Ohme Home Pro review
The Ohme Home Pro improves upon the entry-level Ohme Home, but is this EV charger worth the extra cash?
A missed opportunity, but nice enough
Build Quality 5/5
Feels extremely solid
App Features 5/5
Still one of the best
User Experience 5/5
Great app and screen interface
Customer Service 4/5
Responsive and knowledgeable
For a long time the Ohme Intelligent Wall Charger reigned supreme when it came to electric car chargers thanks to its app functionality and smart charging. That was then. Now there's a host of new EV chargers on the block, how will Ohme’s new Home Pro unit stack up? Find out in our Ohme Home Pro review.
Ohme Charger Overview
In a market as new and crowded as the electric vehicle charger market, brand loyalty is hard to come by. A lot of the companies in the market are new and small (with the odd exception), so customers simply do not know them.
So it’s even more impressive, then, that Ohme was able to build an almost cult-like following when it launched its original Ohme Charger.
Sure, it wasn’t the best looking device at the time but it was unfussy and low cost. But importantly Ohme had the best app software on the market enabling EV drivers to take advantage of innovative energy tariffs, such as Octopus Agile, and save money on their car charging with ease.
The EV chargers market has changed
But in the two-plus years since I reviewed the Ohme Intelligent Wall Charger (now called the Ohme Home), the market has changed substantially. There is much more competition and the standard has markedly improved across the board making it harder than ever to stand out and be cheaper than the rest.
Ohme’s solution? The Ohme Home Pro.
As the name suggests, it’s the “pro” version of the now entry-level Ohme Home EV charger. It has a completely new design, new hardware features, most obvious of which is the colour LCD screen, but otherwise incorporates the same, and still brilliant, software.
The Home Pro is available as a tethered unit with a 5-metre cable, so if you were hoping for an untethered, socket-only charger here or something with a longer cable then you’re out of luck – you’re best off trying the Easee One or Sync EV and purchasing one of our cables such as this 10-metre type 2 grey charging cable.
The software is what still sets Ohme apart from other chargers. Its intelligent features allows EV drivers to synchronise their charging with their electricity tariff to make the most of an off-peak tariff. In other words, the Ohme knows your electricity prices and can charge accordingly to save you money on your electric vehicle running costs by using the cheapest energy prices possible.
Yes, other chargers offer a version of this feature now, but the Ohme Home and Home Pro smart charger do it automatically and still do it best.
The Home Pro still communicates with the Ohme servers via a 3G/4G mobile data signal, so it’s imperative that you have a strong signal where you want the charger locating. A double-edged sword which we come onto later.
Installers can also breathe a sigh of relief because the Ohme Home Pro includes built-in open PEN conduction protection, which means no earth rod is required to be installed at the property as with the original Ohme Home.
A missed opportunity?
The style and looks of the Ohme Home Pro are certainly a step up from the basic design of the Ohme Home, but it’s still rather utilitarian.
It has a small overall profile when looking at it from the front, but it appears bulky from other angles and somehow manages to not look as slim as the specs would suggest.
I’m unsure why this is, to be honest, and ultimately beauty is in the eye of the beholder and I know many Ohme Home Pro owners love the way it looks. I just feel this was an opportunity to really stake a claim to being the best looking EV charger on the market as well as the one with the best mobile app.
The standout new feature is the colour LCD screen. We’ll get on to the details of how that works later in the review, but looks-wise it does add a lot more personality to the Ohme, while the display itself is crystal clear.
The colour LCD screen, which allows you to control the Ohme from the unit itself, will be a huge selling point to many.
A couple of other niggles are related to the bundled-in wall mount, which is a tad unfair on Ohme seeing as not all manufacturers offer these as part of the package. But part of the package it is, and the wall mount could be better.
The wall mount acts as a cable tidy and holster for the charging plug, which should result in a neat finish when the Ohme isn’t in use. But the metal mount is plain ugly. It’s a functional device, but it just doesn’t look like it belongs to the Ohme aesthetically.
In addition, the angle of the holster means the charging plug juts out at a 90-degree angle. A little bit of consideration from the customer and installer around placement should overcome any potential access issues (I’m looking at you wheelie bins), but I can’t help feeling this is a small oversight that tarnishes the overall finished installation.
The Ohme Home Pro looks tough. It feels tough. And I mean that as a compliment because many of our own customers have asked whether EV chargers are waterproof, so clearly the robustness of car chargers is high on the agenda.
The Ohme Home Pro charger stands out against many other chargers here, which aren’t exactly flimsy either, but the Ohme just feels that bit more sturdy.
The unit is completely sealed in the factory, so it’s less likely to be damaged in transit (no loose faceplates in the box here) and just generally fewer “bits” to fall off.
Everything else is all up to standard. The tethered 5-metre cable feels absolutely fine and is the same cable from the original Ohme Home of which we have installed thousands and have had no complaints about the cable itself.
The Ohme Mobile Phone App
When it first launched, the Ohme Home’s app was a game-changer. At that point no other EV charging app had the level of sophistication of the Ohme.
The Ohme app arguably doesn’t have the same lead over its rivals it once did, but the software is still just as pioneering and results in an overall excellent smart charger package.
The way charge scheduling works with the Ohme is different to most other chargers. You cannot set a start time and stop time to coincide with your off-peak electricity rate; instead you input the desired battery percentage you want in your vehicle and the time by which you want it – for example, 80% by 7am every weekday morning.
The Ohme does the rest. If you don’t have peak and off-peak electricity prices then this may not seem a big deal, but if you do then the Ohme approach begins to make sense.
This is because the Ohme Home Pro will automatically start charging and stop charging to minimise your charging costs while also ensuring it meets your target charge. This takes a layer of complexity away from the driver.
Still best for Octopus Agile
This automatic synchronisation with your car, charger and energy tariff has also enabled drivers to take advantage of innovative tariffs such as Octopus Agile where the prices change every 30 minutes – an absolute nightmare to manage if you could only set up simple start and stop schedules, but the Ohme makes EV charging on a tariff like this easy.
If the Ohme can reach your car’s target battery percentage on the cheapest electricity prices alone, then it will do so. If it can’t, then it will still make sure your car is charged to the desired level.
Sure, some of this can be achieved with a start and stop schedule (though Octopus Agile would be out of reach for sure), but the Ohme app takes away the hassle because it does the thinking for you.
The only downside with Ohme’s approach is that it necessitates an API connection with your vehicle to enable all this super smart stuff. Without this the Ohme can still charge your EV but it’s not quite as seamless as vehicles with the API integration.
It’s a shame then that Ohme has still not included an option to set start and stop charge times as a backup option for other vehicles as this would be an attractive feature for those who want it.
Ohme’s charging features are sublime but there’s a risk customers overlook the Home Pro for something that is guaranteed to offer smart charging for their vehicle.
The vehicle manufacturers which have an API integration and can take advantage of Ohme’s most advanced features are:
As with most modern apps, the experience changes and usually improves over time thanks to updates over the internet. Car charging apps are no different with most receiving regular fixes to bugs or issues, but Ohme is still the leader in terms of the speed of implementation where other manufacturers can be quite slow to issue updates.
Ohme has also made a number of improvements and additions to its app. It's become even easier to navigate, it still looks very slick while new features such as being able to precondition and turn on the climate control for your vehicle is a fantastic addition.
The User Experience
Using the Ohme Home Pro has been seamless. Initial set up and pairing is all completed via the main unit and app both of which guide you or your installer through the setup process. This is where the Home Pro's screen comes into its own as instructions are clearly displayed with the only real task being to scan the QR code on the screen using the Ohme app and you're done.
It truly was that simple and easily the quickest and easiest initial setup of any charger I've had the pleasure of testing. There are some follow-up steps in the Ohme app itself, such as selecting your vehicle and energy tariff, but again this is all designed in a simple step-by-step format.
Using the new screen
I was able to easily see a record of my charging sessions, estimated costs of charging, as well as my “green score” which is useful if you’re tracking your carbon footprint. In fact, there is even a setting on the Ohme where it will charge your car when the grid is least carbon intensive i.e. when more renewables are online.
I’ve used Ohme’s products in the past so I was familiar with the setup process and knew my way around the app. It was the Ohme Home Pro’s new colour LCD screen I wanted to get to grips with and figure out if it's a truly useful option or just a nice to have.
Surprisingly it’s not a touchscreen, instead making use of three buttons beneath for various controls. This is probably sensible from a cost and reliability point of view.
You can do most essential things on the unit itself via the screen that you could otherwise do on the app, such as setting up your charging targets, monitor charging costs and vehicle charge level, time to target and more.
How useful the screen actually is will vary from driver to driver. For me, I found it useful to quickly check the Ohme was doing what it was supposed to be doing, but in reality if I had to make any changes to my car charging then I would do this via the app from the comfort of my sofa – I had no intention of standing outside and doing it.
However, I can absolutely see a use case for drivers who don’t want to faff around with an app either, in which case a screen and interface on the unit itself is a pretty big deal and many customers may find this simpler.
Should you buy it?
A couple of years ago, when the Ohme Home was unrivalled in the smart charging department and was one of the cheapest smart chargers around then it was an absolute no-brainer.
Fast forward to 2022 and the Ohme Home Pro is a truly excellent smart EV charge point for the home, but the competition has caught up and the price point for this version of the Ohme makes it a little harder to recommend.
Still a great option
If you want the most advanced smart charging features available to you at a fair price, then the Ohme Home Pro is most definitely the one to pick. It looks better than the entry-level Ohme Home, has no need for an earth rod, and I have no doubt the software will continue to improve.
Equally, if you are using Octopus Agile then there isn’t really another viable option to charge your car on such a tariff - not as good as this anyway.
I should say that the Ohme Home Pro’s LCD screen could simplify the experience for a lot of people, particularly if you have a friend or family member who can help you set up your preferred charging schedule from the get-go.
A shout-out must also go to Ohme’s customer support team who are incredibly helpful and would be more than willing to guide you through any app setup issues you may have.
In summary, the Ohme Home Pro improves upon its cheaper yet inferior sibling and is still an excellent charger but, put simply, the rest of the market has caught up and there is more choice.
If you're not sure what charger to choose still or which units have certain features, then try out our charger comparison tool.