Review: Phoscon ConBee II – USB Zigbee Gateway

Quick Review: Very reliable, has excellent signal range, regular firmware updates & works with Home Assistant. The ConBee II is more expensive than some alternatives, but it is worth the money.

Overall Rating

When it comes to smart home automation, I’m always looking for the easy option. I like stuff that is managed using a pretty user interface and is plug-and-play. I don’t want to spend hours messing about editing configuration files or hunting down drivers. 

What Is The Conbee II Zigbee Gateway

The ConBee II connects to a PC or Raspberry Pi via USB and acts as a bridge, enabling communication between Zigbee devices and a network.

Zigbee devices are primarily used in smart homes. Common Zigbee devices used in smart homes include; light bulbs, switches, door sensors, motion sensors, thermostats, doorbells etc.

Many smart home hubs already have Zigbee connectivity built-in. But, if you want to create your own smart home hub using something like Home Assistant & Raspberry Pi, then you will need a ConBee II gateway for Zigbee connectivity.

Pros: Conbee II

  • It Just Works – In all the years that I’ve been using the Conbee II Zigbee gateway with my Raspberry Pi I’ve never experienced any issues….amazing!

  • Good Range – At least, I think it has a good range. Zigbee creates a mesh wireless network, which means a smart device doesn’t need to connect to the Conbee II directly. It can connect via another device that does connect to the Conbee II. This makes it difficult to tell if the Conbee II has a good range or if the Zigbee mesh network works well. Either way, I’ve never had any connectivity issues due to poor Zigbee network coverage.

  • True Plug & Play – I plugged the Conbee II into my Raspberry Pi, and it was automatically detected and displayed in Home Assistant without me having to do anything

  • Works With Everything Zigbee – I’ve got Zigbee devices from a wide range of different manufacturers and I’ve never had any issues with devices not connecting.

  • Regular Firmware Updates – I have to admit I’ve never noticed any improvements when I updated the Conbee II firmware. But, it is good to know that Phoscon actively supports the Conbee II with regular updates.

  • Zigbee 3  – The Conbee supports Zigbee 3 which is the latest standard and is backwards compatible with earlier versions of Zigbee
SaleBestseller No. 1
Phoscon ConBee II - universal Zigbee 3.0 USB gateway, incl. deCONZ & Phoscon App, Home Automation, Home Assistant, ioBroker, Zigbee2MQTT
Phoscon ConBee II – universal Zigbee 3.0 USB gateway, incl. deCONZ & Phoscon App, Home Automation, Home Assistant, ioBroker, Zigbee2MQTT
Universal Zigbee USB gateway, compatible with popular Zigbee products across manufacturers
£22.99 Amazon Prime

Cons: Conbee II

  • Cost – The Conbee II is more expensive than other USB Zigbee gateways. However, it’s not massively more expensive, and you are, in my opinion, buying the very best USB Zigbee gateway.

  • Manual Firmware Update – The only way I’ve found to update the Conbee II firmware successfully is by a somewhat convoluted manual method. Instructions for which can be found at Update deCONZ manually · dresden-elektronik/deconz-rest-plugin Wiki · GitHub
Conbee II Connected to Raspberry Pi
Conbee II Connected to Raspberry Pi

Tips On Using The Conbee II USB Zigbee Gateway

  1. I strongly recommend that the Conbee II is connected to a USB extension cable. This allows the Conbee II to be located in an optimal position to improve signal coverage and away from other electronic devices that may cause interference.

  2. Update the firmware of the Conbee II to the latest available version. This will ensure that any bugs have been removed and improve reliability, security and compatibility.

Conclusion: Conbee II Review

I’ve had Conbee II Zigbee gateway plugged into my Raspberry Pi for years and it has just worked.

Given the impressive 4.5 out of 5-star rating that the Conbee II has received on Amazon, it’s clear that I’m not alone in my positive assessment of its performance.


FAQ: Conbee II USB Gateway


How To Install Conbee II On Home Assistant

Just plug the Conbee 2 into a spare USB 2 port and Home Assistant will automatically detect it…..couldn’t be easier.

If you do run into problems, here is the manual method of adding Conbee 2 to Home Assistant

What are the differences between the Conbee II and Conbee III

  Conbee II Conbee III
Rated Voltage DC 5.0 V DC 5.0 V
Transmission Power max. 10 mW max. 10 mW
Signal Range 30 m in buildings and 200 m in line of sight 30 m in buildings and 200 m in line of sight
Radio Frequency 2.4 GHz 2.4 GHz
Radio Standard IEEE 820.15.4 / Zigbee 3.0 IEEE 820.15.4 / Zigbee 3.0
Flash Memory 256 kByte 1024 kByte
Operating Temperature -20 °C to 55 °C -20 °C to 55 °C
Operating System

Windows, Linux, Raspbian, Docker

 Windows, Linux, macOS, Raspbian, Docker

Dimensions 60 mm × 18 mm × 9 mm 60 mm × 18 mm × 9 mm


Should I upgrade from Conbee II to the Conbee III?

The Conbee III was released in November 2023 and is likely to have bugs that need fixing. I recommend not upgrading until a few updated firmware versions have been released for the Conbee III to fix the bugs.

I have a Conbee II, and everything works perfectly, so for now, I won’t be upgrading to The Conbee III.



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