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Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Wyze Smart Plugs Are Cheap and Have Superpowers

Two Wyze Plugs shown at an angle
Josh Hendrickson

Wyze already offers some of the best and least expensive cameras, light bulbs, and smarthome sensors you can buy. Now it wants you to buy smart plugs. And the company makes a very convincing case.

Wyze is on the path to rule the smarthome. To get there, it still needs to fill in a few gaps, and that list included smart plugs…until now. Wyze’s new smart plugs are cheaper than the competition, work just as well, and even have an extra superpower.

Competent Smart Plugs for Less

Smart plugs are ubiquitous at this point, and just a quick search on Amazon will turn up dozens of results. That’s not surprising really because smart plugs are relatively simple compared to other smarthome products.

When looking for a smart plug, you want a few features at a bare minimum: It should be small enough to block only one outlet, have a good app for controlling it, have a physical on/off switch, and work with your favorite voice assistant, whether that’s Google Assistant or Alexa.

Two Wyze Plugs side by size, with the Wyze logo showing.
They’re pretty boring to look at, but all smart plugs are. Josh Hendrickson

You’ll need to figure out a few other details like protocol (Wi-Fi, Z-wave, or ZigBee), but the primary choice usually comes down to price. Since smart plugs are mostly all the same, pick the one that costs the least. The only downside to choosing based on price is you often end up with an app that’s difficult to use, like iClever plugs. That’s not the case anymore.

Wyze has an easy-to-use app, and at $15 for a two-pack, Wyze Plugs cost less than just about every smart plug out there. For your hard-earned dollars, you get a small plug that blocks only a single outlet, Alexa and Google Assistant integration, and reliable hardware.

Setup is easy: Go into the Wyze app (available on both iOS and Android) and pick the add device option. Choose Wyze Plug; then when prompted, insert your smart plug into an outlet. Once you confirm your Wi-Fi details, you’ll be up and running. If you sync up with Alexa or Google Assistant, you’ll gain handy voice controls.

A Wyze Plug in an outlet, with a device plugged into it.
Plenty of room left over for a second plug, even a second Wyze Plug. Josh Hendrickson

In my testing, the plugs always worked as expected. Any command I sent, whether by app or voice, went through quickly and my timers never failed to work.

The physical switch on the left side is easy to find by feel (helpful if furniture blocks your plug from view), and the clicking action does an excellent job of confirming a button press. Basically, it’s a smart plug, and it does what it should.

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