Today we are going to watch the Shelly Plug vs Shelly Plug S friendly match to better understand the pros and cons of these devices. I’m going to put their Form Factor, Max Load, Wi-Fi range, Software & Home Assistant integration to a test, so you can make a better and informed decision whether you need such device and if yes, which model to choose exactly. 

Shelly Plug vs Shelly Plug S – which smart plug to choose?

Shelly Plug vs Shelly Plug S

Shelly Plug and Shelly Plug S are like brothers with 10 years age difference. They are coming from one family, they share the same software. Most of the features they have are the same, but the bigger brother that is the Shelly Plug have more muscular power as it can handle max load of up to 16A compared to 12A for the Shelly Plug S.

The bigger brother is of course bigger in size and it is more expensive with around 12 EUR compared to the little brother named Shelly Plug S.

Shelly Plug vs Shelly Plug S
Shelly Plug vs Shelly Plug S

These were only the first sight differences. As I said during the intro we are going a little bit further and we will make several tests and comparisons. Starting right now.

Form Factor and Physical comparison

Smaller size is not always bad and this is the case here as Shelly Plug S can be plugged almost anywhere and that is not so true about the Shelly Plug, especially if you have to use it on a full loaded power strip.

You cannot use one of the socket in a power strip if you connect the Shelly Plug there. That is not the case with Shelly Plug S.
You cannot use one of the socket in a power strip if you connect the Shelly Plug there. That is not the case with Shelly Plug S.

Shelly Plug S is also having this beautiful led ring that can tell you about the current state of the device.

On the other hand more real estate means enough space for usable and visible buttons.

When you press the power button on the Shelly Plug – the button should turn red. This means that Shelly may provide power to the connected device. If you press the button again the red light will turn off. This means that Shelly’s socket is no longer supplying power.

Shelly Plug have a physical power button that change it's color. Shelly Plug S also have a physical power button, but it is not easily visible and it is not changing colors.
Shelly Plug have a physical power button that change it’s color. Shelly Plug S also have a physical power button, but it is not easily visible and it is not changing colors.

However one color button is not such a big deal for a smart plug, as a smart plug should be mainly used remotely or via automations. That is why I will give one point to the Shelly Plug S and 0 points to the Shelly Plug.

Shelly Plug vs Shelly Plug S - physical comparison result
Shelly Plug vs Shelly Plug S – physical comparison result

Max Load Comparison

Max load of 16A vs 12A that is 3600W vs 2600W (somewhere in the manual it is written 2500W for the Shelly Plug S). The more the better as you can connect almost anything in the bigger brother named Shelly Plug without any worries that you will overload it.

With the Shelly Plug S you have to be a bit careful with its 12A of max load. However, on both devices you can set a custom load threshold and rest assured that the device will automatically stop if the power consumption exceed that limit.

Open your device web interface (or use the Shelly Mobile App) and go to:

Safety > Max Power Protection section > Check the Custom Max Power Protection option and set your custom value in watts. Finally click on Save button.

Use Shelly Max Power Protection option to protect yourself from overloading the Shelly Plug devices.
Use Shelly Max Power Protection option to protect yourself from overloading the Shelly Plug devices.

But as I said the bigger the better, in other words more watts is better and the point goes to Shelly Plug where Shelly Plug s receive nothing here.

Shelly Plug vs Shelly Plug S max load comparison result
Shelly Plug vs Shelly Plug S – max load comparison result

Software Comparison

I will immediately give 1 point to both of the devices here and we can move forward. Seriously, everything here is the same and the Shelly software is one of the best in class. It has a MQTT and CoAP / CoIoT support as well as possibility to choose from Cloud, local only or mixed connection to the devices. You don’t have to install any custom firmware or something as everything is working out of the box with the Shelly software. So well deserved points here for both devices.

Shelly Plug vs Shelly Plug S - Software comparison
Shelly Plug vs Shelly Plug S – Software comparison

Home Assistant Integration

And again 1 point to both devices here. Integrating and controlling Shelly Plug and Shelly Plug S from Home Assistant is very easy.
You just have to use the native Shelly integration in Home Assistant. After that you can enable or disable the switch as well as to monitor the power consumption. Great local integration that allows creating useful Home Assistant automations. Let’s see everything in quick but effective details.

Shelly Plug & Shelly Plug S Home Assistant integration steps:

  • Go to the local IP address of your Shelly device, Internet & Security > ADVANCED – DEVELOPER SETTINGS and check the box Enable CoIoT.
  • Into the CoIoT peer field enter the IP of your Home Assistant and 5683 as a port (example: 192.168.0.2:5683) and Save the changes.
  • Restart your Shelly Device.
  • Open your Home Assistant and go to Configuration > Integrations > Add Integration > search for “Shelly” and click on the result.
  • Enter the IP of your Shelly device in the Host field. Click Submit and then Finish buttons.
  • Finally click on the newly added device and you should see something similar as the picture below. You can add these sensors to your Home Assistant Dashboard and you can start making automations and scripts based on them.
Available entities for Shelly Plug S when you add the device to Home Assistant.

These are the available entities for Shelly Plug S when you add the device to Home Assistant.

As end result I can only say: well deserved points here for both devices!

Shelly Plug vs Shelly Plug S Home Assistant Integration comparison
Shelly Plug vs Shelly Plug S Home Assistant Integration comparison

Wi-Fi Range Comparison

I will put both devices to a simple but effective test. I will connect them to a socket on 1, 5, 10 and 30meters away from my Wi-Fi router and I will check the signal strength indicator.

These are the results:

1 Meter5 Meters (1 wall)10 Meters (1 wall)30 Meters (1 wall)
Shelly Plug-35dBm (Winner)-55dBm (Winner)-82dBm (Winner)-73dBm (Runner-up)
Shelly Plug S-38dBm (Runner-up)-60dBm (Runner-up)-86dBm (Runner-up)-71dBm (Winner)
Shelly Plug vs Shelly Plug S signal strength comparison

The results above are showing that the devices are pretty similar in terms of Wi-Fi signal strength (with slight dominance of the Shelly Plug).

Shelly Plug vs Shelly Plug S Wi-Fi range comparison
Shelly Plug vs Shelly Plug S Wi-Fi range comparison

Final Verdict

As I said in the beginning Shelly Plug and Shelly Plug S are like brothers. And It is so hard to choose which child you love more, luckily I’m not their father so I will immediately say my final verdict after I smashed the Like button for the YouTube algorithm.

And the winner is… according to the tests that I performed, my preference and personal opinion as well as the price. The price is really important if you think a little bit about it. It is not a coincidence that there is a saying that reads:

"the money doesn’t grow on the trees". 

You have to work hard to earn them, so why to waste them on the more expensive device when you can have it all with Shelly Plug S which is my winner today. Only if you need max load of 16A go with the big brother in any other case you can bravely choose the Shelly Plug S.

Shelly Plug vs Shelly Plug S - final verdict
Shelly Plug vs Shelly Plug S – Final verdict

Outro

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Thank you for reading and I will see you next Wednesday.