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Currant WiFi Smart Outlet

Wi-Fi smart plugs offer a quick and easy way to control lamps and other appliances using your phone, and some of them even tell you how much energy you’re using. The $ 59.99 Currant WiFi Smart Outlet does both, and it uses artificial intelligence to observe your power usage and suggest ways to conserve energy. It also sports an attractive design and two individual outlets, bringing the price per outlet more in line with most of the single-socket plugs we test. However, it doesn’t offer the numerous integrations that you get with our Editors’ Choice, the iHome iSP6X SmartPlug.

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Design and Features

With its glossy white enclosure and silvery reflective face, the Currant is one of the more stylish smart plugs we’ve seen. It measures 3.2 by 2.5 by 1.5 inches (HWD) and has two three-pronged outlets on the right side and a three-pronged plug on the back that’s positioned so that the device doesn’t block out the second outlet on a two-outlet receptacle. You can remove the plug and flip it upside down to have the outlets face left if you so desire. There are two backlit arrows on the face that are buttons for turning each outlet on and off. Connectivity comes by way of Bluetooth and Wi-Fi radios.

Currant

The Currant is controlled using a mobile app for Android and iOS and can be turned on and off using Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant voice commands. Unlike the iHome iSP6X and the Aukey SH-PA3, it doesn’t interact with other smart home devices or support IFTTT applets, but it does offer power usage reports. It also uses AI to analyze your power usage and will recommend ways to conserve energy and save money. For example, it will use your phone’s location services to determine when you’re not home and suggest rules to turn off certain devices, such as lamps and air conditioners, while you’re away.

Currant Wi-Fi Smart Outlet 3

The app isn’t fancy, but it’s very straightforward and easy to use. The Dashboard screen displays all installed smart plugs, and each plug has separate tabs for the top and bottom outlet with current usage in watts for each outlet. There’s an on/off switch for each outlet and a switch that controls both outlets at the same time. Tap the arrow on either outlet to view usage in watts, amps, and volts, and to see daily usage charts for that outlet. To see estimated energy costs, tap the Spent button, enter your zip code, and select your utility service provider. You’ll see how much power the outlet has used and how much the usage will cost you. Below each chart is a list of on and off events with timestamps.

At the bottom of the screen are Dashboard, Usage, and Rules buttons. The Dashboard button takes you back to the main screen, and the Usage button takes you to a screen where you can view a bar or pie chart of total power usage for all installed plugs. Tap the chart to see how much your provider charges per kWh (estimated) or to change your provider. Tap the Rules button to view suggestions on how to conserve energy and to create Schedule, Home/Away, Usage Limit, and Power Save rules. Schedule rules allow you to turn one or both outlets on and off based on the time of day, sunrise, and sunset. Home/Away rules use your phone’s location services to turn the outlets on and off when you leave and arrive home. The Usage Limit setting lets you turn off outlets after being on for a specific period of time with a range of five minutes to 24 hours, and the Power Save setting will turn one or both outlets off at a certain time each day.

Installation and Performance

Currant Wi-Fi Smart Outlet 2

Although the Currant is designed for easy installation I ran into a small hiccup using the iOS app. When I tried to download it from the App Store, it refused to download on my iPhone 8. I tried again with an iPhone 7 and again had no luck. However, I had no trouble downloading the Android app. As it turns out, once I disabled Touch ID on my iPhone, the app downloaded without issue.

Once installed, I entered my email address, enabled location services, and followed the instructions to plug in the outlet. It was immediately recognized and I pressed Set Up in the app. I selected my SSID, entered my password, and was done.

The Currant worked flawlessly in my tests. It responded quickly to my on and off commands using the app and followed my rules to a tee. I created a schedule to have the top outlet come on in the morning and turn off at noon on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and it followed the schedule without issue. Similarly, my Home/Away rule to turn off the bottom outlet whenever I left home worked like a charm, as did my Usage Limit rule to turn off the top outlet after four hours and 15 minutes of being on. Controlling the outlets using Alexa voice commands also went off without a hitch.

Conclusions

The Currant WiFi Smart Outlet not only gives you the ability to control devices using your phone and voice, it also monitors energy usage and lets you take control of how much power you consume. While it’s more expensive than other smart plugs, it does have two outlets that you can control independently, and it offers a generous selection of management features that let you create on/off schedules, set usage limits, and automatically turn devices on and off based on your location. That said, it lacks the support for third-party integrations that you get with the iHome iSP6X SmartPlug. Granted, the iHome plug only has one outlet and doesn’t offer power monitoring, but it’s half the price of the Currant plug and supports IFTTT applets, Alexa and Google voice commands, and Apple HomeKit. It also works with Nest, SmartThings, and Wink home automation systems. As such, it remains our Editors’ Choice.

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