Review SONOFF S20 /Alfawise WiFi smart plug: control via App & Smart Assistant from $9.99

In the course of future Smarthome articles I took the Alfawise socket and flashed it with Sonoff-Tasmota (see below). Without problems. For those who don’t understand anything: If you need cheap remote control sockets that don’t ” talk ” to China, but can be perfectly integrated into home automation software like Home-Assistant.io (HASS.io), you should read on!

The Alfawise WiFi smart plug should also be usable with Amazon Alexa or Google Home in addition to app control. The market for smart plugs has become quite confusing in recent years. Between many good products there are unfortunately also black sheep again and again. How the Alfawise smart plug did well in the test and why the popular Sonoff S20 socket is damn similar, you can find out here.

Sonoff S20

 

  • SONOFF WIFI smart plug
  • Alfawise WIFI smart plug
    • at GearBest for $15.95
    • Max: 2200W / 10A
    • Standard: 802.11 b/g/n (WPA-PSK/WPA2-PSK)
    • Only the 2.4GHz band is supported.
  • There are also other brands. Just use this link to search for “smart plug”.
    • With luck you are even a bit cheaper than when ordering in China
    • Depending on the coupon, the offer or the price, it may be worthwhile to choose another brand.
    • But pay attention to the certifications AND I cannot guarantee that they are 100% the same models.
    • Be careful: The plug should work with the eWelink app and only in the 2.4GHz band. With some luck the ESP8266 chipset (important for flashing) is mentioned explicitly.

Scope of delivery and processing

All that is included in the delivery is the smart plug and a user manual. This is not only in Chinese, but also in German, English and other languages, although not always grammatically correct, but in any case understandable. The socket outlet has a CE mark.

Alfawise smart socket outlet

Altogether the Alfawise WiFi smart plug makes a trustworthy and solid impression. Some other smart plugss from China already look sceptical at first glance when it comes to safety. There are no manufacturing faults or other defects to be found. Also the interior (see below) is well soldered/wired. It is tightly closed all around. Not without reason the Sonoff S20 is praised on the Internet. By the way: In standby mode, the smart plug consumes 0.8 watts.

Alfawise Wifi socket outlet

Connecting the Alfawise smart plug to the WLAN

The eWeLink App must be installed on your smartphone in order to be able to integrate the plug into your home WLAN. This is available for both iOS and Android:

eWeLink Android App
eWeLink iOS App
If you want to add a new adapter with the app, this is very easy in the test, because each step is explained individually.

Alfawise WIFI socket adapter App

  1. Initially, several pairing options are available. The fastest way is to use the “Quick Pairing Mode” by pressing the button on the Alfawise WiFi adapter for five seconds.
  2. In the next step, the WLAN password must be stored in the app so that it can enable the smart plug to access the Internet.
  3. Once the Alfawise smart plug is found, it is integrated into the selected WiFi
  4. Finally, the adapter can be given a name, such as “desk lamp” or “fan”.

Afterwards, the smart plug, which I called a fan in the test, can be switched on and off with the app. In addition, a timer can be set so that the plug functions like a timer. Unfortunately the Alfawise WiFi adapter only supports 802.11 b/g/n WLAN, which was no problem in the test.

Amazon Alexa or Google Home integration

Pairing the Alfawise WiFi power outlet adapter with an Amazon Echo or a Google Home is quite easy. This is done as usual via the smartphone app of the respective service.

Alfawise smart socket with google Home and Amazon Alexa

At Amazon Alexa you have to search for the eWeLink service under the menu item “Skills” and select it. Everything else is done automatically by the app. The name, in our case “fan”, is also used. For example, the smart plug can be operated with the voice command “Alexa, switch the fan on/off”.

Under the Google Home App, the “Smarthome Control” menu item is called up to implement the desired eWeLink service. Unfortunately, the name of the device is not automatically taken over, but is defined in the Google Home App.

Alternative Firmware: Flash Sonoff-Tasmota

Since the Alfawise WiFi Smart Plug is only a branded Sonoff S20 socket and also uses the same app, the suspicion is obvious that the Alfawise model can also be flashed with the extremely popular Tasmota firmware (and Espurna).

I have done this successfully with this manual and my Raspberry 3B. Pay attention when flashing: When flashing, be sure to disconnect the power socket! In addition, you should have the necessary experience/expertise.

The socket can be opened quickly after removing three screws.

Different PCB layout than the Sonoff S20

Board Alfawise Plug

Alfawise WiFi Smart Plug flashing

The chipset

The board is held by two more screws. The good news: The Alfawise WiFi Smart Plug, like the Sonoff S20, uses an ESP8266 chipset that we can flash. The bad news: The four required contacts are on the back and already soldered. With a little fiddling or this 3D-printed flash helper the flashing worked like in the instructions linked above.

After the successful flashing and the mounting into your WLAN network the web interface greets you under the assigned IP and you can connect the smart socket via an MQTT broker into your Smarthome. Completely without Smarthome app and monitoring Chinese ;-).

Conclusion

Nowadays the Alfawise WiFi socket adapter is certainly no longer an exceptional gadget. However, it is cheap, well made and easy to use. The eWeLink apps are “OK”. The killer feature for me is the possibility to flash the Tasmota firmware. Thus one is completely unbound and makes a bargain. Whether you buy the Sonoff S20 or the Alfawise Smart Plug, I would make completely dependent on the price and/or the availability.

To the gadget
Profile picture from Thorben

Thorben

My special interests are smartphones from China and I am always keen to discover new smartphone accessories like smartwatches and headphones. 

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