Krzysztof is a lifelong future tech junkie investigating the latest stories from companies like Apple, Samsung, Google, and Amazon.
The Oittm Smart Plug Mini
Oittm's Mini Smart Plug is a $19.99 smart plug (2 for $34.99) that can monitor your devices' energy usage and turn on/off products via Amazon's Alexa and the Google Assistant.
Additionally it can be remotely programmed, from the Smart Life app, to go on/off at whatever time you select plus it doesn't require a hub to function.
It's a great device for those new to the smart home, and it's an excellent companion piece to the Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, Google Home, and Google Home Mini.
But is it the best smart plug?
Well you'll have to read more to find out.
Power Input: AC 110-125V, 50/60 Hz, 15A
Rated Power: 1875W
WiFi Type: 2.4GHz
Wireless Standard: IEE802.1b/G/N
Weight: 4 oz.
Dimensions: 2.67" x 1.25" x 1.52" (inch)
Remote Control: Smartphone/Tablet App - Compatible with Android 4.1+ and iOS 8.0+
How to Set Up Mini Smart Plug
Before you can pair the mini plug with Alexa or Google, you'll have to download the Smart Life app (blue with house frame logo) to get started.
The Smart Life app is available for Android and iOS.
After you install the app and plug in the product, create a new account, hit the + button to add a new device, and select "electrical outlet".
To begin pairing, hold the button on the mini plug for 5 seconds to enter pairing mode (red indicator light will flash) and confirm that the indicator light is rapidly blinking.
You'll be prompted to enter your WiFi login (only supports 2.4GHz WiFi channels) before the device can connect to your router.
The light should turn a solid white when the device is connected/turned on. If done correctly, you should be able to manually control your smart plug from the Smart Life app.
How to Pair With Amazon Alexa
Before you begin, please make sure you have an Amazon.com account (will be used to log into Alexa app).
Follow these steps to pair your Oittm plug with Alexa:
- Open the Alexa app, and if you have a connected Alexa device, locate the skills menu, search for the "Smart Life" skill, and enable it.
- When you enable Smart Life, you'll be asked to enter your login information. (Note: the login must match the one you used in the Smart Life app)
- Once linked successfully, ask Alexa to discover your devices (the process should take 20 seconds).
- Upon discovery, you should find your mini plug in the smart home tab of your Alexa app. If you'd like, you can change the device name and/or place it into a smart home group (for multiple smart control).
- To control, just say "Alexa, turn on/off the (enter the name here)" and she should be able to do so. If there are any issues, tell her to rediscover your devices. You can also unlink/link your Smart Life account or delete the account/s altogether and try again.
How to Pair With the Google Assistant
Follow these steps to connect the mini plug to the Google Home:
- Open the Google Home app and go to the Home tab.
- Click on Add button and hit "set up device"
- Tap the "works with google" section and scroll down to find the Smart Life skill
- Type-in your login information to link the accounts. You may have to unlink/link your account twice before the Assistant picks it up.
- To control the mini plug, first say "Ok Google, talk to Smart Life" and then issue your command. You can say stop, exit or cancel to exit the skill.
- You may customize the device name within the Home tab. To rename, click on a smart product and select nickname to change it.
- You can also assign the smart mini plug to a room for multi-room control.
How to Use With IFTTT
If you don't have a voice assistant or would rather not bother with voice control setup, then you can create your own customized actions.
IFTTT control lets you create custom or built-in commands for hundreds of different apps and smart skills.
Follow these steps to get started:
- Go to the IFTTT website or download the IFTTT app.
- Search for "Smart Life", tap connect, and add your login info to link your account.
- On the Smart Life service page, you can choose from multiple commands (called applets) to program your device/s. You can also select "My applets" and then "New Applet" to create your own commands.
- To create a command, tap "this" to choose your trigger and then tap "that" to choose an action. You can search for "smart life" to choose a Smart Life action.
- Your finished applet will be placed under "My applets", which you can always change, turn off or delete.
You can only use Smart Life as an action, not a trigger.
Through IFTTT your smart plugs can be programmed to turn on when the sun sets, turn off when it rises, or even shut off when you leave your home.
There are endless possibilities, and IFTTT is a good way to get creative while staying practical.
As a techie, I was pleasantly surprised with how easy the plugs were to set up, and I think people who are technically challenged will appreciate the simplicity.
Yet there's still so much more to these plugs that everyone will love.
5 Best Features
- Compact & Safe Design
- Energy Monitoring
- Hands-free Voice Control (No Hub Required)
- Remote Control With App
- Auto-scheduling (IFTTT)
Compact & Safe Design
The best thing about this mini plug is that it's a "mini" smart plug. The product only occupies one socket, which saves a ton of space and makes it easier to introduce additional smart accessories.
The item is also made from high-quality flame retardant material that provides overload protection and keeps fires away. I was particularly impressed by how sturdy, stable, and well crafted the plug was.
The smart plug comes with energy monitoring that you can track on the Smart Life app.
This bonus feature is a great way to save money on your electrical bills because you'll always know just how much power your equipment puts out.
Hands-free Voice Control (No Hub Required)
As someone who owns both a Google Home and an Echo, I was happy to see it supported both. I felt that the setup was easy to follow (especially for Alexa), and I didn't have to purchase a separate hub for the plug to work.
The voice controls worked really well, and they made things more convenient vs. having to use the app.
Remote Control With App
Since I don't take my Echos with me when I travel, I was grateful that I could turn on/off my devices when away from home.
With remote control, you never have to be present to control your plugs and it's the best way to assure everything is safely turned on/off.
As I've mentioned previously, you can use IFTTT to create specific commands for your plugs, but the Smart Life app has its own settings that you may also use for timed controls.
The timer settings work really well when you have to get up or go to bed, and they may add security layers to your home. Many smart plug owners use set timers to keep intruders away.
There are other things you can use these features for (Christmas lights, Halloween, etc.), and they're an efficient way to smarten-up your existing products.
Unfortunately it's not a perfect product, and there are some missteps that consumers need to be aware of including one potential deal breaker.
4 Worst Features
- Google Assistant Voice Control
- Oittm Is a Lesser Known Brand
- Not Compatible With 5GHz Networks
- No Apple HomeKit Support
Google Assistant Voice Control
Although the Oittm Mini Smart Plug is compatible with the Google Assistant, the voice control feature seems a bit convoluted.
Unlike Alexa, you must tell your Assistant to wake up Smart Life before it can control the plugs, and you have to say "exit or cancel" to get out of it. To me that felt unnecessary and it just showed how much more competent Alexa was with smart home controls.
Oittm Is a Lesser Known Brand
As much as I've enjoyed Oittm products, they aren't as well known as say a Wemo device. And while that may not be a problem for most people, lesser known brands can definitely cause some shopper anxiety.
However, I can say with certainty that Oittm is legit and their products have been very well put together.
In fact I would choose Oittm's plug over Wemo's because it's cheaper and has a more durable design.
Not Compatible With 5GHz Networks
Right now the mini plug only supports 2.4GHz networks, which is something techies need to be aware of.
If you use dual networks, make sure to use the lower standard otherwise the plug won't connect to your router.
No Apple HomeKit Support
This may be the deal breaker for many Apple fans. As of now, there's no support for HomeKit, and I don't know when/if it'll ever get it.
If you're an Apple HomeKit user, then I'd recommend looking into the Wemo Mini smart plugs as they're expected to get software support without the need for a hub or authentication chip.
I've been very happy with the Oittm Smart Plug Mini so far, and my only issue has been with the Google Assistant's voice integration.
That's why I would award Oittm's smart product 4 out of 5 stars.
To be honest, I would've given it 5 stars, but I can't ignore the exclusions. I think some consumers will take issue with the lack of 5GHz network support, the Google Assistant controls, and the lack of HomeKit support.
How It Compares to Other Smart Plugs
Like I stated, its closest competitor is the Wemo Mini ($29-30), which is far better known but not necessarily superior. It's more expensive than Oittm yet with HomeKit support, it may be a better option for some.
Probably the next best thing would be TP-Link's Kasa mini plugs ($24.99), which have rapidly grown in popularity. I've always been a fan of TP-Link, and I believe they're a great alternative if you're looking for cheap, mini smart plugs.
Beyond that there are numerous third-party options, but I'd be careful before jumping in. Please do your research, look at reviews, and don't shop blindly.
Mini smart plugs have quickly emerged as a top smart home category, and if future products are anything like the Oittm Smart Plug Mini, then they'll be around for years to come.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
Krzysztof Willman (author) from Parlin, New Jersey on July 30, 2018:
Thank you, my own thoughts on the smart home have really changed over the last few years. At first they felt like niche, novelty items but as the prices drop and their functionality increases, they've become a lot more compelling.
Your thoughts are the same as mine, it could mimic an expensive security system without you having to install one.
And I'm sure cats would appreciate the gesture, they do own us after all.
FlourishAnyway from USA on July 27, 2018:
Reading your articles makes me think I may need to go the route of a SmartHome. This device was particularly compelling to me, as it offers an opportunity to protect your home when you’re vacationing or otherwise away by turning on lights so it appears someone is home. Plus you never know, the cats may need to watch tv for companionship while their people are away.