SwitchBot Plug Mini Review for HomeKit

For those new to smart home automation, there is no easier way to get started than with a smart outlet adapter. When I got my first smart home product in 2013, the Belkin Wemo for my Christmas tree was the first product I used. Today, smart outlets remain the best use case for entry-level uses, but they are becoming much more reliable and smaller. I recently tried the brand new SwitchBot Plug Mini with HomeKit support.

HomeKit Weekly is a series focused on smart home accessories, automation tips and tricks, and everything related to Apple’s smart home framework.


I discovered SwitchBot at the end of 2021 (wow, that was seven months ago)! While many of the products I tried weren’t natively compatible with HomeKit, I was able to hook them up using HOOBS. Even without HomeKit support, SwitchBot makes some unique products at affordable prices.

The SwitchBot has now entered the market with its first HomeKit with the new SwitchBot Plug Mini. Smart port adapters are incredibly versatile products. You can use them with lights, coffee makers, electronics you want to turn back on, white noise machines, or just generally anything you want to keep track of your daily energy usage. There are a lot of great products on the market, so SwitchBot is entering a crowded field.

Add SwitchBot Plug Mini to HomeKit

Adding products to HomeKit should always be as simple as a plug-in, scanning the code in the Home app, then configuring the automation. SwitchBot has successfully executed. One detail I appreciate is that the HomeKit icon is on the top of the device. If for some reason you need to plug it upside down, the SwitchBot includes the code on a piece of paper in the box as well. I always recommend HomePass for HomeKit as a way to backup HomeKit codes as well.

Regardless of whether you’re using the iOS 16 beta with the overhauled Home app or the iOS 15 build, it’s the same process. Scan the code, choose a room, and configure the type of plug (light, fan, or outlet).

There isn’t much that devices can do to differentiate themselves when they want to work directly in HomeKit. They will compete on price and reliability. The only downside I can find with the SwitchBot Plug Mini is that it’s 2.4GHz for Wi-Fi only. While this is very common for devices at this price point, I’d like to see a move to where 5GHz is the default at some point.

Summary

The SwitchBot Plug Mini is great for turning a “dumb bulb” into a HomeKit-enabled lamp. One aspect I appreciate about this device that others often forget – a manual button on the side if you need to turn it off/on without your iPhone or use Siri if you pair it with a HomeKit motion sensor you can easily create an automation to turn off the lights when it stops being detected Movement in the evening. Even without a motion sensor, HomeKit automation can be designed to automatically turn lights off and on at a preset time. With the first HomeKit product, SwitchBot is off to a great start. I hope they continue to release original HomeKit products.

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