Smart plugs are designed to make it easy to turn an everyday appliance, like a table lamp, into something that you can control with your smartphone or other smart home devices. iHome's ISP6X, one of the best smart plugs on the market, does all this well, and for less than $30. In addition to working with Alexa and Google Assistant, among others, it's also one of the few plugs that we've included in our roundup of best Apple HomeKit products.
iHome's plug has a white face with gray sides; on the left side of the plug is a button to turn whatever's connected to the plug on or off. Next to the button are tiny status lights for power and Wi-Fi connectivity. Overall, it's not as sleek as the WeMo Mini, but then again, I don't plan on spending much time staring at an outlet.
Measuring 2.8 x 2.1 x 1.5 inches, the ISP6X is smaller than the Belkin WeMo Mini (3.8 x 2.4 x 1.4 inches), but larger than the TP-Link HS-105 (2.75 x 2.2 x 1 inches). While you can stack two of them together in an outlet, the plug is a bit chunky; I had trouble fitting it in a power strip with other plugs.
Smart home compatibility
The ISP6X is one of the more connected smart plugs around. In addition to Alexa and Google Assistant — which are pretty much table stakes at this point — the plug also works with Wink, Samsung SmartThings and Nest. And although Apple's HomeKit smart home platform is slow, the ISP6X is one of the few plugs that works with it.
App: Simple but effective
From within the iHome Connect app, it was pretty easy to add the ISP6X plug to my network.
As I was using it with an iPhone, I also got a screen to add the plug to HomeKit; doing so was as easy as scanning the supplied code.
At the bottom of the iHome app are several tabs: The Home tab shows various rooms, and you can group devices in each. The Devices tab shows all of your iHome gadgets. Scenes also lets you group devices for certain scenarios, such as Good Morning, I'm Leaving and I'm Home. The Rules tab lets you create schedules for turning devices on or off.
That's pretty good. The only things that could be added are geolocation, so that you can have lights turn on automatically when you get home, and an Away mode, to randomly turn your lights on and off while you're on vacation. If you want those features, check out the TP-Link HS105.
While it's not as compact as TP-Link's plug, the iHome iSP6X is about $7 less expensive and works with a greater number of smart home systems. While its app doesn't have some of the features found with the TP-Link (our overall favorite plug), you'll be well-served with what the iSP6X offers.
I would encourage you to retest the app with a half dozen or more registered iHome's devices, I think your assessment of the interface will change significantly. It slows to a snail's pace, and easily mistaken for a frozen app.
Fortunately, once the plug is registered with HomeKit there is little reason to open the iHome app.