CNET First Look
Does the Quirky Pivot Power Genius live up to its name?With a bendy design and a pair of smart sockets, this surge protector wants to power the smart home.
Hey, CNET. I'm Ry Crist, and this is the Quirky Pivot Power Genius. This is a $79.99 power strip. Now, why would a power strip cost that much? Well, this one is smart. It has two outlets right here on the top that you could power on and off from your smartphone using this free Wink app for iOS and Android devices. This means you'll be able to power on your lamp, your cell phone charger, whatever you can think of, just by pressing a button on your phone. Now, Quirky teamed up with GE to release this product. It's an update from an existing design that had the pivot ability but it wasn't smart. So, they're adding that, and they're raising the price to 80 bucks. Is 80 bucks a good price for this thing? I don't know. The WeMo Switch that we tested costs 50 bucks. It only has one outlet. But it also adds IFTTT compatibility, and it works really well. You can plug a motion detector up with it. I think that's a pretty good product. And that might be the better option here. But this does have two outlets. And the Wink app is pretty well-designed. You can also use the Pivot Power Genius with Quirky Spotter multi-purpose sensor. And that is a little smoke detector-looking thing that can detect motion, and sound, and light changes, and temperature and humidity. And you can use all of those changes as triggers to control when the power strip turns on and off. In my testing, those Spotter sensors weren't always as reliable or consistent as I would like. So, if you're thinking about buying this power strip and wanna buy the Spotter as well, check out my review of that device just to make sure it's the right fit for you. Another cool feature, you connect it to your Wi-Fi by holding your phone up to this light sensor and having the app flash a light pattern. That's really cool. Also, keep in mind that if you like the fact that this thing pivots and flexes to accommodate large chargers and bulky plugs, you can get this power strip without the smart functionality for a lot less. It costs $29.99. You can find it on sale on some websites for $19.99. So, if you don't care about the smart functionality or the Wink app, just go with that, instead. Overall, the Pivot Power Genius is an interesting product, and I found that turning lights on and off and using it for my smartphone worked really well. So, if that interests you, and that sounds useful, check it out. For CNET, I'm Ry Crist.