This is a review of the Eufy Smart Plug with Energy Monitoring. (I hope to add pictures in the coming days)
What is a smart plug? Well, it’s the quick and easy way to make your wall outlet “smart”. It’s a little module that you plug into your outlet, then you plug your lamp, Christmas lights, fan, wall air conditioner, air purifier, or other device you want to be able to remotely turn off/on into. It can also be used as a timer. Depending on the brand/model of the Smart Plug you can connect it to your Amazon Alexa devices or Google Home devices to be able to turn you device on/off via voice commands.
I trust Anker, so I trust their Eufy products. This smart plug is listed for sale on Amazon’s web site, but not on Efuy’s web site yet. Not sure why.
Who knew a review for something as simple as a Smart Plug could be so long? Well, there is a lot to cover so let’s dive in…
On Black Friday, I picked up a few Smart Plugs made by a different brand because they were really really cheap, then I was sent to the Eufy Smart Plug as a demo device for testing and posting a fair and honest review… I’m glad I’m able to compare like this because I’m able to see some differences I wouldn’t have noticed if I didn’t have both. Both of these Smart Plugs connect to your home Wifi network and that is how they are controlled…
First let me talk about size. The Eufy Smart Plug is compact, but it is a little taller than it is wide. If you put it in the lower position of you wall outlet, it could get in the way of plugging something else into the upper position (like a phone charger or other Eufy Smart Plug). However if you put it in the upper position, the lower is completely unobstructed which is good. There are other Smart Plugs on the market which cover both outlets due to their size, so the Eufy’s size is welcomed… The competing brand’s smart plug I had purchased is shorter and wider, with the button on the side, so I could plug two into one outlet (one in the upper position and one in the lower) which could be seen as an advantage, but I don’t know when/why I’d want to plug two smart plugs into the same outlet.
Like the Smart Plugs from the other brand, the design of the Eufy Smart Plug is simple. The front has a 3 prong outlet for you to plug your lamp or other device into, the back has 3 prongs which get plugged into your wall outlet, and on the top it has a button to manually turn the plug on/off. I like the button on the top. The competing device has the button on the side which has caused me to knock their smart plug loose when using the button to manually turning it off/on. I don’t have that problem on the Eufy.
Setup is easy. Take the smart plug out of the box, plug it into the wall, fire up the Eufyhome app on your phone, and follow the prompts. Setup works best if you stand near the plug, i.e. within about 5 or so feet. The app identifies the new plug, asks you what wifi network you want it to join, lets you give the plug a name (call it whatever you want, I chose to call it based on the room and device plugged into it, like Family Room Lamp). If there is a firmware update for the smart plug, you will be prompted to update it. That’s it.
The Eufyhome app has a “Dashboard” of your Eufy smart products, like smart plugs, Eufy Genie, etc. Any Smart Plugs you have will have an on/off indicator that looks like a power button showing the status of the plug (off/on). Tap the indicator to toggle the Smart Plug off/on. You can tap the name of your smart plug to go in and see details, and even program the Smart Plug for timer operations.
As an added plus, since the Eufy Smart Plug monitors energy, the Eufyhome app also provides details of how much power the device plugged into the Smart Plug is using. The smart plug I have from the other brand doesn’t give power usage details.
Configuring timers is simple. Pick your on time, your off time, which days per week. You can randomize, or set the Smart Plug for “away” such that it will make the lights turn off/on at different times to simulate someone being home. One drawback with the other brand’s Smart Plugs is you must set the timer individually for each smart plug so setting 3 modules on the same on/off schedule is tedious. I.e. you can’t make one time and select 3 plugs to include on it. Having only one Eufy Smart Plug, I can’t say for sure if has the same limit or not.
The biggest plus is Amazon Alexa and Google Home integration without the need for a 3rd party hub to bridge the connection like some other smart products do… When connected to Amazon’s Alexa, you can say “Alexa turn on the family room light” or “Alexa turn off the family room light” and it will. I don’t have a Google home to see how that works. Once configured in the Eufyhome app, just open the Alexa app on your phone, select Smart Home from the menu, tap Add Device, and let it search. The Eufy Smart Plug will be added in Alexa with the name you gave it in the Eufyhome app. From there, just speak, or use the Alexa app to turn the module off/on. You can use the Alexa app to create groups and assign modules to it. For example in our house for Christmas we have the Tree Lights, a set of lights on the stairs, and a light on small figures in the kitchen. Each are plugged into their own Smart Plug. I put all those smart plugs into a group call “Christmas Lights” so I can say “Alexa, turn on the Christmas Lights” and it will turn on only those three smart plugs and their lights. I also have the Family Room Light on a Smart Plug. So I made a group called “First Floor Lights” which includes the family room light, and all the Christmas lights. If I say “Alexa turn on the first floor lights” it turns them all on, and yes I can say “off” too. Of course I could say “Alexa turn on the Christmas Tree” and it would only turn on the Christmas tree lights.
The Alexa integration is for simple on/off commands. The timer functions are controlled by the Eufyhome app. The timer features for the other company’s smart plugs I got are controlled by their app. The layout for the two apps are similar, but not exactly the same. So if you want to make things easier, stick with one brand of smart plugs so all your timer or more complex functions are controlled inside one app only.
The Eufy Smart Plug has performed excellently for the time I’ve used it. My wife loves being able to turn the Christmas lights on and off by voice. Monitoring power consumption via the Eufy Smart Plug is nice feature to have, but in the long term I don’t know how much I’ll make use of it.
So when I need to add on more Smart Plugs, will I buy the Eufy or the other brand’s? Probably the Eufy because I like the Eufyhome app a little better. Its layout and menu options are easier to follow and work with compared to the other brand’s app. I also like how Eufy Smart Plug doesn’t come lose from the wall outlet should I need to manually turn it on/off with its built in button. Oh, and when not on sale, the Eufy Smart Plug is less expensive too.
I couldn’t figure out how to insert a picture into my review, so here is a link to a Picture of the Eufy Smart Plug in the top, and Amazon Echo Dot plugged into the bottom. https://photos.app.goo.gl/R88Bb8YWjQh3h1YJ3