Smart Plugs are a great way to turn 'dumb' gadgets into smart devices. Just plug them in, and you can control the plugged devices from the comforts of your phone. Several smart plug brands are competing in the market, but only a couple of them have made it to the popular list. Amazon Smart Plug and Belkin's WeMo Mini Smart Plug are two such reputed options.
While the Belkin WeMo Mini has been there for quite some time, the Amazon Smart Plug made its debut in the latter half of 2018. The best thing about these smart plugs is that they do not require any smart home hub. Plus, they are almost in the same price range.
Thus it only makes sense to compare both the smart plugs with each other and see which one does a better job. Let's get started.
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Set up and Installation
The thing with most smart gadgets is that, at times, the complicated setup process can be a real pain. Thankfully, when it comes to the Amazon Smart plug, setting it up is easy.
You may take advantage of Amazon's setup program named Wi-Fi Simple Setup to configure your smart plug. If you must know, this program makes connecting smart devices across Amazon's Alexa devices a walk in the park.
All you need to do is plug it into a wall socket, open the Alexa app on your phone, and you'll see the notification for the plug. Just say "Alexa, turn on the [plug name]" command, and that's about it.
There's also the option of manually adding smart devices, which as per many reviewers is a simple process and barely takes a couple of minutes. Once done, you can use the button for the voice assistant in the Alexa app.
You can even plug an Echo device. However, the Amazon Smart Plug works only on the 2.4GHz network.
On the other hand, you'll have to use the proprietary WeMo app to set up the WeMo Mini. Whether it's updating your plugs or naming them, this is the app to get all the basic things done.
Though the setup process is easy, there are some cases where users did struggle with it. Many such users reported on Amazon that the plug is a pain to set up. It requires a minimum of 5-6 attempts to set it up.
Thankfully, that's not the issue with all the users, but only a fraction of them. However, this is a point that you may want to consider before buying, especially if you plan to set up and re-setup frequently.
Once the setup is complete, this plug works as advertised.
The Amazon Smart Plug is strictly an Amazon product, and it's not compatible with assistants outside the Amazon ecosystem. It neither works with Google Assistant nor does it work with Apple's Siri.
If you own a Google Home or an Apple HomePod, you might have to operate the smart switch from the Alexa phone app. That takes away a tiny bit of smartness from the plug. Thankfully, when it comes to Alexa compatibility, this one works like a charm, whether you use it via the app or through a dedicated Echo device like the Echo Dot.
The only issue is that even if you rename the plug using the Alexa app, the chances are that Alexa will still refer to it as the first plug.
The WeMo Mini is one of the most versatile smart plugs out there
Interestingly, when it comes to compatibility, the WeMo Mini is one of the most versatile smart plugs out there. It has native compatibility with Google Home, Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa and even supports Nest and IFTTT.
User reviews suggest that the device works flawlessly with the products mentioned above, and you may face an occasional hiccup due to power faults. And even if the plug has an issue with the response, you can quickly reboot it via the manual push-button on the outlet.
Smart plugs are not only about turning a device on/off via a voice assistant or a dedicated app. Most of the popular smart plugs such as the TP-Link and WeMo Insight Switch sport additional features like Power Monitoring and Away mode.
The WeMo Mini doesn't have power monitoring, but it does come with a dedicated away mode to be used during vacations or during your time out of the house.
For those unaware, this mode will turn plugged-in lights on and off at random times to give the appearance that you are home. Apart from that, you can associate the smart plug with Google Assistant Routine to make them turn on or off at a fixed time.
Unfortunately, the Amazon Smart Plug neither has power monitoring nor does it have a dedicated away mode like its counterpart.
You can activate a dedicated Alexa Routine to create your own on/off schedule. That said, a dedicated Away Mode does seem like a nice perk.
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Who is the Smartest Kid?
Well, for starters, both smart plugs seem to do their job of switching on/off plugged-in devices pretty well, and the sheer popularity of both the products prove it.
Answering the above question becomes a little easier if you take a look at your requirements.
For starters, the WeMo Mini smart plug works with the majority of the smart assistants. Plus, it works with Apple HomeKit without a hub or a bridge. It has a couple of extra features like a dedicated power button and a dedicated Away Mode.
However, there have been many instances where users have complained that setting up this device can be a pain. Also, the app needs an interface refresh.
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