Let's not beat around the bush — despite having been around since 2014, Apple's HomeKit has a massive gap in quite a few smart home accessory categories. While some essential categories, like HomeKit cameras, have gone from notably barren to plentiful over the past couple of years, others like HomeKit video doorbells and air purifiers are still woefully behind.
Things may be finally changing, though — at least for air purifiers. So far in 2021, two HomeKit-enabled air purifiers have already dropped: the Smartmi P1 and the Sensibo Pure, with a couple of more coming very soon. I have been testing the Smartmi P1 in my home for a few weeks, and even with occasional hiccups, it is still one of the best HomeKit air purifiers with its sleek design, custom speeds, and affordable price.
smartmi Small P1 with Handle for Home
Bottom line: The Smartmi P1 offers a clean, modern design, convenient smart controls, and clean air, all at an affordable price. While it has a few quirks, the P1 is still one of the best HomeKit air purifiers that you can buy today.
- Sleek design
- Custom speed control
- Supports HomeKit, Alexa, Google Assistant
- Clunky smart app
- 320 sq ft max coverage area
- Occasional "No Response" status
Smartmi P1 Air Purifier: Price and availability
The Smartmi P1 Air Purifier is currently available online only, exclusively through Amazon. The P1 retails for $179.99, but it is frequently available at a discounted price of around $160, and Smartmi offers various discounts and promotions that can bring it down to as low as $130.
Of course, being an air purifier, owning a P1 also incurs some additional costs with replacement filters. Smartmi offers two replacement options, one designed for capturing pollen and dust and another that aids in odor control. Both filters retail for $39.99 and should be replaced every six to twelve months depending on usage.
Smartmi P1 Air Purifier: What I like
The Smartmi P1 Air Purifier sports a clean, modern design aesthetic that looks great in the home. The air purifier is available in two finishes — Dark Grey and Silver, with both featuring a compact aluminum frame and a soft leather-like strap that makes it easy to carry around from room to room. The P1 is built for small to medium-sized rooms, which according to Smartmi, is capable of cleaning a 180-square feet room in as little as ten minutes, and total coverage maxes out at 320-square feet.
Sitting on the top of the P1 is a capacitive touch screen display that puts speed controls, timers, and air quality metrics a tap or glance away. Touch controls are surprisingly responsive, and I really like how the onscreen buttons, icons, and numbers are subtle and how there is an option to disable them altogether, making it great for bedrooms.
When it comes to metrics, the Smartmi P1 features an integrated dual-laser PM2.5 particulate matter sensor. The onboard sensor allows the P1 to automatically ramp up speeds when air quality takes a turn for the worse, and its measurements are relayed to both the Smartmi app and HomeKit.
Inside the P1 is a single four-stage true HEPA H13 filter that is readily accessible through the bottom of the air purifier. The four-stage filtration process consists of a preliminary filter that captures larger particulates like hair, a HEPA filter that traps up to 99.97% of smaller particles, an activated carbon layer that absorbs odors, and an inner filter. Removing and installing the filter is simple, with no tools required, and I especially appreciate how the bottom design keeps the mess to a minimum.
Moving over to performance, while I can't vouch for the actual effectiveness of the filter, I will say that there is a noticeable accumulation on it after just a couple of months. Since my home is relatively new — and since I test smart air purifiers regularly, I know that I don't have too much of an issue with particulate matter in the air or high levels of VOCs.
The PM2.5 sensor's measurements in the P1 are pretty much in line with other devices in my home, including some higher-end HomeKit air quality sensors that cost more than the P1 itself. The P1's auto-mode also performed admirably by ramping up quickly when it picked up the aftermath of some overcooked food in the kitchen which is down the hall from the bedroom in which it resides.
Speaking of ramping up, even when at its highest levels, the Smartmi P1 is incredibly quiet. According to the Noise app on the Apple Watch, the P1's max speed ranges from 49 to 53 decibels at a distance of around two feet. At its lowest, Smartmi's air purifier was essentially imperceptible in a quiet room with no background noise.
I love being able to dial in the perfect speed for bedtime as the air purifier is an excellent substitute for a sound machine.
With that being said, speed controls on the P1 can be a little confusing. On-device controls allow for toggling through three different speeds: low, medium, high — but that is only half of the story. Through the Smartmi app and HomeKit, you can set custom speeds that go steps above or below the default levels.
Custom speed levels are made via sliders which allows for fine adjustments without predefined steps. I love being able to dial in the perfect speed for bedtime as the air purifier is an excellent substitute for a sound machine. Combined with HomeKit automation or schedules in the Smartmi app, the P1 slots perfectly into bedtime routines.
In addition to HomeKit and Siri, the P1 also works with Amazon's Alexa and Google Assistant. Changing the air purifier's speed with a voice command is magical — if you know the proper terminology. For example, you can say, Hey Siri — set the air purifier to medium or set the air purifier to 50%, but you cannot use the phrase set the air purifier to speed two.
Smartmi P1 Air Purifier: What I don't like
Although the custom speed controls and the general smart convenience are great, the Smartmi app has its fair share of issues. One of which is adding the air purifier to the app after pairing it through the Home app first — which is how I went about my setup. The Smartmi app wasn't able to pick up the air purifier at all, so I had to unpair it, then add it back through the Smartmi app, which took a few tries.
Even though the custom speed controls and general smart convenience are great, the Smartmi app has its fair share of issues.
Along the same lines, updating the Smartmi P1's firmware is also more of a pain than it should be. Just like with pairing, the firmware update process would randomly fail for some unknown reason. Eventually, I was able to update the air purifier, but it was only after a few days had passed.
The biggest issue that I have with the Smartmi P1 Air Purifier is its occasional connectivity issues. During testing, I have run across a few instances where the air purifier becomes unresponsive through HomeKit and the Home app. I am not sure what is going on with the P1, but the air purifier will exhibit this behavior despite being connected to my Wi-Fi router.
To remedy the issue, I have to physically unplug the air purifier for a few seconds, then plug it back in. This process isn't the biggest of ordeals, but since my home relies on the aforementioned bedtime automation, it can cause frustration when things don't go as smoothly as I would like.
Smartmi P1 Air Purifier: Competition
As I previously mentioned, the HomeKit-enabled smart air purifier market is pretty much non-existent — especially in North America. At present, the HomeKit market is limited to just four options: the VOCOlinc PureFlow Smart Air Purifier, the Molekule Air Mini+, the Sensibo Pure, and of course, Smartmi's P1.
While the VOCOlinc PureFlow and Molekule Air Mini+ impressed us in our recent reviews, they both suffer from one fatal flaw — price.
While the VOCOlinc PureFlow and Molekule Air Mini+ impressed us in our recent reviews, they both suffer from one fatal flaw — price. The Molekule Air Mini+ retails for a whopping $499, and replacement filters will set you back $75 every six months — although you can score two for $99 in a yearly subscription. However, the Air Mini+'s filter incorporates PECO technology which destroys pollutants according to Molekule and doesn't just capture them like a HEPA filter.
The VOCOlinc PureFlow Smart Air Purifier, while a little cheaper than Molekule's effort, will still set you back a pretty penny at $400. The PureFlow also features a dual-filter system which means that you have to replace not one, but two filters every six months. What the PureFlow does have going for it is size, with the air purifier able to cover rooms up to 645 square feet. That advantage goes out the window, though, when you consider availability with the PureFlow — and its filters, being out of stock for months.
The closest competitor to the P1 is the Sensibo Pure which comes in at $199. Like the P1, the Sensibo Pure features a compact form factor covering small to medium rooms up to 294 square feet at its max speed. Unlike the P1, though, Sensibo's air purifier is limited to just two speeds, and it lacks the premium design with a basic white plastic frame. I am currently putting the Sensibo Pure through its paces, so stay tuned for my full review if you are interested in seeing how they stack up.
Smartmi P1 Air Purifier: Should you buy it?
You should buy this if ...
- You want an affordable HomeKit-enabled air purifier
- You are in the market for an air purifier with sleek modern looks
- You want an air purifier with granular motor controls
You shouldn't buy this if...
- You need an air purifier for larger areas in your home
- You want an air purifier with rock-solid reliability
- You want access to all settings and controls without the need for an additional app
If you are in the market for a smaller smart air purifier that can fit in with your modern decor, then the Smartmi P1 should be on your list with its sleek, aluminum construction. If custom speed controls are your top priority, the P1 should also be on your radar with its unique ability to dial in the perfect speed to meet almost any need. Of course, if you are just looking for a sub-$200 HomeKit air purifier, then the P1 fits that bill quite nicely as well.
However, occasional Wi-Fi connectivity issues and a clunky app keep the Smartmi P1 Air Purifier from being an absolute slam-dunk. I sincerely hope that Smartmi can correct these issues via a future firmware update as there is just too much to like with the P1 that makes it worth putting up with — at least for now. In the meantime, though, I will be hooking it up to a smart plug to reboot it remotely and will stick to Home app and Siri-only controls.
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