Smart plugs and power strips are now increasingly common but there are very few that offer the ability to power an entire home entertainment system, office, or even bedroom from one outlet — enter the meross Smart Power strip — a true Google Home Essential.
Getting all of your devices powered while introducing Google Assistant control is one area that simple wall outlet smart plugs fall short. The meross Smart Power Strip is a little different as it adds three traditional AC outlet sockets alongside four USB-A power ports for even more dedicated power. For those concerned with safety, it also includes surge protection — keeping your home and your gadgets safe from electrical surges.
This opens up even more options for individual power socket control beyond the simple on and off offered by a basic solo power socket. For adding Google Assistant control to a set of devices, the meross Smart Power Strip is one of the most affordable and durable options on the market — especially given it adds control for those three AC outlets and 4 USB ports.
Design & Hardware
What can you really say about a power strip other than it’s flat and extends the number of power outlets you have access to. Well, I will say that meross has done a slick job with this smart power strip.
It is mostly plastic but it does have a nice heft and solid feel that gives it a much more premium build than a cheap $5 non-smart power strip. You can tell there has been some Apple influence on the design, almost Xiaomi-like. On the underside, there are some rubber feet that stop it from sliding on hard or tiled floors too.
I’ll note that there are some hardware differences between my UK version and those sold in Europe and the United States but for the most part, the design is pretty much identical. It’s 3/4 of an inch thick and just short of a foot in length.
You’re afforded three full-sized plug outlets and four regular USB-A ports, some might prefer more standard plug outlets but the addition of USB makes this more suited to those that want to rely less on bulky power bricks, it’s also really helpful if you have guests who forget their charger.
The clicky button at the top simply powers the entire strip on or off and it has a nice feel when pressed but does worry me how easily it can be activated. Like any power strips or plugs, please be wary and keep this out of the reach of children and pets. That said, the power chord is nice and thick with plenty of insulation and gives two feet in cable length.
You might end up disappointed if you want a power strip in a color other than white. As far as I am aware, meross does not offer a similar product in black or indeed grey. Much like the TP-Link Kasa HS100 smart plugs, there is no need for the meross power strip to be good-looking. That said they are minimal and durable, which is an asset with any power strip.
Installation & Set Up
Like any Google Home Essential, you shouldn’t be hindered by the installation and setup process. Luckily, there really isn’t a great deal to installation other than plugging into your wall outlet and then plugging in your other devices. That is not wholly accurate though, as to access the smart controls, you will need to download the companion meross app and connect.
You will need to create an account within the application — this is necessary for the initial set up phase and with the Google Home linking process. From here you will need to select your specific device and then link to your home Wi-Fi network. Without doing this, the power strip will just work as a regular ‘dumb’ option.
Connection to your Google Home account is simple after you have set up your meross account. Just open the Google Home app and then sign in once more to link them directly. I do drill this into every single Google Home user: remember to give your devices a descriptive and easy-to-remember name so that you can use them effectively.
Control & Integration
Rudimentary on-off options are available with Google Assistant voice controls and the meross application from the Google Play Store offers access to yet further controls.
You’re afforded the ability to control each outlet by itself within the meross app. That definitely opens up more options for control of your smart home and one that makes this power strip immediately more useful than a solitary smart plug.
When you switch each socket on a small green LED will light up to indicate that it is receiving power and can be used. Turn each section off and no light will show — pretty simple stuff. Alternatively, pressing the physical power button will turn on or off all of the sockets on the strip.
Within the app, you can set timers or time periods and even specific days for when each outlet powers on or off — ideal for say charging your phone overnight or powering a nightlight within a child’s bedroom and having it automatically turn off long after they have fallen asleep. My personal use case is for other smart home tech. You can set a timer so that the power is removed from specific devices that are not going to be used after a certain time.
Being able to also select each port to have a different power on and off time opens up yet more possibilities. Think of this is as the link between partial home automation and full home automation.
As far as smart power strips go, the meross Smart Power strip is one of the best ways to fully automate portions of your smart home. It opens up so many options if you want more than just on-off controls for a multitude of devices via one outlet.
Having USB ports also means you have more options for an entire range of devices to power without needing individual power bricks. While a solitary smart plug works well in every room though, I would recommend that a strip power outlet such as this is more at home everywhere but the kitchen.
I only say that, as from my experience, power outlets in your kitchen tend to be on worktops and near surfaces. A large, long power strip isn’t the most hygienic or convenient — especially if worktop space is at a premium. Like any smart home plugs, the ability to control regular appliances even in the most rudimentary way is still amazing in practice.
Turning lamps and TVs on without having to add anything major is a dream come true and part of the reason that the meross Power Strip is undoubtedly a Google Home Essential.