There's a large group of people that only want a smart plug so that they can put a lamp on a schedule, or so that they can use a device that doesn't have an on/off switch (like string lights) with an outlet that's hidden away behind a couch. If you fall into that boat, the WeMo Mini is the perfect choice. It offers a no-frills setup process, basic scheduling functions, and wide smart home compatibility at a low price. Sure, you sacrifice some of the advanced energy monitoring features of more expensive plugs, but it's unlikely those LED string lights you'll probably plug into it are going to have a real impact on your electric bill. This plug also took a bit longer to reboot after a WiFi outage than some of its competitors, but if you're just looking to have autonomous control over some less than vital appliances, that reboot time shouldn't be an issue.
WeMo Mini Review
Pros: Quick setup, broad smart home compatibility, inexpensive
Cons: Hard to change networks, slower recovery when WiFi cuts out
Compare to Similar Products
Our Analysis and Test Results
For those that have a simple use for a smart plug in mind and that don't need advanced features like energy monitoring, the WeMo Mini provides a simple, effective, and inexpensive solution.
Ease of Setup
Setup can't get much easier than it is with the WeMo Mini. You don't even need to make an account. Just make sure your phone is hooked up to the WiFi network you'd like the plug to live within, download the WeMo app, scan the QR code on the plug itself, and you're off to the races. Assuming you have an Alexa device hooked up to the same WiFi network, at this point you can just say, "Alexa, discover devices," and it will find the plug automatically.
The one initial setup-related issue we ran into with the Mini came in the form of switching WiFi networks. Doing so required deleting the WeMo app, resetting the plug, and then reinstalling the app. While switching networks is likely an uncommon task, it's something to keep in mind in case you're looking into a WiFi extender, new router, or just considering switching apartments.
Smart Home and Voice Assistant Compatibility
The Mini provides pretty much all the functionality one could want in this realm, playing nice with Alexa, Google Home, Apple HomeKit, and If This Then That. It even works with Nest, so you could have the Mini turn a fan on or off depending on what your Nest thermostat is doing.
Reliability and Responsiveness
Our reliability testing focuses on two things: how quickly does the plug respond to commands, and how quickly does the plug recover after a WiFi or power outage? The Mini passed the first test with flying colors. We saw almost immediate responses when figuratively yelling commands from the smartphone app, and when literally yelling commands at Alexa.
After flicking the WiFi and/or power off and back on, the Mini was a bit slower in responding than some other plugs. If it was in the 'on' position during the outage it generally turned back on right away. However, if it was off during the outage, it often took a few minutes or more for the plug to get reacquainted with the WiFi and start responding to commands again.
No Advanced Features
This is the area where the Mini's low price starts to show. It lacks an energy monitoring or similar features available in some of the pricier plugs. However, unless you're a data fiend that loves to know exactly how much electricity all of your appliances are using, this probably won't be a limitation.
With no frills and simple operation at a low price, we think the WeMo Mini is a great value for those looking for basic smart plug functionality.
The WeMo Mini is one of the best and least expensive basic smart plugs we've found, making it a great choice for those that just want to be able to turn things on and off remotely. If you're looking for more advanced features, however, you're probably going to have to pony up for a more expensive device.
— Max Mutter and Michelle Powell