Go to Reviews.org US Edition
Belkin launches its first Australian smart home product in six years
A smart plug for HomeKit households.
Belkin was one of the early movers in smart home technology with its Wemo sub-brand, but it discontinued the range locally around the end of 2016. While it continued to make new smart home devices for overseas markets, none of these made their way to Australia.
Six or so years later, Belkin's Wemo brand has returned to Australia with the launch of the Wemo Smart Plug with Thread, a smart plug designed exclusively for Apple users. HomeKit is the only smart home platform supported by the Wemo Smart Plug with Thread, so those with Amazon or Google households will need to look elsewhere.
The Wemo Smart Plug with Thread is a fairly typical smart plug. You can use Siri or the Home app to turn off or on devices, or alternatively, you can set up schedules. For example, having your heater turn on before you wake up for cold winter mornings.
As the name may suggest, Thread is a fairly important part of the product. Thread is a relatively new low-power connectivity smart home standard that creates a mesh network between devices. This results in a faster response time, improved reliability, and lower power consumption.
Thread devices do however require a device to act as a border router. In the Apple universe, there are two options: the HomePod mini and the 2021 Apple TV 4K. If you don't have one of these, you can still use the Wemo Smart Plug with Thread over Bluetooth, but it will be a much slower experience.
The Belkin Wemo Smart Plug with Thread will set you back $39.95 and is exclusively available through Apple. You'll find it in the Apple Store, both online and in-store.
While the Wemo Smart Plug with Thread is Belkin's first local smart home product in yonks, the brand hasn't committed to bringing more connected devices to Australia, calling it a "single product launching in the market".
"The Wemo brand has always been part of the Belkin portfolio and, as with all areas of our portfolio, we look at the best combination of products for each local market based on a wide variety of factors," said a Belkin spokesperson.
"We appreciate that this has meant several years where the global Wemo range was not available in Australia, but we are looking forward to having the Wemo Smart Plug with Thread available through Apple stores locally given its benefits in working hand-in-hand with Apple HomeKit."
"As always, we will continue to assess each product for the ANZ region, ensure that we are delivering on our key brand promises to make consumers lives easier with technology while also adding value to any category in which we introduce products."