Broadlink products – no APIs and other surprises

If you surf on Chinese shopping web sites you might have seen devices from Broadlink like the A1. They are quite cheap and seem to be powerful. However, have a second look before buying.

First of all, some sellers claim that the A1 has a PM2.5 particle sensor “coming soon”. Looks like this isn’t implemented yet in this software – right? Wrong! The device doesn’t have the necessary hardware included. There might be an add-on module coming in the future, but it will be a hardware-add-on, not just a software upgrade.

a1Another thing that Broadlink doesn’t publicly communicate is the fact that there are no open interfaces available. It seems that there is an SDK for the device, but Broadlink only allows to use it under NDA and it is only available as library for IOS and Android. That makes it hard to impossible to use this hardware as a part of a larger integration.

Therefore I can’t recommend any of the Broadlink products as long as Broadlink doesn’t offer any documented APIs.

6 thoughts on “Broadlink products – no APIs and other surprises”

    1. Unfortunately I don’t understand it as it is in French. Did you access it without the need of an additional Android device?

  1. I just want to comment that I totally agree with you regarding having a second look before buying and especially when you write that you cannot recommend to buy Broadlink. I bought Broadlink’s RM2 RM Pro, RM Mini3 and A1 a while back and every single thing about Broadlink has been a disappointment.

    1) The Broadlink RM2 RM Pro cannot recognise any of my 3 air conditioners, it just finds generic “power on/off, temperature, fan” and all other functions are not supported
    2) Support didn’t answer email – website of course encourage “Just write us an email”
    3) The Broadlink RM Mini3 cannot recognise one of my air conditioners at all and automatically forces me to “build my own”. You get over 50 buttons just to turn on, off, set temperature, fan, turbo, swing and sleep. Useless
    4) Support didn’t answer that email either – website still encourages “Just write us an email”
    5) Cannot copy remote setup from one Broadlink device to another, must learn new => Every remote must be learned from scratch on each new Broadlink RM Mini3 you add. Useless
    6) e-Control application is very very limited I must say
    7) Most smart wifi switch and power socket brands are not supported at all, only a few Chinese ones
    8) The system is totally locked and there is nothing you can do if you have wifi smart switches that cannot be recognised. Yes, you guessed right, support didn’t answer email and their website still encourages “Just write us an email”.
    9) A1 – Environmental sensor. They advertise not only one but several sensors that are coming soon, but hardware does not support them and the Chinese forgot to tell that the sensor you just bought is not expandable so if they ever come and you want them, then you have to buy a new environmental sensor and you can throw the old one away

    Somehow I wish that Chinese parents would teach their children what honesty and moral is but that is obviously not happening

    Michael Greenberg

  2. Don’t buy stuff for what they can do with future updates/upgrades. Buy stuff that is ok for your needs out of the box. A1 is super for home automation. Cheap, functional and gives you WAY more bang for the buck than most other manufacturers.
    Yes, it would be nice with a user manageable API, but hey…out of the box it works for 95 % of all users.

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