product this hub was very limited, it can now be used with other devices such as SwitchBot Curtain, the connected thermometer SwitchBot or recently announced new security products (see below). If, at the time of the first publication of this test, the interest was really limited, it is justified today much more if you are a fan of the brand's connected objects. In short, after more than two years of use, we still highly recommend it!
TO READ :
SwitchBot unveils two new security features

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_3f6OC9p0s

SwitchBot + SwitchBot Hub Plus

25 45 + € €
7.4

Installation

9.0/10

Design

8.0/10

functionality

8.0/10

Application

5.0/10

Price quality

7.0/10

Most

  • Very easy to install
  • Original solution to automate switches
  • The Hub Plus having multiple functions being deployed.

The lessers

  • The price of the set because a hub is necessary even to only control the Bot
  • The application that has inconsistencies
Did i choose Alexa or did she choose me? Let's say that as a beta tester, it's a bit of both! And I do not regret having met our favorite assistant nor this adventure undertaken with Alexien Modo. Technophile, self-taught and loving popularization, I try to make our common passion easy to access!