Koogeek is a relative newcomer to the home automation market, first coming to our attention a couple of years ago with its Wi-Fi SmartPlug, which demonstrated the ability of Apple’s HomeKit to act as a “seal of approval” for smaller manufacturers whose products wouldn’t otherwise be worth a second look. Although Koogeek produced competent products as early entries, the pricing and features didn’t really make them stand out from other HomeKit offerings. The company’s latest product, however, piqued our interest as something more unique — a HomeKit-enabled power strip that provides three independently-controlled AC outlets plus three USB charging ports.
Koogeek oddly names this product the “Wi-Fi Enabled Smart Outlet” which belies the fact that it actually includes three outlets, arranged in a power strip configuration. The design itself is relatively unremarkable; it includes a five-foot power cord and is slightly larger than a typical “dumb” three-outlet power strip would be, but not excessively so in our opinion, particularly considering that it packs in Wi-Fi HomeKit support and USB charging ports as well.
Unlike most power strips, each AC outlet here is independently controllable using a corresponding push button above each. Individual LEDs are also includes to allow you to see which plugs are active. On the other hand, the three USB ports are always active, and provide 4.1 amps of charging power across all three of them — 2.1 amps on the single “iPad” port and one amp on each of the other two ports, labelled “iPhone/iPod.” Of course, despite the Apple-centric labels, the ports can be used to charge or power any USB device.
Setting up the power strip to work with HomeKit works the same as for any other HomeKit device, except that you’ll actually get three outlets appearing in your Home app as part of the deal — one for each outlet on the power strip. As far as HomeKit is concerned, these are mostly independent outlets, and although all three have to be assigned to the same room, you can otherwise interact with them in the same way as you would any other HomeKit smart plugs, creating automation rules, turning them on and off separately, and even assigning them each to different roles — Outlet, Light, or Fan — depending on what you plan to plug into them. This feature is particularly useful for using Siri voice control, as an outlet set to “Light” will be included in commands to “turn off the lights” in a room, for instance.
Apple’s Home app or just about any third-party HomeKit app can be used to set up and control the Koogeek power strip, but Koogeek also provides its own app that’s necessary for installing firmware updates, and also adds the ability to monitor power consumption, although unfortunately this isn’t available on a per-outlet basis; power consumption is reported as a total of all of the power being drawn across all of the outlets. You can also use the Koogeek app to create basic on/off schedules for each outlet apart from HomeKit that are stored and run directly in the power strip itself, which can be useful if you want to run schedules when away from home but don’t have an Apple TV or iPad to act as a home hub. While it’s outside the scope of this review, it’s worth mentioning that Koogeek also includes Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant support, which can be configured from within the Koogeek app.
Unlike the company’s earlier HomeKit products, Koogeek’s power strip fills a nice niche in the HomeKit ecosystem and does it at a very reasonable price — consider that you’re getting three independently controllable smart outlets for not much more than most single-outlet solutions. While Koogeek is obviously able to leverage a single set of Wi-Fi and HomeKit hardware here, they still deserve credit for keeping the price reasonable rather than trying to charge on a per-outlet basis like others have tried to do. Although there’s still a little bit of room for improvement — we would have liked to see all three USB ports offering full power, for instance — we still really like what Koogeek has done here in creating a HomeKit power outlet solution that’s both affordable and versatile.
Company and Price
Model: O1US Outlet