Review: Satechi finally nails the HomeKit smart outlet

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in General Discussion
Other than smart light bulbs, smart plugs are the most prevalent smart home product genre on the market. It escapes us, why it took so long for us to finally get an option that checks all the boxes before the Satechi Dual Smart Outlet.

Satechi Dual Smart Outlet
Satechi Dual Smart Outlet works with Apple HomeKit

HomeKit-specific

As far as the basics go, there is no Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa support, only HomeKit. For Apple users, that is just fine and reduces the possibilities of it being compromised and cuts the need to rely on other companies to zero.






Like all HomeKit devices, It can be controlled via Siri, scheduled, or automated using location or device triggers. It can be set up in a matter of seconds by merely just opening the Home app and scanning the HomeKit code stuck to the top of the outlet.

What sets it apart?

There are four primarily reasons why we've pegged the Satechi Smart Outlet as the perfect HomeKit outlet to date. It comes down to the design, features, number of outlets, and connectivity. Let's break those down.

Design

Satechi Dual Smart Outlet has a slim design
Satechi Dual Smart Outlet has a slim design


Starting with the design, Satechi chose to go with a very slim design, similar to the Belkin WeMo smart plug. By keeping it thin, it doesn't obstruct the second outlet in a standard receptacle. Then something else can be plugged in too, including a second Satechi Dual Smart Outlet. Some like the Koogeek smart plug are too bulky and can get in the way.

It is a bit wide, and is wider than we thought by looking at the pictures. That width wasn't an issue in most use cases, unless there was a particularly tight outlet that it was trying to connect to.

Features

Most HomeKit outlets only can be toggled on and off. A few add the extra feature of being able to monitor the energy consumption. Any device that is plugged in to the Satechi Dual Smart Outlet, you can view how much electricity it is using in the Satechi Home app.

Satechi Dual Smart Outlet lets you monitor your energy usage and cost
Satechi Dual Smart Outlet monitors your energy usage and cost


If you enter in your local energy rate, it will even do the math and spit out the projected cost of those electronics as well. For those who are embracing smart homes as a way to save electricity, this feature is great. It lets you know exactly what you are spending by using that Bluetooth speaker every day or by leaving your TV on too long.

Number of outlets

Most plugs have a single plug available, which means you need to buy a second smart plug for a second device. This has two separate outlets that can be controlled independently. If you have two lamps plugged in behind your couch, each light can be turned off on their own, or together.

Satechi Dual Smart Outlet
Satechi Dual Smart Outlet allows two devices to connect


There are round buttons on the top of the plug too that can be used to turn each outlet on or off. The energy monitoring that we outlined above also monitors each outlet and not the unit as a whole.

We have seen multiple plugs in a HomeKit outlet before -- think ConnectSense Smart Outlet or the Eve Energy Strip -- but this is far more compact.

Connectivity

Satechi opted for Wi-Fi rather than Bluetooth in the Dual Smart Outlet. As a general rule, Bluetooth for HomeKit works well, but there are considerations. Bluetooth has limited range and must be relatively near your Home Hub -- that is your iPad, HomePod, or Apple TV.

If you have your HomePod in your kitchen, your Apple TV in the living room, a Bluetooth switch in your bedroom may have issues connecting when you are outside your house. By going with Wi-Fi, you will always have connectivity in or away from your home.

Minor quibbles

We are extremely happy with this outlet but there are two minor issues we have with it, neither of which are deal-breakers.

First, we really like the night light feature found in the iDevices Switch. It is nice to add a bit of light in the dark aside from the benefits of the switch. It is a unique feature we wish others would adopt -- including Satechi.

Satechi Dual Smart Outlet being controlled in the iOS 13 Home app
Satechi Dual Smart Outlet being controlled in the iOS 13 Home app


Our other grievance is how the energy monitoring is handled. Satechi does a decent job with the energy monitoring. You can view if the outlet is in use, what the current is, the total consumption and the total cost. You can also view the latter two graphically over time by day, week, month, or year.

Eve, however, does this even better. For the Eve Energy devices not only does it show all of what Satechi does, but it has a real time graph that live updates as you watch it. It also -- more importantly -- shows the projected cost for the year. That doesn't just tell you what it was for the day or the house, but what you are looking at by the end of the year if your behavior continues.

This is all presented a bit more clearly in the Eve app. It would be fine if the Eve app could tell you this same information about the Satechi Dual Smart Outlet, but this information is siloed away in the Satechi Home app. It would be great if other apps could read this info and provide analysis as well as the Satechi Home app.

A smarter home

Despite our nitpicking, the Satechi Dual Smart Outlet remains our pick for the best HomeKit outlet on the market. It is slim, has two outlets, connects over Wi-Fi, and monitors your energy use on top of all the great features HomeKit provides.

For inspiration, we like to tie out smart outlets to our wall switches so that when we press our HomeKit wall switch to turn on the ceiling lights, it also toggles our Satechi Dual Smart Outlet and turns on the two additional floor lamps we have plugged in. This makes it so easy to light up a room and not have to do them all by themselves.

We can also tie them into our TV so when we call on Siri to set the "movie time" theme, our TV turns on and the lights go out. Location-based automation also allows us to have the lights automatically turn on when we arrive home late at night and turn off when the last person leaves.

There are quite a few great smart outlets on the market but Satechi has made a real impact with their first entry into the HomeKit ecosystem.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Where to buy

You can pick up the Satechi Dual Smart Outlet from Amazon for $59.99.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 20
    StuGStuG Posts: 6member
    Sadly options for Homekit smart outlets are very limited in the UK :( I have an Eve Energy plug, but they are too expensive (£60) for what they are, especially when non-Homekit ones (no good for me as I am all Apple) are about £10-£15.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 20
    Looks really nice, but too expensive by about 25$. 
    edited June 26 watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 20
    ravnorodomravnorodom Posts: 221member
    Nice outlet. Love the no-blocking-other-outlet design and the individually separate controls. Price wise, I pass (for now). 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 20
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 707member
    I must commend them for having the brilliance to make them thin enough to make it possible to put one in each socket. And yet I must condemn them for putting the lights and buttons on the top which means you can't properly use two of them in the same pair of sockets. I'm guessing that it wasn't aesthetically pleasing to put the buttons on the side. Or maybe they just didn't think of it.

    Sorry to be critical, but isn't that one of the purposes of these forums? Even so, I don't consider this flaw to be a show-stopper. Just something to be aware of.

    While I'm asking questions, what's the maximum number of watts that I can plug in? Oh wait, I saw the small print on the backside during your clip at 2:06 and it had 1800W written on the back. That's a good number. I have some really bright light fixtures in my home that use high wattage (neither incandescent nor fluorescent) bulbs. SO I guess I can use them for these fixtures.

    I'm curious why does it look like it was made by snapping two parts together? Can I pul it apart at the seam?
  • Reply 5 of 20
    davendaven Posts: 528member
    I must commend them for having the brilliance to make them thin enough to make it possible to put one in each socket. And yet I must condemn them for putting the lights and buttons on the top which means you can't properly use two of them in the same pair of sockets. I'm guessing that it wasn't aesthetically pleasing to put the buttons on the side. Or maybe they just didn't think of it.

    Sorry to be critical, but isn't that one of the purposes of these forums? Even so, I don't consider this flaw to be a show-stopper. Just something to be aware of.

    While I'm asking questions, what's the maximum number of watts that I can plug in? Oh wait, I saw the small print on the backside during your clip at 2:06 and it had 1800W written on the back. That's a good number. I have some really bright light fixtures in my home that use high wattage (neither incandescent nor fluorescent) bulbs. SO I guess I can use them for these fixtures.

    I'm curious why does it look like it was made by snapping two parts together? Can I pul it apart at the seam?
    I checked the Amazon q&a and the answer is 15 amps
  • Reply 6 of 20
    Andrew_OSUAndrew_OSU Posts: 251member, editor
    I must commend them for having the brilliance to make them thin enough to make it possible to put one in each socket. And yet I must condemn them for putting the lights and buttons on the top which means you can't properly use two of them in the same pair of sockets. I'm guessing that it wasn't aesthetically pleasing to put the buttons on the side. Or maybe they just didn't think of it.

    Sorry to be critical, but isn't that one of the purposes of these forums? Even so, I don't consider this flaw to be a show-stopper. Just something to be aware of.

    While I'm asking questions, what's the maximum number of watts that I can plug in? Oh wait, I saw the small print on the backside during your clip at 2:06 and it had 1800W written on the back. That's a good number. I have some really bright light fixtures in my home that use high wattage (neither incandescent nor fluorescent) bulbs. SO I guess I can use them for these fixtures.

    I'm curious why does it look like it was made by snapping two parts together? Can I pul it apart at the seam?
    I have a LOT of HomeKit plugs and I don't think I've ever actually used the buttons. Never even came up. They are usually down on the wall or behind a couch/desk that it doesn't make sense to press them. I'm sure there are times where people need to use the buttons but that certainly isn't a primary concern for me.

    Also, no. You can't pull it apart at the seem. There are four rubber pieces in each corner that hide the screws that were used to hold it. It won't come apart.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 20
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 7,943member
    Looks really nice, but too expensive by about 25$. 
    Meh. If I need it, $24 or $59 doesn't really matter to me much. It's a one-and-done purchase. I've spent as much on garden hoses, etc.
    mike1macguiwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 20
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,729member
    The perfect one would replace your outlet in the wall.
    sirbryanDAalsethwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 20
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,469member
    Does the Satechi support a unitary power-cycle command? If not, it can't be used to power-cycle a modem, router, network switch or Wi-Fi access point.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 20
    Andrew_OSUAndrew_OSU Posts: 251member, editor
    melgross said:
    The perfect one would replace your outlet in the wall.
    They already have those but they don't monitor energy usage, require installation, and can't (easily) be moved. For many people, that isn't ideal. But I agree I do love in-wall outlets.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 20
    HeliBumHeliBum Posts: 63member
    Why is Satechi the only company whose products AI reviews? I have one of these Koogeek HomeKit/Alexa/Google power strips with three independently switchable outlets and power monitoring, plus USB charging, for the same price. It works great. https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B074PV2MT3/
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 20
    Put the outlets on the side, buttons on the front or top/bottom...  Imagine this thing behind a couch, dresser, or headboard. 
    mr-davidwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 20
    entropysentropys Posts: 1,745member
    The design isn’t bad, but I would have preferred the connection to the wall outlet to be at one end of the device, so it would work with dual wall outlets and still leave the second outlet available. Heck then you could have two side by side if it was available in right and left configurations!
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 20
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,729member
    melgross said:
    The perfect one would replace your outlet in the wall.
    They already have those but they don't monitor energy usage, require installation, and can't (easily) be moved. For many people, that isn't ideal. But I agree I do love in-wall outlets.
    It’s easy to install. I’ve installed so many outlets of varying kinds over the years that I can’t remember how many. Generally, we don’t want to move outlets. We want a few of them in a permanent place.

    I'm not asking for in wall instead of these. I’d like to see both.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 20
    Put the outlets on the side, buttons on the front or top/bottom...  Imagine this thing behind a couch, dresser, or headboard. 
    Good idea. For your use case you can use outlet savers. Here's an example:
    https://www.amazon.com/Stellar-Labs-Extension-Degree-Rotating/dp/B008I5SHF4
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 20
    wyafawiwyafawi Posts: 1member
    The best Outlet is made by IKEA.  Everything else connects to WiFi and doesn’t work well with HomeKit. Everyone do yourself a favor and ignore this post and go get yourself the TRÅDFRI system.  Bust plugs and an excellent lighting system to make real smart home upgrades to all kinds of lights not just bulbs.
  • Reply 17 of 20
    macguimacgui Posts: 1,303member
    $60 for a dual outlet with these features isn't bad at all. Plugging two wall warts into the switch is huuuuge.

    As to this vs in-wall switches, there are a lot of those and only one of these. Even if this lives in one spot for years, it's PnP, no installation required.

    Now, I'm special. I've worked with electrical energy for years - AC, DC, RF, microwave, blah blah. Me and electriity – we flow. I can install a wall switch power on with my eyes close. So can a lot of people. But a lot more can't and don' want to, especially if they live in an apartment. So this is a great switch.

    I'd like to see another version with the receptacles at the ends as mentioned earlier. A dual remote switch behind furniture is a natural.

    This will go in the kitchen where I use to small appliances. Currently I swap them in the TP-Link switch that isn't HomeKit compatible. I use the button to start it, then control it from my phone or iPad in the other room.

    What I didn't see is a timer or schedule function in the app. While the TP-Link's version is clunky, it does have one. But this switch ticks all the boxes important to me. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 20
    mguymguy Posts: 4member
    I like mine, but the power monitoring over time doesn't seem to work (yet?).
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 20
    emoelleremoeller Posts: 446member
    I've used Satechi products for years and find them to be well designed and built, the Dual Outlet is no except and I would recommend it.  Some things not in the article:

    1)  These are on sale now for 30% off using the code DUALOUTLET ( https://satechi.net/collections/whats-new/products/dual-smart-outlet ), its in red at the top of the page.

    2)  The instructions are emphatic, it is not compatible with dual band (2.4Gz & 5Gz), the 5Gz must be turned off.  I can confirm this with my setup, so turn it off.  But once it is set up I was able to turn back on my dual band without issues (I have a TimeCapsule 3Tb).

    3)  The instructions do NOT tell you how to monitor energy (or set timers etc).   From within the downloaded Satechi Home app simply long press one of the two outlet icons and then select the ellipse (three dots) and it will pop up the details screen.  As the article notes there is no live energy monitoring, simply day, month, year summary or graph

    As others have noted because of the design it does stick out from the wall, so tough to use behind a couch or chest of drawers.  An end of unit plug would be better.  Also instructions say NOT to use it with an extension cord (plug only directly into a wall socket), but I can confirm that it does work with a properly paired (that means a minimum of 15 amp capacity on the extension cord and fully grounded - three prong in the US) extension cord.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 20
    captmarkcaptmark Posts: 36member
    I really do like the idevices outlets and switches. They are a permanent replacement where as this can be moved. I bought a couple Idevice wall plugs that work just like this but it only has one outlet and is way to big and awkward. But honestly I don't use them because it's too easy to install an outlet!
    watto_cobra
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