Which Amazon smart product should you stick in your socket?
$25 at Amazon
$25 at Amazon
Both Amazon-branded devices plug into a typical wall outlet to bring added smart home features and convenience, but which is the better fit? We've picked them apart to determine which you should add to your smart home.
Plugged in to the scene
These two smart devices have a similar look and price point, but there are some significant differences that you should be aware of before making your purchase decision. Let's break down the specs before we dive in further.
Motion sensor (purchased separately
Night light (purchased separately)
Pictured: Amazon Smart Plug.
The Amazon Smart Plug is a great little product that can turn just about any electronic gadget in your home into a smart device. Setup is dead-simple: Just plug it into the wall, ask Alexa to discover new devices, and it's ready to go! You probably want to name the plug (or give it the name of the device that is plugged into it), and perhaps even add it to a group of connected devices (e.g. if you plugged a lamp into it, you may want to name the Smart Plug "Living Room Lamp" in your Alexa app, and then add that device to the "Living Room" group). From there, you can set up schedules and/or routines and really have fun automating your home.
In addition to how seamlessly it works with Alexa, one of our favorite things about the Smart Plug is that Amazon often packages it with other Echo and Alexa devices as part of a bundle. This means you can get two (or more) great Amazon smart products at a discount. For example, right now Amazon has a bundle where you can pick up an Echo Dot (3rd Gen) and Smart Plug for only $5 more than the Dot by itself!
As great as the Smart Plug is, there are a few things it can't do in relation to its comparably-priced cousin, the Echo Flex. The Smart Plug doesn't have any speaker or light functionality built-in, and you need a separate Echo device to communicate with it via Alexa. It doesn't have a USB port, and it also only comes with one AC outlet. If you don't need that extra flexibility though, and you want something simple that is easy to set up and use, then the Amazon Smart Plug is a good choice.
Pictured: Amazon Echo Flex with both available attachments.
The Echo Flex is yet one more manifestation of Amazon's desire to squeeze Alexa into every possible physical space in our lives... but we're not mad. One drawback to other Echo products is that they take up physical space and require a cord to plug and power them. That's not the case with this little device! With an AC plug integrated into the back of it, you can plug this into any wall outlet, from your garage to your guest bathroom.
The base configuration of the Echo Flex comes in at the same price as the Amazon Smart Plug, but it actually has more smarts built-in. It features an on-board speaker and microphone allowing you to communicate directly with Alexa, and you can also either plug in an additional speaker (or headphones) to its 3.5MM audio jack, or connect it via bluetooth to another speaker device. You can charge your phone through the USB-A port at the bottom, or you can purchase one of the two currently available accessories and plug them into the bottom of the Echo Flex.
One of the first accessories announced for the Echo Flex is a motion sensor, which you could use to create a routine to turn on some smart lights or trigger a smart camera. The second accessory that Amazon announced at launch was a nightlight, which makes perfect sense for where many might place this device, such as a bathroom, hallway, or garage. Both products are made by a third-party partner and can be purchased as add-ons for $15 each.
While the Echo Flex is more capable in most respects than the Smart Plug, it doesn't actually serve as a traditional smart plug itself - meaning, you can't actually plug other devices into it (with the exception of the add-ons mentioned above). Just note that the Echo Flex will be taking up valuable plug real estate when you stick it in a wall outlet.
Pull the plug and pick one
While the Amazon Smart Plug truly is a solid device that works exactly as Amazon promises, for my money the Echo Flex is the product to get here. Not only does it feature loads of included smarts like Alexa built-in, but it has more flexibility to do a lot of cool things that the Smart Plug just can't do on its own. Plus, you can find lots of "smart plugs" that are compatible with Alexa for much cheaper than the Amazon version.
Of course, if you find the Amazon Smart Plug on sale or bundled with an Echo Dot or other Amazon smart home tech, then go ahead and jump on that deal. Otherwise, we'll be happy putting a few of these Echo Flex devices around our house to take full advantage of Amazon's smart assistant.
Full-featured smart plug
Smart speaker, charger, and sensor in one.
The Amazon Echo Flex is a unique new offering that allows you to bring Alexa to tighter spaces where an Echo Dot might not fit. You can also use it as a USB charger or a smart home sensor.
Make any device "smart"
Amazon's initial smart plug play is still one of our favorites. It works beautifully with Alexa to turn any device into a smart device, setup takes just a few seconds, and it blends seamlessly into the background.
We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Learn more.
If you're on the hunt for a video doorbell, there are some killer deals worth your consideration at Amazon today. Devices like the Ring Video Doorbell 2 and the Ring Video Doorbell Pro are discounted
This morning, Amazon has kicked off a batch of notable deals on Ring video doorbells, security systems, and cameras. Alongside up to 25% off discounts, Amazon is also throwing in a free third generation Echo
Amazon knows that buyers of smart home systems are looking for solutions for home security more than other functions. In yet another example of deals at Black Friday level long before the actual event, Amazon
Amazon knows that smart home system shoppers seek home security solutions more than any other function. In yet another example of Black Friday-level deals long before the actual event, Amazon dropped the price on a
Amazon's Echo speakers and Kindle e-books are reportedly open to vulnerabilities as it allows a potential cyber attacker to decrypt data or information transmitted by the user. This was first discovered by
When Facebook launched the Portal as an attempt to enter the smart display space in direct competition to Amazon's Echo Show and Google's Nest Hub, there were murmurs around how something resembling a digital
Alexa, warn our guests that you're eavesdropping on them: Google chief says people should warn visitors of smart speakers in their homes Rick Osterloh said homeowners should make visitors aware of the technology He said: 'Gosh,
It's fall product release season, and that means Google and Amazon both have new smart speakers to debut. Amazon stepped up first with a new take on its third-generation Echo Dot speaker, this one equipped
More News in Technology
Before Amazon came along, unless you traveled to Japan, it was nearly impossible to get your hands on most Japanese beauty products (unless you're counting the excellent, but oh-so pricey offerings from mainstream brands like
Google launched its latest flagship phones, Pixel 4 and 4XL amidst much fanfare in its annual event in New York City. It appears that the company is only focused on branding now rather than on
New York, Oct 21 (IANS) Adolescents who play contact sports, including football, are no more likely to experience cognitive impairment, depression or suicidal thoughts in early adulthood than their peers, says a new study. Published in
Recently Report added "Global Cell Free Protein Expression Market Report 2019-2024", latest study of 137 pages, published in October 2019, to its store. Cell Free Protein Expression Market research report presents a comprehensive study of
Considered to be "one of the most beautiful meteor showers" of the year by NASA, the Orionids are set to peak early this week. The Orionid meteor shower can treat stargazers with nearly two dozen meteors
A fireball that exploded in the sky over Japan could be linked to a huge asteroid that's destined to smash into our planet. That's the warning from scientists who have been trying to work out the