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Amazon Smart Plug Review

An inexpensive and easy way to expand Alexa smart home systems
Best Buy Award
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Price:   $25 List | $25 at Amazon
Pros:  Fast setup for Alexa users, relatively inexpensive
Cons:  Limited smart home compatibility, only a single outlet
Manufacturer:   Amazon
By Max Mutter and Michelle Powell  ⋅  Sep 8, 2020
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57
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#8 of 9
  • Ease of Setup - 40% 6
  • Reliability - 30% 6
  • Interface - 15% 3
  • Voice Assistants - 15% 7

Our Verdict

If you've already committed to or are planning on using Alexa as the main brain of your smart home system, the Amazon Smart Plug is an inexpensive and reliable way to extend voice control to pretty much any appliance in your home. The plug, however, is a bit basic, so don't expect advanced features like energy usage or runtime tracking. The plug is also true to its name, so don't expect compatibility with Google Assistant or Siri either. What you can expect is a quick and easy setup and seamless integration into your Amazon ecosystem.

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Our Analysis and Test Results

The Amazon Smart Plug is a great value for Alexa users looking for a simple smart plug.

Performance Comparison



Ease of Setup


If you already have an Alexa system, then you're in luck. You can basically just plop the plug into an outlet, turn it on, and ask Alexa to discover devices, and you'll be up and running. If you want to rename the plug (and you probably will) you'll have to jump into the Alexa App on your phone, but the process is fairly painless.


If you don't already have an Amazon account and the Alexa app on your phone, setup ends up being a bit more involved. If you're looking to create a large system that centers around Alexa, making an account and installing the app is worthwhile. However, if you just want a single smart plug for a specific application, we think there are plugs that function more easily as standalone units.

We found it relatively easy to set up the Amazon Smart Plug.
We found it relatively easy to set up the Amazon Smart Plug.

We did appreciate that the Alexa app makes it fairly easy to switch the plug between different WiFi networks, meaning you don't have to fuss around much if you decide to get a new WiFi router.

Interface


Amazon has been a leader in the virtual assistant game for a while now, and controlling the Amazon Smart Plug is accordingly simple and easy.


The Alexa app is a bit broader in its application than those of many other smart plugs. As a result, there is more to navigate through for smart plug functions that require the app, namely setting schedules or creating routines. We found this process to be a bit clunkier than with the more spartan apps of some other plugs, but it's certainly not a dealbreaker. The routines also allow all of your Alexa-enabled devices to interact --think having a lamp turn on whenever a security camera sees motion-- more easily than with some other systems.

The Alexa app makes it easy to manage multiple plugs and create routines with other Alexa enabled devices.
The Alexa app makes it easy to manage multiple plugs and create routines with other Alexa enabled devices.

One slight gripe we have with this plug is the fact that its outlet faces forward. We often find ourselves using smart plugs in hard to reach places like behind couches. Since this plug is forward facing, it plus whatever cord is plugged into it can extend out from the wall quite a bit, potentially forcing you to move your couch forward a few inches.

Voice Assistants


As the name would suggest, the Amazon Smart Plug only works with Amazon Alexa. Other smart assistants need not apply.


Any Alexa devices seamlessly integrate with the Amazon Smart Plug.
Any Alexa devices seamlessly integrate with the Amazon Smart Plug.

Reliability


The Amazon Smart Plug performed very similarly to most of the other plugs we've tested when we cut out the WiFi and power. If the plug was on it generally sprung right back into action once the outage was rectified. If the plug was off during the outage, it took a few minutes for it to find its bearings, but it still regained functionality without any direct intervention.


Value


The Amazon Smart Plug is somewhat limited in both scope (it only works with Alexa) and function (it offers only basic functionality). However, if you use Alexa and only need to do something simple like put an outlet on a basic schedule or turn it on and off remotely, the Amazon Smart Plug is a great value.

Conclusion


The simple and streamlined Amazon Smart Plug is a perfect choice for Alexa users that want to connect basic devices to their smart home network, but it lacks advanced features or functionality.

Max Mutter and Michelle Powell