One of the top annoyances of early smart plugs was their bulk and overall ugliness. It was hard to get excited about automating a lamp when it meant plugging a clunky, unattractive gadget into your outlet.
LikeCompact sizeWorks with major assistantsAffordable
Don’t LikeUnderwhelming appNo power monitoring
We’ve come a long way, and WeMo’s latest Wi-Fi smart plug proves it with a 45% smaller footprint than the WeMo Mini Smart Plug and a reasonable $25 price. It works with Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa and Siri for voice commands and smart home integration, and while it’s not my top pick, it is a great option for nearly any smart home enthusiast.
This is where WeMo gets it right. This smart plug is the smallest I’ve ever reviewed at 2.05 inches wide by 1.81 inches tall by 1.34 inches deep. It has a sensible rectangular shape that fits inside the profile of a standard outlet. WeMo didn’t reinvent the wheel here, it just made it look better.
A tiny, LED indicator light lets you know the status of your smart plug.
The WeMo Wi-Fi Smart Lock stacks easily on top or bottom of almost any other thing you’d plug into your wall. I tried multiple smart plugs and odd-shaped cords and adapters with no issues. A small LED light on the right side of the plug indicates current status, and a physical button offers manual control if your smart home hits a snag.
WeMo works with all three major assistants. That might sound like a low bar, but it can be surprisingly hard to find products that work with HomeKit, and especially products that sync up with all three. There may not be many people who would want compatibility for more than one assistant, but it’s always nice to see a manufacturer put in the effort to create something that anyone could use, no matter their platform of choice.
Hacks@Home: How to install a smart plug
Voice-assistant control for smart plugs is really just asking your assistant to turn the plug on or off, and in my testing with all three assistants, WeMo did this well. Setting up the WeMo Wi-Fi Smart Plug with HomeKit is a simple QR scan, and pairing your WeMo account with both Google and Alexa was simple enough.
The WeMo Wi-Fi Smart Plug doesn’t monitor energy like the WeMo Insight Switch or TP-Link Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Plug with Energy Monitoring, so smarts beyond voice and app control for power are limited. Still, those are responsive and easy to use.
App and performance
You’ll need to download the WeMo app for iOS or Android in order to set up your smart plug and connect it to a voice assistant. You’ll also input your Wi-Fi credentials in the app for remote access to your smart plug. Setup instructions are easy to follow and it shouldn’t take you more than five minutes to get up and running.
The WeMo app offers scheduling, Away Modes and remote control of smart plugs when connected to Wi-Fi.
Screenshots by Molly Price/CNET
The WeMo app isn’t my favorite for smart plugs. That title still goes to TP-Link’s Kasa app, filled with customization options like device photos and useful features like scenes. What WeMo offers does get the job done for simple automation. You’ll be able to set schedules for powering the plug on and off, as well as an Away Mode for automation lamps or TVs while you’re away to simulate occupancy in your home.
Overall, the WeMo Wi-Fi Smart Plug is a solid example of this kind of device. There are no big surprise features or exceptional luxuries, but you aren’t paying a luxury price, either. The WeMo app leaves a little to be desired when it comes to extra features and intuitive design, but at just $25 (with a three-pack for $49), this tiny smart plug is space saving and well-equipped to bring your home’s accessories online no matter the platform.
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