If you're in the market for a smart plug, you've certainly got plenty of good options. I like to stick with established names with a good history of supporting their products and keeping things up to date, which is one reason why the Belkin-owned WeMo Mini has long been my top smart plug pick.
But then there's Leviton. A long-established name in your local hardware store's lighting aisle, Leviton's recently been selling its own line of automatable plugs, outlets and dimming devices under the Decora brand name. That includes a mini-sized Wi-Fi smart plug that looks and works just like the WeMo Mini. And, at $30 per plug, it's just as easy to afford.
Like the WeMo, the Leviton plug syncs with Alexa, IFTTT, Nest and Google Assistant, but it doesn't share WeMo's support for Apple HomeKit. That means you won't be able to control it using Siri commands. The WeMo Mini is also frequently discounted -- for instance, as of this writing, it's $5 off at major retailers like Best Buy, bringing the cost down to $25.
Still, unless you're organizing your smart home gear using Apple HomeKit, the two are essentially interchangeable. If you just want a cheap smart plug that'll reliably let Alexa or Google Assistant turn a lamp or a space heater on and off, Leviton's plug will do the job just as well as WeMo's. My recommendation: Don't think too hard about it and just buy whichever one's on sale.
Leviton's Decora smart plug looks like most smart plugs these days, with a wide design that won't block adjacent outlets like the bulky smart plugs of a few years ago. Its only physical control: a small button on the left that toggles the switch on and off and doubles as an indicator light.
Use this plug as intended, and you'll probably never need to press it. As soon as you plug the thing in, the indicator light will start flashing green to let you know that it's in its pairing mode and broadcasting its own Wi-Fi signal. Create a free account in the MyLeviton app, then select "Add new device" and follow the onscreen instructions to pair with it and sync it with your home's router -- no hub required.
Once you've connected the plug to your home's Wi-Fi network, you'll give it a name and be ready to start automating. I named my plug "Space Heater" and plugged -- you guessed it -- a space heater into it.
With the app, I could turn that space heater on and off or automate it to turn on or off at a certain time, including at sunrise and sunset. Within a minute, I had created a schedule that would make sure the plug was turned off every night at 1:00 a.m., lest I ever forget to turn it off myself before bed. If you head to the device settings, you can also set your Decora plug to turn itself off automatically after a set period of time, which is a nice extra touch.
If you're using multiple Decora devices, the app also lets you create a scene that toggles all of them at once -- but you can create similar scenes that can also incorporate non-Decora devices by using the Alexa or Google Home apps. To do so, you'll need to link Leviton with your Alexa or Google accounts in those respective apps. Doing so is easy, just tap the plus sign icon in the Devices section of the Alexa app, or the "Add" button on the home screen of the Google Home app.