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ConnectSense Smart Outlet 2 review: A smart outlet for every assistant

MSRP: $59.95
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The Good This smart plug does it all—power monitoring, individually-controllable outlets, USB charging—even LED indicator dimming. It works with Siri, Alexa and Google Assistant.

The Bad It's a bulky eyesore that will takeover your wall outlet.

The Bottom Line Paying the $60 MSRP for this plug isn't outrageous given all its functionality, but the design is obnoxious and definitely not space-saving.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

7.5 Overall
  • Features 8
  • Usability 8
  • Design 6
  • Performance 8

Review Sections

Back in 2016, ConnectSense debuted one of the first smart home products to work with Apple HomeKit, the ConnectSense Smart Outlet. It cost $80 and worked exclusively with Apple's HomeKit and Siri voice assistant. With Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa and Siri compatibility, as well as power monitoring and a lower $60 price tag, the ConnectSense Smart Outlet 2 is here to set things right.

However, one thing remains the same -- bad design. If you can live with the chunky design of the ConnectSense Smart Outlet 2 and its determined takeover of your walls and outlets, you'll get a lot of plug for your money.

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Chris Monroe/CNET

What you'll get

ConnectSense is full of features. In addition to working with the most popular voice assistants (sorry, Cortana), the Smart Outlet 2 also includes energy monitoring, a feature the original outlet didn't have. Inside the ConnectSense app, you can view how many Watts each socket is using in real-time and as an average. 

Choose from a long list of small appliances and devices to customize each plug with an icon and rename it anything you like. There aren't direct options for scheduling or timers within the ConnectSense app itself, but that doesn't bother me much given that most users will go through their respective voice assistants to up those features. 

You can rename them individually and control them with the tap of a button in the app or through your voice assistant's app. A toggle bar in the ConnectSense app adjusts the brightness of the LED indicators on the plug's front. That's a small, thoughtful feature given that this giant plug could definitely glow brightly in a dark bedroom.

Physical buttons on the side of the plug will power each outlet on or off, and the 2.4-amp USB isn't smart, but adds a third method of powering or charging your devices. 

Setup

Setting up the ConnectSense Smart Outlet 2 works much like setting up other smart plugs on the market. Download the ConnectSense app for iOS (10.3 or later) or Android, create an account and connect the plug to your Wi-Fi network by following the steps provided. 

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