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Belkin's WeMo smart switch lost a lot of weight

The new generation of Belkin's popular app-enabled plug is smaller than ever -- and still just as smart.

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Ry Crist
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1 of 10 Ry Crist/CNET

Meet the new WeMo Mini Wi-Fi Smart Plug. It's the new generation of Belkin's popular smart home gadget, and it'll let you automate anything you plug in behind it.

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The smaller design is dramatically less bulky than the original WeMo Switch.

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That's a good thing, because the original switches tended to block off adjacent outlets. The new WeMo Mini won't.

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In fact, Belkin claims the new switch is designed specifically with this in mind. Ideally, they want you to buy two and plug them in right next to one another.

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5 of 10 Screenshots by Ry Crist/CNET

Other than the new design, the new WeMo Mini works just like the original WeMo Switch, and uses the same app for Android and iOS devices.

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That app is still a little bit laggier than I'd like.

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7 of 10 Screenshots by Ry Crist/CNET

I even encountered a couple of glitches as I tested the WeMo Mini out. For the most part, though, it worked like a charm.

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Like the rest of the WeMo lineup, the WeMo Mini enjoys compatibility with a lot of popular products and services, including IFTTT, Google Home, the Nest Learning Thermostat and Amazon's Alexa.

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Connect it with services like those, and you'll be able to automate the plug in all sorts of ways, or even turn it on and off using voice commands.

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The WeMo Mini is available for preorder now for $35. At launch, it'll only be available in the US and Canada, but other WeMo products are sold internationally, so don't rule out a global rollout later down the line. The price converts roughly to about £30, or AU$50.

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