If you’re looking to add some smarts to small home appliances such as coffee makers, lamps, and TVs, the ConnectSense Smart Outlet 2 ($59.95) is an excellent choice. This versatile dual-outlet smart plug can be controlled with an Android or iOS mobile app and works with Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri voice commands. It lacks support for IFTTT, but you can make it work with other smart home devices using HomeKit Scenes and Automations, and it monitors energy usage for both outlets, making it our latest Editors’ Choice for smart plugs.
Design and Features
At 4.9 by 3.0 by 1.2 inches (HWD), the Smart Outlet 2 is significantly larger than the Aukey SH-PA3 Smart Plug and the Syncwire 2-in-1 Mini Wi-Fi Smart Outlet, both of which are also dual-outlet smart plugs. It’s equipped with two three-prong outlets that you can control independently of one another, and each outlet has its own LED indicator that glows blue when the outlet is powered on. There’s a setup indicator and a Wi-Fi indicator on the face of the plug, two on/off buttons (one for reach outlet) on the right side, a 2.4-amp USB charging port on the left side, and a three-prong plug on the back. Under the hood is a 2.4GHz Wi-Fi radio used to connect to your home network.
You can control the Smart Outlet 2 using an Android or iOS app and turn the outlets on and off using Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri, and Google Assistant voice commands. It lacks support for IFTTT applets that allow it to integrate with other IFTTT-enabled smart devices, but you can create HomeKit Scenes and Automations to have it respond to other HomeKit devices such as motion sensors and doorbells.
The iOS app opens to a Devices screen that displays all of your HomeKit devices by room assignment. To add a new device, tap the plus icon in the upper right corner. Each outlet tab contains the name of the outlet, an icon that represents the type of device plugged into it, and an On/Off switch. Click on the outlet tab to view energy information, including average and real-time power usage and how long the outlet has been on. The iOS app shows this information in a numerical readout, while the Android app shows it in a numerical readout along with a large historical graph.
Below the energy tab are settings where you can change the name of the outlet and the device type, adjust the LED brightness level, and update the firmware. At the bottom of the screen are Home, Scenes, Devices, and Rules buttons. The Devices button takes you back to the opening screens and the Scenes button shows you a list of all HomeKit Scenes. Tap any Scene to add one or both outlets to that Scene. The Home button takes you to a screen where you can add a new Home and existing Home information, add devices to a Room, create a new Room, create Zones to control multiple Rooms simultaneously, and manage account information.
Installation and Performance
Installing the Smart Outlet 2 was quick and easy. I downloaded the app, tapped the plus button in the upper right corner of the Devices screen, selected Smart Outlet 2 from the list, and created an account. I then plugged the device into a wall outlet, waited a second or two for the setup indicator to begin blinking, and tapped Next. I used my phone to scan the HomeKit code located on the back page of the setup guide and waited another 15 seconds for the device to connect to my network and be added to my HomeKit device list.
At this point you can select what type of device will be plugged into each outlet (lamp, toaster, TV, etc.) and select a room from your Home list, but I opted to do this later. After another few seconds, the Smart Outlet was successfully installed and ready to go.
The Smart Outlet 2 responded instantly to on and off commands using the app, and had no trouble following my Alexa and Siri voice commands to turn each outlet on and off. I created a HomeKit Scene/Automation combination to have one of the outlets turn on when an Eve Motion sensor detected motion and it worked perfectly, as did my Automation to have an outlet turn off when no motion was detected after five minutes.
When I first began testing, the outlet failed to display power usage, but after a firmware update I was able to see how much power I was using and how long the outlet had been on.
The ConnectSense Smart Outlet 2 may not be the most petite smart plug out there, but it offers independent control for two outlets, has a handy USB charging port, and tells you how much power each outlet is drawing. You can use an Android or iOS mobile app to turn the outlets on and off, or use your voice with Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri commands. Additionally, Apple HomeKit users can create Scenes and Automations to have the outlets respond to triggers from other HomeKit devices. Support for IFTTT applets would be nice, but that doesn’t prevent the ConnectSense Smart Outlet 2 from earning an Editors’ Choice award.