And that alternative is a smart outlet. And we've got a brand new one here from Belkin, called the WeMo Mini.
Here's the gist: It's a power outlet that, uh, plugs into your power outlet.
[CUE XHIBIT YO DAWG MEME.]
It also plugs into your router, which is how it gets smart. Well, as smart as an outlet can get, I guess.
You can turn it off and on with your phone.
Why a smart outlet? Why not. It's brilliant (BRILLIANT!) for lamps in hard-to-reach places. I LOVED having my Christmas tree plugged into one so I could just stumble to bed at night and mutter "Alexa, turn off the Christmas tree."
And the new Wemo Mini makes things even better by slimming down the outlet itself, so you can use two at the same time. It's a much better shape than the old favorite.
The only real down side here? Belkin's Wemo app isn't great. It's the same on Android as it is on iOS, which is fine and all. Setup is still kind of a pain. And the app is only meant to be used in a single location. (There are third-party options that can help with that, though.)
But all in all? This is a really flexible product. So long as it's in range of your Wifi and fits on the outlet, it'll work great. And now in this smaller form, it'll fit in more places.
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