Design and usage often battle it seems. I like to think I’m good at picking stuff out that looks great and works well, but every time I do my wife shows me that she can go the extra mile and make it look better while almost retaining the functionality. “Almost” being the important word here. As I wrote in a previous review, my wife and I purchased Lutron Caseta table lamp dimmers, however because of the style of bulb she absolutely had to have (Edison Style Filament) the dimmers wouldn’t turn the table lamps off completely, since they don’t cut all power. If only there were a solution…Ah young padawans, there is. Behold the smart plug. Jokes aside, I decided to buy one and check it out and got a great deal on the Koogeek PM1.
My first impressions of the packaging were good; The box was Satiny, like a Victoria’s Secret catalog “wink wink nudge nudge” – probably just as expensive too! Koogeek is a company that I think tries to externalize it’s intelligence, in that the packaging for their products, even if they have similar “types” of customers, lets them know up front the information they need to know. So not only is the packaging stylish it gives a decent amount of technical information such as electrical requirements, for example what apps or platforms you must be using to warrant the purchase of the product. This isn’t that common, especially at this price point. Since they are aware of the customer who is buying the device, the HomeKit code is both on the item and in the box as well. I was not unhappy with that. The device also looked pretty elegant though my first impressions had me worried about the size.
Setup was pretty simple on the tech side, but a little odd on the non tech side. I handed it to my wife to plug in to her surge protector, which is on her side of the couch. She couldn’t get the plug in all the way and put a bunch of force on it. I explained to her you have to jiggle it and not force it if your surge protector has the two different sized holes for the power plugs. After that, the setup is as you would expect in the Home app, if not even quicker than usual. Scan the code – pick a room – name it as you please and bask in the glory of another finely added product (cue violins playing music from some 80s movie where the protagonist just won the day, or the girl, or maybe it’s a religious movie and something good happened or something – I don’t do the music part guys).
I’ve always said size doesn’t matter, but then my psychiatrist tells me I’ve been lying to myself my whole life. In other news – smart plug news that is – size is a huge deal (Huge get it?!). Because of that, I tried this plug out in a few scenarios. Will it work in a two port standard US wall with another plug. Will it work with another “wallwart” etc? The answer: Yes and no. It will work in most plugs with a two prong plug above it, however it will be tight and chances are the physical power button will be blocked. If your plug is small but a “wallwart” and two prong, you are good to go. If your plug is three prong or anything not close to a small “wallwart”, you really aren’t going to have much luck.
In terms of how the plug behaves with HomeKit and Siri it’s pretty much as you would expect, via voice control and touch/computer control in the Home app. Koogeek do also provide their own app of course, but I’ll admit I deleted it almost immediately after seeing it. Your mileage may vary with the Koogeek app, but I wasn’t a fan. This thing works great with automations in the home app. It never lags, and it’s not one for guzzling wi-fi (as it is a wi-fi device) data. as it throttles down to 1mb per second. It’s connection – even far from either the signal or the hub – is solid.
I think it’s a great device for what it does. It’s not too big, it’s not too small, it works fast and reliably. I have two other products from Koogeek and they work pretty well too. My only complaint would be that it would be nice if they could have got it just a touch smaller. Aside from that, it’s a great product.