Home Apple Samsung SmartThings Wifi Smart Plug review: No hub required, but wear your...

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 introduced concurrently this plug earlier this 12 months), the Samsung SmartThings Wifi Sensible Plug doesn’t require the SmartThings Hub as a way to work. That’s a little bit complicated since SmartThings is within the identify of the product, however the tip-off is definitely the inclusion of the phrase “Wifi.” (The SmartThings hub is a bridge for good dwelling units based mostly on Z-Wave and Zigbee applied sciences.)

Now the unhealthy information: The plug simply didn’t work all that nicely in my testing, making it a distant also-ran in a busy class full of higher choices.

The {hardware} at the very least appears to be like good. It’s a compact, rectangular, single-outlet design that neither extends a lot past the width of an ordinary outlet nor blocks the adjoining socket. Which means you should utilize this plug in both the highest or backside outlet with out interfering with the opposite one, a welcome contact. Guide operation may be achieved through urgent a small energy button on the left aspect of the machine. A inexperienced LED on the face of the plug signifies whether or not the unit is on or off.

Whilst you don’t want the SmartThings Hub to make use of the Wifi Sensible Plug, you do want the SmartThings app. Setup requires scanning a QR code, which is printed on the reverse of the machine in addition to offered in a sheet of stickers, after which connecting to the plug’s short-term community, and at last stepping by way of the same old steps of tethering the plug to your property community.

I had important bother with a lot of this, starting with my cellphone’s failure to search out the plug’s short-term Wi-Fi community in any respect. A tough reset of the plug (by holding down the ability button for a number of seconds) in the end received issues going. After that, the pairing course of is sluggish and overly convoluted—a password is even required to connect with the short-term community—and simply as I assumed I used to be lastly performed, bother struck a second time. The unit refused to connect with my dwelling community, insisting it was operating at 5GHz.

Christopher Null / IDG

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

My Xfinity mesh community truly operates networks on each frequencies utilizing the identical SSID, and it often causes bother like this, however I used to be in a position to work round the issue by manually getting into the community identify, password, and wi-fi safety kind into the app’s person interface, after which every little thing linked usually. All instructed, I spent at the very least twice as lengthy connecting to this plug than I did competing fashions. That might be a major concern in case you have been making an attempt to outfit your whole home with Samsung’s.

Throughout the app, managing the plug is basically as anticipated, with “on” and “off” your main choices. There are two handy extras inside the app within the type of an influence meter (exhibiting real-time energy draw) and an vitality consumption meter (which exhibits energy used over time). These are useful appears to be like at real-time utilization, however each time I clicked by way of to the historic graphs they have been fully clean. Equally, beneath these readouts is a field marked “Exercise historical past,” however this was invariably clean too, save for a caption studying “No exercise.” Presumably, historical past recording is just not supported on this machine. It’s additionally value noting that the ability meter doesn’t all the time reliably replace in actual time, typically requiring you exit to the SmartThings dwelling display screen, then re-entering the plug administration system to get a brand new readout.

I’ve famous my bother getting multi-device automations to work within the SmartThings Sensible Bulb evaluate, however, as with the bulb, I didn’t have any concern with commonplace time-based scheduling on this machine. As nicely, an Alexa connection labored high-quality for voice management. (Google Assistant and Bixby are additionally supported.)

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Newton Allan
Newton Allan is an expert of Apple and has started as a journalist for us (Trevino). He currently contributes for Trevino by writing about the latest happenings in the Apple INC.

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