Koogeek's inexpensive Wi-Fi Smart Plug: HomeKit compatible and great-looking

Today I'm taking a look at a serious product from a company with a lighthearted name: Koogeek. The product is the Koogeek Wi-Fi Smart Plug ($34.99 at Amazon, affiliate link), and it's a HomeKit-compatible smart plug that can be used to control lights or appliances up to 1800W from anywhere.

Design

The Koogeek Wi-Fi Smart Plug uses the common design for a lot of smart plugs -- it plugs into an existing wall socket, adding another wall socket that's controllable via the Koogeek app or Apple's Home app. 

Some of the many smart plugs I've tested are just plain ugly, so I was glad to see that the Koogeek plug was actually quite attractive. It's a roughly square shape, with nice rounded corners. Probably the only negative about the design is that it can block the other outlet in a standard dual-outlet setup (see image below); I was able to plug a regular non-grounded cord into the second outlet but some larger cords might interfere.

There's a large power on/off button on top of the unit, and the standard HomeKit identifier label is on the bottom of the unit.

Function

One feature of all HomeKit-compatible devices is easy setup, and the Koogeek Wi-Fi Smart Plug is no exception. From the second I opened the box to having the plug under control of the Apple Home app took less than a minute. Setup is dead simple; you just plug in smart plug, open the Home app (or the proprietary Koogeek app) and tap on "add an accessory", wait for the device to show up, then tap on it. Point the iPhone camera at the HomeKit label on the device, and seconds later it's on your Wi-Fi network. 

The Koogeek Wi-Fi Smart Plug only works on 2.4GHz Wi-Fi networks, so you'll want to make sure that your Wi-Fi hotspot supports both 2.4 and 5Ghz bands. I found that for some reason, the Koogeek Wi-Fi Smart Plug was not only the fastest smart plug in terms of how quickly it showed up on the Home app discovery list, but it also paired to the network much faster.

The Koogeek Wi-Fi Smart Plug can be used in all of the usual ways that other home automation devices can when controlled from the Home app, and that includes using Siri for control. The Koogeek Home app (free, see gallery below) shares data from the Apple Home app and has a few features that are unique, like pre-set scenes (I'm leaving, I'm home, Good night, Good morning). It's a rather plain app, however, and I'd recommend just using the Apple Home app unless you need more information from the plug.

The Koogeek Wi-Fi Smart Plug can also be used to monitor electrical usage, with the app providing a graph of power usage by month. That app also has an Apple Watch companion, although in over a day and a half it never progressed past showing a display of dots... I was able to control the plug with a competing product's Watch app with no issues.

The manufacturer sells these plugs in quantities of 1, 2 and 4, making it a great pick for outfitting a home with controllable room lamps and appliances at a bargain price. 

Conclusion

I was quite impressed with the Koogeek Wi-Fi Smart Plug, and the price is definitely attractive. My only minor complaint is that the "square" design of the plug can make it difficult to share a two-plug outlet with another cord -- other smart plugs are designed to be wider and less high to prevent this type of interference. Other than that, I'd highly recommend the Koogeek brand to anyone who is thinking of setting up home automation.

Apple World Today Rating (out of 5 stars): ★★★★