Insider Picks writes about products and services to help you navigate when shopping online. Insider Inc. receives a commission from our affiliate partners when you buy through our links, but our reporting and recommendations are always independent and objective.
- Smart power outlets usually only work with one device at a time, but the ConnectSense Smart Outlet2 (currently $59.95 on Amazon) lets you control two at once.
- The Smart Outlet2 is may be a little bulky, but it’s inexpensive and works great. It also has a unique programmable feature that helps you conserve energy.
- The device also works with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple HomeKit, so you can use it with your other smart home devices.
If you’re in the market for a new appliance or home product, it’s worth looking into items that have smart features built right in. However, if you don’t feel the need to upgrade your older devices entirely, but still want some smart functionality, a smart switch can help. Most smart switches are bulky and ugly, and they often crowd the second outlet nearby.
ConnectSense wants to fix that with its dual smart outlet ConnectSense Smart Outlet2 (currently $59.95 on Amazon), which is relatively inexpensive and works great.
The first thing you’ll notice about the ConnectSense Smart Outlet2 is its design – it’s a nice-looking product. On the face, you’ll find two outlets along with a row of LED lights that indicate the power consumption of each device that’s plugged in. On the right, there are two power – one for each outlet – so you can turn off a device but still control it with your phone if you so choose. On the left, there’s a USB port to charge more devices if needed.
The ConnectSense Smart Outlet2 is a little bulky, which is important to keep in mind. It protrudes around 1.2 inches from the wall, and it’s around 4.9 inches tall and 3 inches wide. But the whole outlet is white, so at least it can easily match with any home decor or vibe.
It’s also important to note that the design of the app is functional albeit dated. The app can connect to setups like HomeKit, meaning you can control it via your iPhone, and Alexa for voice control.
If you have a HomeKit setup, you can also control the outlet straight from the Apple Home app, which is handy and recommended since the ConnectSense app is a little dated in design like mentioned but works fine technically.
- 4.9 x 3 x 1.2 inches
- Works with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple HomeKit
- Connects to 2.4GHz Wi-Fi
Setting up the ConnectSense Smart Outlet2 is actually very easy.
If you’re using the device with Apple HomeKit, you can connect the device to your Home setup without needing to use the app at all, the same way you would any other HomeKit-enabled device. If you do use the app and have an existing account, then select the option to add a device and follow the on-screen instructions. The app didn’t immediately recognize when I tried to add my outlet – even when it was plugged in – but after we reset the device, it connected perfectly fine.
You can set up the device to work with Alexa or Google Assistant too, but to do that, you’ll need to either connect an Alexa skill to your Amazon account or a Google Action to your Google account. It’s not difficult, and if you’ve done it before, you’ll enable voice control quickly and easily.
Perhaps the best thing about the ConnectSense Smart Outlet2 is its functionality. Unlike other outlets that might cover part of an outlet panel and give you only one outlet to work with, this essentially replaces an entire panel so you get smart connectivity for two devices at a time.
ConnectSense goes a step further too with home automation. Similar to the If This Then That concept in which you set up conditions, you can set up certain rules within the ConnectSense app itself based on the energy usage of each device. So for example, since the T.V. uses more energy than your lights, you can set up a rule that when the T.V. turns on and uses more power, the lights will dim and therefore, use less power. This kind of automation can come in handy, and while everyone might not find it ultra useful, some will.
We just wished the energy usage information was available in the Apple Home app itself, but that likely has more to do with Apple’s limitations rather than ConnectSense’s.
Cons to consider
The Smart Outlet2 is nice but it’s not perfect, so there are some downsides to consider before you buy.
As noted, the ConnectSense Smart Outlet2 is relatively bulky, and while it doesn’t draw a ton of attention to itself, it’s still not overly subtle either.
But what other options are there if you want to use two outlets at once? Well, you can simply wire in a smart outlet like the iDevices Wall Outlet, which looks pretty much like any other outlet panel but adds smart control and energy monitoring. The problem with that is it’s semi-permanent (since you have to replace your existing wall panel) and it’s more expensive, so if you want versatility on a budget, the Smart Outlet2 may still be a better option for you.
The bottom line
The ConnectSense Smart Outlet2 is a great way to get smart control for two outlets at once and at a relatively affordable price. If you have the money and don’t mind doing a bit of wiring, then we still recommend buying and installing something like the iDevices Wall Outlet. But if you don’t want to wire anything and are on a budget, the ConnectSense Smart Outlet2 is a great way to go.
Pros: Inexpensive, easy to use, works with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple HomeKit
Cons: Bulky, app is dated but functional