Review: Meross Smart Power Strip and Plug Offer Affordable and Versatile HomeKit Sockets, but Setup Difficulties Can Cause Frustration

Meross makes a range of HomeKit-compatible smart home devices for multiple regions around the world. The Meross Smart Power Strip and Smart Plug are some of the company's most popular products and both work with Apple HomeKit.

meross review power strip and plug

Meross's smart plugs are among the more affordable HomeKit-compatible devices on the market, and the company offers the option to buy them in cheaper multi-packs for your smart home setup. Meross also offers a smart power strip with four USB ports and ‌HomeKit‌ control for each individual plug on the strip.

meross review boxes

Although my Meross devices were for UK power outlets, the company also sells its smart plug and smart power strip with the correct pins for the U.S., EU, Australia, and France.

Unboxing

Both devices were boxed and presented as well as you'd expect for a smart home device. Meross seems to have taken some packaging cues from Apple and used a very similar matte white cardboard to many Apple products.

meross review unboxing

Design and Build

The Meross smart plug is housed in a matte white plastic shell, with a large, flush button on the top. In spite of its lower price point, the Meross smart plug is actually smaller and slightly slimmer than other leading smart plugs such as those offered by Elgato Eve.

However, the plug feels hollow and much lighter than other smart plugs that I have used. While weight and feel in the hand is hardly important for a stationary smart home device, it is worth noting that this does make it feel somewhat cheap.

meross review plug

The smart power strip has a matte finish on the top, a beveled edge, and glossy plastic around the sides. Each plug is surrounded by a recess to highlight it. Although any power strip can scarcely be described as good-looking, the Meross power strip looks like a slightly more thoughtfully-designed item.

meross review power strip

Rubberized feet on the bottom keep the strip in place when it is flat on the floor, but there are also four screw-holes if you want to wall-mount it, as is common for surge protectors and power strips.

The smart power strip feels markedly higher quality than the smart plug, even if it does also feel too hollow, but this is perhaps to be expected in light of its higher price tag. Neither is particularly impressive when it comes to design or build quality, but as items that users will generally want to keep out of sight, this is hardly very important.

Features

Both devices work over Wi-Fi, but unlike many other smart home devices, such as Philips Hue smart lighting, there is no need to use a central hub connected to the router.

Both devices make use of LEDs to indicate their status. The smart plug has a bright LED under the power button, which shows a green or orange Meross logo when illuminated, depending on whether it is powered on or connecting. However, the plastic is so thin on the smart plug that it leaks out much of the light elsewhere, which diminishes the look.

meross review devices in use

The smart power strip has many more LEDs than the smart plug: one for each of the power outlets, including the USB ports, and one on the power button. The light leak issue is virtually negligible on this device, and the small, bright LEDs are an excellent indicator of status. I can see exactly which outlets are switched on from across the room.

The power strip also has four 4.0A standard USB ports on its left-hand side, as well as the four main power outlets, for charging devices. I personally would have preferred USB-C ports and the ability to charge at faster speeds, but in addition to the other four power outlets, the USB ports are a good addition to the product and have already come in handy. The power strip seems ideal for adding an entire desk's worth of devices and chargers to ‌HomeKit‌.

The devices can be manually controlled by clicking their power button, just in case you do not have a controller device nearby or your Wi-Fi is down. The single button on the power strip activates or deactivates all of the outlets at once, and there is no manual option to control each outlet individually. Considering users will likely seldom use the manual controls, turning on and off all of the outlets at once seems fair in this instance.

When powered up, the plugs offer a loud click noise. While I appreciated the click to confirm that it was now powered, I can also see that this may be a nuisance to users who might want things to power on or off quietly, such as during the night.

Setup

Although Meross does have its own app, it is not necessary to use it at all if you pair the devices using ‌HomeKit‌. In theory, you need only open the Home app on your iPhone, tap Add Accessory, and scan the code on the device.

However, I had some major issues setting up both Meross devices. For reasons still unbeknownst to me, the devices repeatedly failed to connect with the Home app. After a lengthy back-and-forth with Meross support to troubleshoot the problem, I finally managed to get the devices working correctly with the Home app.

I was advised to set about a long list of complex and largely unintelligible troubleshooting operations, including toggling MAC address filtering on my router, using a different ‌iPhone‌, and logging out of iCloud, among other steps. The only way I could successfully pair the devices, in the end, was by completely disabling my router's firewall and the 5GHz portion of the network. Although the devices are now working seamlessly, I must say that this was the most irksome, difficult, and invasive ‌HomeKit‌ pairing process that I have ever experienced. Someone with less technical know-how would have found this troubleshooting process, simply to get the devices paired, almost impossible.

HomeKit Support

Once the devices were finally paired, they provided a consistent and reliable connection to the Home app. Unlike some of the other ‌HomeKit‌ devices I use, the Meross offerings were unfailingly connected to my network. I have yet to experience a "no response" alert and they are seamlessly quick to react to commands.

meross screenshots

Better still, I was pleased to see that the smart power strip offered individual control over each of its power outlets, including the USB ports. This allows for precise control over each of the outlets, and it is possible to rename and change the icon for each one in the Home app. Integration with this lesser-known Home app functionality is exactly what one would want from a smart home strip.

The Bottom Line

The fact that Meross's devices work without an individual app or a central hub makes the experience more seamless than many other ‌HomeKit‌ devices, and I cannot fault the consistency of the connection.

However, there is no doubt that the unorthodox, insecure, and demanding pairing process made it a frustrating and time-consuming experience. I do not believe it is a reasonable expectation of consumers to toggle dozens of setting on their phone, or worse still, their router, simply to pair a basic smart home device. Had I not been reviewing the devices, I likely would have given up before getting them to work. Sadly, I do not seem to be alone in experiencing these issues, according to a plethora of Amazon reviews.

That said, not everyone will have this bad experience, and the majority of reviewers on Amazon seem to be contented with their pairing process. Furthermore, Meross support was nothing if not inventive in presenting solutions to my issue. It's only a shame it took hours to troubleshoot the problems, which on balance, really does not seem worth it for these devices.

The Meross smart plug works as well as one would expect for what it is. For users setting about larger ‌HomeKit‌ setups, the ability to batch-purchase these outlets at a cost-effective price point may present an attractive option. The Meross smart power strip is a more impressive piece of kit. The individual control of the outlets through the Home app offers extraordinary versatility. Overall, providing you can get them working in the first place, the Meross smart plug and smart power strip make a valuable addition to any ‌HomeKit‌ setup.

How to Buy

In the U.S., the Meross smart plug can be purchased from Amazon in packs of two for $25, packs of three for $32.59, and packs of four for $39.99.

The Meross smart power strip is available on Amazon for $35.99 with three outlets or $40.99 with four outlets.

Note: Meross provided MacRumors with a smart power strip and smart plug for the purpose of this review. No other compensation was received.

Top Rated Comments

powaking Avatar
5 weeks ago
My experience couldn’t be further from the findings of this article. I recently picked up a 2 pack of their dual plug wall plugs ('https://www.amazon.com/dp/B088FCQHF8/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_y-40FbFXARMYA?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1'). They were easy to setup and add to HomeKit and only used their app to check for firmware update (which there weren’t any). The plugs that were added to homekit showed them as a single accessory with 2 plugs which you can separate them out. For my use case that is what I did to control my Christmas lights.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
NightFox Avatar
5 weeks ago


I do not understand the use case of a HomeKit power strip. I get maybe having a lamp you want to turn on on a schedule. Can someone explain to me the use case here. How would this improve someone life, why would they want/need this?

Here's an example. I've got my garage set up as a home gym, so I've got an exercise bike, a rower and a treadmill as well as a couple of fans. With something like this I can plug everything into a strip and say:

"Hey Siri, turn on the treadmill" and it will turn it on as well as the fan next to it
"Hey Siri, turn on the bike" and it will turn on the bike, both fans, the Apple TV I use for Zwift and its screen
"Hey Siri, turn off the gym equipment" when I've finished

Essential? No. Convenient? Yes.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
icanhazmac Avatar
5 weeks ago
Setup difficulties? If this is easier than Wemo's mess of a setup then I might consider.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
centauratlas Avatar
5 weeks ago
If you have to disable 5Ghz and toggle MAC addresses, it is NOT ready for prime time. I'll pass. Some HomeKit items are easy, all should be.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
lederermc Avatar
5 weeks ago
It's very common that IoT devices need a 2.4 GHz only WiFi SSID. If you have a router that supports a combined 2.4 and 5 GHz SSID then you should either separate them into two different SSIDs or, if you can, create a separate SSID that is only 2.4 GHz for these IoT devices.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
hagjohn Avatar
5 weeks ago
I have the Meross Smart Plug Mini and they work fine. I use them instead of a timer for my Christmas lights.



Attachment Image
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

16inchmacbookpromain

Kuo: New MacBook Pro Models to Feature Flat-Edged Design, MagSafe, No Touch Bar and More Ports

Thursday January 14, 2021 9:32 pm PST by
Apple is working on two new MacBook Pro models that will feature significant design changes, well-respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in a note to investors that was obtained by MacRumors. According to Kuo, Apple is developing two models in 14 and 16-inch size options. The new MacBook Pro machines will feature a flat-edged design, which Kuo describes as "similar to the iPhone 12" ...
iphone x camera close

iOS 14.4 Will Introduce Warning on iPhones With Non-Genuine Cameras

Thursday January 14, 2021 8:07 am PST by
In the second beta of iOS 14.4 seeded to developers and public testers this week, MacRumors contributor Steve Moser has discovered code indicating that Apple will be introducing a new warning on iPhones that have had their camera repaired or replaced with aftermarket components rather than genuine Apple components. "Unable to verify this iPhone has a genuine Apple camera," the message will...
prototype iphone 12 pro

Prototype iPhone 12 Pro Shown Off in Photos

Wednesday January 13, 2021 3:39 pm PST by
Developer Giulio Zompetti, who often shows off prototype versions of Apple devices, today highlighted a prototype version of the iPhone 12 Pro. The iPhone 12 Pro is running an operating system called SwitchBoard, a nonUI version of the iOS 14 update that Apple uses internally. We've seen SwitchBoard on prototype devices before, as Apple uses it to test new features. Zompetti's prototype...
find my app safari post

Safari Allows Users to Enable Hidden 'Items' Tab in 'Find My' App Ahead of AirTags Launch

Wednesday January 13, 2021 5:45 am PST by
As seen in screenshots obtained by MacRumors in 2019, Apple's long-rumored AirTags items trackers are expected to be managed through the Find My app on iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Now, any user can get an early look at this tab. MacRumors reader David Chu today alerted us that the hidden "Items" tab in the Find My app can be enabled on an iPhone or iPad by typing in the link findmy://items in...
pioneer carplay wc5700nex

The Best Apple-Related Accessories at CES 2021

Wednesday January 13, 2021 1:16 pm PST by
CES 2021 is taking place digitally this year, and it hasn't been as exciting as in past years because many vendors have opted out. That said, some companies are still showing off some interesting Apple-related accessories that are coming out this year and that will be of interest to Mac, iPad, and iPhone users. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Pioneer Wireless...
Hue module dimmer switch

Philips Hue Announces New Wall Switch Module, Dimmer Switch, and Outdoor Light Bar

Thursday January 14, 2021 3:11 am PST by
Philips Hue has announced a new wireless dimmer switch module that lets Hue bridge owners directly control the smart lighting from their standard wall switches. The new Philips Hue wall switch module is the ideal addition to any Philips Hue set up. Installed behind existing light switches, it allows users to turn their existing switch into a smart switch and ensures their smart lighting is...
macbook pro 16 inch thunderbolt

Bloomberg: Next-Generation MacBook Pro to Offer Improved Displays, Faster Charging Over MagSafe

Thursday January 14, 2021 11:36 pm PST by
Following today's report from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo outlining major changes for the next-generation MacBook Pro models coming in the third quarter of this year, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has weighed in with his own report corroborating some of the details but seemingly differing a bit on others. First, Gurman shares more details on the return of MagSafe charging to the MacBook Pro, indicating...
cook cbs this morning

CBS This Morning: Apple to Make 'Big Announcement' Tomorrow Morning

Tuesday January 12, 2021 8:46 am PST by
CBS This Morning today shared a short clip of an upcoming interview with Apple CEO Tim Cook in which addressing last week's events at the U.S. Capitol, with Cook saying "it's key that people be held accountable for it." Following the clip, Gayle King of CBS noted that the interview with Cook was not specifically arranged to address the current controversy over Parler and other repercussions, ...
iOS 14

Apple Seeds Second Betas of iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 to Developers [Update: Public Beta Available]

Wednesday January 13, 2021 10:03 am PST by
Apple today seeded the second betas of upcoming iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 updates to developers for testing purposes, with the new betas coming a month after Apple released the first betas. iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 can be downloaded through the Apple Developer Center or over the air after the proper profile has been installed on an iPhone or iPad. Paired with the HomePod 14.4 beta that is...
caldigit thunderbolt 4 dock featured

CalDigit Introduces USB-C Dock With 10 Ports and Up to 94W Charging for Macs [Updated]

Wednesday January 13, 2021 9:16 am PST by
CalDigit today unveiled a new Thunderbolt 4 dock with a wide selection of connectivity options, including three USB-A ports, one USB-C port, two HDMI 2.0 ports, a Gigabit Ethernet port, an SD card slot, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. The dock also has a Thunderbolt 4 port that allows it to be connected to a Mac with a single cable, with up to 94W of pass-through charging for the latest MacBook...