Build - 80%
Features - 90%
App - 90%
Performance - 90%
Price - 75%
I have previously reviewed the fantastic TP-Link HS110 smart plug, which I now have 3 of. They are great for powering down devices on a schedule or via Alexa and allows me to fully power down my office room at night and have everything switched on when I get there in the morning.
As usual with Amazon, there are a lot of cheaper alternatives from random brands. They can sometimes be dreadful, but at the same time, they can often be fantastic, such as all the cheap fitness bands available on there.
One option I recently decided to try out is the Inkerscoop WiFi Smart Power Strip, while it is not technically cheaper than the TP-Link HS110 it is arguably a better product, with it being a power-strip with 3 sockets and 4 USB ports.
What really appeals t me about this device is each socket has individual switching, and the 4-USB are switched on/off as a group. So you are basically getting the functionality of 3 to 4 smart plugs all in one.
One feature it does have missing, that I would have liked, is the energy monitoring. It is not essential, but it is good to see what devices are pulling the most power. This is especially useful for me as I have a server, and the main PC running all day, so it is good to see where I am wasting money.
The strip itself is well made, it isn’t quite as premium as some other power strips I have used before, but it doesn’t look or feel cheaply made.
Set-up & Performance
To set up the strip, you need to download the Smart Life app which is developed by Tuya. The app is well reviewed, and Tuya seems to be a well-established company.
The app itself isn’t quite as pretty as the TP-Link option, but I experienced no glitches, and it is easy to use which is the most important aspect. The app appears to offer functionality for dozens of smart devices, so this could be a good option for a range of cheap smart devices.
To set up, you need to hold the power button until the LEDs blink, type in your WIFi password into the app and let them pair. It took around 30 seconds for me.
Once setup up you can easily control the strip. You can rename the strip, and then you can name each socket which makes management much more straightforward. As well as remote manual control over each socket, you can set up individual schedules for each socket. In my case I have issues with my AV receiver in standby mode, so I now have to switch it off at the mains, this allows me to switch it off automatically at night then on again at 5 pm before I sit down in my living room for the evening. This is the epitome of laziness, but this is what home automation is all about.
The device works with Amazon Alexa and setting it up is similar to the TP-Link option. I had some issues linking the device; it took 4 attempts before I got a success message. Following the setup procedure on the Smart Life Alexa page, it was quite simple to get everything working. I was then able to switch the device off as a whole, or the individual switches.
The reviews on the Alexa page are mixed, but this appears to cover various devices including light bulbs. Some reviews suggest you can do individual socket switching, but I was able to, and if you change the name of the switch, it makes things easier.
Overall, I had low expectations of this device. However, I ended up being very impressed. It is simple to set up, the app works well, schedules work flawlessly and I have it working with Alexa.
Pricing is good at £37, it has much more functionality than a single smart socket, though I would have preferred it to be closer to £30, or below. This would differentiate it from the brand names. For example, the TP-Link HS110 often drops down to £25 or £20 for the HS100 model, so if you just need one switch then these may be better options.