For most people, we believe the Currant WiFi Outlet offers everything you need from a smart plug. It has two independently controlled outlets, it can monitor the energy usage of each one of those outlets, the plug itself is pointed to the side to accommodate cramped spaces, and you can orient the plug in either direction depending on the situation. If you're looking at a smart plug in order to limit your energy consumption, you can even police yourself by having the plug automatically turn off an appliance for the day once it has consumed a set amount of electricity. Possibly most importantly, its setup process is much simpler and more streamlined than most of its competitors. Really the only knock we have against this plug is its lack of Apple HomeKit and IFTTT compatibility.
Currant WiFi Outlet Review
Pros: Quick setup, intuitive app, reliable and responsive, energy monitoring, 2 independent ports
Cons: No Apple HomeKit or IFTTT support, can be a bit pricey
Our Analysis and Test Results
With a slew of useful features and a simplistic setup process at a reasonable price, the Currant WiFi Outlet is our top recommendation for most people.
Ease of Setup
This is where the Currant truly won our hearts. Upon downloading its corresponding app (and assuming you already have the Facebook app on your phone) you can sign in at the push of a touchscreen using your Facebook credentials. If you'd feel more secure you also have the option of creating a brand new Currant account with its own login. However, in an age where it seems you can rack up usernames and passwords at an exponential rate, we liked having the option of using an existing account. Upon creating an account your plug is automatically discovered, you just have to type in your WiFi password and you're good to go.
Once you get the app sorted, connecting to a smart home manager/virtual assistant is a standard process. If you use Alexa devices, however, there is a quick start option that can get the plug recognized by Alexa without enabling any skills or otherwise fussing with settings (doesn't sound like a big deal, but sometimes it's the little things in life that make you happy).
Though the Currant is a bit thicker than some other smart plugs, its outlets point to the side. Therefore its profile with an appliance plugged in is much thinner than plugs whose outlets are on the front face of the device. This is great if you're looking to utilize an outlet that is hidden behind a desk, table, or entertainment center. You can also flip the plug 180˚, allowing the outlets to point either to the right or left as the situation dictates.
Smart Home and Voice Assistant Compatibility
The Currant Is compatible with both Alexa and Google Home, which likely covers most smart home aficionados. However, it is not compatible with Apple HomeKit, so those looking to center their smart lives around iOS are out of luck. Also, somewhat surprisingly, this plug doesn't support If This Then That (IFTTT) applets, which allow for creating cross-platform presets (ie. if I turn on my smart TV, have the plug turn off the lights in the living room).
Reliability and Responsiveness
If the Currant's sleek setup process spurred our initial attraction to the plug, this is where we fell in love. Whenever we cut out the WiFi, power, or both, upon turning everything back on this plug almost instantly snapped back to attention and became responsive. We also found nearly zero lag time between manually turning the plug on and off with our phones and the corresponding appliances actually responding.
The Currant is geared towards saving electricity. It offers energy monitoring, allowing you to identify which are dreaded "energy vampires" that suck up a lot of juice whilst in standby mode. You can also track the efficiency of an appliance over time, which can indicate when it might be time for some repairs or maintenance. The Currant will even suggest on/off schedules to you based on your average usage of each outlet. You can then implement those schedules at the push of a button, ensuring you'll never forget to turn off the lights again.
The Currant WiFi Outlet's price is certainly on the higher side, but you get two independently controlled outlets and a bevy of features like energy usage monitoring. All told, we think the Currant packs in a good amount of performance for the price.
For anyone that likes the idea of turning one dumb outlet into 2 smart ones, or that would like to monitor the energy usage of their appliances, the Currant WiFi Outlet is our top recommendation.
— Max Mutter and Michelle Powell
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