Connected plugs are one of the best entry points for the smart home market. They offer convenience for a relatively small commitment while adding voice control, remote access, scheduling and energy monitoring to otherwise dumb devices. But a $35 entry point -- the price of the up-till-now best affordable plug -- still feels a little expensive and the cost quickly adds up when you expand your setup.
Enter the Geeni Energi, a smart plug that doesn't break new ground with its hardware or software, but does hit an affordable new price: $25. The Geeni Energi doesn't have the flashy design or features of industry leaders, or the integrations of the best competitors. But it establishes itself as one of the best affordable entry points to smart home tech -- which is exactly what a smart plug should do.
Geeni doesn't make a great first impression. It looks almost exactly like the original-- which is over five years old -- just flipped upside-down. Its bulky design blocks the outlet beneath it, and when I was starting my account, one of the setup directions popped up in a different language.
So yes, the Energi comes across as a little janky at first. But it turns out, Geeni's product is pretty reliable. The scheduling and remote control features work well, and the energy monitoring adds a nice bit of smarts that many more affordable plugs forgo. Even the app, once the device is set up, is simple and easy to use.