If you’re looking for an inexpensive way to turn regular, non-connected home appliances into smart home devices, put the Samsung SmartThings Wifi Smart Plug at the top of your list. At $17.99, it’s one of the more affordable smart plugs we’ve come across, yet it offers a few features you usually only find on more expensive plugs including power usage reports, voice control, and flexible scheduling. It also supports IFTTT applets, and it will integrate with other smart devices if you pair it with a SmartThings hub. All this earns it our Editors’ Choice for smart plugs.
Design and Features
At 1.5 by 2.6 by 2.1 inches (HWD), the SmartThings Wifi Smart Plug is just a tad smaller than the iHome iSP6X (1.5 by 2.8 by 2.1), but not quite as tiny as the Aukey Wi-Fi Smart Plug (1.5 by 2.5 by 1.3 inches). It’s small enough that it won’t block access to the second outlet of a two-outlet wall receptacle, which is what matters most. The plug has one three-prong outlet on the front, along with a small LED indicator that blinks green during setup, is solid green when connected, and is dark when the plug is off. A manual power button is located on the left, and there’s a three-prong plug on the back.
The plug uses a 2.4GHz Wi-Fi radio to connect to your home network so you can control it with your phone. The Wi-Fi radio also allows the plug to work with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant voice commands, and have it interact with other smart devices using IFTTT applets. It doesn’t support Apple’s HomeKit platform like the ConnectSense Smart Outlet 2, but it does work with the SmartThings home automation platform when paired with a SmartThings Hub.
You connect to the same SmartThings mobile app used to control the SmartThings Wifi system we reviewed last year, but the app has gotten a makeover since then. It opens to a My Home screen that displays all of the rooms in your home and their associated devices. There’s a plus icon in the top right corner that is used to add new devices, and in the left corner is a three-bar icon that opens a menu where you can view each room or all installed devices. Here you can create Scenes, which allow you control the plug and other connected devices with a single tap, and Automations, which allow you to have the plug react to certain triggers such as time of day and location. You can also create automations to have the plug react to triggers from other SmartThings devices if you’re using a hub. Use the gear icon to configure notifications, enable location services, update Wi-Fi information, and manage connected service such as Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and IFTTT.
Back at the My Home screen, tap the Smart Plug tab to open a screen with an On/Off button, an Energy Consumption gauge, a Power Meter gauge, and an Activity history list. Tap the graph icon on either gauge to see hourly or daily usage graphs. The Activity list shows on and off activity and random power meter readings.
Installation and Performance
In testing, I had the plug up and running in no time. I already had a SmartThings account from a previous review, but if this is your first SmartThings device, you’ll have to download the mobile app and create an account. I opened the app and tapped Add Device, selected SmartThings from the list, selected Outlet, and then chose the plug. I pressed Start, added the plug to my home, and assigned it to a room. I used my phone’s camera to scan the QR code that came in the box and followed the instructions to plug in the smart plug and tap Next when the LED began blinking green. Using my phone’s Wi-Fi settings, I connected to the plug and then entered my home Wi-Fi SSID and password. After a 35-second wait, the plug was added to my account and setup was complete.
The SmartThings Wifi Smart Plug performed flawlessly in my tests. It responded instantly to On/Off commands using both the mobile and the physical button, and it followed my Automation schedule without issue. I created an IFTTT applet to have the plug turn on when an Arlo Pro 2 camera detected motion and it worked perfectly. Likewise, I had no trouble turning the plug on and off using Alexa voice commands. And readings from the Power Meter were identical to readings I received from a Kill-O-Watt meter.
Don’t let the SmartThings Wifi Smart Plug’s low price fool you. It offers many of the features that you find on more expensive plugs such as the Belkin Wemo Insight and the iHome iSP6X—including Alexa and Google Assistant voice control, support for IFTTT applets, and power usage reporting—for around half the price. Although it doesn’t support Apple HomeKit, it works with numerous third-party devices when paired with a SmartThings Hub. Its affordable price, performance, and generous features earn the SmartThings plug our Editors’ Choice.
If you require a dual-outlet device, check out the $60 ConnectSense Smart Outlet 2, also an Editors’ Choice. It doesn’t support IFTTT applets, but it does support Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri voice commands, works with Apple HomeKit, and offers power usage reports and a USB charging port.