I am using Conbee dongle for a while with the Deconz/Phoscon integration and i am quite happy with it, working stable, so far supporting every device i have.
However in the near future i will start a new HA setup at new location where i will need a dongle as well.
Few points I am considering:
- Conbee, although stable seems a bit old already and have some concerns about future support like Matter, etc.
- SkyConnect would be my obvious choice for best future compatibility with HA, but its sold out and is twice as expensive as the Zigbee dongle
- Generally i am not afraid to be a beta-tester, on the contrary, i prefer long support, lot of firmware upgrades and new functions to be added and i am happy to pay the price in the form of some initial stability issues (the Conbee feels kinda boring in these regards)
- I have some concerns that Sonoff will soon release a “Dongle-F” or something and cut support for -E - that would make me very angry and sad
So what route should I go?
If you have any desire to try zigbee2mqtt get the ZBDongle-P.
If not, I’d probably still get “P.”
If you want the potential of SkyConnect-like dual protocol support get the ZBDongle-E. I’d bet it will be capable of everything the SkyConnect will do after a little community involvement. It is based on the same chip as the SkyConnect. The Sonoff is less expensive and readily available. Why wait?
There will undoubtedly be a successor to the E, just as there will be for the SkyConnect. Newer chips have been announced already, retail products will certainly follow. Still, support is nothing to worry about. The SI Labs chip both are based on is ubiquitous.
The P and E versions simply use 2 different chipsets from TI and Silicon Labs, both capable of running Zigbee and Thread. Sonoff is not writing their own firmware so I would not be worried… head over here for the firmware:
Edit: I prefer the larger, replaceable, external antenna of the Sonoff over the Skyconnect.