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Amazon smart plug review

An affordable Alexa-compatible smart plug that can kick-start your plans to create a smart home

Amazon smart plug
(Image: © TechRadar)

Our Verdict

The Amazon Smart Plug is an easy-to-use smart home gadget that integrates with Alexa and enables you to control otherwise ‘dumb’ electrical appliances from your smartphone, even when you’re not at home. Unlike some models, it lacks the ability to track your energy consumption, but for those who want simplicity, it’s a great buy.

For

  • Simple setup
  • Compatible with Alexa
  • Easy to create automations with other smart home devices

Against

  • No HomeKit or Google Assistant support
  • No energy monitoring

One-minute review

Amazon has been one of the biggest names in smart home devices since the launch of its first Echo smart speaker in 2017. As well as its range of speakers with voice assistant Alexa built in, the brand also offers a range of home security cameras that integrate with its smart speakers, and a smart plug. 

The Amazon Smart Plug is a single socket that connects to a power outlet and uses your home Wi-Fi network so Alexa can control any electrical device connected to it, such as a lamp, air purifier or even a pair of hair straighteners. It can also be controlled using the Alexa app on your smartphone – but, chances are, if you’re considering this smart plug then you already have, or are planning to purchase, an Echo smart speaker with Alexa support in your home ready to spring into action.

Through the Alexa app you can create ‘Routines’ for the smart plug, to switch on or off automatically, which either happen every day at a set time, or on speaking a certain command. These Routines can include other Alexa-compatible devices in your smart home, too. So, for example, you could ensure a radio switches on and your smart lights illuminate when you say “Good Morning”.

For those who are deeply tied into the Alexa ecosystem, or who want to dip their toe into the water of an Alexa-enabled smart home, the Amazon Smart Plug is a sensible purchase.

Amazon smart plug price and availability

  • List price: $24.99 / £24.99

The Amazon Smart Plug is priced at $24.99 / £24.99 and is available in the US and UK from Amazon.

Amazon smart plug

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Design

  • Single smart socket
  • Manual power button
  • 2.4GHz Wi-Fi-only

Like most of the best smart plugs, the Amazon Smart Plug sports a fairly inoffensive look. It’s rectangular in shape, with an all-white finish complete with a subtle Amazon logo. However, the US and UK versions of the plug look slightly different.  

In the US, the plug measures 3.2 x 1.5 x 2.2 inches /8 x 3.8 x 5.7cm ( w x h x d) to ensure it fits into vertical outlets without blocking access to the lower outlet. The UK version measures 3.7 x 2.2 x 2.5 inches /  5.6 x 9.62 x 6.3cm, since vertically aligned outlets aren’t common – they sit horizontally instead. 

The front of the smart plug features a single socket and a tiny blue LED, which illuminates when the plug is switched on and flashes when the plug is in set-up mode. On the left-hand side you’ll find a manual power button. The smart plug only works on the 2.4GHz band, so if you’re installing it in a different room to your router, you may suffer connection problems. Unfortunately, there’s no Wi-Fi indicator that alerts you to any connectivity issues.   

Amazon smart plug

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Performance

  • Extremely simple set-up 
  • Instant control using app or Alexa
  • Visual power-on indicator 

The Amazon Smart Plug is an extremely simple smart home device to set up. Once connected to an outlet, we opened the Alexa app, which took on all the hard work – identifying the plug and, once we scanned a QR code on the quick-start guide, connecting it to our home Wi-Fi. The QR code can be found on the back of the plug, too, if you can’t locate the quick start guide. 

Following this, you can assign the smart plug to a particular room or group of devices, if you want, leaving you free to use your voice or your smartphone to control the plug. During testing, we found the plug switched on and off instantly when controlled by the app or Alexa, and the ‘click’ it made when switching on and off was reassuring.

While we were able to set schedules for the smart plug to switch on and off at set times, we were disappointed to find there’s no Away mode that switches the plug on or off at random times. This is a better way to help simulate occupancy when you’re not at home, rather than relying on a schedule. Such features can be found on TP-Link plugs such as the KP105. There’s no tracking of energy consumption on offer, either.

Amazon smart plug

(Image credit: TechRadar)

App

  • Easy to navigate
  • Deep Alexa integration
  • Quickly create Routines with all smart home devices

The Alexa app is easy to use, with a clearly marked Devices tab that allows you to control all of your compatible smart home gadgets from one platform. We found all devices were split into categories, and tapping them provided quick access to control them or create a Routine for them.  

Through the app it’s also possible to add the smart plug to a group of devices and, not surprisingly, set up integration with Alexa. However, as already mentioned, features such as Away mode and energy monitoring features are lacking. 

Should I buy the Amazon smart plug?

Buy it if...

You already have Alexa in your home
Unsurprisingly, this Amazon smart plug integrates extremely well with Alexa - so if you have a house full of Alexa-enabled devices and Amazon-branded smart speakers and smart displays, it makes sense to plump for this smart plug over others.

You want a simple smart plug
Without features such as Away mode and energy monitoring, the Amazon Smart Plug keeps it simple, making it ideal for those who want to control a device in their home using their voice or a smartphone.

You’re looking for a smart home bundle
Amazon often offers bundles of its smart speakers and smart home products, including the Amazon Smart Plug, which could see you make a substantial saving. For those who are yet  to begin creating a smart home, these bundles are a great way to kick-start that journey.

Don't buy it if...

You want to keep a check on energy consumption
The Amazon Smart Plug doesn’t come with any features to monitor energy consumption, so is best avoided if you want to keep an eye on how much power you’re using. 

You want HomeKit or Google Assistant support
Like most Amazon-branded products, there’s no support here for HomeKit or Google Assistant; consider smart plugs from Eve and TP-Link respectively, instead. 

You want connectivity indicators
Some smart plugs offer connectivity indicators that allow you to see at-a-glance if there’s a Wi-Fi issue. Unfortunately, this isn’t one of them.

First reviewed: June 2021

Carrie-Ann Skinner

Carrie-Ann Skinner is Smart Home & Appliances Editor at TechRadar and covers smart home devices such as smart plugs and smart lights, as well as large and small appliances including vacuum cleaners, air fryers, and blenders. She’s also a keen baker and can often be found rustling up cake in her spare time.