Smart home gadgets aren't just for inside your home. There are smart grills, smart landscape lighting setups and even smart outdoor TVs. If you're not keen on spending big bucks on fancy new smart things for your porch or patio, you can still bring some of that Wi-Fi magic into your space with an outdoor smart plug.
The Braumm Outdoor Smart Plug works with Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa for voice commands and integration with your favorite smart home platform. At $40 (but often on sale for less), it's a midprice option for Google Assistant- and Alexa-powered homes. However, setup woes and an underwhelming app suggest it's not the best plug on the market.
Outdoor smart plugs are a great way to connect holiday lights, decorations, bug zappers, electric lamps, speakers and pretty much any plug-in outdoor gadget you enjoy. By design, they are utilitarian and made to withstand the elements. That usually means design aesthetics aren't high on the priority list. I take no issue with that. Let's be honest, I just want an outdoor smart plug to work. If it also looks nice, that's a bonus.
Braumm definitely didn't make efforts in the looks department, and that's okay. The chunky black box that houses the smart outlet is there to keep things weatherproof. That said, the Braumm Outdoor Smart Plug is compact, and comes with mounting holes to secure it to your wall. It's rated to operate safely in temperatures from -4°F to 113°F.
Braumm's model only works with Google Assistant and Alexa for voice commands. If you're looking for a HomeKit-compatible outdoor smart plug, I'd direct you to the iDevices Outdoor Switch. You'll get a HomeKit-compatible plug with two outlets for $49.
You can control the Braumm Outdoor Smart Plug via Wi-Fi with the Braumm mobile app for iOS or Android. There you'll find options for a timer (oddly named "Left Time"), scheduling and creating scenes with any other Braumm devices. You can also enable notifications if the plug goes offline for any reason.
In addition to status, timers, scheduling and scenes, the app also provides weather information, a handy addition for any outdoor device. You can add family members via email if you'd like someone else to be able to download thei Braumm app and share control of the outlet.
Once you've set up an account and your device is online, connect to your Alexa or Google Home app by adding the Braumm skill for Alexa or log in to your Braumm account via the Home app. For me, it took a few attempts with resets for everything to connect correctly. The plug took a few attempts to connect to my 2.4GHz Wi-fi and a few more to be correctly discovered by Google Assistant and Alexa.
Close, but not quite
When it was connected, the plug was responsive to voice commands and app control. It powered on and off correctly. The timer and scheduling options worked as expected, too. Still, I was left feeling underwhelmed by the Braumm Outdoor Smart Plug.
The app is fine, though some phrasing and instructions are less than intuitive in English. The performance was acceptable, but I wished for two outlets and a shorter cord. A finicky setup experience, less-than-stellar aesthetics and the borderline pricey $40 MSRP left me on the hunt for a better option.
I've seen the $40 Braumm on sale for as little as $18. If you catch a sale like that and need an outdoor outlet in a jiffy, this one will do. However, I'd still pick the $50 dual-outlet iDevices Outdoor Switch over this one. It's also worth looking at the popular $25 TP-Link Kasa Outdoor Smart Plug. We haven't reviewed TP-Link's outdoor plug yet, but we've been more than pleased with many of the Kasa smart home products, including indoor outlets and plugs.