Eve Energy Review
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.
- Thread and Bluetooth
- Works with HomeKit
- Monitors energy usage
- No Alexa or Google Assistant support
- Quite chunky
- UKRRP: £34.98
- USARRP: $34.99
- EuropeRRP: €34.99
- CompatibilityThis smart plug uses Thread or Bluetooth and can integrate with HomeKit. When upgraded to Matter, only Thread works.
- Smart assistantsThis smart plug is compatible with Siri only in default mode, but will work with Alexa and the Google Assistant via SmartThings if you upgrade to Matter.
- Energy monitoringThis smart plug can monitor how much energy connected devices are using.
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. Thanks to a recent Matter update (in beta, but rolling out fully soon), the plug now works with other Matter systems, such as SmartThings.
Neat integration with Apple and the ability to monitor power consumption stand this smart plug apart.
- 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.
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.
- 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. How it works, depends on which firmware you have installed: the default or Matter.
I’ll start with the default configuration. If you don’t have Thread available 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.
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.
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.
Things change if you install the latest firmware, which enables Matter. Currently available in beta, the update will be more widely available in the coming months. Updating to Matter changes how the plug works, disabling Bluetooth, as this protocol isn’t supported by the new standard.
Instead, the Eve Energy will only work over Thread, so you do need to have a Thread border router to use it. Upgrading to Matter also generates a new set-up code, which you should save to your phone and keep for future installations. The old HomeKit code printed on the side will stop working. It seems likely that future versions of the plug will ship with Matter only, with the code printed on the side.
There’s no much difference in terms of how the plug works in terms of the Eve app or HomeKit, but Matter does make a difference, as the plug is also compatible with other systems. Once I’d got my plug set up, I could use the share option in the Home app to add the plug to my SmartThings system (this also requires a compatible Thread border router, which in this case is the updated Hub v3).
Scanned into SmartThings, the Eve Energy is available with simple on/off control, and is compatible with schedules and timers, but I couldn’t view the power usage statistics.
More importantly, to me, I can now control the plug through different systems, marking the first time that I could control an Eve product through an Android phone. Wider compatibility is only a good thing.
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.
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).
That said, with the Matter update, the Eve Energy becomes compatible with other systems that support Matter over Thread, such as SmartThings. For the future, then, the restrictions of a HomeKit-only plug will be gone, and the Eve Energy will work with a wider range of products.
If you don’t care about HomeKit support, then my guide to the best smart plugs will help you find a better alternative.
How we test
Unlike other sites, we test every smart light we review thoroughly over an extended period of time. We use industry standard tests to compare features properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever, accept money to review a product.
Find out more about how we test in our ethics policy.
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
You might like…
It can use Bluetooth or Thread.
Yes, but you have to have an Apple Home Hub.
No, this is strictly an Apple-only product.
Below you can see a table detailing the devices full specs