Amazon Alexa-compatible smart plug review
If you have several lights, appliances and electronics in your home, turning them on and off may be a bit cumbersome. Amazon claims its smart plug makes life easier by giving you the option to control your devices via voice commands or a timed schedule.
We decided to put the Amazon Smart Plug to the test in a home setting to see if it really makes life easier.
Testing the Amazon Smart Plug
We strive to investigate every claim a brand or manufacturer makes about its products. For this article, our tester used the smart plug with a lamp, a speaker and a TV. They used the plug to turn their devices on and off and set a timer to turn a device off after a short period. Our tester has used other smart plugs in the past and already had the Alexa app downloaded.
What is the Amazon Smart Plug?
The Amazon Smart Plug makes it easy to turn your devices on and off. Its main selling point is the Alexa voice control feature. If you have an Echo Dot or another Alexa-enabled speaker, you can use the smart plug to control your devices with voice commands. The plug is large compared to its competitors, but its round edges give it a more attractive design.
Amazon Smart Plug price and where to buy
You can purchase the Amazon Smart Plug from Amazon. It costs around $25.
How to use an Amazon Smart Plug
To use the Amazon Smart Plug, you need to have the Alexa app. Since we already had it downloaded, we simply had to navigate to “connect a device” in the app, plug in the smart plug and use a voice command to connect the app to the plug. For those who don’t have the app downloaded, go to your phone’s app store and download the app.
We plugged a lamp into the smart plug and said the voice command, “Alexa, turn on the first plug” to turn on the light. It turned on right away. Using it with other devices was just as easy. You can also set the plug to turn on at a specific time of day using the app.
In addition to setting up a daily schedule, we were able to set devices to turn on or off after a certain period. For example, when we told Alexa to turn on a light after 20 minutes, the light turned on exactly 20 minutes later.
It’s important to note that the plug can only control devices with mechanical power switches. For example, we weren’t able to use it on a Marshall speaker since its plug is only designed to charge the speaker.
Amazon Smart Plug benefits
Setup was a breeze and the plug has a sleek design. The smart plug was incredibly intuitive, and we could turn it on even if we were in another room. Since we were already familiar with Amazon Alexa, there was virtually no learning curve.
Having the ability to set up routines was a nice feature. If you had multiple plugs, you could set them to turn the lights and coffee maker just before you wake up. The plug could be helpful for those requiring additional accessibility in their home since you can use it to power fans, window AC units or heaters from any room.
Many people seemed to enjoy the plug’s Away Lighting feature. Away Lighting will automatically turn your lights on if you’re away for an extended period, so you appear to be home.
Amazon Smart Plug drawbacks
- Price: The biggest drawback is you only get one plug, meaning it could be relatively expensive to set up all of your devices. So far, Amazon doesn’t offer multi-packs for this device.
- Size: Although the design is slick, it’s pretty large compared to other smart plugs. Still, it’s short enough that you can plug multiple smart plugs into a single outlet.
- Connection: Many users found that the plug disconnects from their Echo frequently. In most cases, it’s a temporary issue. Other users had to disconnect and reconnect the plug in their Alexa app.
- Routines can be tricky compared to other plugs: Some found it challenging to set up the routines feature. To set up a routine, you have to set the start time for each plug and then go through the process a second time to set the end times. Other smart plugs let you do this all at once.
Should you get the Amazon Smart Plug?
We recommend this device for anyone who wants hands-free control of their appliances and electronics, so long as they don’t mind spending a little extra. If you already use Amazon Alexa devices, the Amazon Smart Plug likely makes more sense than a plug from another brand.
Consider other products
You can control the WeMo Mini using Siri or your smartphone through the Apple Home App. Many users felt it was relatively difficult to set up, although it tends to work well after. It’s ideal for iOS users, but probably not great for other operating systems. It’s worth noting that these WeMo plugs only work with Siri.
Sold by Amazon
This set includes four smart plugs for roughly the price of one Amazon Smart Plug. They’re Alexa-compatible and easy to set up, although they require a Wi-Fi connection. Many were able to use these plugs from over 40 feet away.
Sold by Amazon
TP-Link Kasa Smart Plug HS100 Kit
These versatile plugs work with numerous voice assistants including Alexa, Cortana and Google Home. They’re relatively large compared to other smart plugs. The set includes two plugs and lets you schedule when to power your devices on or off.
Sold by Amazon
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Laura Duerr writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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