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Koogeek Smart Plug testing the Wi-Fi Homekit smart socket, Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant

Koogeek Smart Plug testing the Wi-Fi Homekit smart socket, Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant

As our readers well know, the very first Homekit compatible power management device on the market was Eve Energy by Elgato based like all the peripherals of the German company, on Bluetooth, a Wi-Fi solution was missing that would combine the practicality of the Apple home automation protocol with the greater range of the more traditional wireless.

In reality, a solution from a small German company came out on the market two years ago, but luck had not given up to the enterprising manufacturer who had found himself struggling with reliability and quality problems.

Koogeek's solution, previewed at CES 2017, has had an excellent break-in with an equivalent version designed only for the United States in this month and therefore users can rest assured from the point of view of electrical safety. And so after the smart lamp holder excellent for the retrofit of chandeliers and wall lamps with hidden attachment, here is to try the "smart socket".

Koogeek Smart Plug

The packaging and the controlled socket

As with all Homekit products, the package includes the device, a small manual and a 10-digit code XXX-XX-XXX placed both on the product and in the manual itself, which will be used for inclusion in the home automation system.

The very generous size of Koogeek made it a little more acceptable due to the bulging of the design. If we take the socket of Elgato as a reference, here we have an important footprint that in some cases occupies space around the Schuco to which it must be connected while other models based on different home automation standards have a sort of pocket that extends downwards. The final result is pleasant but the dimensions are important.

As for other controlled sockets, here too there is a button for direct switching on and off of the connected device while the signal LED (turns from red to green) which normally included inside the button positioned on the front behind one of the Koogeek e's and clearly visible from a distance without being too invasive.

The installation

As already seen for other products once you have installed OS X 9, 10 or higher on your iPhone or iPad you can directly include the socket in the home installation: the Wi-Fi based solution and therefore you need to connect to a home access point with frequency 2.4 GHz. Pay attention to this phase because it is impossible to connect with 5 GHz Wi-Fi and in some cases it may be necessary to turn off access to the higher frequency and in any case manage it with a different password in order to be sure to connect to 2.4 GHzi

Below the whole installation procedure with a look at the interface of "Home" and the Koogeek application: we remind you that we can customize the device with a name of your choice and match it to the room where placed to be able to manage it by Siri with commands from the type: "Turn off fan", "Turn on living room lamp" etc.

Compared to the competition

At the time when we analyzed the only grip that is the real competitor in the Homekit field, the Eve Energy model by Elgato which is really different from the point of view of operation has two factors: the dimensions that are much smaller and the radio used than Bluetooth instead of the Wifi. Obviously the small size plays in favor of Elgato but the difference of the radio used has advantages and disadvantages: the advantage for Elgato lies in the lower consumption at rest (about 30% from our tests but we talk about fractions of W), the disadvantage is in the range of wireless.

The resting consumption of smart sockets is a factor that is not considered much: in order to function efficiently the socket must always be connected and the internal radio must be powered and it is clear that the most demanding Wi-Fi of Bluetooth LE (but also of Z -wave and Dect) in this field.

As for the range if you have a good internal network you can place the socket anywhere in the house without the limit of about 9-10 meters of bluetooth but obviously if you want remote control the connection to the Internet must be made by Apple TV or a compatible iPad .

Works well?

After a few jams with the newly arrived model that has sometimes come off the Wi-Fi we must say that the subsequent firmware updates have given us a reliable product and the company is continuously updating its application constantly for the upcoming iOS 11 news and new Homekit functionality. In any case, thanks to Apple's common connection protocol, there is no difficulty in managing it even with applications such as Eve by Elgato.

The product is absolutely stable and perfectly responds to the scenes we have set: with iOS 11, the ability to interact with the sensors has increased and this allows us to manage it in new automations.

The large button for manual activation is very easy to operate and to locate even when the socket connected in a hidden position (behind a oven, behind the coffee machine, behind a toaster)

Update: from the end of 2018 the socket also compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. The features with the two voice assistants are described in the review of the simplified version that does not have Homekit and that you find on this page.

Conclusions

A socket with important dimensions but reliable and easy to operate also by hand. Perfect functioning inside the Homekit system with a frequently updated app.

The reading of the consumption of the Koogeek application should be integrated with consumption graphs but sufficiently structured to manage automations even if going from home. A great way to experiment with Homekit's control capabilities also through Siri.

Pro

Efficient, competitive cost, Wi-Fi range, also compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant.

Versus

Bulky chassis

Retail price

€ 37.99 including VAT on Amazon, € 65.99 in a double pack and € 89.99 in a triple pack. The version without Homekit costs 19.99 Euros. Find the review on this page.