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GE Cync Outdoor Smart Plug Review

GE Cync Outdoor Smart Plug Review

GE Lighting recently renamed its C By GE smart home brand to Cync, and the Cync Outdoor Smart Plug ($29.99) is one of the first devices to bear that new moniker. Designed to withstand the elements, this Wi-Fi-enabled smart plug offers two independently functioning outlets that you can control via the Cync mobile app or with voice commands. And while you can configure some third-party smart home devices to trigger one or both outlets with an Alexa routine, our Editors' Choice winner, the $11.99 Wyze Plug Outdoor, offers far more integrations options at a more affordable price, and is also capable of producing energy usage reports.

Dual-Outlet Design

The Cync Outdoor Smart Plug uses a black, weather-resistant enclosure that measures 2.5 by 5.0 by 2.7 inches (HWD) and has a 5.9-inch three-prong power cord. Rubber covers protect each of the three-prong, downward-facing outlets. GE doesn't list the IP rating for the product, but, for comparison, the Wyze Outdoor Plug carries an IP64 weather-resistance rating.

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You can configure the plug to control both outlets at the same time, or set them up to work independently of one another. Two power buttons and two LED indicators (one for each outlet, respectively) sit on the top of the enclosure. The LEDs glow green when the outlet has power and flash blue during setup. Under the hood, a Bluetooth and a 2.4GHz Wi-Fi radio respectively allow you to pair the plug with your phone and connect it to your home network.

App Experience

Like the Cync Indoor Smart Plug, the Outdoor plug pairs with the Cync mobile app (available for Android and iOS). From the Lighting panel on the home screen, you can turn each outlet on or off. If you tap the gear icon in the upper right corner, you can configure Wi-Fi settings, edit the names of each outlet, and disable the status LEDs. Tap the Scenes button on the home screen to set up an automation that lets you control both the plug and other Cync devices with the tap of a button. Here, you can also create schedules for the plug to turn on or off at a specific time of day.

GE Cync Outdoor Smart Plug Review

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The Cync plug supports Alexa and Google Assistant commands and routines, but lacks support for Apple HomeKit and the numerous third-party integrations that you get with IFTTT. For comparison, the $39.99 Wemo Wi-Fi Smart Outdoor Plug works with both of those platforms. The plug also cannot generate power usage reports, something the Wyze Outdoor plug offers.

Simple Setup, Reliable Results

The Cync Outdoor Smart Plug is very easy to install. Once you download the mobile app and create an account, tap the Add Devices panel on the home screen. Select Plugs from the list of devices, follow the instructions to plug in the device, and confirm that the LEDs start to flash blue. Once the app identifies the plug, tap Setup to give it a name and to connect it to your network SSID. After this, the app prompts you to set up the left outlet by giving it a name and assigning it to a group. You then repeat this process for the right outlet and update the firmware (if necessary) to complete the installation. During the installation process, both outlets and the plug name automatically showed up on my Alexa device list.

The plug worked as intended in my tests. It responded immediately to app-based and Alexa requests to turn on and off, and the physical power buttons worked well. An Alexa routine I created for one of the outlets to turn on when I unlocked a Utec Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro smart lock worked every time. The plug also adhered to the usage schedule I set up without issues.

A Fine Choice, But Not the Best

If you want to turn exterior lighting, pool pumps, and other outdoor electronics into connected devices, the Cync Outdoor Smart Plug gets the job done. This dual-outlet, weather-resistant smart plug lets you control each plug independently, and works with both Alexa and Google Assistant services. That said, it doesn't support IFTTT or Apple's Homekit, and it can’t generate power usage reports. Our top pick for outdoor smart plugs remains the Wyze Plug Outdoor, which integrates with more third-party platforms, produces energy reports, and costs about a third of the price, earning it our Editors' Choice award.

GE Cync Outdoor Smart Plug

3.5See It$19.99 at AmazonMSRP $29.99

Pros

Cons

The Bottom Line

The GE Cync Outdoor Smart Plug is a rugged, two-receptacle model without outlets you can control independently of one another with your phone and voice.

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