PureGear PureSwitch Smart Plug review: PureSwitch swiftly smartens devices for HomeKit automation
PureGear's PureSwitch wireless smart plug costs $40 and is a quick and easy way to smarten up your home's devices.
Smart plugs bring everyday devices into the smart home with relative ease these days. Now, PureGear, maker of mobile phone accessories, is throwing its hat in with the PureSwitch. This $40 smart plug works with Apple HomeKit , and it's a straightforward, easy way to smarten up your home's devices or smaller appliances .
The team at PureGear say they are looking toward home automation and connected car technology as the company's next area of growth. Enter the PureSwitch smart plug. This small, white plug works much like other smart plugs we've seen, and it's reasonably priced at $40. If your smart home is built on the HomeKit platform, this plug is a great way to automate small devices. If it isn't, you'll need to look elsewhere. The PureSwitch is currently only available in the US, but the price converts to roughly £30 or AU$52.
The PureSwitch is pretty simplistic, as far as smart plugs go. It's exclusive to HomeKit. There is no dimming option for lights or any sort of energy tracking, and Android users will, of course, be completely left out. But this smart plug does what it says: it turns things on and off. The extra feature that makes this smart plug a thoughtful piece of tech is the additional USB 2.0 port with 10W/5V/2.1A output for charging. It's a helpful, unobtrusive way to charge a second device without filling up the wall outlet. It makes sense if you're controlling a lamp on a nightstand or foyer table, where you might also leave a phone or fitness tracker.
Setting up the PureSwitch is simple. The plug comes with a small instruction booklet, but it's the app that will guide you through most of the setup. Plug the PureSwitch into the outlet, then plug in your lamp, desk fan or whatever you want to automate. The PureSwitch connects to your existing Wi-Fi network, and the app will recognize the plug once it's connected. It comes with a scannable HomeKit code for incorporating it into an existing HomeKit platform and Apple 's Home app. If you already use HomeKit, PureSwitch may automatically populate the Homes section of the app with your existing HomeKit name, as it did in my experience. If not, it's easy to follow the steps to add a home, rooms and accessories.
Once your device is set up, you can rename and categorize it within the PureSwitch app. Since you can control the PureSwitch with your voice via Siri , it's important to name your device something you would call it in a Siri command. When I tested the PureSwitch, it defaulted to "basement outlet", since I'd assigned the plug to the basement room. I easily changed that to "basement lamp". The app includes an option to categorize the plug as "light bulb," "fan" or "none", but I found that labeling my device didn't have any obvious advantage or affect the outlet's performance. Even so, I labeled it accordingly for good measure.
Scenes and rules
Scenes and rules within the PureSwitch app allow you to control your rooms and devices with parameters based on time of day or your phone's location. Controlling the PureSwitch away from home does require a third-generation Apple TV with TVOS 9.0 or later or an iPhone , iPad or iPod touch with iOS 8.1 or later.
How did it do?
I found the PureSwitch to be simple, easy to set up and just what I'd expected in a smart plug. When asking Siri to turn on or off my connected device, there was no noticeable lag at all. Rules and scenes worked as directed, and that extra USB charging port was fully functioning. The PureSwitch isn't the lowest profile plug we've seen, but it does have a circular design that shouldn't block an outlet's second plug. I was also able to move the plug into another room, change the accessory connected to it and all the corresponding app info with no problems.
Smart plugs should be about simplicity. Plug it in and go is what I'm looking for in a smart plug, and the PureSwitch did just that. Still, the PureSwitch might not be for everyone. If you aren't a HomeKit user, and you're looking for a smart plug that integrates with Nest, IFTTT, Google Home or Alexa, try the Belkin WeMo Mini Wi-Fi Smart Plug for $35. If you're just after a good smart plug on the HomeKit platform, PureSwitch gets the job done in quick, painless fashion.