Eve Energy

With Thread support, the Eve Energy is built for the future, although it has Bluetooth as a backup for now. This smart plug is designed to work with HomeKit, integrating beautifully into Apple’s home automation system. The lack of support for Alexa and the Google Assistant, or Android phones limits this smart plug’s use, however.

Pros

  • Thread and Bluetooth
  • Works with HomeKit
  • Monitors energy usage

Cons

  • No Alexa or Google Assistant support
  • Quite chunky

Availability

  • UKRRP: £34.98
  • USARRP: $34.99
  • EuropeRRP: €34.99

Key Features


  • CompatibilityThis smart plug uses Thread or Bluetooth and can integrate with HomeKit.

  • Smart assistantsThis smart plug is compatible with Alexa only.

  • Energy monitoringThis smart plug can monitor how much energy connected devices are using.

Introduction

If you control your smart home through the Apple Home app, then the Eve Energy may be the smart plug for you. Although it has its own app, this is a smart plug built for HomeKit and the future, adding Thread support to its Bluetooth backup.

Neat integration with Apple and the ability to monitor power consumption stand this smart plug apart, but it’s not the most flexible plug for anyone not tied to HomeKit.

Design

  • Quite chunky
  • Control switch on top

Although it’s by no means massive in the way the first smart plugs I tested back in the day were, the Eve Energy is still considerably bigger than its competition, such as the Philips Hue Smart Plug. Measuring 72 x 72 x 71mm, the plug should fit into a wall socket without blocking a second one; the same can’t be said for all power strips.

Eve Energy front

As this is a single smart plug, you just plug it into a socket and turn the power on. You can then use the button on top to manually control the plug: the LED turns green when it’s on.

Eve Energy top

Features

  • Works with Thread or Bluetooth
  • Full HomeKit control
  • More features through the Eve app

This is a brand-new product that supports the new low-power wireless mesh networking protocol Thread, although there’s Bluetooth at a backup. For Thread to work, you need to have a compatible Thread border router, such as the Nanoleaf Elements Wood panels or the HomePod Mini.

If you don’t have these, then the smart plug will default to using Bluetooth. If you’ve got an Apple Home Hub in range, such as the original HomePod, then you’ll still be able to remote control the plug when you’re not at home.

There’s little difference in terms of response times, but Thread has better range than Bluetooth, so is likely to be more reliable.

In both cases, the set-up is the same and you can add the plug using the Eve app, although it’s automatically added to HomeKit, too. Note that there’s no Android app, so this is strictly an Apple-only product, in a similar way to the Wemo WiFi Smart Plug. There’s no support for Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant for the same reason. 

Via the Home app, you can toggle the plug on and off, or include it in Automations, say turning it off when you go out. HomeKit support also means that you can get Siri control, so you can turn the plug on and off with your voice.

Eve Energy HomeKit

If you switch to the Eve app, the interface is a little more cluttered, but you get some additional features. The first is schedules, which lets you set specific times for the plug to turn on and off. You can either set hard times or specify an offset from sunset or sunrise. 

Schedules are saved to the device, so they’ll run regardless of whether or not you have a HomeKit Home Hub or not. These features at least give the smart plug a bit more flexibility than the WeMo plug, which can only be controlled through HomeKit.

Eve Energy Eve app

With Eve, you can also monitor power usage. By setting the current price of your electricity in kWh, the app can even tell you how much money it’s cost you to run the device plugged in.

With the Eve app, you can set up automatic rules that then trigger a HomeKit Scene. For the Eve Energy, the trigger options are when the plug is turned on or off, or when the plug is in-use (something is drawing energy) or not in-use (a device stops drawing energy). To be honest, it’s easier to skip this and use the Automation feature in the Home app.

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Should you buy it?

If you run everything through HomeKit and want a smart plug, then this one is a good choice.

If you’ve got an Android phone or want more than HomeKit support, look elsewhere.

Final Thoughts

The Eve Energy does everything you could want a smart plug to do, and the option to manage energy use is a neat extra. Whether this is the right product for you or not really comes down to what you want to do. If you use HomeKit for everything, this is a neat addition; if you want wider support alongside HomeKit, the Philips Hue Smart Plug is a better choice (although you need a Hue Bridge for Alexa and Google Assistant support).

If you don’t care about HomeKit support, then my guide to the best smart plugs will help you find a better alternative.

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Tested for at least a week

We test compatibility with the main smart systems (HomeKit, Alexa, Google Assistant, SmartThings, IFTTT and more) to see how easy each light is to automate