Amazon Smart Plug Review
If you're ready to use your Amazon Echo speaker for more than just shopping, playing music, and weather reports, you might be thinking about adding an Amazon Smart Plug ($24.99) to your Alexa ecosystem. This single-outlet smart plug lets you control whatever is plugged into it using Alexa voice commands and the Alexa mobile app. It's a snap to install and works with some (but not all) Alexa smart home devices, but it doesn't work with other voice platforms and doesn't offer nearly as many features as our Editors' Choice, the ConnectSense Smart Outlet 2, which costs more at $59.95, but also includes a second plug.
Design and Features
The Amazon Smart Plug is rectangular and measures 1.5 by 3.2 by 2.2 inches (HWD). It's not quite as small as the Geeni Spot, but it's small enough that it won't block access to the second plug of a two-outlet wall receptacle. There's a single-three prong outlet and an LED indicator on the front. The LED glows solid blue when the device is on, blinks blue when it is ready for setup, blinks red when there is no network connection, and is dark when the device is off. An on/off button is located on the left side of the plug and there's a 2.4GHz Wi-Fi radio under the hood.You Can Trust Our ReviewsSince 1982, PCMag has tested and rated thousands of products to help you make better buying decisions. (See how we test.)
The plug can be turned on and off using Alexa voice commands and from within the Alexa mobile app for Android and iOS devices, but it lacks Apple HomeKit support, doesn't work with Google Assistant and Siri voice commands, and doesn't offer power usage reporting like the ConnectSense Smart Outlet 2 does. Moreover, it doesn't feature support for IFTTT applets that allow it to work with other IFTTT-enabled devices. On the plus side, you can use Alexa Routines to have the plug be triggered by motion sensor cameras that are connected to your Alexa smart home system, but interactions with other smart devices such as door locks, thermostats, and water leak detectors aren't supported.
To control the plug from within the Alexa app, tap the Devices button in the bottom right corner of the home screen and then tap the Plugs button. Go to the tab with the name of your plug to open its control screen, where you'll find an icon that tells you the status of the plug (on or off). Simply tap the icon to turn the plug on and off.
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Tap Create A Routine to create a schedule to turn the plug on and off at a specific time of day and on specific days of the week. Here you can also create a routine to control the plug based on your phone's location and have it react to other Alexa smart home devices as mentioned above. To edit the plug's name and change its Wi-Fi settings, tap the gear icon in the upper right corner.
Installation and Performance
To install the Amazon Smart Plug, you'll need the latest version of the Alexa app and an Amazon account. Simply plug the device into a wall outlet, open the app, and tap the Devices button in the lower right corner of the Alexa home screen. Next, tap the plus button and Add Device, then choose Plug from the list of devices. Select Amazon from the list of brands, tap Next, and use your phone's camera to scan the QR code located on the back of the Quick Start guide.
In testing, the plug was identified and automatically connected to my Wi-Fi network within seconds, at which point my Echo Plus chimed and told me that the device was connected and that it was named First Plug. At this point you can tell Alexa to rename the plug or do it manually in the Alexa app. I tapped Done and the installation was complete.
The Amazon Smart Plug performed well in my testing. It responded instantly to my Alexa voice commands to turn connected appliances on and off and to my on/off commands using the Alexa app. The plug followed my schedules to a tee and handled location-based routines without issue, turning the plug on when I arrived home and off when I left the house. I created a routine to have the plug turn on when a Ring Stickup Cam detected motion, and this too worked flawlessly.
The Amazon Smart Plug offers an easy way to transform ordinary devices like coffee makers, lamps, and most other household electronics into smart devices that you can control using Alexa voice commands. It's relatively affordable and a breeze to install, and it worked well in our tests. That said, it lacks some of the features that you get with our current Editors' Choice, the ConnectSense Smart Outlet 2, including a second outlet, energy reporting, HomeKit compatibility, and support for Google and Siri voice commands.
Amazon Smart Plug3.5See It$24.99 at AmazonMSRP $24.99
The Bottom Line
The Amazon Smart Plug lets you control whatever is plugged into it using Alexa voice commands, and it integrates with other Alexa-enabled devices, but it doesn't work with other home automation platforms and lacks energy usage reporting.
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