Starting At $12
It’s difficult to say much about smart outlets. They turn on, and they turn off. They do both of those things if you or an automated service tells them to. That’s about it.
Within those admittedly limited parameters, iClever’s smarthome outlets serve admirably. The IC-BS08 is the single-plug, indoor version, while the IC-BS06, offers double plugs rated for some splashy weather. Both models do what they say on the box and don’t cost much. The setup process, however, is pretty poor—even if all you’re trying to do is connect them to a management program, like Google Home.
I used both plugs to control some simple lights. I wanted to see if they would turn off and on as I indicated via the software switch on my phone and the scheduling system in Google Home. And they did! The IC-BS06 also allows you to control each plug separately (plug 1 or plug 2, as they’re helpfully labeled on the plastic case) or both together. To be thorough, I splashed it with some water to test the IP44 rating, which it’s supposed to be able to take (not soaking or sustained water pressure, however). It passed there, too.
The problems started when I attempted to set up the plugs. Even getting to the app that allows you to set them up was problematic. iClever doesn’t have its own branded app; it uses “Smart Life by Tuya” (iOS, Android). It’s the first thing that came up in the Google Play Store when I searched for “iClever,” but it’s not very obvious it’s required.
The generic setup process doesn’t help either. The outlets appear as generic icons without model numbers, so you have to guess which is which. I also had to put both of them in AP mode to set up the Wi-Fi. This is done by depressing the single device button and waiting for a long blinking via the light. This is, again, aided by illustrations in the app that don’t correspond to the placement or colors of the indicator lights. It took multiple attempts and 25 minutes to get both outlets working. This included having to disconnect the Smart Life app, and then re-connect it to Google to get the second outlet to appear in Google Home.
Once the connection was finally made, and the Smart Life app was connected to my Google Home system, the plugs appeared as promised. Manual and scheduled controls were also available, and they both worked. They’re limited to 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi networks, but that’s standard for most budget smarthome equipment.
In terms of value, iClever is fairly competitive. You can get the indoor Smart Plug for $12 or a two-pack for $22. The outdoor version is $26, but the extra environmental protection and its dual-outlet build justify the additional cost. These prices are within a few dollars of plugs from lesser-known, budget brands on sites like Amazon. However, they’re about half the cost of more “official” plugs that are better integrated with Amazon or Google but provide the same functionality.
There are certainly more intuitive smart plugs available with far less frustrating setup processes. But if you’re looking at price first, you might be okay with the temporary headache during setup, as long as it works consistently afterward—which these outlets do.
The other plugs I’ve tried in this price range have all had a similarly frustrating setup process with third-party apps that are no better or worse—so you can consider that an endorsement. At the time of writing, the BS06 outdoor plug is 30% off on Amazon, with the code 4GTXKEPC applied at checkout.
Starting At $12
Here’s What We Like
- Inexpensive, simple electrical switches
- BS06 offers independent control
- BS06 is splash-proof
And What We Don't
- Setup app is unintuitive
- 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi only