While rounding up the new batch of early Prime Day deals on smart home devices that went live this morning, I realized that Amazon has quietly updated the Amazon Smart Plug. The old model, which used the “Amazon” text logo on top, has been replaced with a new model that just has the Amazon arrow logo on top. While the specs and exterior dimensions are the same between the two versions, the guts inside have certainly changed with the 2nd-generation model because it has a new model number, it required new FCC approval, and the weight of the device has been reduced from 98 grams for the old model to 81 grams for the new model.
Amazon has made no indication that its Smart Plug has changed. The new product page and the old product page, which now redirects to the new one, are practically identical apart from a few changed product images. Amazon has even carried over the old Smart Plug’s more than 400,000 reviews and 4.7-star rating, which is a bit unethical if you ask me. Cached versions of the product page indicate that the switchover occurred within the last week.
This isn’t the first time Amazon has swapped in new hardware without making any indication that they had done so. The Fire TV’s new “3rd Gen” Alexa Voice Remote, as Amazon calls it, is actually the 6th distinct model. The “1st Gen” voice remote is, in reality, a cluster of 4 different models. While the “1st” remote generation changed sizes once and even switched from being a Bluetooth remote, to a WiFi-Direct remote, and back to a Bluetooth remote, the remote’s functionality remained identical, which, I suppose, is why Amazon never declared the changes to be new generations.
The same appears to be the case with the new Amazon Smart Plug. While the product has technically changed, the functionality has not. It still connects via 802.11 b/g/n 2.4 GHz WiFi and it still does not support 5 GHz networks. The new Amazon Smart Plug has a model name of C2YY37, while the old one, which was first released in 2018, has a model name of HD34BX. The new plug slipped through FCC approval about 2 months ago under a shell company named Chemistry Universe FX, LLC, which is a common practice that Amazon does so that their new devices go unnoticed by people with a possibly unhealthy interest in FCC documents, like myself.
One other notable difference is the inclusion of Amazon’s “Climate Pledge Friendly” badge on the new Amazon Smart Plug, which was not present on the old one. The footnote on the page states that the new version has a reduced carbon footprint, as certified by the Carbon Trust. That’s certainly a welcomed improvement.