Aqara is an innovative home technology company that produces a range of products designed to make homes safer, more convenient, and more energy-efficient. Aqara’s product lineup includes intelligent home sensors, cameras, switches, and other devices that can be controlled and monitored using a mobile app. Their products are compatible with various smart home platforms, including Apple Siri, Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and more. Users have many options to integrate their Aqara devices with other innovative home products and services. 

Today’s review is about a tiny gadget from Aqara. This little gadget is able to deliver great improvement to your home living with the minimum effort from the users. 

What’s in the box

The Aqara Roller Shade Driver E1 comes in a small and compact package. All the space has been used effectively and I can hardly find any gaps! Here are what I found in the box.

  • Aqara Roller Shade Driver E1 x1
  • USB-C to USB-A cable x1
  • Double-sided adhesive tape x1
  • Spare rotating plate x3
  • Expansion tube x2
  • Screw x2

The boss lady voluntarily requests to install this review unit in her studio. If I am not mistaken, this is the first time she actually pays attention to an item I review. I am happy to see how easy it is able to find a place to go. Actually, isn’t it a great sign of the potential user demand on the market? 

Installation is seriously easy

Previously, I was having a bit of a hard time finding the best location for an outdoor security camera. Such a question does not exist for this roller shade driver. I just simply attached it to the end of the roller shade chain and fix it on the wall, that’s it! You can either choose to drill holes and use the screws from the package, or take the easy way and use the double-sided adhesive tape. I am not a big fan of drilling holes in my house, therefore the tape obviously becomes an ideal solution for me. If you are going to take the same path as me, make sure to do so with extra care – the adhesive tape is very, very strong! There is no easy way to adjust the position or re-align after the application.

The Aqara Roller Shade Driver comes with four different rotating plates to suit beads with diameters between 3 to 6mm on the shade chain. You will need to break the protection sheets on the rotating plate cover to let the beaded chain go through. You may consider polishing the edge using a small filer or sanding paper; it takes very little effort but definitely cured my OCD.

The ‘smart’ part of this device

Now the installation is complete, we can easily press the up/down button on the shade driver to control the shade. Remember when we introduce the Aqara, we said that they make smart home products and services, right? But this does not look like anything close to a ‘smart home’. What is missing? Well, the secret weapon that makes all that possible is Aqara Camera Hub G3, an ultimate solution that connects all Aqara products and creates a unified, all-in-one smart home user experience.

The Aqara Camera Hub G3 is a smart home security device that combines the features of a security camera and a smart home hub. It is designed to provide 24/7 home surveillance and to integrate with other smart home devices, such as sensors, lights, and switches. One of the unique features of the Aqara Camera Hub G3 is its ability to act as a hub for other Aqara smart home devices. This means that you can connect other Aqara devices to the Camera Hub G3 and control them through the same app. 

Because there are so many features and possibilities you can do with Aqara Camera Hub, I really want to share some of my experiences with you, especially the monitoring and alarm system. But, it is not realistic to squeeze everything into this single review and, I would like to focus on one thing at a time. Therefore, we will prepare another review just for the Camera Hub G3 in a few days, stay tuned!

Aqara Home is a new playground

After setting up the hub, we are now ready to connect the shade driver in Aqara Home, the official mobile app.

Aqara adopts a decent UI design in its app. With a friendly boarding process, I was able to set up a new account and register the roller shade driver to the camera hub in just seconds. It surprises me that this Camera Hub G3 actually supports the 5GHz Wi-Fi band. This not only streamlines the network setup but also gives a huge advantage for video streaming and remote control while I am away. Well done Aqara!

There is a new notification for firmware updates soon after the roller shade driver was added to the hub. I didn’t waste a second and proceed to update. In most cases, firmware updates would resolve bugs and potential causes when the device has unexpected behaviour. It takes roughly 15 mins to install the latest firmware for the shade driver E1 and relatively faster for the Camera Hub G3. You may consider brewing a cup of coffee or doing some stretching while waiting for the update to complete 🙂


Combined with a gateway, this roller shade driver is able to receive commands sent from your mobile. However, what I am really interested in is the automation feature.

I have a list of scenarios for the shade driver E1 to action when certain criteria are met. Let’s see how Aqara Home achieves those tasks for me. 

Scenario A – Keep the shades closed when:
  1. It’s sunny, and;
  2. The outdoor temperature is above 30°C, and;
  3. During the day time, and;
  4. I’m at home
Scenario B – Open the shades to 70% when:
  1. It’s raining, and;
  2. During the day time, and;
  3. I’m at home
Scenario C – The shades are closed when:
  1. during nighttime, or; 
  2. I am not at home


This device actually breaks my own record of the length of reviews of all time. Due to personal reasons, this review is delayed for weeks. However, it also gives me some extra time to confirm the consistency and reliability of the automation. My verdict is, it works like a charm. As far as I can remember, this is probably the only time that I have not had any single problem during the review, and that is unbelievably impressive. 

What’s good, and what’s bad?

The design of the roller shade driver E1 is simple and practical. The double-sided stick tape is a salvation army for people who do not want to drill holes in the wall. In fact, I had a concern before using the sticky tape and worried about whether the need to drill or not, this is because the shade chains in my house are relatively tight to pull. That turns out to be an unfounded worry after almost three months of use. The rotating plate is powerful and able to maintain effective control of the chain beads, just make sure to use the right plate to fit the beads. 

As for the downside, I puzzled my brain and can only think of one tiny hiccup. During the configuration of scenarios, I was confused by ‘Time’ and ‘Acting Time’ for part of the conditions to be met. For some reason, when I set a ‘Time’, I could not save the scenario successfully. Apart from that, the shade driver E1 is a perfect solution to add smart control for the roller shades. 

Oh, I almost forgot. the Aqara roller shade driver comes with a USB Type-C charging port. The built-in battery can last up to 2 months with a full charge. You don’t have to worry about charging the device every few weeks.

Another matter you may need to keep in mind is, the Aqara roller shade driver cannot join the network on its own. Without the hub, it would simply act as a two-button controller to open and close the shade. However, the good news is, Aqara offers some choices for the gateway to work with the shade driver. I will list them below for your reference. 

Should I buy one? 

I would highly recommend trying this product as well as Aqara’s ecosystem. This roller shade driver is a decent solution for every household to consider as long as you have a window shade/blind with a beaded cord. It does not require any prior skills or experience for the installation. You will find the Aqara Home to be an intuitive, and noob-proof application to use. But keep in mind, this shade driver works best when being used with an Aqara hub. The basic model Aqara Hub E1 should do the job if you wish to keep the cost in line with your budget. 

As I mentioned earlier, this smart shade driver has been commissioned for three months, and I have never had any issues with it during this period. This is a well-polished product that streamlines your daily activity with the minimum effort and, has proven to be a reliable helper to my home. 

Similar to a security camera and, for products in this category, I would expect them to work continuously for a good couple of years. From this satisfying outcome after three months, I am convinced that the Aqara Roller Shade Driver is fully capable of delivering the services I asked for. It’s really simple to install and relaxing to use. 

Prices and where to get them

Aqara Roller Shade Driver E1 is available in Australia for $119.99. 

Here is a list of places where you can shop for this item:

There are some options for the Aqara gateway (hub) you can easily find on Aqara’s official website:

Aqara Hub E1 ($49.99) / Aqara Hub M2 ($99.99) / Aqara Camera Hub G2H Pro ($119.99) / Aqara Camera Hub G3 ($194.99)


Battery life
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This is a very kind human who lives in both Apple and Google worlds. David heavily relies on macOS for desktop tasks, but only carries an android phone in his pocket every single day. As a former IT support, he knows how to understand technological products from a user's perspective and their pros and cons. David is currently running a small business and undergoing his second Bachelor's degree in International Relations.
aqara-roller-shade-driver-e1-review-simplicity-is-its-dnaAqara is an innovative home technology company that produces a range of products designed to make homes safer, more convenient, and more energy-efficient. Aqara's product lineup includes intelligent home sensors, cameras, switches, and other devices that can be controlled and monitored using a mobile...
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Daniel Narbett

Thanks for the review – yeah an automatic blinds driver would be gold!


So what does the product actually do?
Reading up to installation section and i still have no idea.