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Smart Home

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.

oukitel-dual-smart-plug

For less than the price of a single Amazon Smart Plug, you can get a two-pack of Oukitel's dual-plug smart outlets.

Oukitel

It seems like a logical addition to the Amazon Echo ecosystem: a smart plug that allows "dumb" appliances to work via Alexa 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?

Right. Except that similar smart plugs have been around for quite some time, and most of the latest models are both Alexa-compatible and less expensive.

For example, the Etekcity WiFi Smart Plug works with Alexa and Google Home, and it currently sells for $20 -- for a two-pack.

See it at Amazon

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.

See it at Amazon

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.

Originally posted 1:18 p.m. PT

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