Meross Smart Plug Mini review: A good addition to your smart home

Posted:
in General Discussion
Not everything has to be Matter-compatible. One version of the Meross Smart Plug Mini isn't, and still allows you to control nearly any appliance in your HomeKit setup within a small and light design.




With a compact design, unchallenging setup, and easy controls, the Meross Smart Plug is a great addition to start turning any home into a smart home that works best for you.

The Meross Smart Plug Mini is designed like many others of its kind by being built within a rectangular box that plugs right into the wall and then has a three-pronged socket facing outward. The current rating for the Smart Plug Mini is 15A with operating voltage of 125 volts.

The side of the plug includes a button that acts as the physical control. Pressing it toggles power to the attached appliance.


Power button and indication light on the side of the Meross Smart Plug Mini


The plugs currently only come in white and does not include Matter support.

Meross Smart Plug Mini and HomeKit

The Meross Smart Plug Mini is compatible with HomeKit, allowing you to control the smart plug through the Home app instead of only through the Meross app. You can also control it through the physical button on the side and with your voice with Siri.

The HomeKit code can be found on the bottom of the smart plug, and you pair it to the app like you would any other HomeKit-compatible device.

Once you set it up, you can name the plug, set what room it is in, and if any other smart devices -- like a smart lightbulb -- are connected to it so you can control them simultaneously. It will also ask if the smart plug is operating a fan, light, or just an outlet, which -- once you choose -- will have a corresponding icon next to the device while in the control panel. And, that icon can be changed within the app.


Left: Power switch for smart plug. Middle: How the accessory is displayed. Right: Accessory icon choices.


Any updates to the smart plug will come from the Meross app, but will also be performed through the Home app as well.

Siri can control your smart plug by telling them to turn it on or off from any of your Apple devices that have Siri enabled on it.

Through the Home app, you can set a schedule for the Smart Plug Mini through Automations. This will allow you to decide when the plug either turns on or off. It also works with Siri Shortcuts as well.

Automations and Siri Shortcuts require a Home Hub when operating outside the house. A modern Apple TV or a HomePod of some sort will do.

Control the power

The Meross Smart Plug Mini does what it is intended to do -- make any of your appliances rated up to 15A that have a sustaining, non-solid state on-and-off switch able to be controlled via your iPhone.




The small rectangular design allows you to be able to stack one on top of one another in a wall electrical outlet, and positions the power button on the side of it so you can easily access it if you do not have your phone around. The light on top of the button also indicates power and active pairing.

There is a little-to-no lag when commanding the smart plug to turn on and off which results in fast responses.

In a strange design choice, the HomeKit code to pair it to your Home app is on the bottom of the smart plug, so it may be difficult to set it up once plugged in. To solve this, you can take a picture of the code beforehand and scan it from the picture from a separate device.

You can also purchase the app HomePass for $2.99 that allows you to store HomeKit device codes on it and be able to view them on your iPhone or Apple Watch.

If you are looking for a small smart plug that works well with HomeKit and other devices around your home, and don't need Matter support, then the Meross Smart Plug Mini may be the right choice for you and is worth checking out.

Meross Smart Plug Mini pros

  • Small design

  • Little-to-no lag when performing commands

  • Easy to control

  • Customizable through the Home app

Meross Smart Plug Mini cons

  • HomeKit code hard to access when plugged in

  • Not Matter supported

Rating: 4 out of 5

Where to buy

You can buy the Meross Smart Plug Mini on Amazon for $23.99 -- where two come in one package. You can also get a pack of three for $29.99, and a pack of four for $34.99.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 21
    I own a bunch of these.

    I like that they remember their last power state if the power goes out.

    For the most part, they work well, with one caveat. They leak more current than my other smart plugs so I've had issues with LED panels glowing when off. I tried adding a load capacitor, but that did not help. I finally switched these devices to one of my other brand smart plugs.

    Also, I had one go bad after a few months. 
    peterhartJapheywatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 21
    Long term owner of these here. They kind of suck, I wouldn’t buy them again. I’ve had one show up dead. The seller replaced it for me. Then a few months later, another one died.

    The bigger issue for me is that every couple of weeks to months, they stop working, and I have to unplug them for a few seconds and plug it back in to power cycle them. It’s not a huge deal, but the whole point of having a smart plug is to have reliable access to turn them on and off when you’re not in the same room or house, and setting things such as timers.

    maybe I just bought them during a time when they were some bad batches, but I definitely wouldn’t buy this product again.
    Japheywatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 21
    AppleZuluAppleZulu Posts: 1,940member
    tzterri said:
    I own a bunch of these.

    I like that they remember their last power state if the power goes out.

    For the most part, they work well, with one caveat. They leak more current than my other smart plugs so I've had issues with LED panels glowing when off. I tried adding a load capacitor, but that did not help. I finally switched these devices to one of my other brand smart plugs.

    Also, I had one go bad after a few months. 
    That’s concerning. Off should be off, as in no current flowing through the switched outlet at all. 
    gregoriusmStrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 21
    AppleZuluAppleZulu Posts: 1,940member
    Long term owner of these here. They kind of suck, I wouldn’t buy them again. I’ve had one show up dead. The seller replaced it for me. Then a few months later, another one died.

    The bigger issue for me is that every couple of weeks to months, they stop working, and I have to unplug them for a few seconds and plug it back in to power cycle them. It’s not a huge deal, but the whole point of having a smart plug is to have reliable access to turn them on and off when you’re not in the same room or house, and setting things such as timers.

    maybe I just bought them during a time when they were some bad batches, but I definitely wouldn’t buy this product again.
    I eventually ditched a whole load of wemo plugs and switches due to this sort of unreliability. You should first suspect and check your WiFi signal coverage, though. If it’s not that, then I can recommend Leviton plugs and switches. After struggling for a long time to sort out what variables could possibly be causing the wemo devices to randomly drop out, I bit the bullet and removed and replaced them all, and the Leviton devices have been completely stable and reliable. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 21
    Been using the Philips Hue Lighting system and accessories for several years. It is a great system. Periodic app updates, good customer support, reliable products and integrated ecosystem. Works well in the Home app.
    dewmewatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 21
    You have missed the new Meross Smart Wi-Fi Plug Mini that came out in January.  It's Matter compatible and is now a very small square shape.  Comes in a box of two and works great.  Easy to setup.  
    entropysappleinsideruserwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 21
    mike1mike1 Posts: 3,268member
    Why would I buy this over a Wemo that has Thread support?
    They work great, are inexpensive and are easy to set up.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 21
    ...

    The bigger issue for me is that every couple of weeks to months, they stop working, and I have to unplug them for a few seconds and plug it back in to power cycle them. It’s not a huge deal, but the whole point of having a smart plug is to have reliable access to turn them on and off when you’re not in the same room or house, and setting things such as timers.


    I've had the same issue with the outdoor Meross plugs: they stop working after awhile and need to be unplugged/plugged back in.  I am hoping that this has been addressed in the newer versions of the plug as I just ordered the Matter-capable version of the Mini plug.

    Word of warning: don't buy these plugs from the Meross store - what a terrible experience I've had with them: I ordered the Matter Mini plugs (a pair) November 16th.  When the product still hadn't arrived more than a month later, I contacted their customer support and was told that I ordered a "pre-sell" and that I'd get it by end of month (December) or in January.  I had no idea that this was a "pre-sell" when I ordered.  But I waited.  February came and still no plugs.  Contacted them again and was told that due to Covide, there was a delay and they're expected to ship in 3 days.   Who knows when/if they ever arrive.  Anyway, the moral of the story is: don't buy these from Meross directly - get them from Amazon or other place where you have some leverage as a customer.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 21
    Have had one for a year outside in the box that is my landscape lighting controller. Has been just fine. works with HomeKit to turn them on at sunset and off at midnight. I thought the Meross was the cause of a recent failure only to find out that our Xmas light installers had unplugged the landscape lights to plug in the Xmas lights. This after resetting the switch several times and cursing it! 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 21
    AppleZuluAppleZulu Posts: 1,940member
    mike1 said:
    Why would I buy this over a Wemo that has Thread support?
    They work great, are inexpensive and are easy to set up.
    As noted above, at least in my experience, Wemo devices have been disappointingly flaky.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 21
    dewmedewme Posts: 5,264member
    AppleZulu said:
    tzterri said:
    I own a bunch of these.

    I like that they remember their last power state if the power goes out.

    For the most part, they work well, with one caveat. They leak more current than my other smart plugs so I've had issues with LED panels glowing when off. I tried adding a load capacitor, but that did not help. I finally switched these devices to one of my other brand smart plugs.

    Also, I had one go bad after a few months. 
    That’s concerning. Off should be off, as in no current flowing through the switched outlet at all. 
    I’d bet that these use solid state relays which exhibit a certain amount of leakage current as opposed to hard contact or mechanical relays. The product designers will usually incorporate a snubber circuit consisting of a resistor and capacitor in series wired in parallel to the load contacts to compensate for current leakage.

    Unfortunately they cannot select a single set of snubber components that will work for every possible load that can attached to the plug without compromising the operation of the relay. The worst case scenario from a switching standpoint is an electric motor. I’m sure if you attach a motor to the “deactivated” plug it will not work.

    LEDs on the other hand have very small current requirements and they can still emit light at the very low current the snubber circuit allows through. I experienced a total blackout in my neighborhood a couple of weeks ago and my LED nightlights were still glowing faintly for quite a while, until the physical disconnects were opened.

    If you’re concerned about current leakage buy smart plugs that have mechanical relays.
    edited February 2023 watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 21
    ciacia Posts: 243member
    I bought a 4 pack of some no name brand of similar plugs for $15.  Work great and offer the same functionality plus full HomeKit support.  I dunno why you'd spend over $20 for just 2.
  • Reply 13 of 21
    Will manufactures ever change the design?  I own several smart-plugs but the best ones are from iDevices cuz the outlet is on the side.  This prevents cord plugs from sticking way out in tight spaces.
    dewmewelshdogwatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 21
    welshdogwelshdog Posts: 1,894member
    tzterri said:
     They leak more current than my other smart plugs so I've had issues with LED panels glowing when off. I tried adding a load capacitor, but that did not help. I finally switched these devices to one of my other brand smart plugs.

    Do they not use a relay to make and break the circuit? If they are leaking substantial current AND using a relay, that seems crazy bad. 
    edited February 2023 watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 21
    dewmedewme Posts: 5,264member
    welshdog said:
    tzterri said:
     They leak more current than my other smart plugs so I've had issues with LED panels glowing when off. I tried adding a load capacitor, but that did not help. I finally switched these devices to one of my other brand smart plugs.

    Do they not use a relay to make and break the circuit? If they are leaking current AND using a relay, that seems crazy bad. 
    Unless it’s using a solid state relay, which exhibit leakage in the OFF state.

    Just to be clear, the fact that solid state relays leak a very small amount of current in the OFF state is not a negative assessment of their worthiness or quality. It’s simply a characteristic of the technology they use. The leakage is observable in this particular case because LEDs have very low current requirements so you get to observe the leakage in this very specific case.

    Solid state relays have many advantages over mechanical relays (or more accurately described, electromagnetic relays) especially for switching or controlling AC loads, including having no switching latency, no contact wear, no contact arcing, insensitivity to mechanical vibration, and greater operational energy efficiency. The main disadvantages are the leakage, a small load voltage drop (~0.5V to 0.7V) due to the semiconductor junctions, and lower suitability for low voltage applications.
    edited February 2023 appleinsideruserwelshdogwatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 21
    I’ve had 4 uk versions of these for a couple of years. Never had a problem with them. Perhaps others’ issues are provoked by weak/dodgy wireless?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 21
    welshdogwelshdog Posts: 1,894member
    dewme said:
    welshdog said:
    tzterri said:
     They leak more current than my other smart plugs so I've had issues with LED panels glowing when off. I tried adding a load capacitor, but that did not help. I finally switched these devices to one of my other brand smart plugs.

    Do they not use a relay to make and break the circuit? If they are leaking current AND using a relay, that seems crazy bad. 
    Unless it’s using a solid state relay, which exhibit leakage in the OFF state.

    Just to be clear, the fact that solid state relays leak a very small amount of current in the OFF state is not a negative assessment of their worthiness or quality. It’s simply a characteristic of the technology they use. The leakage is observable in this particular case because LEDs have very low current requirements so you get to observe the leakage in this very specific case.

    Solid state relays have many advantages over mechanical relays (or more accurately described, electromagnetic relays) especially for switching or controlling AC loads, including having no switching latency, no contact wear, no contact arcing, insensitivity to mechanical vibration, and greater operational energy efficiency. The main disadvantages are the leakage, a small load voltage drop (~0.5V to 0.7V) due to the semiconductor junctions, and lower suitability for low voltage applications.

    My Meross MSS115s make a clicking sound when they open or close. To me that says relay, but maybe not? I measured 0.5 volts across the terminals when in the off state.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 21
    dewmedewme Posts: 5,264member
    welshdog said:
    dewme said:
    welshdog said:
    tzterri said:
     They leak more current than my other smart plugs so I've had issues with LED panels glowing when off. I tried adding a load capacitor, but that did not help. I finally switched these devices to one of my other brand smart plugs.

    Do they not use a relay to make and break the circuit? If they are leaking current AND using a relay, that seems crazy bad. 
    Unless it’s using a solid state relay, which exhibit leakage in the OFF state.

    Just to be clear, the fact that solid state relays leak a very small amount of current in the OFF state is not a negative assessment of their worthiness or quality. It’s simply a characteristic of the technology they use. The leakage is observable in this particular case because LEDs have very low current requirements so you get to observe the leakage in this very specific case.

    Solid state relays have many advantages over mechanical relays (or more accurately described, electromagnetic relays) especially for switching or controlling AC loads, including having no switching latency, no contact wear, no contact arcing, insensitivity to mechanical vibration, and greater operational energy efficiency. The main disadvantages are the leakage, a small load voltage drop (~0.5V to 0.7V) due to the semiconductor junctions, and lower suitability for low voltage applications.

    My Meross MSS115s make a clicking sound when they open or close. To me that says relay, but maybe not? I measured 0.5 volts across the terminals when in the off state.
    That’s a good observation. The click sound is likely being produced by a second low voltage electromagnetic relay that is used on the activation input to the solid state relay that is used to switch the high voltage high current delivered to the load. 

    This activation input on a solid state relay is functionally equivalent to the solenoid input on an electromagnetic relay.

    The function of relays in general is to use a low voltage low current activation/control input to switch the high voltage high current delivered to a load. 

    A smart plug product contains communication circuitry that takes a digital signal from a wireless network using a bit of circuitry and converts it to an analog electrical signal that is used to set the on/off state of the attached load, be it a light, coffee maker, or whatever. To do this the momentary network signal (or trigger) must somehow be captured and latched (or held) at the desired state long after the smart plug received the trigger signal from the network. Otherwise the sender of the trigger would have to be constantly sending the trigger.

    A relay can be used as part of a circuit for latching an on/off state. The relay contacts from one relay can then be used as the activation input for another relay, this case a solid state relay. Long answer short, there is more than one relay in the smart plug. Since solid state relays aren’t suitable for low voltage applications, like interfacing with communication networks or the momentary action push button on the side of the smart plug, a mechanical relay is used for a part of the overall smart plug product even though the final load control is a solid state relay. 
    edited February 2023 welshdogwatto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 21
    dewme said:
    welshdog said:
    dewme said:
    welshdog said:
    tzterri said:
     They leak more current than my other smart plugs so I've had issues with LED panels glowing when off. I tried adding a load capacitor, but that did not help. I finally switched these devices to one of my other brand smart plugs.

    Do they not use a relay to make and break the circuit? If they are leaking current AND using a relay, that seems crazy bad. 
    Unless it’s using a solid state relay, which exhibit leakage in the OFF state.

    Just to be clear, the fact that solid state relays leak a very small amount of current in the OFF state is not a negative assessment of their worthiness or quality. It’s simply a characteristic of the technology they use. The leakage is observable in this particular case because LEDs have very low current requirements so you get to observe the leakage in this very specific case.

    Solid state relays have many advantages over mechanical relays (or more accurately described, electromagnetic relays) especially for switching or controlling AC loads, including having no switching latency, no contact wear, no contact arcing, insensitivity to mechanical vibration, and greater operational energy efficiency. The main disadvantages are the leakage, a small load voltage drop (~0.5V to 0.7V) due to the semiconductor junctions, and lower suitability for low voltage applications.

    My Meross MSS115s make a clicking sound when they open or close. To me that says relay, but maybe not? I measured 0.5 volts across the terminals when in the off state.
    That’s a good observation. The click sound is likely being produced by a second low voltage electromagnetic relay that is used on the activation input to the solid state relay that is used to switch the high voltage high current delivered to the load. 

    This activation input on a solid state relay is functionally equivalent to the solenoid input on an electromagnetic relay.

    The function of relays in general is to use a low voltage low current activation/control input to switch the high voltage high current delivered to a load. 

    A smart plug product contains communication circuitry that takes a digital signal from a wireless network using a bit of circuitry and converts it to an analog electrical signal that is used to set the on/off state of the attached load, be it a light, coffee maker, or whatever. To do this the momentary network signal (or trigger) must somehow be captured and latched (or held) at the desired state long after the smart plug received the trigger signal from the network. Otherwise the sender of the trigger would have to be constantly sending the trigger.

    A relay can be used as part of a circuit for latching an on/off state. The relay contacts from one relay can then be used as the activation input for another relay, this case a solid state relay. Long answer short, there is more than one relay in the smart plug. Since solid state relays aren’t suitable for low voltage applications, like interfacing with communication networks or the momentary action push button on the side of the smart plug, a mechanical relay is used for a part of the overall smart plug product even though the final load control is a solid state relay. 
    So putting it all together, maybe a low power latching relay (it remembers the state across power loss) driving a SSR (hence the leakage current).
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 21
    dewmedewme Posts: 5,264member
    dewme said:
    welshdog said:
    dewme said:
    welshdog said:
    tzterri said:
     They leak more current than my other smart plugs so I've had issues with LED panels glowing when off. I tried adding a load capacitor, but that did not help. I finally switched these devices to one of my other brand smart plugs.

    Do they not use a relay to make and break the circuit? If they are leaking current AND using a relay, that seems crazy bad. 
    Unless it’s using a solid state relay, which exhibit leakage in the OFF state.

    Just to be clear, the fact that solid state relays leak a very small amount of current in the OFF state is not a negative assessment of their worthiness or quality. It’s simply a characteristic of the technology they use. The leakage is observable in this particular case because LEDs have very low current requirements so you get to observe the leakage in this very specific case.

    Solid state relays have many advantages over mechanical relays (or more accurately described, electromagnetic relays) especially for switching or controlling AC loads, including having no switching latency, no contact wear, no contact arcing, insensitivity to mechanical vibration, and greater operational energy efficiency. The main disadvantages are the leakage, a small load voltage drop (~0.5V to 0.7V) due to the semiconductor junctions, and lower suitability for low voltage applications.

    My Meross MSS115s make a clicking sound when they open or close. To me that says relay, but maybe not? I measured 0.5 volts across the terminals when in the off state.
    That’s a good observation. The click sound is likely being produced by a second low voltage electromagnetic relay that is used on the activation input to the solid state relay that is used to switch the high voltage high current delivered to the load. 

    This activation input on a solid state relay is functionally equivalent to the solenoid input on an electromagnetic relay.

    The function of relays in general is to use a low voltage low current activation/control input to switch the high voltage high current delivered to a load. 

    A smart plug product contains communication circuitry that takes a digital signal from a wireless network using a bit of circuitry and converts it to an analog electrical signal that is used to set the on/off state of the attached load, be it a light, coffee maker, or whatever. To do this the momentary network signal (or trigger) must somehow be captured and latched (or held) at the desired state long after the smart plug received the trigger signal from the network. Otherwise the sender of the trigger would have to be constantly sending the trigger.

    A relay can be used as part of a circuit for latching an on/off state. The relay contacts from one relay can then be used as the activation input for another relay, this case a solid state relay. Long answer short, there is more than one relay in the smart plug. Since solid state relays aren’t suitable for low voltage applications, like interfacing with communication networks or the momentary action push button on the side of the smart plug, a mechanical relay is used for a part of the overall smart plug product even though the final load control is a solid state relay. 
    So putting it all together, maybe a low power latching relay (it remembers the state across power loss) driving a SSR (hence the leakage current).
    Without seeing schematics of a product this arrangement would be one way explain the presence of low voltage low current leakage in an OFF state and the presence of a mechanical click. This high level TI reference design (https://www.ti.com/solution/smart-plug) shows that there is a lot more functionality than simply the relay control, including the wireless interface, state monitoring, load sensing, and even energy monitoring in some implementations. If you dig deeper you’ll find designs where the load relay is a miniature mechanical relay but it’s driven by discrete components that are the same high power electronics (FETs) used inside an SSR. 

    My main point here is that seeing low voltage/current leakage on the output in the OFF state is not an indication of a product failure. It’s also not a big concern when it comes to energy consumption because any smart plug, power strip, or switch type of device will consume energy regardless of whether it’s supplying power to the load. The network interface, sensing circuitry, i.e., being able to tell what state the plug is in from your smartphone or computer, status lights, etc., are always consuming energy and always ON.
    appleinsideruserwatto_cobra
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