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VIMVIP Smart Plug review: This space-saving plug is smarter than it looks

VIMVIP Smart Plug

(Part #: CNETVIMVIPSMARTPLUG)
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The Good The Vimvip Wi-Fi Socket works with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa and offers options for scheduling, timers and scenes.

The Bad This smart plug is unattractive and it isn’t HomeKit compatible. You won’t get power monitoring or an away mode to simulate activity in your home.

The Bottom Line You can turn devices on and off with the Vimvip Wi-Fi Socket via app or voice assistant. You’ll be able to schedule device power and create scenes, but capabilities beyond that are limited.

6.0 Overall
  • Features 6.0
  • Usability 6.0
  • Design 5.0
  • Performance 7.0

The Vimvip Wi-Fi Socket smartens your ordinary objects. It's one of dozens of smart plugs on the market designed to add voice control and automation to the otherwise dumb devices and small appliances in our homes. A two-pack of the Vimvip Wi-Fi Socket costs just $21. That's pretty cheap, but the savings come at a price. You won't get power monitoring or away modes. It doesn't work with HomeKit, either. Still, there are enough upsides to this budget-friendly smart plug to make it worth a look.

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The Vimvip Wi-Fi Socket includes a USB 2.0 charging port. 

Chris Monroe/CNET

The Vimvip Wi-Fi Socket's design isn't much to look at. In fact, it's downright ugly. The rectangular body sits offset to the outlet and it's lined with waffly grooves that don't seem to have a purpose, except to invoke my memories of 90s home intercom speakers. Still, Vimvip's Wi-Fi Socket gets points for saving enough space to fit another plug into the adjacent outlet. It also includes a USB 2.0 charging port on the side. That's a nice addition we don't see enough of in other smart plugs.

Setting up the Vimvip Wi-Fi Socket is quick and simple. Like other smart plugs, it needs a good 2.4GHz Wi-Fi connection. You'll need the Smart Life app. The app controls automation and links to Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa through the Smart Life skill. 

This isn't the only plug I reviewed that uses this app as its control center. Both the Gosund Smart Plug and the HeyGo Wi-Fi Smart Plug also rely on Smart Life. Third party apps like Smart Life seem to be the method of choice for overseas brands like Vimvip, a subsidiary of China Electronics Shenzhen. With an app not directly tied to the brand, I'd worry about customer service issues and software updates. Still, the Smart Life app performed well through my tests.  

The app offers scheduling, timers and scenes with parameters for time of day, weather and location. I tested the Vimvip Wi-Fi Socket with a lamp, and I was able to nickname it, making voice commands more comfortable. Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa promptly powered the plug on or off with commands like, "OK Google, turn on the blue lamp".

This $21 two-pack won't do everything smart plugs like the Eufy Smart Plug Mini or TP-Link Kasa Wi-Fi Smart Plug do. It doesn't work with HomeKit and voice commands are limited, but it's still an affordable way to connect your everyday devices to Google Assistant or Alexa for on and off voice commands.

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