iHome iSP8 SmartPlug review: The iHome SmartPlug gives renters a taste of the smart-home dream

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The included remote is a fine addition, but doesn't add more than basic "on/off" toggles.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

The iHome's biggest strength is its broad platform interoperability. Between HomeKit, Echo, Wink, SmartThings and Nest, if you have any smart-home tech around the house, iHome will likely cooperate with something.

The best thing about this multiplatform approach is that you can control the plug using Siri and Alexa. Both platforms let you organize the plug among your other devices, making full home voice control really shine.

The other integrations work effectively, but a smart plug doesn't offer too much to a SmartThings, Wink or Nest ecosystem -- other than to switch on or off when a different gadget triggers it.

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The iHome SmartPlug works with Nest, SmartThings and Wink -- on top of voice-control platforms Echo and HomeKit.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

And that's the problem with iHome: its broad interoperability doesn't translate to depth of integration. Other than what is now pretty standard energy monitoring -- which you can't even access in any but the iHome app -- the ISP8 doesn't bring much to the table. The lack of IFTTT integration, in particular, means you won't get the same cool and creative triggering options you do with the Belkin WeMo Insight Switch ($20 at Amazon).

At the end of the day, the iHome ISP8 SmartPlug is a reliable gadget, and it won't disappoint if you have a particular device you're looking to automate. But iHome doesn't do enough to distinguish the ISP8 SmartPlug in the larger market. And I can't recommend it above the industry-leading Belkin WeMo Insight Switch.

Editor's note, December 13: iHome no longer needs the Wink app to integrate with the Amazon Echo, which was a minor criticism in a previous version of this review. The review has been edited to reflect this, and the score changed from 8.0 to 8.1.