Smart plugs and outlets,, are the foundation of a smart home. They retrofit everyday electronics like lamps to transform a household from a fragmented group of things into a unified space. But different products work for different people. Just as a city dweller whose daily destinations are within blocks of his or her apartment might not need a , a person looking only for remote-control electronics might not need a more versatile but expensive smart plug.
Certain plugs, though, I have a hard time recommending to anyone. The Nyrius Smart Outlet is one of those. It can't integrate with other products -- even other Nyrius products. The Bluetooth connectivity is spotty, and some of the features work only sporadically. Its design is clunky, and the price is too high. At $40, the Nyrius is only 10 bucks cheaper than the far superiorand $20 cheaper than the high-potential . For most people, I'd say skip this offering.
If you've paired Bluetooth tech with your phone before, setting up the Nyrius Smart Outlet will be a breeze. Most other smart plugs, like the, use Wi-Fi or perhaps Z-Wave to connect with user devices. Bluetooth is easier to set up, because you don't have to sync the Outlet with your home network -- just your phone. Basically, plug in your Outlet and activate your Bluetooth, and you'll be able to access all of the Nyrius Smart Outlet features almost immediately.
Once I set up my Nyrius Smart Outlet, it only took a couple of minutes to familiarize myself with the corresponding app, Nyrius Outlet. The app's interface is spare and the three primary functions of the plug are immediately apparent. While this simplicity is welcome, I was surprised by the app's exclusivity. Unlike applications created for flexibility and integration, like WeMo's or', the Nyrius Outlet app deals only with Nyrius Outlets. That means even other Nyrius products require a separate app.
Part of the appeal of smart technology is ease of use. In theory, it should be more efficient to tap your phone a few times than to manually control all your electronics. But if you have to pull up separate apps for each product,. And even if you were to outfit your home exclusively with Nyrius Smart Outlets, you still would have to activate each one individually, since the app offers no group commands.
Overall, despite a relatively simple interface and setup, the Nyrius Smart Outlet suffers from the app's exclusivity and inefficiency.
Design and features
The design of every smart plug or switch aims for a different effect. Thefeatures a functional aesthetic that aims for unobtrusive. The uses a sleek, white plastic face and colorful LED strip to distract from its blocky form. The Nyrius Smart Outlet somehow combines the worst elements from its competitors.
Put bluntly, the Nyrius Smart Outlet is ugly. If plugged into the top of a standard wall outlet, its bulky matte-white body covers both inputs completely. The oblong shape is also distracting, and the light on it is barely visible. From a distance, the tiny rectangle could be mistaken for a spot of dirt on the plastic background.