Home / Gaming / Samsung SmartThings Wifi Smart Plug review: No hub required, but wear your debugging hat

Samsung SmartThings Wifi Smart Plug review: No hub required, but wear your debugging hat

First the excellent news: Not like the brand new SmartThings Sensible Bulb (which was once introduced similtaneously this plug previous this yr), the Samsung SmartThings Wifi Sensible Plug does no longer require the SmartThings Hub with a view to paintings. That’s a bit complicated since SmartThings is within the identify of the product, however the tip-off is in fact the inclusion of the phrase “Wifi.” (The SmartThings hub is a bridge for good house gadgets in accordance with Z-Wave and Zigbee applied sciences.)

Now the unhealthy information: The plug simply didn’t paintings all that smartly in my trying out, making it also-ran in a hectic class full of higher choices.

The a minimum of appears excellent. It’s a compact, oblong, single-outlet design that neither extends a lot past the width of a typical outlet nor blocks the adjoining socket. That implies you’ll use this plug in both the highest or backside outlet with out interfering with the opposite one, a welcome contact. Guide operation will also be completed by means of urgent a small energy button at the left aspect of the machine. A inexperienced LED at the face of the plug signifies whether or not the unit is on or off.

When you don’t want the SmartThings Hub to make use of the Wifi Sensible Plug, you do want the SmartThings app. Setup calls for scanning a QR code, which is imprinted on the opposite of the machine in addition to supplied in a sheet of stickers, after which connecting to the plug’s brief community, and after all stepping via the standard steps of tethering the plug to your house community.

I had vital hassle with a lot of this, starting with my telephone’s failure to seek out the plug’s brief Wi-Fi community in any respect. A difficult reset of the plug (by means of preserving down the facility button for a couple of seconds) in the end were given issues going. After that, the pairing procedure is gradual and overly convoluted—a password is even required to connect with the brief community—and simply as I believed I used to be after all executed, hassle struck a 2nd time. The unit refused to connect with my house community, insisting it was once operating at 5GHz.

Samsung SmartThings Plug appChristopher Null / IDG

Energy meters are a at hand addition, however utilization historical past isn’t logged.

My Xfinity mesh community in fact operates networks on each frequencies the use of the similar SSID, and it on occasion reasons hassle like this, however I used to be ready to paintings round the issue by means of manually getting into the community identify, password, and wi-fi safety sort into the app’s consumer interface, and then the whole lot attached typically. All informed, I spent a minimum of two times as lengthy connecting to this plug than I did competing fashions. That may be a serious problem if you happen to have been seeking to outfit all your space with Samsung’s.

Throughout the app, managing the plug is in large part as anticipated, with “on” and “off” your number one choices. There are two handy extras throughout the app within the type of an influence meter (appearing real-time energy draw) and an power intake meter (which displays energy used over the years). Those are useful appears at real-time utilization, however each time I clicked via to the historic graphs they have been totally clean. In a similar way, underneath those readouts is a field marked “Process historical past,” however this was once invariably clean too, save for a caption studying “No task.” Probably, historical past recording is just no longer supported in this machine. It’s additionally value noting that the facility meter doesn’t at all times reliably replace in genuine time, incessantly requiring you go out to the SmartThings house display, then re-entering the plug control device to get a brand new readout.

I’ve famous my hassle getting multi-device automations to paintings within the SmartThings Sensible Bulb assessment, however, as with the bulb, I didn’t have any factor with same old time-based scheduling in this machine. As smartly, an Alexa connection labored superb for voice keep an eye on. (Google Assistant and Bixby also are supported.)

At a trifling $18, the SmartThings Sensible Plug is a moderately low-priced possibility on this marketplace. If it weren’t so maddeningly buggy, in particular all over setup, it will were a profitable product to believe, however because it stands, you’ll in finding a variety of extra succesful possible choices to be had.

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