The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of tech gear

iDevices Outdoor Switch Review

Intuitive functionality in a weatherproof package
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Price:   $50 List | $42 at Amazon
Pros:  Weatherproof, 2 outlets in 1, broad smart home support, energy usage monitoring
Cons:  Somewhat confusing to connect to virtual assistants
Manufacturer:   iDevices
By Max Mutter and Michelle Powell  ⋅  Sep 3, 2019
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69
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#3 of 7
  • Ease of Setup - 40% 6
  • Interface - 15% 8
  • Voice Assistants - 15% 8
  • Reliability - 30% 7
RELATED: Smart Plugs

Our Verdict

The iDevices Outdoor Switch is one of the simplest and most reliable ways we've found for remotely controlling an outdoor socket. Plus is has two outlets, so you can plug two sets of string lights into it and bathe your deck in a warm ambience. While we generally love this plug, it can be somewhat difficult to connect it to voice assistants. Also, its two outlets are not independently controlled, you can either have them both on or both off. That being said, it is very easy to install this outlet and then be able to turn outdoor lights on from your phone or to set schedules for them, which is what most people are likely looking for in an outdoor smart plug.


Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award   
Price $50 List
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$45 List
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Pros Weatherproof, 2 outlets in 1, broad smart home support, energy usage monitoringQuick setup, intuitive app, reliable and responsive, energy monitoring, 2 independent portsQuick setup, broad smart home compatibility, inexpensiveSmall size doesn't block other outlets, fairly straightforward interface2 independent outlets, weatherproof, individual run time monitoring
Cons Somewhat confusing to connect to virtual assistantsNo Apple HomeKit or IFTTT support, can be a bit priceyHard to change networks, slower recovery when WiFi cuts outLacks any advanced featuresSetup relatively involved, slow to reboot after WiFi outage
Bottom Line Intuitive functionality in a weatherproof packageFully featured and reliable, will be useful in any homeA great choice for those looking for basic functionality in a simple and inexpensive packageA good option for crowded outlets with large plugsA great option for those looking to induvidually control two outdoor appliances
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Rating Categories iDevices Outdoor... Currant WiFi Outlet WeMo Mini Leviton Smart... TP-Link Kasa Outdoor
Ease Of Setup (40%)
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Interface (15%)
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Voice Assistants (15%)
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Reliability (30%)
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Specs iDevices Outdoor... Currant WiFi Outlet WeMo Mini Leviton Smart... TP-Link Kasa Outdoor
Number of Outlets 2 2 1 1 2
Maximum Power 1.2 kW 1.8kW 1.8 kW 1.5kW 1.875kW
Smart Home Compatability Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Home, IFTTT Alexa, Google Home Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Home, IFTTT, Nest Alexa, Google Home IFTTT, Nest, August Alexa, Google Home IFTTT, Nest, Home and Away
Warranty 1 Year Limited 1 Year Limited 3 Year Limited 5 Year Limited 2 Year Limited

Our Analysis and Test Results

The iDevices Outdoor Switch is a no-frills outdoor smart socket that makes controlling outdoor light from your phone simple and easy.

Performance Comparison



iDevices offers a simple outlet rated for outdoor use.
iDevices offers a simple outlet rated for outdoor use.

Ease of Setup


We found getting the Outdoor Switch hooked up to our WiFi and corresponding app quite easy. Just download the corresponding app on your phone before pressing a button on the plug to get it into pairing mode and the app instantly recognizes it. From there you are guided, step by step, through a relatively easy installation process.

Where we ran into issues was in connecting the plug to voice assistant like Alexa and Google. Nothing that came with the plug actually detailed how to do this, so we first tried the normal process of enabling Alexa skills or asking for our smart hubs to discover devices, all to no avail. Then we relented and hopped on Google to discover that voice assistants must be enabled within the iDevices app. This is a bit of an anomaly when compared to other plugs (and other smart devices in general) so we felt not highlighting this somewhere is a bit of a misstep.

Smart Home and Voice Assistant Compatibility


The iDevices Outdoor Switch is compatible with all of the major smart home players, including Alexa, Google, Apple HomeKit, and If This Then That.

Reliability and Responsiveness


When punching commands into the iDevices app the lights hooked up to the Outdoor Switch sprang to life almost immediately. Like many of the plugs we tested, the Outdoor Switch wasn't confused by power or WiFi outages if it was turned on during the outage. However, if it was off during one of those outages there was a noticeable delay in it getting reconfigured and responding to commands again.

The Outdoor Sitch in use.
The Outdoor Sitch in use.

Advanced Features


Despite being a fairly spartan device in general it does offer energy usage monitoring. However, you can't get individual energy usage statistics for each outlet, just how much both have consumed in total.

The Outdoor Switch offers energy usage monitoring right out of the box. However  some testers didn't like that it has a 'Triggers' icon right on its home screen  which is a feature specific to Apple HomeKit users (and that requires an Apple TV or home iPad to use).
The Outdoor Switch offers energy usage monitoring right out of the box. However, some testers didn't like that it has a 'Triggers' icon right on its home screen, which is a feature specific to Apple HomeKit users (and that requires an Apple TV or home iPad to use).

Considerations for an Outdoor Plug


All of our tests with this plug were done while it was well within the effective range of our WiFi router. However, since this plug is meant to be used outside, there's a fair chance your WiFi signal will be a bit weaker. Luckily, smart plugs are fairly simple devices that don't need much bandwidth. Chances are if you put your phone in airplane mode and then turn the WiFi, and you can still load a webpage in the same spot you'd like to use your smart plug, you'll be all set. If the signal is too weak to load a webpage there, you may want to find an outlet closer to your WiFi router, or consider moving the router to a more central location.

Value


The weatherproofing required to make the iDevices Outdoor Switch able to stand the elements makes it a bit more expensive than the average smart plug. However, its price is comparable to those of other outdoor plugs on the market, so considering its level of performance we think it represents a good overall value.


Conclusion


The iDevices Outdoor Switch effectively fills the niche of outdoor smart plug, offering the perfect platform from which to control your outdoor lights.


Max Mutter and Michelle Powell