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Koogeek Wi-Fi Enabled Smart Plug

Wi-Fi Enabled Smart Plug
At a glance
ProductKoogeek Wi-Fi Enabled Smart Plug (P1)   [Website]
SummaryHomeKit compatible single outlet smart outlet
Pros• Supports loads up to 15A (1800W)
• Scenes created by other manufacturer's software execute properly
Cons• Partially blocks the second socket of a duplex socket
• No support for zones
• Can create timer events only for Koogeek P1
• No support for events
• Does not see rules created by other manufacturers
• Provides only daily summary of power used
• Can't export data

Typical Price: $30  Buy From Amazon

The Koogeek Wi-Fi Enabled Smart Plug P1 is approximately the same size as the eve Energy Smart Plug. It features a single outlet and, like the other products in this roundup, can support loads up to 15A (1800W). The on/off switch is located on the top of the Koogeek P1. A single multi-color LED lights up behind the second "e" in the company logo. Unlike, the eve Energy, the AC power plug is centered on the back of the device, so when plugged into a duplex socket, it partially blocks the second socket.

The Koogeek P1 was the third product that I installed. The setup process is supposed to be the same as the eve Energy, but I ran into a little problem. Rather than being connected to my home Wi-Fi network, my iPad had associated with another wireless network, so the installation failed. I reconnected to my home Wi-Fi network and reset the Koogeek P1 and tried to re-install it. It failed with an error message that said Adding Failed. Could not connect to accessory. I tried the reset/re-installation process several more times and still the installation failed. Finally, I wiped the HomeKit database and reinstalled all three products without incident. In addition, I also reinstalled the iHome ISP5. It's only a guess, but perhaps the HomeKit database got corrupted by the failed installation.

The software for the Koogeek P1 has the fewest features of the three products in this review. When you launch the program, you land on the accessory page shown below. Each HomeKit accessory is displayed by room using its Siri Name. While the software recognizes rooms and allows you to create rooms, I didn't find any support in the product for Zones. Previously setup Zones didn't appear within the software.

From this screen, you can turn on/off any of the installed HomeKit accessories. Note, however, that the Koogeek P1 didn't find the second outlet (Outlet Two) on the ConnectSense Smart Plug.

Koogeek P1 Landing page

Koogeek P1 Landing page

It didn't seem obvious, but if you place your finger to the left of the on/off toggle for an accessory and drag left, you have the option to edit the Siri name or to delete the accessory. However, the software is already displaying the Siri name, and the program defaults to the device hardware name. I clicked OK in the screenshot below, and the name for the accessory didn't change. Siri still responded to "Turn off Koogeek Outlet". By tapping the horizontal arrows, you can change room assignments or create a new room.

Koogeek P1 Edit Accessory

Koogeek P1 Edit Accessory

If you tap on an accessory, you'll get a detailed page as shown below. At the top of the screen, there's an attractive toggle switch that allows you to turn on/off the device. In the details, you can see a bar graph showing the power consumed for the month of October. The current power load is 18W.

Koogeek P1 Outlet Detail

Koogeek P1 Outlet Detail

If you tap on the October bar in the chart, you'll get another graph along with a chart that details daily usage. Unfortunately, this data can't be exported.

Koogeek P1 Daily power usage

Koogeek P1 Daily power usage

The Koogeek P1 doesn't handle rules or timers like the other two products. Whereas each of the other two products recognized the rules created in other manufacturer's products, the Koogeek didn't see any of those rules. In the other products, timers and rules executed an action when the trigger conditions were met. And, of course, those scenes could include any of the installed HomeKit devices. For the Koogeek P1, all you can do is set a simple timer with a start and stop time and select the days of the week to repeat. You can set up to eight timers, but the timers only turn on or off the Koogeek accessory, and don't execute scenes. The timers set up for the Koogeek do not appear in the other two product's list of rules or events. However, each of the rules/events created in either the ConnectSense Smart plug software or the eve Energy software showed up in the other's software and was editable in both.

The template for the outlet detail in the screen shown above appears for each of the installed HomeKit devices on their corresponding detail page. While the power switch works for the other manufacturer's devices, the Koogeek P1 software didn't read the power consumption in either the ConnectSense or the eve Energy products. The bar chart was empty, and the setting timeroption for non-Koogeek products was disabled.

For the most part, the scene function worked in the Koogeek P1 as it did for the other two products. You could add a scene, as well as edit or delete any scene created by any of the two other products. Interestingly, when creating a scene in the Koogeek P1 software, the ConnectSense Outlet Two, which didn't appear on the Accessory page, was available as a HomeKit device to select. I could also edit the ConnectSense-created scene shown below.

Koogeek P1 Edit Scene created by ConnectSense

Koogeek P1 Edit Scene created by ConnectSense

Closing Thoughts

So, which one to buy? All three products perform their basic function, controlling power to a device plugged into them, just fine. The difference is in power monitoring and how good a job the app does as an overall HomeKit controller—at least for outlets. Let's look at the apps first.

eve Energy is my #1 pick. It had the most fully-featured app, was easiest to use, had the most attractive user interface and best power monitoring features. All of the power information you could possibly want was available, and you can drill down to detailed records in 10-minute increments. Best of all, you can export consumption usage into a CSV file.

The eve Energy is also the only product in this roundup that supports estimating energy costs. In fact, the eve Energy software also did a better job of reading the ConnectSense power registers than the ConnectSense application. The Koogeek P1 application did a fair job of reporting monthly and daily power usage but lacked the ability to export it. Of the three products, the ConnectSense's power monitoring capabilities in iOS 9.x were the weakest showing only current power usage, average power usage and time on or off. However, I expect we'll see that ConnectSense improves power monitoring in the iOS 10 release.

The ConnectSense's app came in second. The app had plenty of features, but was somewhat awkward to use. For example, the Home menu showed only the device name, and not the Siri name. In Scenes, once you created a Scene, you are stuck with it. I didn't find a way to delete a Scene. In the Device menu, again, the Siri names were not used on the top level. Nor could you control other manufacturer's smart plugs without drilling down one additional level. There was no single place where you could see the status of all of your HomeKit devices at a glance. In the Rules menu, once you created a rule, you couldn't delete it. For an event- based rule, I discovered that once I specified a solar event as a constraint, there wasn't a way to delete it as a constraint. I realize that many of these UI complaints are "nits" and may have already been fixed in iOS 10 or may not exist in the Apple Home app.

This leaves the Koogeek P1 app in third place. I'm not sure what HomeKit's requires for an app's ability to control other devices. But the Koogeek implementation was so bare bones that I suspect that it may not have met all of the standards. Every HomeKit device I've seen supports Zones, but there didn't appear to be zone support in the Koogeek software. Similarly, for simple timer rules, every other HomeKit device followed the format: If "trigger time", then execute scene(s). Koogeek's event timer only controlled its own device and didn't recognize rules created by the other to applications. Similarly, Koogeek's simple timer rules didn't appear to update the HomeKit database as neither of the other two products was aware of the Koogeek timer rules. Both the eve Energy and ConnectSense devices support conditional events and are able to read/edit rules created by the other's software. There was no event support in the Koogeek application.

For the overall buy decision, the ConnectSense is the best value at $30 per controlled outlet, but both outlets are physically co-located. The Koogeek WiFi Smart Plug is the next best value at $35. Although I liked its app the least, it should be fine if your requirements are simple and you don't have other HomeKit devices to control.

This leaves the Elgato eve Energy as the most expensive, but also the most fully featured choice. It's what I would choose if you are stuck in the iOS 9.3.5 world because Apple orphaned your old device and you can't (or don't want to) upgrade to iOS 10. The software is the best HomeKit software I've seen so far and its power monitoring capabilities blow away the other two products'. In fact, even if you decide to buy the ConnectSense or Koogeek, you might download and try the eve Energy software anyway.

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