June 9, 2023

One-minute review

The TP-Link Tapo P125M is tiny, cheap and not especially eye-catching. However, those features pale into insignificance when you consider that it will help turn that dumb device of yours into a smart one.

Whether it’s a light that you want to turn on using Alexa or Siri, or an electric kettle you want to set to come on at the point your eyes open of a morning, it can add a level of functionality to those devices, and more, so you don’t have to discard them for a smart version. Instead, you can spend from $19.99 / £16.77 / AU$30.40 on the TP-Link Tapo P125M from Amazon (opens in new tab). Considering that the Philips Hue Smart Plug doesn’t seem to be Matter-certified and sells for $34.99 / £29.99 / AU$69.95, the Tapo P125M offers a pretty good deal, whether you’re comparing it to other smart plugs or against the possibility of buying a whole new smart device.

Investing in this smart plug is also more environmentally friendly than tossing out a perfectly good, if somewhat obsolete, device. Although, if you really do want to upgrade (and likely benefit from more nuanced smart functionality), then consider investing in one of the best smart gadgets or best smart lights.

Of course, as Matter-certified devices are just starting to appear in the wild, this smart plug is currently only available in the US. However, in time it will be available worldwide.

The TP-Link Tapo P125M sports an interesting shape. While its depth of 1.5 inches (3.8cm) is expected – after all, there’s plenty happening behind the scenes – it’s fairly wide at 2.4 inches (6cm). Its width makes its use on surge protectors and power strips a bit unwieldy, since it will cover outlets on either side. Therefore, it’s far better to use the Tapo P125M plugged directly in the wall.

Tapo P125M smart plug with LED button on left side

(Image credit: Future / James Holland)

Beyond its shape, the Tapo P125M’s only real distinguishing physical characteristics are an LED button on the left side that lights up when on, and a QR code on the right that you can use for easy setup. This is standard on all Matter-certified devices.

Tapo P125M smart plug: specs

  • Price: $19.99 / about £16.77 / about AU$30.40
  • Wattage: N/A
  • Color: White
  • Color temperature: N/A
  • Lumen output: N/A
  • Lifetime: N/A
  • Matter compatible? Y
  • Works with: HomeKit, Alexa, Google Home, SmartThings

Tapo P125M smart plug review: performance

  • Incredibly simple setup and pairing
  • Very responsive, no matter how you interact with it
  • Using the app delivers flexibility beyond on/off functionality

Getting the TP-Link Tapo P125M set up is incredibly easy. Part of that is due to the standards set out by Matter. All Matter devices come with a QR code that you can scan to get that device working with your smart ecosystem. And, TP-Link not only includes a QR code on the side of the smart plug, but it’s also in the box.

TP-Link Tapo P125M smart plug displaying QR code on the side for connecting to Matter

(Image credit: Future / James Holland)

The Tapo P125M was easily recognized by both HomeKit and Alexa, with minimal steps to set up. Tapo also has its own app where I was able to quickly get the plug paired in a matter of minutes.

Since the Tapo P125M is a smart plug, it seemingly offers limited functionality, with
much of this revolving around turning it on and off. However, it responded immediately whether I was controlling it in the Alexa app, Tapo app, or via voice command through my Echo Dot, which serves as my Alexa hub.

A quick side note here… although Matter-certified devices are made to be used universally, aka with any ecosystem, you will still need a hub to control it. Since I don’t have a device to use as my HomeKit hub (iPhones can no longer function as one), I was limited to seeing if the HomeKit app would recognize the plug.

While this universality is a great development for all smart devices, and I appreciate the ability to control the Tapo P125M through whichever ecosystem I want to use, the real magic happens in the Tapo app.

From here, not only can I control whether a device is on or off, but I can create a schedule for when it’s on (you can create a routine in the Alexa app as well), put it on a timer, and set it to “Away” mode. The latter is great for use with a light source, allowing you to turn the item on and off randomly to give the impression that someone is home.

Using the Tapo app for scheduling and putting on Away mode

(Image credit: Future / James Holland)

Tapo P125M smart plug review: Should I buy?

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Tapo P125M smart plug
Attributes Notes Rating
Price The Tapo P125M is very affordable. Not only is cheaper than other smart plugs, but it will save money if you want to make a dumb device a little smarter. 5/5
Design Its size will keep you from using it in every situation, namely on a power strip where it will cover other outlets. Otherwise, there’s little to fault. 4.5/5
Performance It does what it’s supposed to and is very easy to set up. Not only that, but there’s some extra functionality you wouldn’t expect in the app. 5/5

Buy it if…

Don’t buy it if…

Tapo P125M smart plug review: also consider

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Philips Hue Smart Plug Amazon smart plug Eve Energy smart plug
Price: $34.99 / £29.99 / AU$69.95 $24.99 / £24.99 $39.95 / £39.95 / AU$85
Wattage: N/A N/A N/A
Color: white white white
Color temperature: N/A N/A N/A
Lumen output: N/A N/A N/A
Lifetime: 2 years guaranteed N/A /A
Works with: Amazon Alexa Google Assistant Apple HomeKit (Via Hue Bridge) Microsoft Cortana (Via Hue Bridge) Amazon Alexa HomeKit
Matter compatible? (Y/N) N N N
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