Smart plugs may not be the brightest HomeKit accessories, but they are definitely an essential element for those who want to automate their home. Despite being a smart home and an accessory that usually stays behind the scenes, there are only a few options available for the Apple platform that can be found for $ 20 or less.
However, there are values to be found, some from us at HomeKit providers, such as Meross, who entered the market earlier this year with a sleek two-pack compact. Last week I tested a pair of Meross Smart WiFi Plug Mini and found them to offer a fantastic blend of performance, reliability and flexibility with its compact design.
Meross Smart WiFi Plug Mini
Bottom line: Meross Smart WiFi Plug Mini offers all the essentials for HomeKit socket in a compact package, with a compact price. An easy setup process, fast response times and reliable connection make it one of the best HomeKit values around.
- No application or account required
- Compact design
- HomeKit support
- No hub required
- For indoor use only
- It does not monitor energy consumption
- The Meross application does not work with the plug
All the basics
Meross Smart WiFi Mini Plug: features
Meross Smart WiFi Plug Mini, as its name suggests, emphasizes the small design. The white compact plug is one of the most compact HomeKit plugs available today, measuring just 2.7 inches wide by 1.5 cm high. The plug itself is devoid of any marks on the visible parts when used and sports on the HomeKit setup code label directly at the top, making access to the pairing easy.
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The Smart WiFi Plug Mini has a single button, which is located on the right side next to a small status LED indicator. The physical button provides the ability to quickly turn the plug on and off on the device and also serves as a way to reset the plug, if needed by a long press. Activating the button manually or via the remote controls produces a soft mechanical noise, but it is relatively minor and not loud enough to notice if the camera is not nearly silent.
Connecting the Meross plug to the HomeKit takes place via 2.4 ghz Wi-Fi, which, like other HomeKit accessories, may not work with some mesh networks that use the same SSID name for both channels. The plug connects directly to home networks, without the need for a separate Meross hub. However, controlling the plug outside the home requires a HomeKit hub, such as an Apple TV or HomePod. Once connected to the HomeKit, the jack can be used with automation and scenes, as well as quick switches in the Home and Siri application.
In addition to HomeKit, the plug works with both Android and Amazon and Google Assistant. Additional plug specifications include a maximum charge of 15 amps and an operating temperature of 32-104 degrees Fahrenheit. The plug is not suitable for use in humid or outdoor locations, but includes overload protection, a flame-retardant cover, and ETL is listed.
Meross Smart WiFi Mini Plug: What I like
Since someone has become accustomed over the years to bulky smart plugs from other manufacturers, it’s incredibly nice to be able to use the other outlet on the wall if needed. Even if I may never get into a scenario where I need two of the mini-plugs from the same outlet, it’s possible, and the plug works great with other devices that may have bulky bricks.
In the same vein, I love how the compact size of the plug extends and how far it sits from the wall once connected. Although not perfect, the short distance makes it possible to place objects on the lower outlets in high-traffic areas, and only looks so much cleaner than others, which can often seem comical. I also like how Meross has kept its overall design to a minimum, with a low profile button and a small LED indicator that doesn’t light up a room at night.
With such a low price, we can expect the smart plug to suffer in other areas, such as performance, but this is not the case here.
With such a low price, we can expect the smart plug to suffer in other areas, such as performance, but this is not the case here. Both Meross plugs have been incredibly reliable and responsive since I started testing. The plug-in is quick to update its status in the iOS Home app, and sent commands are executed almost instantly. The same speed extends to Siri commands and it was so reliable that I can safely fit it into some of my most crucial automations, without worrying.
Finally, I really like the fact that the configuration of the plug did not require another application to download, because I managed to get it up and running quickly and using only the Apple Home application. The plug and play nature of the accessory and a no-account setup process means you can be on your way to smart home goodness within a minute or two of disconnecting.
Meross Smart WiFi Mini Plug: What I do not like
As mentioned, the Meross Smart WiFi Plug Mini does not require an app or account, but there is one available for download from the AppStore. According to the Meross application, it is used for firmware updates, and HomeKit plugs should be detected automatically when trying to configure a new device.
However, in its current form, the app fails to see the plug because it does not require access to the HomeKit and guides users to try the standard pairing process. As you’ve probably guessed by now, the pairing process of the app will eventually lead to using the Home app, which will bring you back to the issue where the Meross app can’t see the plug. Unfortunately, this means that the firmware updates are on the table for now.
Apart from the problem of the application, which may never come into play, because the card works exactly as announced, the low price of the card comes with some minor limitations. One is that the plug-in does not support power monitoring capabilities, which can be useful for identifying hungry appliances or estimating how much it costs to run. The other is that the plug is rated for indoor use only, so any dream of having a compact plug on the outside will be marked.
Meross Smart WiFi Mini Plug: Bottom line
With an incredibly low price and a compact design, the Meross Smart WiFi Plug Mini is a fantastic way to jump with HomeKit or add a little more comfort to your automated home. Throw in fast response times and solid reliability and you’ll find it hard to find better value for HomeKit today.
Sure, the Meross Mini plug doesn’t come with some of the funniest things like power monitoring or, you know, a functional app, but sometimes the simpler one is simply better. Open the box, connect it and scan with the Home app, it’s really that simple. Just keep in mind that you may not be able to update it on the go unless something changes with the Meross app.
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