Aqara Camera E1 is essentially a strip-down version of the Aqara Camera Hub G3 and hence it is about S$100 cheaper. Aqara Camera Hub G3 retails for S$197.90.
As you would have guessed from the product name, Aqara Camera E1 doesn’t have a built-in Zigbee 3.0 hub. It is strictly a security camera that supports HomeKit Secure Video (HKSV).
Two improvements have been made to the Aqara Camera E1: Wi-Fi 6 support and Bluetooth 5.2 support. The latter is used to aid the setup process and remove the reliance on the Internet to control the camera if your Internet is down.
The Aqara Camera E1 and Aqara Camera Hub G3 support video resolution of up to 2K and come with pan and tilt motors. But note that streaming the camera feed over HKSV will only go up to full HD (1080p).
Aqara Camera E1 uses a USB-C port for power, but you need to use a USB-A charger to power it; hence, it comes with a USB-A to USB-C charging cable. USB-C charger will not work.
Aqara Camera E1 is designed to be placed on a tabletop. If you intend to mount it, you must attach the included mounting plate. Using the mounting plate, you can mount it on any 1/4″ tripod mount.
To access the MicroSD card slot, you just slide up the camera lens.
The setup process is the same for all security cameras in Aqara.
After adding the camera to the Aqara iOS App, you can add it to Apple Home.
It supports up to 512 GB MicroSD card.
You can also store the feed in your local Network Attached Storage (NAS). It can detect my Synology NAS just fine.
Regarding detection, Aqara Camera E1 is much inferior to the Aqara Camera Hub G3. It only supports human and motion detection. On the other hand, the Camera Hub G3 can recognize faces, gestures, and pets. This is not a big deal to me because I do not use any of the features at all.
If you are looking for a HKSV security camera, you will not go wrong with the Aqara Camera E1. It is a no-frills security camera that supports HKSV and does what it is supposed to do rather than having all the bells and whistles you will not use at an extra cost.
In fact, I recommend the Aqara Camera E1 over the Aqara Camera Hub G3 because a camera and a hub should be separated. So you will be better off getting an Aqara M2 Hub and the Aqara Camera E1.