Eve Energy smart plug review
Eve is a brand that’s been around since 2014, growing a reputation for making premium-quality smart home devices that exclusively offer HomeKit support. From the best home security cameras and other security devices, such as motion sensors to the best smart lights, Eve offers a range of gadgets to automate your home.
Eve Energy is a new version of the brand’s single-socket smart plug, which connects to the internet to ensure you can control the device connected to the plug via the app or using Siri. It also monitors the power consumption of the device connected to it.
However, this new version uses Thread smart home technology to link the plug to the internet, rather than Wi-Fi, which improves the stability of the connection, putting an end to smart home devices failing to respond. Thread-enabled devices create a mesh network that all such devices can use, rather than an individual Wi-Fi connection between the devices and the internet. This means that if a particular device loses its connection, other Thread-enabled devices can share their connection so that it doesn’t become unresponsive.
Using the Eve app you can switch the smart plug on or off, as well as set schedules for when it should be switched on or off automatically. It’s possible to view energy consumption, and the total cost, too, if you provide specific details from the energy provider, of course. You can even control the smart plug from the Home app on iPhones and iPads. Note, however, that if you want to control the smart plug when you’re not at home, you’ll need a HomePod Mini or Apple TV 4K in your home to act as a smart home hub.
For those deeply tied into Apple’s ecosystem, or starting to use HomeKit to power their smart home, the Eve Energy is the best smart plug you can buy right now.
Eve Energy price and availability
- List price: $39.95 / £34.95 / AU$85
The Eve Energy Smart Plug will set you back $39.95 / £34.95 / AU$85 and is available worldwide from the Apple Store and Amazon. It’s one of the most expensive smart plugs on the market, but on Amazon Prime Day 2021, there’s a chance it will be discounted so you could make a substantial saving.
- Single smart socket
- Manual power button
- Bulky design
The Eve Energy smart plug is, like the best smart plugs, a plain, white device that connects to a mains outlet. It may be one of the bulkiest smart plugs we’ve tested, at 2.8 inches / 7.1cm deep, but the square-shaped design – if you’re in the UK or Australia (the US version has a rectangular shape) – ensures it doesn’t block access to other outlets.
A single socket can be found on the front of the plug, while a power button and LED, which glows green when the plug is switched on, reside on the top of the smart plug. On the left-hand side is a QR code, allowing the smart plug to be easily set-up in both the Eve and Apple Home apps.
As we’ve already mentioned, the smart plug uses Thread technology rather than Wi-Fi to connect to the internet. If you don’t have a Thread border router (a HomePod Mini or Apple TV 4K 2021), the plug will use Bluetooth to connect to the Eve or Apple Home app, but this means the Eve Energy smart plug can’t be controlled when you’re not at home.
- Extremely simple to set up
- Thread technology built in
- Requires Apple TV or HomePod to be controlled from outside of the home
Like all devices offering HomeKit support, the Eve Energy smart plug is extremely easy to set up, using either the Eve app or the Apple Home app. Selecting Add Accessory will prompt you to scan the QR code, which can also be found in the quick start guide as well as on the side of the smart plug itself. The app will then do all the hard work, connecting the device to your Wi-Fi network.
Now you’re free to assign the smart plug to a particular room or group of devices and to use your voice or your smartphone to control the plug. During testing, we found the plug switched on and off instantly through the app or Siri, and made a reassuring click in the process.
We were disappointed to learn that you’ll need an Apple TV 4K or HomePod Mini in order to control the smart plug when you’re not at home. In addition, there’s no Away mode that switches the plug on or off at random times to help simulate occupancy whilst you’re out, as some TP-Link plugs such as the KP-105 offer.
- Energy consumption
- HomeKit integration
- Set schedules from the Eve app
Both the Eve app and Apple’s Home app, which can be used thanks to HomeKit integration, are simple to use, so you’ll find controlling the smart home plug a breeze, no matter the app you choose. If you assign the smart plug to a set room, it will be displayed on this tab; otherwise, you’ll find it on the main home screen of both apps – just tap it to turn it on or off. Both apps also have an automation tab from where you can create scenes that see several smart home devices controlled at once.
If you want to set schedules for when the smart plug will turn on and off, or you want to view how much energy the plug is using, and the monetary cost of this, you can do so via the Eve app. However, as we’ve already mentioned, there’s no Away mode to simulate occupancy by switching the plug on and off at random times.
Should I buy the Eve Energy smart plug?
Buy it if…
You want a HomeKit-enabled smart plug
Eve Energy is one of only a handful of smart plugs that support HomeKit. If you use Apple’s ecosystem for your smart home, then this smart plug is the ideal buy.
You want a simple to set up smart plug
The QR code on the side of the Eve Energy smart plug makes it extremely easy to set up, and we love that you can use the Apple Home app instead of downloading a second app. If simplicity is a priority, then this is the smart plug for you.
You want energy monitoring
Eve Energy can track the kilowatts per hour used and monetary cost of the device to which it’s connected, making it a good buy for those who want to keep an eye on their energy consumption
Don’t buy it if…
You want Alexa or Google Assistant support
The Eve Energy smart plug supports HomeKit exclusively, so if you want a device that works with Alexa or Google Assistant, this model is best avoided.
You’re on a tight budget
Smart plugs certainly aren’t the most expensive gadgets on the market, but at $39.95 / £34.95 / AU$85, the Eve Energy smart plug is the most expensive unit we’ve tested. If you’re on a tight budget then consider brands such as Amazon or TP-Link instead.
You want a plug to simulate that you’re home
There’s no Away mode here, which simulates you’re at home by turning connected devices on and off at random times in a bid to deter intruders. If this is one of the reasons you’re buying a smart plug, consider a model such as the HS110 from TP-Link instead.
First reviewed: May 2021