Centralite 4-Series Smart Outlet review: This add-on outlet is a tiny treat

The new battleground in smart outlets: Shrinking the footprint.

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Centralite
At a Glance

Centralite’s latest Smart Outlet—the fourth version of its simple plug-in smart power outlet (also listed as the Smart Outlet Mini in some stores)—couldn’t be simpler. It’s a single-outlet plug, compact enough to allow for two units to be stacked one on top of another in a two-receptacle wall jack, and has no app of its own to contend with. Instead, you’ll need a ZigBee hub (such as SmartThings or an Echo Plus), through which you configure the outlet and operate its smart features. 

The key selling point of the new Centralite outlet is its size. Not only is it squat in height as mentioned above, it’s relatively narrow in width, too. Pop two of these outlets into a wall jack and the duo doesn’t occupy much more space than the cover plate on the receptacle itself, merely sticking out from the wall an extra inch or so. Compared to competing outlets, which are either too tall or extra-wide (or both), it’s a compact breath of fresh air in the category.

2 Christopher Null / IDG

Be sure to give the outlet a descriptive name within your control app.

Since the outlet doesn’t have an app of its own, setup takes place in the control app of your hub of choice. Wink Hub 2 certification had not yet been completed during my testing, and sure enough setup failed when I tried to proceed anyway, so instead I configured the outlet with a Samsung SmartThings hub. (Centralite notes that it also now works with the Echo Plus and Echo Show 2.) Just set your hub into discover mode and plug the outlet in; once the hub finds the device, setup is largely complete.

The only minor hiccup in my testing: SmartThings couldn’t identify the device by name, and was only able to assign it a default name of “Thing.” It’s a good idea to change this during setup, of course, to make home management simpler. (Editors' note: Centralite has informed us that this issue has been corrected with a firmware update to the SmartThings hub.) 

The rest of the Centralite 4-series Outlet’s management takes place within the app for your hub, and with SmartThings I had no difficulty manually turning the outlet on and off, assigning it to rooms and scenes, and setting up automations. In a nutshell, it worked perfectly seamlessly with other devices in my SmartThings ecosystem—and as is customary for these devices, a manual power button is always available as a backup when you simply need a quick shortcut to cut the power.

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At a Glance
  • Affordable and compact, this is a top smart outlet choice for those with ZigBee ecosystems.

    Pros

    • Quite compact; doesn’t block second outlet
    • Hassle-free setup (if you have a compatible hub)
    • Great price

    Cons

    • Wink support still pending
    • Rather utilitarian in design
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