Forget Amazon's new Smart Plug, these do the same thing for less
Commentary: Sorry Amazon, $25 is too much -- especially when cheaper plugs can also work with Google Home.
Rick BroidaSenior Editor
Rick Broida is the author of numerous books and thousands of reviews, features and blog posts. He writes CNET's popular Cheapskate blog and co-hosts Protocol 1: A Travelers Podcast (about the TV show Travelers). He lives in Michigan, where he previously owned two escape rooms (chronicled in the ebook "I Was a Middle-Aged Zombie").
It seems like a logical addition to the
ecosystem: a smart plug that allows "dumb"
to work via
voice commands. "Alexa, start the coffeemaker!" "Alexa, turn off the living-room lamp!" And so on.
And, lo, the Amazon Smart Plug was born. Priced at $25, it's one of the many devices introduced at Amazon's hardware event on Thursday. Just plug it into any electrical outlet, plug your lamp or appliance into the new outlet, then pair the Smart Plug to your Echo smart speaker. Great, right?
Similarly, the Oukitel WiFi Smart Plug is a double-wide, turning one dumb outlet into two smart ones. It also comes in a two-pack, meaning you get a total of four smart outlets, and currently sells for $33. For a limited time, however, and while supplies last, promo code 4SFJBSPZ gets you out the door for just over $23.
So, yeah, for less than the price of a single Amazon Smart Plug, you can get as many as four -- and use them with any Google Home devices you might have now or add later. And those are just two examples; hit up Amazon (ironically) and you'll find countless others, many (if not most) priced below $25.
To be sure, Amazon's new Smart Plug does offer one notable advantage: Setup should be available directly through the existing Alexa app, and your existing Amazon account. All of the other third-party options listed above will require you to sign up through the respective manufacturer, and install their various apps. But I'm a DIY kinda guy, so I don't have a problem with jumping through an extra hoop or two, if it gives me more flexibility -- and the ability to pay less.
Updated 4:01 p.m. PT to note potential setup advantages of the Amazon Smart Plug over third-party alternatives.
Watch this: Amazon unveils a slew of Alexa gadgets for the smart home
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