One of the biggest names in Smart Home technology today is Philips Hue, and, up until just recently, they’ve mostly been known for their colourful and long-lasting Smart Lights that work with the Philips Hue Bridge. However, more recently Philips Hue has begun to branch out into other areas of the smart home realm. In particular, they’ve created a new smart plug called the Philips Hue Smart Bluetooth Plug that allows users to turn their ordinary (as in not smart) lights into, effectively, smart lights via integration with this Bluetooth enabled plug. In so doing, they’ve also now started to offer (some) products that do not require the Philips Hue Bridge to function. This new smart plug, which I’m reviewing here today, is just such a product, though use with the Hue Bridge does greatly increase the plug’s functionality. Read on for full details, features, specs, and my own personal experience with this interesting new smart home product from one of the most trusted names in the industry.
Philips Hue Smart Bluetooth Plug Features & Benefits
The Philips Hue Smart Bluetooth Plug has all of the standard smart plug capabilities—in a way. There’s the instant app-based control of whatever’s plugged into it (for instance, a regular lamp or light that you’d like to turn into a smart one), but only from within your iOS or Android-based smart phone’s Bluetooth range (i.e., basically within the same room, or possibly from elsewhere in your home if your Bluetooth signal is strong). You also get voice-based control if you have a smart voice assistant (such as Google Home or Amazon Alexa), and the ability to turn any of your non-smart lights into smart lights by using them with this plug. Featuring its own dedicated Hue BT App (as opposed to the standard Philips Hue App), this stylish and attractive smart plug is easy to use and suitable for any modern home.
Testing and Use of the Philips Hue Smart Bluetooth Plug
Testing and using the Philips Hue Smart Bluetooth Plug was extremely easy—but not at first. The only real difficulty was the fact that it was simply not clear that this particular device does not run on the standard Philips Hue App, but rather on the new Hue BT (Bluetooth) App. Once I figured this out, which required some investigation, the rest of the setup became easy. I simply downloaded the new app to my Samsung Android smartphone and did a Bluetooth scan for the plug. The app found the plug immediately and connected via Bluetooth without me having to dig around for any klunky Wi-Fi passwords (something I always appreciate!). Once this process was complete, I was fully in business with my new smart plug—provided I stayed within my phone’s Bluetooth range.
Some testing of this range revealed it to be very impressive. I couldn’t measure it exactly, but no matter where I went in the house, including the furthest away point from the plug (out in the garage), it continued to work as if I was standing right next to the plug. In fact, I couldn’t get it to not work. I even tried walking down the block a bit to see what would happen. My wife monitored the plug for me to see if it would come on and go off as intended, and it worked to about the end of our driveway, where the back lane starts. This was probably at least 70-80 feet (and through multiple walls), so fairly impressive I thought.
My overall experience with the Philips Hue Smart Bluetooth Plug was a rather pleasant one. I’m always happy when new tech devices are easy to use (mostly because I lack patience for things that don’t immediately work as I expect them to), and that was certainly the case here. Although I don’t have any Philips Hue products of my own (including the Hue Bridge) and therefore could not test the extended functionality of this plug, its performance in the tests that I could conduct gave me a lot of confidence in the product. Smart plugs are one of the simplest and most basic smart home products one can get, so there’s not a lot to mess up, yet what they can do adds so much convenience to our lives.
Examining the Video Evidence
Please take a minute or two to check out my brief video overview of the Philips Hue Smart Bluetooth Plug. There isn’t as much to show and tell with a product like this as with some of the others I’ve reviewed recently, but in the video, I try to give you a good look at the plug, a good look at the app, and let you know some its key features and details:
I definitely like the Philips Hue Smart Bluetooth Plug—it’s convenient, easy to use, and features an attractive and unobtrusive (due to its size) design. I do wish that it had complete access to all of its additional capabilities (those that necessitate the use of the Philips Hue Bridge).
In some ways I feel like Philips is trying hard to provide its existing clients with more smart home conveniences all under the same brand umbrella; In other ways I feel like they’re trying to hook new customers and then force them to spend more money to pick up the Hue Bridge when full Wi-Fi functionality could just as easily have been built right into the plug itself (that is certainly the case with many other brands’ smart plugs).
I’m not sure which of these scenarios is really going on… maybe it’s both. In any case, for existing Philips Hue customers this is an easy recommend, but even if you’re not, it’s a dandy little smart plug that performs as expected and is very easy to use (even if it is somewhat limited in its bare form).
For all your Smart Home needs and wants, visit Best Buy Canada today either in store or online and feast your eyes!