A smart way to solve those seasonal sniffles
Over the past year or so, air purifiers have gone from being a luxury item for allergy sufferers to a common necessity. Many of us have purchased HEPA filtration systems in the hopes that it could affect our safety at home during the pandemic. Whether you’re still in that mood or not, Xiaomi’s Smartmi P1 air purifier is a surprisingly decent buy, with an attractive design, cheaper than average filters, and the kind of voice assistant integrations you expect. in 2021. However, these integrations are a bit limited and the price of $ 180 is quite steep.
Design, material, contents of the box
The Smartmi P1 air purifier is a mostly metal cylinder (I scraped it to be sure – it’s metal), taller than it is wide, but less than a foot in diameter. The air filter inlets are a series of perforations all around the base, just below half of the sides. It opens through a grid on the top, with a series of small indicators and controls in the center.
A digital display indicates the detected level of particulate matter (PM). There are also indicators for the Wi-Fi connection, a color-based “pollution” level, custom or operating modes and three touch controls: one for power, one for fan speed and one for a timer. Eve.
The large round filter is located at the bottom of the device, where it fits. Although it comes with a “pollen” filter, replacements are also available in a “pet” filter type. Unlike some other air purifiers, the multiple filter stages are enclosed in one room. This could make replacement easier, but it could potentially shorten their lifespan, despite being designed to last 6 to 12 months.
This estimate of longevity seems to be confirmed and the application estimates around 300 days per filter based on my own use. Your mileage may vary.
However, the P1’s replacement filters are also a bit cheaper than some other high-end air purifier brand filters, costing around $ 40. The are air purifiers with even cheaper filters, but it’s on the lower par for what I’ve seen. You don’t have a replacement filter in the box, just an AC adapter and the usual documentation.
Software, integrations and performance
The air purifier itself is easy to use, with just three capacitive buttons, but you can also connect it to Wi-Fi and the Smartmi Link app for additional controls, filter status monitoring, air quality data monitoring or to turn on / off the sound feedback or the screen on the device. In short: you have to use the app.
I know that, generally, the apps for random smart home gadgets are pretty awful, and the design here isn’t the best. But the Smartmi Link app is fully functional, with a reasonably intuitive layout and no glaring bugs that I have encountered. It’s not great, but it works.
Home app controls are limited.
You can also link the P1 air purifier to your Google Home / Google Assistant / Google account through the Home app, and you can control the device from more places, like from smart speakers, screens, on-device assistant, or Android’s smart home control menu. It also works with Alexa and HomeKit if you’re on a different team – sorry Android is our schtick, I haven’t tested these integrations.
I intermittently encountered an issue where the air purifier was registering as “not responding” in Google Home, even though the app could wirelessly control it very well. The “link” option available in Home was not working, and manually removing the Smartmi integration and re-adding it showed that there was no device available in my account. Then, later, he randomly reappeared on his own. It might work differently for you, but the Assistant integrations seem a bit buggy.
But there’s more on your smart screen.
Device controls may seem limited at first in Google’s Home app, with only an on and off list, but you can also set the current operating mode with your voice, and these additional controls are also available visually on smart screens. I have air purifiers that also offer granular fan speed, sleep timer controls, and some even provide details on air filter wear through the wizard, but those kind of controls don’t did not work for me with the P1 air purifier in my testing, and I was unable to find a full published list of supported commands. All I could reliably trigger with my voice were the same commands listed on my smart screen connected to the assistant (above). While it has more than the bare minimum of smart home integrations, it would be cool if it supported more Assistant commands, as some of its competition do.
I don’t have a lot of additional equipment to test the accuracy of the Smartmi P1 air purifier measurements or the quality of the air filtration in a room. But, I do have allergies, and I can report that after having had a good series of sneezes and sniffles in my office, running the air purifier made a noticeable difference – at least, until that my own movements triggered more pollen and allergens that settled on the surfaces.
Should we buy it?
Smartmi P1 air purifier
I wasn’t exactly thrilled to see an air purifier again, but when the offer for the Smartmi P1 air purifier arrived a few months ago during the height of my weed allergies, it was pretty tough to say no. As much as I had hoped the opposite, the air filter didn’t magically make all of my problems go away – I would probably need several of them working in tandem throughout my house, plus extra protection against it. bad weather (and maybe an airlock leading directly to my car). But sitting next to me in my office, it made a noticeable difference for a seasonally sniffing Ryne during the day.
The cost of replacement filters is also cheaper than I expected and lower than some other high end air filtration options. However, with a single filter handling all stages of filtration, this could result in more frequent replacement, and the wizard integrations were both a bit buggy and more limited compared to things like Coway Airmega products. I also have an Airmega 400S, and although it is two to three times the price, it has a multistage system with parts that you can clean yourself to extend the life of the main filter, and it offers more assistant-based controls (although its Wi-Fi connection is frustrating). We didn’t have a chance to review it for ourselves, but the NASH Smart WiFi Air Purifier fetched a lower price of $ 100 with similar specs, cheaper filters, and integration of the. assistant, although it is objectively ugly, and it is not.
Ultimately, I like the Smartmi P1 air purifier. It might be a bit pricey, but the filters are also a bit cheaper than average which might balance that out over long term use. Still, I can’t help but be a little critical about the limitation of Assistant commands. If these integrations are redundant for you, there are plenty of no-name, Amazon specials, and dumb air purifiers out there for a fraction of the price. And if you want a top-of-the-line model in a comparable square footage, the Coway AP-1512HH Mighty sets the standard these days with a much more advanced filtration system, and often available for a similar price.
I always recommend the P1 air purifier, but you will need to weigh what you are looking for in an air purifier before you buy it.
Buy it if …
- You want a smart air purifier built into the assistant.
- It needs to fit in with the contemporary style of your home – many air purifiers seem to have been released from 1995-2005.
Don’t buy it if …
- A stupid (cheaper) air purifier will work for you.
- You need it to cover a larger area – it’s good for a single medium sized room.