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Cnct IntelliPlug review: The Cnct IntelliPlug: Tiny smart plug, tiny price tag

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Connected plugs might be the building blocks of a smart home, but they can also be really annoying with their blocky design getting in the way of other outlets. Now a new smart plug is on the market, the Cnct IntelliPlug, and it's setting the standard for the smart plug industry.

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8.5

Cnct IntelliPlug

Pricing Not Available

The Good

The Cnct IntelliPlug is supercheap and small and has a respectable suite of features, including Alexa voice control.

The Bad

Besides the company's name (it’s pronounced Connect), the plug's design isn’t perfect, and it doesn’t integrate with many larger smart home platforms.

The Bottom Line

This is about the best affordable smart plug I’ve tested. It’s reliable and unobtrusive and has solid core features. It isn’t as feature-rich as more expensive options, and it doesn’t integrate with enough platforms, but for the price, it’s a great buy.

The Cnct IntelliPlug is a Wi-Fi enabled smart plug (meaning it connects directly to your phone), with an unobtrusive design, easy setup and an extremely low $20 price tag. The Cnct (pronounced "connect") works with the Amazon Echo line for voice control, and includes a countdown timer, scheduling functions and remote control. While it doesn't boast the rich features of pricier devices, the Cnct IntelliPlug is the best affordable plug you'll find right now.

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Chris Monroe/CNET

Here's a breakdown of the features the Cnct IntelliPlug has:

  • Wi-Fi connection (meaning no hub required)
  • Voice control (Alexa only)
  • Countdown timer
  • Scheduling feature
  • Remote control
  • Smart charging (the plug will automatically turn off once your plugged-in phone is fully charged)

The IntelliPlug doesn't have:

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Chris Monroe/CNET

The feature that really stands out on the IntelliPlug is the countdown timer, which a surprising number of smart plugs don't include. The timer allows a little more flexibility than simple scheduling, as you can set a function to run, say, 10 minutes from now, and to stop 30 minutes after that -- all without having to check the time of day at all.

The rest of the features work reliably (although the smart charging feature is really unnecessary, as most smart phones regulate overcharging themselves now).

The biggest features missing are the integrations -- particularly with HomeKit and IFTTT. These two integrations allow for much better cooperation between devices, which makes smart homes really smart. And right now, device cooperation isn't really possible with the IntelliPlug.

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Chris Monroe/CNET

Is smallest best?

The Cnct IntelliPlug's claim to fame is its size, which to its credit, is much smaller than the competition -- whether you compare it with the more feature-rich $35 Belkin WeMo Mini or the more basic $25 Geeni Energi. Its tiny design doesn't entirely avoid blocking other outlets, as its rounded edges can get in the way of some oddly shaped plugs. But you'll likely blame the oddly shaped plug more than the IntelliPlug when you run into problems.

The real size difference that matters is in price. The $20 dollar price tag (not to mention the limited-time Indiegogo packages) is the lowest we've seen so far in the industry. One use suggested on the IntelliPlug's Indiegogo page is plugging in a curling iron, so if you forgot to switch it off before leaving for work you can do it remotely. With more expensive plugs, that would seem absurd; $35 to be sure you switched off a device you may not use daily? But at $20, mundane uses like these start seeming like decent investments.

The Cnct IntelliPlug is the smallest smart plug around, and it has the smallest price tag for its respectable suite features. Sure, it won't perform the functions of pricier competitors, and it needs more integrations before becoming the best smart plug on the market across all price categories. But for now, this is certainly the best affordable smart plug money can buy.

The Cnct IntelliPlug is available for preorder on Indiegogo now, and the developer plans to ship units as early as July. 

cnct-1
8.5

Cnct IntelliPlug

Pricing Not Available

Score Breakdown

Features 7Usability 9Design 9.5Performance 9