All green thumbs rejoice. You can now monitor the growth of your plants thanks to Xiaomi. Is it any good? Read on to find out.
The Xiaomi Flower Monitor is a device that allows you to monitor your plants vitals. All you have to do is to stick it into the soil and pair it to your phone. And boom! You now know whether you plant is thirsty or whether it wants to sun bathe for a while.
In this review, I’ll be using the term ‘Xiaomi Flower Monitor’ and ‘Mi Flower Monitor’ interchangeably.
First, put in the batteries. The battery type is CR2032. Mine already came with a battery inserted. That was nice as it saved me from going out to the nearest convenience store. Next download the app (available on Android and iOS) to your phone. Search for the app called ‘Flower Care’ and you should see something like this
[A side note: Even though the product is advertised as Xiaomi Flower Monitor, the name found on the official website is by this company called huahuacaocao. I don’t know what is Xiaomi’s affiliation with huahuacaocao, but from the looks of it, it is most likely a partnership.]
After installing, add your device by tapping on the ‘+’ sign. It will scan the area for the flower monitor device. Ensure during this time that your bluetooth is on.
After discovering, you will be treated with the status ‘Bind Successfully’.
After a few minutes there’ll be a prompt to update(3.1.4 at the point of writing) the hardware. Tap on Update.
After tapping on Update, there’ll be another prompt to enable permission for the update.
To do that, on your phone go to Settings -> Installed Apps. Search for Flower Care and go to App Permissions. Enable Storage.
Once that is done, tap on Update again and the update will start.
Usage and Performance
Using the Mi Flower Monitor is dead simple. After the setup, you need to add your plant to the Flower Monitor app. Now in my house I have a Snake Plant. The other common name is ‘Mother-in-law tounge’ plant and the scientific name is Sansevieria. So I was excited to find it in the list of plants.
After adding your plant, all you have to do is stick it into the soil. From there you get to monitor the sunlight, moisture, temperature and fertility of your plant.
I was skeptical of the sensors of the Mi Flower Monitor so I wanted to see if any changes I did to the plant was reflected in the readings in the app. Well, one area that the app complained was that my plant wasn’t getting enough fertilizer. So I added some fertilizer. I was pleasantly surprised that it really could detect the changes.
Apart from viewing the plants vitals on the app, you also can view reports of how your plant is doing.
The life span of the battery is at least 1 year according to the official website. To view the battery percentage, open the app, tap on the three dots on the top right and select ‘Hardware settings’.
Connecting via bluetooth presents some limitations on how you use the Mi Flower Monitor. Firstly, I’m assuming that most readers here are in the same scenario as me whereby you keep plants mostly at home. With that in mind, you can only connect to the Mi Flower Monitor when you’re within the bluetooth range. This means that if you’re out and about, there’s no way of knowing how your plant is doing.
However, if the Mi Flower Monitor was implemented using a hub structure, you could still connect to it anywhere as the hub will be on your home network. I really wished Xiaomi went that route instead of using bluetooth connection.
The Mi Flower Monitor is a simple yet effective tool that anyone can pick up and use. Herbaceous plants like thyme, rosemary and lavender which require a delicate balance of sunlight and humidity would greatly benefit from the Mi Flower Monitor. The ability to add various plants is also a useful feature because every plants’ need is different. Although the recommended optimum levels are suggested by the app, it is not 100% accurate but just an approximate, which for the average user is good enough.
The question is, who is the Mi Flower Monitor really for? After using for over a month, I’ve come to a simple conclusion that if you are serious about your plant care, willing to spend time and don’t want your nth plant to die (I’m looking at you lavender) then the Mi Flower Monitor is for you. Another thing to keep in mind is that if you have 10 pots, and want to monitor all of them, then you would have to buy 10 flower monitors.
As for me personally, I don’t see myself using the Mi Flower Monitor simply because of the bluetooth pairing. Call me lazy I know, but after using other smart products like the LIFX and TP-Link Smart Plug, I expect instant connectivity to any smart product without having that extra step to pair everytime I use it.
Price and Availability
The Xiaomi Flower Monitor is available to purchase online. 11Street carries them so head over there to purchase. I got mine for RM59. Also do check out GearBest. If you’re English speaking, do remember to check that the Xiaomi Flower Monitor is the international version.
[Update 27/06/2018: This review has been updated with the battery life span information.]