Even though HomeKit has been around since iOS 8, Apple’s smart home platform is known for having a much smaller set of accessories compared to Alexa or Google Assistant. For some categories, such as light bulbs, the smaller selection doesn’t really touch home, but for others, such as smart outdoor plugs, it puts its ugly head on. Currently, there are only three such options on the market, two of which are increasingly difficult to find.
The latest option, however, the Meross Outdoor smart WiFi smart plug, which arrived at the end of last year, brought a much desired relief to HomeKit fans. The external plug is equipped with two independently controlled sockets, one more than a competitor and with a price that is around half the price of the other. I’ve been running the plug outdoors for the last month and despite some minor flaws, I can easily say that today is the best option for HomeKit fans.
Review for Meross Outdoor Smart WiFi smart plugs
Bottom line: The Meross Outdoor smart WiFi plug and affordable price make it the best outdoor option available for HomeKit today. Even if you don’t use the Apple platform, this is still great value, as it packs in two independent outlets, fast response times, and support for Alexa, SmartThings, and Google Assistant.
- Accessible price
- No hub required
- Two independently controlled outlets
- Works with HomeKit, Alexa, Google Assistant
- HomeKit does not require a Meross application or an account
- Outlets too close together
- The recessed design may have some plug ends from working with it
- It does not monitor energy consumption
Meross Outdoor Smart WiFi Plug Review: features
The Smart Meross Outdoor Wi-Fi Plug offers the standard exterior design language, with a rectangular, all-black plastic frame that houses smart devices and a cord portion that extends from the chassis. The cable is seven and a half inches long, which provides a great distance from the largest section, which comes into play when using standard covered outdoor sockets.
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The plug includes a total of two sockets positioned near the bottom, which can be controlled individually via the HomeKit and on the device via a small translucent button, which glows green when a socket is turned on. The outlets are slightly embedded in the housing and are located close to each other, with about a quarter of an inch or less of space between them.
When not in use, both sockets or just one outlet can be covered with a flexible flap that is attached to the frame for added weather resistance. The plug as a whole has an IP44 degree of weather resistance, which is suitable for most outdoor use cases, but is not meant to be submerged. At the back of the stopper is a screw slot for mounting it on a wall, which can keep it off the ground.
The Meross Outdoor Smart WiFi plug-in can handle up to 1,800 watts in use, but is designed for lighter applications such as decorations or lights. It is not intended for higher power applications, such as pool filters, pumps, or motors, which may damage its overload protection. Other safety features include a fireproof housing and the plug is ETL listed.
The plug connects to home networks via 2.4 ghz Wi-Fi, without the need for an additional hub. In addition to the HomeKit and Home app, the plug works with Alexa Amazon, Google Assistant and SmartThings via the Meross app on iOS and Android. Once connected, the plug can be used with automation, scenes, programs, stopwatches and, of course, fast remote controls through all different platforms.
Two in one
Meross Outdoor Smart WiFi Plug Review: What I like
Being a smart connector, setting up the Meross outdoor offer was quick and easy. Once connected, a simple scan of the HomeKit configuration code from the iOS Home app is all it takes to get it up and running. For those outside the HomeKit ecosystem, the Meross app will walk you through a series of steps after creating an account, and more smart home integrations can be added after. In both cases, however, the mating should take between five and ten minutes.
Despite its low price and connectivity challenges arising from the outdoor location, the Smart Meross Outdoor WiFi plug performed admirably.
As mentioned earlier, both socket points on the WiFi Smart Meross Outdoor WiFi plug can be controlled independently, which is fantastic for the price. Since the HomeKit outdoor socket market is quite small, fans of the platform have only one other option that included two outlets, the iDevices Outdoor Switch, which comes with a much steeper price tag.
Despite its low price and connectivity challenges arising from the outdoor location, the Smart Meross Outdoor WiFi plug performed admirably. Commands sent to the file via the Home or Siri app are done in a second or two and have been extremely reliable since I started testing. I still haven’t found an instance of “no answer” from HomeKit so far, which I can’t say about another competitor, the iHome iSP 100 Outdoor Plug I’ve had battles with over the years.
Too close for comfort
Meross Outdoor Smart WiFi Plug Review: What I do not like
Even if the Smart Smart Outdoor WiFi Plug includes two independent sockets, actually using two of them at the same time can present a problem. The relatively short distance between the two sockets will cause frustration if both desired devices have slightly larger than a standard socket end, and the recessed positioning will collide with larger boxes.
Gluing the hardware, I would have loved to have seen the power monitoring capabilities coming with the plug. Although I’m certainly not critical, the fact that I have the ability to keep consumption and cost sheets for my outdoor gear would have been nice, but I fully understood that it would probably affect the low price.
The only other complaint I have with the plug is about the Meross app and the addition of the device. For some reason, despite being available in the Home app, the Meross app tries to locate the plug through the local network and not just asking permission to use data from the HomeKit. During the review of the company’s Smart WiFi Plug Mini, I noticed that the application was not able to discover them in my network, which leads to a little frustration. The same thing applied to the Smart Outdoor WiFi Plug at first, but a few weeks later, as we were finalizing the screenshots for this review, the app was finally able to locate them and we were able to use all the features, such as be firmware updates. So while everything works great, it’s something you should be aware of only if you experience the same.
Meross Outdoor Smart WiFi Plug Review: Bottom line
When all this is said and done, the Meross Outdoor Smart WiFi Plug is simply the best option around for those looking for a compatible HomeKit outlet for the outdoors. The affordable price, combined with fast response times, outstanding reliability and two independent sockets, compensates for the lack of energy monitoring and slight problems.
For HomeKit fans, the pairing process couldn’t be simpler, you just have to connect it and give it a scan, it’s that easy. For others, after installation, the plug works with all major voice assistants, which makes it extremely versatile. Whatever your preferred operating system, make sure you have an extension cable handy if you plan to use it with larger jacks.
Review for Meross Outdoor Smart WiFi smart plugs
Bottom line: The Meross Outdoor smart WiFi plug and affordable price make it the best outdoor option available for HomeKit today. Even if you’re not using the Apple platform, this is still great value, as it packs in two independent outlets, fast response times, and support for Alexa, SmartThings, and Google Assistant.
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