Meross dual-plug smart outlet offers easy and affordable HomeKit automation [Review]

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Meross Smart WiFi Plug review: Easily affordable HomeKit automation
The Meross Smart WiFi Plug is unobtrusive but very functional. Just what your want.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The Meross Smart WiFi Plug lets you control two lights, fans or other appliances from your iPhone or iPad. And because it’s a simple plugin unit, it brings the convenience of Apple’s HomeKit home automation with minimal hassle.

After extensive testing, here’s how this accessory stood up to regular use.

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Meross Smart WiFi Plug review

You don’t watch a black-and-white TV. You don’t ride to work in a horse and buggy. Stop turning lights on and off by flicking switches like it’s the 1930s.

Admittedly, that’s an extreme stance. Sometimes a simple light switch is the best option. But automated lights can be amazingly convenient too. And the Meross Smart WiFi Plug is perfect for adding a bit of home automation if you’re not ready to go all in.

But Apple’s HomeKit could lead you to more. You’ll soon see what a hassle it is getting up to flick a bunch of switches when you could do that same from your iPhone, HomePod, etc. with a simple Siri command.

Plus, the Smart WiFi Plug is well suited for apartments because it doesn’t have to be wired into your home.

Hardware and Design

Meross made this accessory almost as small as a simple dual-plug outlet, but built in so much more functionality.

The Smart WiFi Plug is pill shaped, and 4.3 inches wide, 1.7 inches tall and 1.25 inches thick. The only color option is white. That makes it small enough and bland enough that it’ll mostly go unnoticed, which is what you want.

The front is dominated by two standard Type B wall sockets as used in North America. On the back is a single Type B three-prong wall plug. Insert this accessory into a wall socket, then plug the lights, fans, etc. you want to control into the front two sockets.

It can handle 100V to 125V, 50/60Hz, with a 10A maximum load. In less technical terms, my tests showed this smart socket had no problems with a lamp and a small space heater.

You don’t have to depend entirely on Siri or your iPhone to control the Meross Smart WiFi Plug. A pair of buttons on the front give you manual control.

This accessory is not even slightly waterproof. Those looking for an outdoor solution should try the Meross Smart WiFi Indoor/Outdoor Plug.

The Meross Smart WiFi Plug works with any US wall outlet.
The Smart WiFi Plug isn’t much thinker than a simple dual-plug outlet.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Meross Smart WiFi Plug performance

The tl;dr for this product is that it works very well. I tested it with Apple HomeKit and Amazon Alexa, and ran into no problems.

Setting Meross’ HomeKit accessory up is a snap. Obviously, the physical part is easy. And connecting this plug-in smart outlet to your iPhone isn’t much harder. Go to Apple’s Home app, tell it you want to Add Accessory, scan a 3D barcode on the smart plug and you’re pretty much done.

The two sockets can be controlled separately or together. That means you can turn on or off a lamp plugged into one without affecting the fan plugged into the other. And there’s more good news: while HomeKit requires a hub for all products to work, the Smart WiFi Plug communicates directly with this. No secondary hub is needed.

Meross engineers did a fine job all around. The Smart WiFi Plug functions a good distance from your wireless hotspot, and keeps a solid connection. And the accessory doesn’t have problems resuming its connection if the Wi-Fi network goes down for a while. That can be a problem with cheap home automation gear, but not with this one.

Most of my testing was with Apple’s HomeKit, but this smart outlet also supports Amazon Alexa. My tests found no problems with this system, either. And Google Assistant, SmartThings and IFTTT are built in too, though I did not test these.

HomeKit 101

The Meross Smart WiFi Plug is one of many accessories that support Apple’s HomeKit, which is built into iOS and iPadOS. With it, you can control home electronics with Siri commands. It’s as simple as “Hey Siri, turn on lamp.”

But the real value is in controlling multiple lights and other appliances with a single command. For example, “Hey Siri, good night” can turn off every light in your home but your bedroom.

And HomeKit offers automation. Lights can turn themselves on at a specified time, or exactly at sunset/sunrise. Or lights, fans, etc. can turn themselves off when you leave the house (they’ll know to do this because you took your iPhone with you).

To find out more, read Cult of Mac’s guide on how to get started with HomeKit home automation.

The Meross Smart WiFi Plug comes in any color you want, as long as it’s white.
Meross made a fine, low-cost, dual-plug HomeKit accessory.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Meross Smart WiFi Plug final thoughts

Apple’s HomeKit makes it easy to control your lights and other electronics from your iPhone, iPad or HomePod. And the Meross Smart WiFi Plug meshes well with this home automation system, allowing you to control a pair of accessories.

The hardware is solid but unobtrusive. And can be used in any house, apartment, dorm room… wherever.

Pricing

Meross is the best option for low-cost HomeKit accessories. The company distributes its products through Amazon, where the Smart WiFi Plug is a mere $16.99.

Buy from: Amazon

A few years ago, using HomeKit came with a considerable “Apple Tax” — items that included this system cost quite a bit more than their rivals. Not any more, and Meross played a part in making them more affordable.

Comparable products

Belkin is one of Meross’ top competitors, as it also offers a range of HomeKit-compatible smartplugs for a variety of purposes. Its Wemo WiFi Smart Plug has a single outlet, but it’s smaller. Ordinarily it’s $24.99, but at the time of this writing is on sale for $19.99.

Or there’s the small Meross Smart WiFi Plug Mini, which has a similar, single-outlet design. A pair of them sell for $23.98.

Meross provided Cult of Mac with a review unit for this article. See our reviews policy, and check out more in-depth reviews of Apple-related items.