SONOFF NSPanel Pro control panel review with Zigbee modules, CAM Slim WiFi camera

ITEAD has sent us a Smart Home kit for review including the SONOFF NSPanel Pro Android control panel and Zigbee gateway, an enclosure stand, the CAM Slim WiFi camera, and four Zigbee modules, namely the SNZB-01 wireless switch, the SNZB-02 temperature & humidity sensor, the SNZB-03 motion sensor, and the SNZB-04 door/window sensor.

In this review, we’ll configure the NSPanel Pro controller with the eWelink app in Android, show how to add the WiFi camera and Zigbee devices directly to NSPanel Pro, and go back to the eWelink app for more advanced features such as scenes with triggers and actions.

Sonoff NSPanel Pro kit unboxing

Sonoff NSPanel Pro Stand Zigbee Sensors Camera

Let’s get started by having a closer look at the SONOFF NSPanel Pro controller. As previously noted, the device is based on Rockchip PX30 quad-core Cortex-A35 processor and runs Android 8.1. It acts both as a control panel and a WiFi to Zigbee 3.0 gateway.

Sonoff NSPanel Pro Unboxing
The package includes the controller, a Quick Start Guide, and some screws for mounting.

NSPanel86PB

It does not feature a built-in relay and only comes with Live (L) and Neutral (N) screw terminals to power itself.

Sonoff Zigbee Sensors
The other items part of the kit are the SNZB-01, SNZB-02, SNZB-03, and SNZB-04 as noted in the introduction together with their respective user manual and 3M sticky tape for mounting.

Sonoff CAM Slim

Finally, we have the 2MP CAM Slim WiFi camera with a user manual. some mounting screws, a 3M sticky tape, and a USB-C to USB cable for power.

SONOFF NSPanel Pro Teardown

We can open the NSPanel Pro to have a look at the main components.

Sonoff NSPanel Pro board

The Rockchip PX30 processor, memory, and storage are covered by a metal shield. We can still see the Silabs MG21 Zigbee 3.0 module, Samsung KLM8G1GETF 8GB eMMC flash, and what should be a WiFi module on the main board, as well as the speaker, an 8-pin header, etc… The panel is not based on ESP32, so you can’t install the usual ESPHome or Tasomota firmware, and the only “hack” so far is the ability to sideload apps through ADB.

Hardware Preparation

European customers of the SONOFF NSPanel Pro should be able to install it into a gang box. But as we are based in Thailand, relying on US-styled gang boxes, we’ll have to install the controller into the provided enclosure stand.

SONOFF NSPanel Pro power cable connection

We’ve just got an older power cord from some old home appliance and connected it to the Live and Neutral terminals of the device.

SONOFF NSPanel Pro case adapter

Once this is done we can fasten an adapter to the enclosure stand using two screws, and finally, connect the display to the 8-pin header.

SONOFF NSPanel Pro power on

We can make sure the device works if we connect the power cord to the mains with a SONOFF logo shown showing up on the display.

SNZB-01 SNZB-02 SNZB-03 SNZB-04 battery installation

At this stage, you may also want to open all your Zigbee devices to remove the plastic films protecting the built-in battery (2032 or 2045) to make sure they are all powered up. The SNZB-01, SNZB-02, and SNZB-03 come with a 3V CR2450 coin-cell battery, while the SNZB-04 comes with a smaller 3V CR2032 coin-cell battery.

SONOFF NSPanel Pro setup

The first time you start the NSPanel Pro control panel, you’ll be asked to go through a setup wizard.

SONOFF NSPanel Pro welcome start

This includes country selection…

SONOFF NSPanel Pro select country
.. and setting up WiFi.
SONOFF NSPanel Pro WiFi setup
Once this is done, you’ll want to log in using the same credential as used in the eWelink app.

SONOFF NSPanel Pro home screen

The NSPanel Pro will show a QR Code that you should scan to easily add it to the eWelink app.

eWelink SONOFF NSPanel Pro

Once everything is done, the device will show up as NSPanel86PB, unless you decided to give it another name

eWelink Add Device NSPanel86PB

Ignore the other devices in the screenshot above, since those were added from another tutorial using the Sonoff Zigbee motion sensor and the T2 WiFi light switch.

NSPanel Pro firmware upgrade

NSPanel Pro firmware upgrade

ITEAD does provide firmware upgrades for the NSPanel Pro and at one point I was prompted about a new firmware and went ahead with the system update. It went without issue and most of the review was done with the new firmware version 1.3.5. The downside of that particular firmware update is that it required us to pair the Zigbee modules again. It’s not a big problem since it just takes around one minute, as we’ll see further below.

CAM Slim WiFi camera setup

I then used the provided 3M sticky tape to attach the SONOFF CAM Slim WiFi camera to one of my window frames.

SONOFF CAM Slim WiFi camera

Connect it to a USB socket on my power extension, and scan the QR Code to add it to the eWelink app.

SONOFF CAM Slim QR Code

I also had to press the button in the Reset pinhole to enter pairing mode.

SONOFF Cam Slim eWeLink app

Once the camera is in pairing, you’ll be asked to connect to the HAP-EWLK-xxx access point.

SONOFF CAM Slim WiFi connection

After that, I could enter my WiFi router credentials, and the “Office camera” would show up in Android…

SONOFF CAM Slim live view eWelink

.. as well as on the NSPanel Pro control panel.

SONOFF NSPanel Pro CAM Slim WiFi camera

The camera includes infrared lights and works fine at night as well.

SONOFF CAM Slim infrared night modeSonoff CAM Slim night NSPanel pro

It can also support PIR motion sensing, two-way audio, store videos to a microSD card or the cloud (paid service), and you can check the event history in the eWelink app.

Adding Zigbee devices to NSPanel Pro

I did not use the eWelink app at all to add the four Zigbee models to the NSPanel Pro controller.

SONOFF NSPanel Pro add Zigbee devices

Instead, I swiped up on the touchscreen display, selected Add device, and pressed the reset button on all the Zigbee modules.

SONOFF NSPanel Pro Zigbee Devices Added

They were all detected within a minute or so. So it was a breeze to add those.

SONOFF NSPanel Pro Zigbee devices camera

The NSPanel Pro controller will show widgets for each sensor showing the later action or measured data. You’ll see 631.06°C for the temperature and humidity sensor, but that’s because I put it in my freezer, and to my surprise, it would send data through the fridge. But it’s only supposed to work between -10°C and +40°C so that may be the reason… When in the room, it would report the ambient temperature correctly.

Notifications will show detected events. The wireless switch can be used to generate three events: click, double-click, and long press. Triggering the PIR motion sensor will make it blink red and also generate a notification on the display. But note there’s a timeout of 60s, so any other motion will be discarded for the next minute or so. The door/window sensor will just show Opened or Closed as one would expect.

There’s not much you can do from the NSPanel Pro controller with the Zigbee modules except get notifications. But we can do more in the eWelink app, and we’ll find those automatically added to the app after being added to the controller.

eWelink Zigbee Sensors & Actuators

The history of notifications can also be visualized in the app in a way that’s easier than on the NSPanel Pro controller, especially if there’s a long list.

eWelink notifcations

We can define a scene by adding a trigger and an action, and in this case, we’ll use the wireless switch as a doorbell. For the trigger, we selected Smart Device->Switch->Clicked

eWelink Scene Configurationand for the action, we selected Smart Device -> NSPanel86PB

eWelink Doorbell Trigger NSPanel Pro

and configured it to make a sound like a doorbell using one of the sound samples available in the app with maximum volume and a custom duration of 10 seconds.

eWelink Doorbell NSPanel86PB

A single press will make the NSPanel Pro ring for 10 seconds, just like a doorbell, and show a windows reading “Triggered by NSPanel86PB”.

SONOFF NSPanel Pro Doorbell Function

The audio is loud enough to hear it clearly within a room, but it’s not as loud as an actual doorbell. I also noticed a bug since it appears to work only once. At first it felt like the Zigbee connection was not very good, and I only manage to make it ring after pressing the button often. But then I thought they may be “debouncing” the button press and ignoring repeated identical events at least for a while.  So I tried to double-click before going for a single click, and the doorbell would work all the time. Same thing if I use long press first and then single click. I informed ITEAD of the bug, and the company told me it would be fixed in an upcoming firmware update around the 15t of November.

I then repeat the same method, but this time using the window/door sensor to create an alarm in case the door is opened.

eWelink Door Alarm SONOFF NSPanel Pro

That one works perfectly without issues, and it sounds like an actual alarm except it’s not quite as loud, and your neighbor would probably not hear it. It’s a nice feature to have, but it’s probably better to connect a proper Zigbee alarm to the NSPanel Pro rather than relying on its internal speaker. You’ll also get notifications on your smartphone and the controller each time the alarm is triggered.

NSPanel Pro Alarms Notifications

Final words

Sonoff NSPanel Pro kit is very easy to use and works relatively well with just a few bugs (e.g. ignored wireless switch presses) in the Android app that should be fixed over time. More advanced functions like scenes still need the eWelink mobile app.

I’d like to thank ITEAD for sending the NSPanel Pro control panel and Zigbee gateway, and associated accessories. The full kit reviewed here sells for $159.32, but you should be able to get 10% extra off with CNXSOFTSONOFF coupon. The NSPanel Pro only goes for $89.90, or $80.91 after a 10% discount.

Note: This review is an adaptation/translation of the original review on CNX Software Thailand by

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2 Comments
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Frank Collins
Frank Collins
1 month ago

I have bought Sonoff stuff in the past but found it failed or would not work intermittently. I threw it all out except for the Zigbee 3 USB which has been reflashed.
I won’t ever buy Sonoff again. Their support is abysmal for the average punter.

Ishan Aditya
22 days ago

My man, if you go for a cheap Chinese company it’s not because you’re looking for ‘support’, but because the hardware works and you figure out the rest on your own.

My whole home basically is running on Sonoff at the moment, and everything is rock solid. The important stuff like the zigbee hub isn’t Sonoff, of course, but know when and when not to use their shit is half the job done.

Weller PCB manufacturer