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.
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.
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.
But Wyze Plugs stand above the competition if you own Wyze Sensors.
The Real Superpower Is Sensor Integration
My favorite use for smart plugs isn’t voice or app control. Instead, I use routines and timers to power down my electronics to save money. My media center, for instance, is home to four game consoles, a large screen TV, surround sound system, NAS unit, Nvidia Shield TV, and various chargers for game controllers.
Often my family forgets to shut everything down at night. So after work, I’ll realize that the Xbox One X, its controller chargers, and the stereo were left on for the entire day. Now, with a Wyze Plug, most of the media center electronics shut down at midnight, every night. I’m simply cutting power from the devices. And although the Wyze plug itself is using some energy to work, it’s far less than the combined draw (on or off) from all my other electronics.
But putting everything on a smart plug left me with a problem. My family couldn’t just pick up the TV remote and press the power button. They had to remember to power on the Wyze Plug first. That led to frustration. The TV wasn’t as convenient to use anymore.
Like most family households, despite having several remotes for the TV, we can never find them. So to solve two problems at once, I grabbed some spare wood from my stockpile and built a box for our TV and stereo remotes.
I then added a Wyze contact sensor to the inside of the box. With that in place, I set up an action rule that turns on the Wyze Plug anytime someone opens the remote box. Unlike an IR switch, the on signal is always on, off is always off. If the plug is already on, nothing happens. You can just jump right into watching TV. And if someone left a remote out of the box, you can still turn the plug on by voice, app, or just open the box anyway.
The Wyze app lets you specify actions for both open and close scenarios. I don’t want the TV to turn off when someone closes the box, so I didn’t create a rule for that. Instead, I’m relying on my daily scheduled rule to turn off the media center every night at midnight.
Now I have a dedicated spot to store my media center remotes, and using it turns on the power, saving my family a step (and frustration).
They don’t have to remember to turn on the smart plug anymore; it turns itself on in anticipation of their needs. Everybody is happy, we’re saving electricity, and my family loves the convenience of the setup.
That’s the true power of Wyze Plugs. Paired with Wyze sensors, your plug can anticipate your needs. If you use a Wyze Plug with a wall lamp, for instance, you could set up an IR motion sensor that turns the light on when you enter the room and off when you leave it. The applications are nearly endless.
If it came down to just ease of use, reliability, and cost, Wyze Plugs would already have earned a solid spot in any round-up list. But paired with Wyze sensors, that recommendation goes from “among the smart plugs you should consider” to “the only Wi-Fi smart plug worth considering.”
Here’s What We Like
- Easy to use
- Sensor integration
- Alexa and Google integration
And What We Don't
- Need to buy cameras and sensors to get full capabilities
- Only one socket to plug into