The Sharp Smart Microwave is sleek, works well, and can take 70+ commands from Alexa. This makes us wonder whether all devices need to jump on the voice command wagon as our homes get smarter. This isn’t the first time we’ve tested our cooking skills with connected countertop equipment, but it won’t be the last.
a silver lining
As for the microwave, it’s the Sharp model, well, fast. On the front of the microwave, the model SMC1449FS, is bathed in stainless steel, and the black push pad with white lettering and a blue start button adds to its appeal. This model would definitely feel at home in an updated modern kitchen.
Measuring 12 x 20.3 x 14.9 inches) and weighing 29.8 pounds, the microwave isn’t the largest we’ve encountered. But it is not the smallest either. The 1.4 cubic foot model takes up a fair amount of counter space, so keep that in mind if you don’t have a lot of space, but if you place it under a cabinet, there should still be plenty of room between the top of the microwave and a cupboard. bottom.
Alexa, make me some popcorn
Smart Microwave works with Alexa. This is different from the product that has Alexa inside. You can tell your Alexa device to tell the microwave to do something. And sometimes it really does. Sounds like a game of telephone, doesn’t it?
We are getting ahead of ourselves. Let’s start from the beginning. There are three ways to pair an Alexa device (like the Echo Dot) with a microwave: ZeroTouch (handles Wi-Fi), Barcode (scan it with your phone), or User Guided (manually add it to your Alexa app). Add in the following steps). No matter how you make the connection, Wi-Fi is essential, which is understandable. How will Alexa and the microwave communicate?
The chicken was not rubbery, parts of which were cooked.
We tried all three methods on multiple devices and found Wi-Fi to be easiest for those who already have an Alexa network. If you’re just getting started with Alexa, the bar code option works well. A note about Wi-Fi: Once you’ve connected the microwave to your Wi-Fi network, it will use that information to program the watch. For some reason, our internet is on East Coast time (it or it has to do with the internet provider), so the clock is ET. We tried to program the watch manually, and as long as Wi-Fi is connected, the clock defaults to ET.
You can give 70 set commands to the microwave (it does not respond to improvisation). Before you tell it to do anything, you actually have to put the food in the microwave, turn it off, and then ask it to execute a command. Voice commands are only useful when you’re doing the finishing touches on a dish and need to heat up some vegetables or something in the microwave, so everything will be hot when you serve it.
In our tests, performance using Alexa was hit-or-miss and disappointed us more than anything. We could probably get it to work half the time, and it didn’t matter where we were in the house. We tried standing right next to the microwave – sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t.
The good news is that the Sharp Microwave does everything else really well. We tested the 1,000-watt microwave for a few months and can report that it’s a solid unit. We especially like the defrost, potato, and popcorn settings—three options we normally hate to use for fear that they’ll ruin our meals.
We put the chicken breast on the carousel in the microwave to defrost, record the weight, and let the microwave do the rest. When we took it out after about nine minutes, the chicken was not rubbery, parts of it were cooked. After letting the chicken rest a few minutes, we were able to cook it with ease. We were equally pleased with the potato setting. In about eight minutes, a medium-sized spud came out with a very soft inside. We stuck it in the toaster oven for that crunchy crust, and we had a delicious potato that took about 15 minutes from start to finish.
Sharp teamed up with Orville Reidenbacher for the popcorn setting—and we were able to pop a perfect bag of popcorn. We bought a package of Orville Redenbacher’s popcorn, put a bag in the microwave, and hit the popcorn button once. Microwave turned the time on the digital numeric pad, it lasted about three minutes, and that was it. None of that was burned, and there were minimal kernels in the bottom of the bag. The funny thing is that the popcorn didn’t look like it was popping much.
The Sharp Smart Microwave does a little better with Alexa commands than the early Amazon Smart Oven. However, technology has not improved that much. Don’t let the “Works with Alexa” claim be a reason to buy this model.
Is there a better option?
There are some other microwaves that work with Alexa that are less expensive and smaller. If a microwave that works with Alexa is essential and you want a bigger, more powerful option, get it. However, if Alexa connectivity isn’t necessary, there are plenty of microwaves available that don’t cost as much.
How long will it last?
Microwaves should be between nine and 10 years old. Read our guide on appliance longevity to learn more.
The Sharp Smart Microwave SMC1449FS comes with a one year warranty for parts and labor. The warranty covers the magnetron tube for an additional four years. As with all warranties, it is important to properly care for a microwave.
should you buy it?
At about $170, the microwave costs more than that Models That Don’t Have Alexa Specialty. If you’re going to buy it based on its merits as a microwave, we say do it (or save some dough and get the SMC1442CS version). If you’re buying it for the Alexa feature, it’s not quite there yet.