The newest addition to Belkin’s family of smart home devices, the Wemo Mini Smart Plug ($34.99) is a Wi-Fi-enabled switch that lets you control things like lamps, tabletop fans, coffee makers, and other small appliances, using your Android or iOS mobile device. It supports Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant voice commands, and offers hourly, daily, and weekly scheduling. But as with all Wemo products, it does not support Apple HomeKit. It also lacks the energy reporting capabilities that you get with its older sibling and our reigning Editors’ Choice, the Wemo Insight Switch.
Design and App
At 1.4 by 3.8 by 2.4 inches (HWD), the Mini Smart Plug isn’t all that mini. In fact, it’s a tad wider than the Zuli Smart Plug (1.4 by 1.6 by 2.7 inches) and the wall switch in the iDevices Smart Home Essentials Kit (1.5 by 2.7 by 1.6 inches), but it’s small enough that you can fit two of them together in a two-socket outlet. The switch sports a glossy white finish and has a three-prong outlet on its face, along with an on/off button and a tiny LED indicator that blinks white and amber during setup and glows a steady white when the switch is on. Around back is a three-prong plug.
The Mini uses the same Android and iOS app as other Wemo devices including the Wemo Insight Switch, the Wemo LED Lighting Starter Set, the Wemo Light Switch, and the Crock-Pot Smart Slow Cooker with Wemo. The app opens to a home page that displays a list of all installed Wemo devices and their status (on, off, not detected). The Mini has a button that lets you turn the switch on and off from within the app. In the top right corner of the page is a pencil icon that allows you to reset devices and edit the names and pictures that identify each one. At the bottom of the page are buttons for Rules, More, and Devices.
The Rules page is where you go to set up schedules for the switch, configure the timer, and set up an Away Mode, which turns devices such as lamps on and off at different times to make it look as if someone is home. You can schedule the Mini to turn on or off at specific times and on specific days, or you can have it turn on and off when the sun rises and sets. The More button takes you to a page with settings that allow you to enable/disable Remote Access and set the switch up for use with If This Then That (IFTTT) recipes.
If you have a Nest Learning Thermostat, you can configure the Mini to do things like turn off connected lamps when the thermostat is in Away mode, or turn them on when you arrive home. You can also adjust basic Nest settings without leaving the Wemo app. If you have an Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, or Tap, you can turn the plug on and off using Alexa voice commands. Similarly, you can use Google Assistant if you have a Google Home.
In the More section of the app you’ll find setup instructions for adding new Wemo devices, and a link to the Wemo Community website. But you won’t find anything about energy usage. The Mini lacks the energy consumption monitoring capabilities that you get with other switches like the mydlink Wi-Fi Smart Plug, the iDevices wall switch, the Zuli Smart Plug, and the Wemo Insight Switch. And as mentioned earlier, Wemo devices don’t work with Apple HomeKit, so you can’t use Siri.
Installation and Performance
The Mini Smart Plug connects directly to your Wi-Fi network and doesn’t require a home automation hub. To install it, download the app, plug the switch into a wall outlet, go to your phone’s Wi-Fi settings, and connect to the Mini’s SSID. When you open the app, a setup screen will launch and ask you to name the switch and if you want the app to remember your Wi-Fi settings. After about 30 seconds, the Mini will appear on the device list.
In my tests the Mini Smart Plug performed flawlessly. It responded instantly to on and off commands using the app, and followed my schedule without issue. I created a rule to have the Mini turn off at sunrise and on at sunset and it never missed a beat. I also created two IFTTT applets; I had the plug turn on when an Arlo Pro camera detected motion, and also when a Kevo Touch-to-Open Smart Lock was opened. Both recipes worked perfectly.
The Belkin Wemo Mini Smart Plug provides an easy way to convert lamps and other small appliances into smart devices that you can control from your smartphone. It offers plenty of scheduling options, supports IFTTT recipes, and voice commands with Alexa and Google Assistant. It’s also a breeze to install and performed wonderfully in testing. That said, for an additional $15, the Wemo Insight Switch does everything the Mini does, and gives you daily and monthly energy usage and cost reports. As such, it remains our Editors’ Choice for smart power outlets.