Evaluate of the primary Matter system by SONOFF

We’ve simply acquired the primary Matter product from SONOFF for assessment, which is the Mini Excessive Swap (MINIR4M) mannequin. Its exterior look carefully resembles the Mini Excessive Swap Wifi (MINIR4) which we reviewed beforehand. They’ve completely different colours to tell apart between WiFi (Orange) and Matter (Inexperienced). On this assessment, we now have experimented with varied Sensible Residence platforms that help Matter, reminiscent of Residence Assistant, Apple HomeKit, Google Residence, and even their very own eWeLink app. Let’s see how their operations and options differ to some extent.

Fast intro for Matter. We’ve heard Matter/Thread collectively within the information. Matter is a management protocol, whereas Thread is a communication protocol. Each protocols can work collectively, or individually. Matter can function on the highest of assorted communication protocols, together with WiFi, Ethernet, BLE, or Thread, with refined variations reminiscent of power effectivity, community, and resiliency. What’s essential to notice is that Matter acts as a layer that permits interoperability amongst units. Initially, we are going to seemingly see Matter units that work at the side of WiFi extra out there because it’s simpler to accumulate and function (software program enabled), it doesn’t require the creation of latest networks and doesn’t necessitate investments in extra gear like Thread Border Routers. However, a number of firms out there envision the long run and have designed {hardware} prematurely that may be firmware-upgraded steadily to help the Thread protocol (2.4GHz), just like the HomePod from Apple.

Matter, which was as soon as referred to as Mission CHIP (Related Residence over IP), is a collaborative effort between main expertise firms together with Google, Apple, Amazon, LG, Samsung, Huawei, Haier, and plenty of {hardware} distributors reminiscent of Silicon Labs, and Espressif Methods. The Matter normal is pushed by the Connectivity Requirements Alliance (CSA), which was beforehand referred to as the Zigbee Alliance. Its final objective is to create a unified normal for sensible dwelling units that may work collectively seamlessly, no matter model or ecosystem. The profit to Sensible Residence lovers shall be a typical communication normal amongst units, offering extra choices and cost-effectiveness.

One factor price taking word is that the Matter ecosystem requires a Matter Hub/Controller, which have to be in the identical subnet (native). Subsequently, the operation is predominantly native, making it extra secure and quicker in comparison with conventional cloud-based programs. That is particularly beneficial when the web is down or when cloud servers expertise downtime, as our sensible dwelling system continues to perform. Even additional along with Thread, it may present extra resiliency if the principle border router goes down, you possibly can have a number of border routers on the identical community, so if one fails, the opposite can decide up the slack, decreasing the probability of failure.

SONOFF MINI Excessive (MINIR4M) unboxing

The package deal contains the tiny Mini Excessive (Matter) system together with the same old guide. The package deal has the Matter brand on it, and the system itself has a light-weight inexperienced band, which signifies that it’s a product that helps Matter. SONOFF normally makes use of colour bands to tell apart units with completely different protocols reminiscent of Zigbee, WiFi, and Matter. And don’t throw away the field straight away as on the again of the guide, there’s a QR code and setup code for registering the system on varied Sensible Residence app platforms. The QR code can be proven on the again of the MINIR4M system.


The teardown revealed the ESP32-C3 wi-fi MCU powers the MINIR4M with the chip now turning into a well-liked selection for SONOFF units. The ESP32-C3 is a 32-bit single-core chip that helps Bluetooth 5 (Low Power) and affords improved safety in comparison with the ESP8285 utilized in SONOFF’s earlier fashions. One other factor to notice is that ESP chips make it simple to flash different firmware typically. Nevertheless, SONOFF mentions which you could’t flash different firmware on the MINIR4M as a result of safety specs associated to Matter. However for those who actually need to do it, you possibly can go for the MINIR4 WiFi mannequin as a substitute, which additionally makes use of the ESP32 and has related options and dimensions.

MINIR4M specs

MCU – Espressif Methods ESP32-C3FN4 dual-core wi-fi microcontroller

Connectivity: 2.4 GHz WiFi 4 Bluetooth LE for pairing

Licensed for Matter

Enter – 100-240V ~ 50/60Hz, most 10A, 2400W @ 240V

Output – 100-240V ~ 50/60Hz, most 10A (Resistive Load)

Dimensions – 39.5 x 33 x 16.8 mm

Case Materials – PC V0

Licensed by TÜV, CE, and FCC

Use Case

The sensible purposes for this system are just like what we’ve reviewed within the SONOFF MINI Excessive (MINIR4) and ZBMINI Excessive (ZBMINIL2). Typically, it’s a mini change that enables us to attach and management varied electrical units like lights, followers, lamps, and doorbells. What units this aside is the Matter help, making it suitable with extra manufacturers. You don’t must search for logos of particular manufacturers so long as they help Matter. For Residence Assistant lovers, it won’t make a big distinction since Residence Assistant is designed to work with units from varied manufacturers via varied integrations. Nevertheless, for different platforms, this turns into a spotlight because it affords extra decisions and doubtlessly decrease costs. Matter is a game-changer on this regard.

Registration and Integration to Residence Assistant

We examined it with Residence Assistant model 2023.8.4 on Working System 10.5 working on a Raspberry Pi 4 with 8GB RAM. One essential level to notice is that the Residence Assistant server will need to have IPv6 and mDNS enabled on the community, as these are Matter stipulations in Residence Assistant. The Matter protocol operates on the TCP/IP community, which means there’s no must create a brand new community, reminiscent of Zigbee or Z-Wave except you need to use Thread concurrently, which can require extra networking gear, particularly a Thread Border Router.

On the time of our assessment and testing, Matter in Residence Assistant was nonetheless in Beta 1.0. Nevertheless, after attempting it out, we didn’t encounter any main points, besides IPv6 and mDNS. We put in the Matter Integration (Beta), which included including the Matter Add-on to make Residence Assistant a Matter Hub/Controller and create a Matter material for communication with endpoint units.

So as to add or register the system, it is advisable scan the QR code on the again of the system utilizing a cell system with a digicam. The method is just like registering units in different sensible dwelling ecosystems which you will note later. Registration includes holding down the button on the MINIR4M for five seconds to enter Pairing mode, which is simpler than initially thought. After registration, you possibly can management the change, however it doesn’t supply particular options which might be present in its native app – eWeLink, reminiscent of Inching or Detach Relay. SONOFF has supplied a desk evaluating what’s out there and what’s not on varied platforms. You could find a abstract desk on the finish of this assessment.

Registration and Integration to Apple HomeKit

On this take a look at, we use iOS17 on iPhone 13 Professional Max and HomePod Mini as Matter Hub/Controller throughout the Apple ecosystem. Apple made life easier by incorporating Matter and Thread help of their dwelling use units for the reason that early days because the HomePod, HomePod mini, Apple TV, and even an iPad that may function a Matter Hub/Controller. By default, you shouldn’t do any setup on these hub/controller units since it should mechanically be arrange. Nevertheless, if it’s a must to, that is the step to allow Hub/Controller. The registration course of for Matter accent is finished via Apple HomeKit on iOS by including an adjunct utilizing barcode scanning. Afterward, you observe the steps within the photos to finish the setup. The result is sort of just like Residence Assistant, the place you possibly can management fundamental capabilities like on/off switches. Nevertheless, superior options like Inching and Detach Relay will not be out there. Moreover, you possibly can create automations throughout the HomeKit app to regulate the system at the side of different equipment.

Registration and Integration with Google Residence

The registration course of within the Google ecosystem for Matter follows the identical rules. To get began, you want a Matter Hub/Controller system from Google, reminiscent of a Google Residence speaker, Google Residence Mini, Nest Mini, Nest Audio, Nest Hub (1st and 2nd gen), Nest Hub Max, or Nest Wifi Professional. The registration steps are just like these in Apple HomeKit, and you may seek advice from the pictures beneath for steering

Integration to A number of Sensible Residence Platforms Concurrently

After attempting the setup with completely different platforms separately – which is definitely fairly easy and unified throughout platforms – let’s discover the registration and utilization of MINIR4M with a number of Sensible Residence platforms concurrently. SONOFF has talked about that MINIR4M can work seamlessly with varied Sensible Residence platforms, and the standing shall be synchronized throughout all of them. Sound cool? We tried this with Apple HomeKit, Google Residence, Residence Assistant, and eWeLink within the registration order talked about. Beneath are the steps.

The primary platform we’ll register with in our testing is the Apple Homekit. Take word that the primary platform will at all times be the one to generate the pairing code for the following platform.

Press and maintain the MINIR4M button bodily for five seconds, which places it into pairing mode as traditional. We are going to do that just one time for the primary platform to combine MINIR4M, and subsequent pairings shall be enabled via the app as a substitute.

Launch the Apple HomeKit app in your cell and add an adjunct, scan the barcode, and observe the registration steps till the system is efficiently added. The system is now prepared to make use of in HomeKit

Subsequent is to register with Residence Assistant, again to the Apple HomeKit settings for MINIR4M, choose “Flip On Pairing Mode” after which copy the pairing code to be used within the subsequent step. At this level, you’ll see a flashing mild on MINIR4M (with out urgent the button bodily), indicating it’s in pairing mode. As soon as once more, you don’t must press the MINIR4M button as as a substitute it should reset the system and make sharing the MINIR4M throughout platforms fail.

Launch the Residence Assistant Companion app in your cell, go to Settings, choose “Add Matter Machine”, scan the barcode, and observe the registration steps till the system is efficiently added. You’ll see MINIR4M seem in Entities and Gadgets, it’s now prepared to make use of.

Subsequent is to register with Google Residence. Return to the MINIR4M settings in HomeKit and choose “Flip On Pairing Mode”, and duplicate the pairing code for the following step. You’ll see the flashing mild on MINIR4M, indicating pairing mode (as soon as once more don’t press the MINIR4M button)

Launch the Google Residence app in your cell, add a tool, scan the barcode, and observe the registration steps till the system is efficiently added. You’ll see MINIR4M in Google Residence, sure it’s prepared to be used

Launch eWeLink app in your cell, faucet the + button within the high proper nook, choose “Add Machine,” select the suitable community (2.4GHz), and let the app scan till it finds MINIR4M. Faucet + so as to add it and observe the remaining registration steps till it’s efficiently registered.

Take word that in case of any offline points within the talked about apps, please anticipate some time to make sure that the system is synchronized fully. This may increasingly take a number of minutes.

Bravo! You need to have MINIR4M engaged on a number of Sensible Residence platforms concurrently, and the standing is synchronized throughout all of them. Not that onerous. SONOFF additionally made a video exhibiting the best way to combine the MINIR4M to a number of platforms.

Function Comparability Desk

MINIR4M makes use of Matter as its connectivity normal, nevertheless, it doesn’t imply that every one platforms could have the identical options. Let’s check out the abstract desk supplied by SONOFF to know the variations when utilizing MINIR4M on completely different Sensible Residence platforms. Definitely, for those who use it with eWeLink, you’ll have probably the most options out there, together with Energy-on state, Inching, Swap Mode, and Detach Relay. Nevertheless, chances are you’ll not want to decide on only one platform. You need to use them concurrently since MINIR4M can reply to instructions from a number of platforms. For instance, you possibly can arrange schedules to regulate MINIR4M from Residence Assistant or HomeKit whereas configuring Inching, Notifications, or Energy On state in eWeLink. These platforms can work nicely collectively in our testing.


This assessment is comparatively concise as a result of MINIR4M is just not a completely new product. It merely provides Matter compatibility to the prevailing MINIR4 Wifi mannequin. The principle objective is to make it extra versatile, permitting it to work with varied Sensible Residence platforms. We imagine that different Matter-compatible units from SONOFF shall be launched steadily. It’s price mentioning that, along with MINIR4M, the SONOFF iHost also can load Matter Add-ons permitting units managed by iHost to be seen to different platforms via the Matter protocol (performing as a bridge).

Based mostly on our testing, utilizing MINIR4M with the eWeLink platform from SONOFF supplies extra flexibility as a result of it’s SONOFF’s personal app. Nevertheless, when used with different platforms, some options could also be lacking. However, this is probably not the problem since, as talked about earlier, you possibly can mix options from a number of platforms to regulate MINIR4M.

For DIY lovers within the Residence Assistant / Tasmota world, SONOFF doesn’t enable firmware flashing as a result of safety specs (though it needs to be doable because it makes use of an ESP32 chip internally). Nevertheless, SONOFF supplies an alternate. If it is advisable flash firmware, you should use the Wi-Fi model, which is the Mini Excessive 4 (MINIR4M).

Lastly, Matter makes Sensible Residence extra interesting, particularly for fundamental customers trying to simplify setup/set up. We count on to see extra Matter-compatible units coming into the market in late 2023. Customers could have extra choices, and product builders might have much less work to do when it comes to supporting varied platform APIs. The way forward for Matter is certainly promising.

We wish to thank ITEAD for sending us the SONOFF Mini Excessive Wi-Fi Sensible Swap (MINIR4M) with Matter help for this assessment. You should buy the system for $12.90 on the ITEAD store and use the coupon code “CNXSOFTSONOFF” for a ten% low cost on any objects from the shop.

Laptop Engineering who beforehand labored with multinational IT firm, wealthy expertise in IT infrastructure, has a ardour on Web Of Factor i.e., Sensible Residence, Sensible Farm in addition to on Sustainability reminiscent of renewable power, natural farming

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