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Magical idea and a great startPosted
PROS - Quick setup - Beautiful screen - Unique point and click feature CONS - Short battery life - Questionable stand design - Lacking integration I’ve long thought that the holy grail of home automation was an experience that was contextual and personal – besides voice control this is the closest that we have come, and it is indeed very magical! To be clear, the Smart Remote by sevenhugs is not just another universal remote control, but it does integrate several of the aspects used their competitors along with their own unique approach. I’m going to talk about everything from how I setup the remote and features to things I would like to see. Let’s get started! HARDWARE The hardware is very straight forward – there are no physical buttons here. The front of the remote features glass with a color touchscreen. The resolution isn’t going to win any awards, but it gets the job done and looks great. The back has a slightly grip rubber texture with small recessed area to natural rest your fingers that makes it very easy to hold. Overall, I found it very comfortable to use. The battery most likely due to the display never lasted more than 24 hours – I would be sure to put the dock in an accessible location. The dock is an unassuming black puck with the USB type C connector that points vertically at a slight angle. This is slightly scary as the remotes only support when docked is provided by this single connector and there is no other mechanical part keeping the remote up. I can foresee this being a problem, especially in households with children. It only takes once, and you could be left with your jack broken off your dock. The magic point and click aspect require 3 other white puck shaped device to be adhered to your walls in the room that your using the remote in. The pucks are battery powered and come with 3M Command Strip adhesive to aid in the installation process. There are some specifications that need to be adhered to such to ensure the point and click functionally works as intended. Pucks must be on different walls, never the same wall, must have a view of each other, and a view of the dock. That is a lot, and it did take some thought before I decide where to place each one in my apartment. SETUP + SOFTWARE The setup is dead simple and should be for a universal remote that promises to make your smart home and entertainment life easier. You plug in the remote and connect it to your home’s Wi-Fi. After that you do most of the configuring from the app. When you select what TV/AV equipment you want to setup it will prompt you to interact with the remote if it needs help deciding what specific TV model or A/V receiver you have. The setup is very fluid and easy to follow. Next if you have any smart home hardware or services you can connect those. I setup my Philips Hue lights, TP Link switches, Apple TV, Sonos speakers, and Nest Thermostat. They are always adding new support for devices (Nest is the newest addition). Setup typically involves signing in with that specific account or searching your Wi-Fi network for the devices – either way it is super easy. Once you have your TV, A/V, and smart home tech added you can begin grouping and configuring your hardware. They offer several scene options to tackle typical scenarios – you can have an A/V scene or Home scene. Home scenes allow you to have a single button to perform several actions like when you arrive/leave home or want to have a movie night. When creating a home scene, you are asked to complete the action on the remote. This is easy enough, but when you have tons of lights and other hardware it can be slow scrolling through every single item. A better option to tackle this would be doing it all in the app. If you aren’t controlling individual lights, I would suggest grouping lights to make creation of home scenes easier. To control multiple A/V hardware you can setup an A/V scene – this will allow you to select what hardware you want to turn on and what inputs they should be set to. Additionally, once specifying your A/V configuration you can create or tie in an existing home scene to control lights or other smart home functions in conjunction with your A/V scene. Overall the process is simple and easy to follow, but it does get noticeably more bulk for homes that have a ton of smart home appliances. Now comes their killer feature – contextual point and click. After setup of your devices and scenes you can unlock the magic. The setup of this is easy - click and hold down on any item from the remote and it will ask you to hold the remote around 6” from the object and set the location. After doing that, whenever your remote is in point and click mode you can simply point at that object and the remote screen will change to whatever that object is. It works very well and once you set everything up it’s a truly magical experience. At some points it does require recalibration, that involves spinning the remote in a figure 8 pattern in addition to pointing to each of the reference points as they light up. Overall, I’ve been very satisfied with the remote, they offer a unique and fun approach to the traditional universal remote environment with their unique point and click capability. It’s easy to setup and offers many services and third-party support that is steadily improving.
I would recommend this to a friend
A Good Start for SevenhugsPosted
Sevenhugs first smart home universal remote is a solid start. However, it does have its quirks. I have owned multiple universal remotes, and they were not easy to program. More than likely, you downloaded software to your PC, and you had to input every model number manually. One of the best features of Sevenhugs remote is the intuitive approach. All the user has to do is download their smart remote app from the Apple or Google Play store. Once installed, create an account and have your remote ready nearby. Through the phone app, you select the device you want. Then, you point the remote at the object, and it downloads the information. Since this was a simplistic approach, I was able to download everything including my receiver, cable box, television, and my 4K player in under 5 minutes. Additionally, I was able to add Wi-Fi devices including my Philips HUE lights. Again, the amount of time and ease to do this is simple, and a fantastic design approach. The remote itself is very light and comfortable to hold in your hands. I am not a fan of the overall plastic design, because it feels cheap. However, using the plastic Sevenhugs used allows the user to hold and control the remote with ease. One of the flaws to this remote is the battery life. After charging the remote for five-plus hours, I was surprised to have limited battery life with it. I used the remote for one day to control everything in my home theater, and lights. Afterward, I set the remote down until the next day. The remote had a quarter battery life left. I continued to use it, and then I received a message to "place the remote on the stand to charge." Again, the battery life of the remote is not good. Hopefully Sevenhugs, in the future, puts a better longer-lasting battery in the remote. While using the remote, the user can scroll through their devices by swiping left on the LCD screen. I had some infrared issues initially. I had to hold the remote just right to use my cable box, which was frustrating. However, I was surprised when I was able to use my receiver and 4K blu-ray player through our foggy cabinet windows. Despite what other reviewers said about this, I had no issues using the remote through glass cabinets. With programming, I was able to use my Philips Hue lights and adjust the colors of my light strips with this remote. The LCD screen displays the color picker and options on the remote well. Another option I went with was creating a "scene" with the remote. I created a useful "All ON/Off" function using both the app and universal remote. Again, Sevenhugs nailed the programming function. I was able to program my scene in minutes. Now my lights and home theater turn on and off at the press of the "All On/Off" scene I created. Sevenhugs advertised the idea of "point and control" feature throughout their campaign. This design is patent-pending and futuristic. Sevenhugs included three white "hockey puck" sensors with the product to use this feature. Unfortunately, you need to place these pucks in your primary space, in-line with one another, to use it. The other issue is, you have to play around with the placement so that the sensors can pick up your "point" function in the room. Plus, placing the white "hockey puck" sensors on the wall is not practical, unfortunately. The sensors stick out on the wall in the room. Unless you can conceal them within bookshelves or near other objects, unfortunately, the sensors are noticeable. After playing around with the placement of the sensors, and using the included 3M command strip stickers to place them on the wall, I successfully pointed and used the remote. Though, the feature is a nice one, the remote often selected the wrong device. I am not sure if this is due to the design of the product, or my placement of the sensors, but this function was not ideal for use. Also, some smart home devices are not available just yet, including Nest thermostats (as advertised). However, Sevenhugs states that they will include Nest products in December; hopefully soon. Overall, the Sevenhugs remote offers an intuitive design and functionality. However, where the remote loses its edge is the sensors included with the device and battery life. In the future, Sevenhugs should upgrade the battery in the remote for a longer lifespan. Also, Sevenhugs should consider changing their "hockey puck" sensors, or limit the amount you need. Placing three of these on different walls in my living room was not ideal; they stick out like a sore thumb. But, for a universal remote, this is a solid choice on the market. It is easy to use and program. Plus, it is a comfortable remote to use.
I would recommend this to a friend
Cool new remote from the future!Posted
My husband and I love gadgets and we're also control freaks, so when we saw the Smart Remote video we were dying to try it. So far so good! We're really enjoying it. Here are some of my observations as one of the first people to try it: - The remote itself is beautiful. I really love the way it looks. And when you hold it in your hand you can really feel the quality. - We mostly own products that Smart Remote supports, but we’ve got a few smart lights and switches that aren’t yet available (IKEA Trafri and Lutron). The current list of compatible smart home devices is bit limited right now, but Sevenhugs says they’ll be adding more devices every month. I'll be eagerly awaiting their Samsung SmartThings integration. - I’ve setup a few universal remotes in my time and this one was by far the fastest and easiest remote I’ve ever set up. The Smart Remote app does a really nice job and it took about 10-15 minutes from start to finish. - We successfully replaced 6 remotes with Smart Remote (woohoo!): TV, cable box, Roku, Blu-ray player, audio receiver and CD changer. A couple of the buttons on our TV and audio receiver were missing, but we were able to add them with infrared learning. We were also able to edit the controls and remove a couple buttons we didn’t need. That’s one of the nice things about a touchscreen remote—everything is customizable! - Smart Remote’s AV Scene feature makes it super simple to control our entertainment center. You just create a scene for each media player you want to watch and all the options appear in a list on Smart Remote. From there, all we need to do is just tap what device we want to watch. Smart Remote will turn on our TV, AVR and whichever media player we selected and switch all the inputs. Really like this one-touch control feature. - Point Mode makes me feel like Harry Potter (at least a little :-). Being able to just point at what you want to control is super cool and also pretty darn convenient. Really innovation tech! - The Room Sensors that make Point Mode possible need to be placed high on your walls and they need to be visible. They aren’t very noticeable on our white walls, but they will stand out a bit if you have dark color walls. Seems like a small price to pay for having the latest and greatest technology though. - Controlling smart lights and plugs is easy and is actually quite a lot of fun now, especially when using Point Mode. The UI is really well done and makes it really fun to play with your lights and try new colors. - If you use Spotify, you’re gonna love the Spotify integration on Smart Remote. It's super convenient to just browse and launch playlists without needing to pull out my phone. - The battery only lasts a day and overnight charging is pretty much required. Small price to pay for everything else this remote does well though.
I would recommend this to a friend
Magical smart remotePosted
I was looking to make the Sevenhugs my only remote because I hate having to fumble through remotes. As I look at the packaging and read the quick setup guide I had more excitement because of what the Sevenhugs smart remote is capable of doing. Package The packing of the Sevenhugs was percise that it made me feel like they pay close attention to detail. It was layered so you can handle the pieces one at a time. Starting with the main feature the Sevenhugs smart remote. In the box You get the smart remote, charging base, 3 room sensors, power cord, velcro strips, and manual/booklets. Setup The setup is not like the complicated universal remote days. You have a handy quick setup guide that walks you through the initial basic setup to connect your WiFi for secure updates. You can now follow through and add your devices after you complete the quick setup. I like the idea of the point and it selects the correct device but I do not really want to have that on my wall. Maybe if I had a man cave/den it would not really matter but the size of the sensors are too big for my liking. Performance The remote is small and it sure does a lot. It feels great to use but I thought it would of been bigger from the pictures. I can definitely see this between the couch cushions. Maybe a find my remote feature will be added or I probably missed that it’s already a feature. The way my room is setup I really only need the one room sensor because my tv and receivers are all directly in front of me. I’m still trying to figure out the best way to use the magic wand feature the way it is intended to be used. The remote response is usually very responsive with my selections. Since I’m used to my remotes I would like to have the exact layout after I download the remotes. I don’t like that I have to swipe to go to pages of the remote. The Beta customize that they have available now is limited but I’m sure later they might have it where you can drag buttons to where you prefer to make you own layout. I know some people might like to swipe because the buttons are bigger and easier to read but I would like to at least be able to have my most used functions on one page. Bottom line is the remote functions great but it needs a few updates to make it perfect. Sevenhugs smart remote can get it close to perfect because it can do OTA updates to improve the performance. Likes -Like the convenience of having less remotes on my coffee table. -Easy to use and program. -Like the scene setup. -Future updates will improve the smart remote. -Save money on batteries because this is rechargeable. Dislikes -Layouts should be more customizable -Charging could be easier if it was designed more like a cradle for the remote. -The sensors are too big. -Battery does not hold the charge for long. I thought maybe I did not charge it enough so I left it overnight and it lasted about a day and a half. Overall take I will recommend the Sevenhugs smart remote for the many great reasons I listed and with continued support I know updates will make it better.
I would recommend this to a friend
A small but really smart TV remotePosted
I’ve been a long-time user of Smart TV Remote-type products, with my last one having been purchased a couple of years ago. That was about the same time we got a new Samsung Smart TV. I found that even with the product integration capabilities of my (now 2 years old) new Smart TV Remote, I still had to default back to the remote that came with my Samsung TV when watching Netflix or Amazon Prime, or any of the other apps that are installed on the TV. Essentially, it became challenging to remember if I needed to short-press or long-press a button on the Smart TV Remote to perform a TV-specific function. It’s doable, but then I had to instruct my wife and/or house visitors on which button did what to get the desired results. I eventually un-programmed the Smart TV Remote to only perform one function and – as I mentioned above – defaulted to the original TV remote for certain functions. Enter the SevenHugs Smart TV Remote. The SevenHugs Remote is quite the size challenged device. I mean that endearingly however. It’s much smaller than my old remote, both length-wise and width-wise. Its charging dock is akin to a dock you’d purchase to charge your smart phone, in this case both Dock and Smart Remote have USB- C type ports. I like that the SevenHugs is using a type-C port as it shows forward thinking on the manufacturer’s part. The Dock essentially is a round base with a male type USB port sticking up at the center. Personally, I would have preferred the Dock to have a cradle form around the USB port to make it easier to park the SevenHugs Remote. I’ve found myself on numerous occasions sliding the bottom of the SevenHugs Remote on the Dock trying to position it properly for charging. I think a cradle-like pocket would alleviate this issue. While not a big issue, I can see the USB port on the Dock getting damaged over time. The Remote arrived with the Remote itself, Charger, Dock, brief instructions, and three room-sensors. Upon unboxing the remote, the instructions prompt you to download the SevenHugs app from the Google Play Store (or iTunes). After authenticating myself to the app, I used the Remote to select our network and to provide the necessary password. After authenticating to the network, I then started adding my home devices using the mobile app. In my case, equipment includes a Samsung Smart TV, Cox Communication DVR, Yamaha Amp, LG 4K DVD player, and two TP-Link Smart Wi-Fi wall plugs. The two TP-Link wall plugs had already been configured in Google Home, so SevenHugs found them easily. The next step was setting up what SevenHugs calls A/V Scenes (not to be confused with Home Scenes, which I’ll describe later). This is where you can link two or more devices together to perform specific functions. I have two A/V Scenes configured right now. I called the first A/V Scene TV-Stereo. This one links our DVR, Yamaha Amp, and Samsung TV. The A/V Scene configuration tool prompts you to identify the following: - which device will be used for viewing. That would be our Samsung TV. None is an option as you may just want to listen to something (like music), - which device will provide the content (Cox Communication DVR in our case), - which device is an A/V receiver if you have one (Yamaha Amp), - which device controls the sound (Yamaha Amp) There are two more options, both for Home Scenes. Remember, Home Scenes differ from the A/V Scenes that I just described above. The first of two Home Scene option prompted me to identify anything that I would like to do when I use the soon-to-be available TV-Stereo A/V Scene – which I haven’t saved, yet. For instance, did I want to automate turning off the lights in the room where my stereo and TV equipment are located. Of course, turning the lights on/off automatically would only be possible if they are Wi-Fi or Bluetooth enabled and can be remotely controlled. In my case, I set up a Home Scene called Tree to turn off my Christmas Tree (which is connected to a TP-Link Wi-Fi wall plug. The second Home Screen option (remember that I’m still setting up my A/V Scene TV-Stereo) prompts me to identify anything I want to automate after I quit out of TV-Stereo. And yes, I want to turn the Christmas Tree back on. So, I set up Home Scenes for turning the lights on the Tree off and on. Now when I press the A/V Scene to turn the TV-Stereo on, it automatically turns the tree lights off. When I exit TV-Stereo, it turns the tree lights back on. Very cool! By the way, individual Home Scenes aren’t limited to just one function – like turning one set of lights on or off. I could have also turned off our wireless enabled outside lights. At the beginning of my review, I bemoaned that I was still using my Samsung TV remote along with my old Smart Remote because it was tough configuring the old remote to work seamlessly with both the Cox Communication DVR and the Samsung TV. I was, in fact, able to get around this annoyance with the SevenHugs App. Here’s how: After I saved the TV-Stereo A/V Scene, I went back into the configuration app on my cell phone. I went back into the TV-Stereo configuration section and found a couple of options: 1) Edit A/V Scene and 2) Customize Screen Layout (Beta). The Edit A/V Scene put me in the same configuration tool I originally used to create TV-Stereo. The Customize Screen Layout (Beta) shows you – one page at a time – the three screens and related buttons associated with the TV-Stereo function. This includes buttons like Fast Forward, Pause, Record, and so on. In my case, three screens of buttons didn’t provide enough button space to accommodate buttons from my Samsung Remote. With the Beta configuration tool, it allows you to add more screens and, thus, more buttons. So, I added a fourth screen and placed all the necessary Samsung Remote buttons there. So, whenever I use the TV-Stereo function I can swipe between any of four screens to get to the buttons I want. The Customize Screen Layout tool really sold me on the SevenHugs remote even though it is still going through Beta testing. As an aside, I also created a second A/V Scene – this one for my DVD player. In this A/V Scene, devices needed included only the LG DVD Player, Samsung TV, and Yamaha Amp. I didn’t need to include the Cox Communication DVR box. And the three default screens worth of buttons were perfect for this task. The SevenHugs Smart Remote is a pretty darn smart remote and has more functions that I haven’t touched on. So, if you’re in the market for a tool like this, I would give this one a serious look.
I would recommend this to a friend
Great concept, but needs refinementPosted
Without question, this is a great remote. But there are a few areas that could be potential deal breakers. As I review this remote, I did so comparing it with my Harmony hub and elite remote control which I used as a direct reference. Setting up devices and scenes is where this remote really excels. Very straightforward, very intuitive, and minimal steps needed. The one issue I always have with Harmony is that you have to go through so many different steps to change minor things or the app that you use would slow down and sometimes have lag. With the Sevenhugs remote I was all set up with my devices literally within five to seven minutes. There were some devices that weren't directly in the database, but even so, the remote walk me through to find the best possible replacement set of codes. my wife is not the most technical person, with the harmony remote, I feel she would have a lot of issues setting up, but with the sevenhugs remote, I feel she could easily setup and use this remote in no time. An immediate downside is the lack of options for using the remote through cabinet doors. I'm sure this will be addressed at some point, if it hasn't already been touched on, but as of right now it's a bit of a letdown. the screen itself is very responsive, easy to read, and a lot faster than I thought it would be. Everytime you touch it easily snaps directly to the next device with no delay. Very impressive. In relation to other remote controls, the battery is life is fairly dismal. There was a point where I left the remote off the base, didn't use it, and within 12 to 15 hours, it was almost dead. it appears to have some sort of supercapacitor where if you place the remote on the base for 30 seconds, it will buy you another 15 to 30 minutes. If your base is not within reach, this can be very irritating if you are in the middle of programming and need to make a change. Off the base with no use, you don't even get 24 hours. That's a huge thing to consider when buying this remote. As for automation, this was another upswing. I connected it to my Christmas lights and to my living room lamp. Once elected it instantly worked, and I have not had a hiccup in that service sense. This is great for setting up my scenes for movie watching where I can turn on the TV turn on my amplifier and dim the lights with one button press. And now, the bread and butter... the smart remote feature. First it needs to be noted, that the sensors need to be placed strategically and very specifically.any issues with in the line of sight and the feature becomes null. Although the sensors are not very abusive, my wife found them to be a bit of an eyesore in the room. I'm sure over time you will forget they are there. But it does need to be visible in order for this to take full advantage of this feature. I had some issues setting it up, but once I understood how it worked, I was pointing and changing in no time. When I first read about this remote the one question I had is how does it worked with stacked components. After experimenting, I realize that you have to be extremely specific with the location in which you point your remote. General vicinity does not do well. In my bedroom I have my bluray player stacked on top of my cable receiver. There were many times, where within a quarter of an inch the screen would switch. the problem is regardless of the scene, I was still get a device that I was not using in the point and display. the only fix that I could find for this is to truly make the locations in the extreme corners of each device. For example, my Blu-ray player is set 6 in from the left for this corner, and the Samsung cable box location is set 6 in from the right corner.this helps alleviate some of the problem but you have to memorize exactly where you set the location. obviously, if you're watching a DVD you probably don't need your cable box but if they're in the same vicinity the remote will steal occasionally show the cable box, this can be a bit irritating when you just want to pick up and quickly skip a scene. If your devices are spaced out with a good distance away from each other, this shouldn't pose an issue. Before the mini like me, this feature is just fun in concept, but not quite as useful in implementation. All and all, this is a great remote. For me, being that many of my devices are behind cabinets, stack devices, and the shorter than normal battery life this remote would not be a good choice for my primary. As of right now, it lives in the bedroom and it does extremely well there.I still would recommend it, as I know people who definitely have a different setup than I have and this does not pose an issue. The functionality I have not had an issue it's just he's minor gripes that are in the way of giving me it a full 5-star rating.
I would recommend this to a friend
Great potential and very active developmentPosted
I've used many universal remotes over the years. Some manufacturers work well and are easy to program and others just don't get it. I was pleasantly surprised when setting up and using the Sevenhugs smart remote. It's easy to set up, easy to modify what you've already set up and quite intuitive as well. But while it does the basics very well, it could be even better. This is not to say that it won't get there, they continue to update and support the firmware and seem very adamant about doing so. Initial setup was a breeze. Using the remote itself and the free downloaded Android (or Apple) app was very easy. Between the two devices (the remote and your phone), you are walked through every step in the process. I was able to add each of my A/V components very quickly. You're given a choice of entering the model number for your devices or letting the remote try different code sets until it finds the correct one for your device. I found the first method worked the fastest and most reliably. After adding all my components, I was able to create different A/V scenes with the app. It asks you only a few simple questions about your system, and then verifies that all the correct components turn on for a given scene, and that the inputs are correct. If the inputs are not quite right, it's easy to cycle through all the inputs on a component until you find the correct one. Where I became a bit disappointed, was in attempting to add control for my current lighting. I knew my WiFi bulbs were not yet supported, and support for my WiFi wall switch is in the works, but I was at least hoping to control the IR LED background lighting I currently have. There is currently no easy way to do this, but after searching for a way to program the lights manually, I ran across a thread in their forum that would allow a way to do this. It's currently tedious to manually duplicate a remote control that's not listed, but it can be done and it works well. That being said, I was able to duplicate my LED remote without too much trouble. The company told me they are definitely working on this type of issue and should have things squared away very soon. I found using the remote control very easy and straight forward. The touch screen is very sensitive and responds very quickly. It was a little strange getting used to not pressing an actual button, and you will have to look at the remote to make sure you're on the correct spot. But button presses each cause a small vibration to let you know the button press was taken. The IR transmitter is quite strong and I didn't have to hunt around for a sweet spot to point at when I wanted to send commands. It's a beautiful hi-res screen but I found it was in desperate need of more color. It would help to be able to color code buttons to make navigating the remote easier. The size is small and unobtrusive and it doesn't take up hardly any space on a coffee table. While I consider that a good thing, some might tend to loose it easily in couch cushions. There is a button on the charging base that is supposed to “find” the remote, but like several other things, it hasn't been implemented yet. But regardless, it's a beautiful remote control. I do hope that at some point they change to a wireless charger. The remote stands vertically on the base with only a USB-C connector to support it. While it has no problem doing it's job, I found it a bit difficult to set it on the stand unless I was looking right at it. The remote boasts a new innovative feature that allows the remote to switch to the correct set of buttons when you point it to each component or light. The problem for me with this new technology is that virtually all of my components are in one cabinet, right under my monitor. It works by triangulating where the remote is in relation to the components you're pointing it at. To do this you need to hang three hockey puck sized discs on three different walls in the room. Unfortunately for me, this setup just isn't possible, and even if it was, I didn't want to have to look at these things on my walls. They are round and white, so if you have any other color room than white, they're going to stand out. The good thing is, you really don't even need this feature. This remote works great just the way it is. You can set up “scenes” for “AV” and “home” and this allows you to set one button to turn on all the components you need, to do things like Watch a Movie, or listen to CD's, etc. The one touch scene isn't new on universal remotes, but this one really works great. It's very easy to set up with the app on you phone. Likewise setting up all of you individual components. If any buttons are missing after the automated set up process, you can add them manually with no trouble. I loved using this remote. It takes a bit of getting used to because it has no physical buttons, but it is a well thought out device. The company has big plans to keep updating the functionality and some of the bells and whistles just aren't in there yet, but they're coming. I found it to be a very fresh take on the standard large, clunky, universal remotes with tiny little buttons that you can never see clearly. My house is full of them. If you go to their web site they have a whole list of things that are currently supported, in the process of being supported and also a method of voting for what needs to be developed next. It's small size and light weight are welcome changes. I'm tired of waving around my big remotes like light sabers, trying to get it pointed just right. I like the remote and I like the company. They seem very driven to make us the best remote with the most functionality on the market. Keep up the good work Sevenhugs!
I would recommend this to a friend
One Remote To Rule Them All!Posted
Like most people, I’ve got a basket with 5 or 6 remotes sitting on my coffee table and it seems ridiculous to have so many controls. I’ve tried Harmony and other options in the past, but had issues with setup and could never get my wife comfortable with using a remote with a lot of buttons. So, I’ve been waiting for a new solution to appear. Also, I recently convinced my wife to try out a few smart home products like smart bulbs in various room in our home, but I’m the only person who typically uses them. She doesn’t always keep her phone with her and hasn’t really taken to using voice control yet. When I talked with my wife about solving our TV and lighting challenges with Smart Remote, she really liked the simple control screens and was open to trying it. After a few days of using Smart Remote now, we’re sold. Turning on everything connected to the TV is super easy. All we need to do is just tap the Roku or cable TV button in the menu and Smart Remote does the rest. My wife is even using our TP-Link smart lights thanks to Smart Remote with Point Mode. She was a little reluctant at first to install sensors on our walls, but it couldn’t be easier to control things now with the proper setup. Just point at the TV or the lights and tap...it works like magic! I’ve also been using Smart Remote to stream Spotify to my Bose speakers, which has been a really nice bonus feature. It’s like having the Spotify app on your remote. I can browse playlists and select music to play, control volume and skip tracks. The only thing it’s missing is the ability to type in searches like you can in the Spotify app. Hopefully they’ll add that functionality soon. A couple other things to be aware of: - The battery life seems pretty short, so you’ll need to get in the habit of charging it up every night. - Point Mode is really handy when you have some smart home devices spread around the room, but you won’t be able to point and control individual devices connected to your TV. If your devices are close together, you’ll need to manually swipe to select which one you want to control. Smart Remote isn’t perfect, but it has surpassed my expectations. Definitely nice to finally have a remote that eliminates clutter and makes controlling things pretty easy and intuitive.
I would recommend this to a friend
Many limitations and nuances.Posted
I REALLY loved the idea of this; I even watched a few videos before it arrived from the company so I thought I was prepared for its use. Setup was a breeze. The app installed without issue. The remote setup was simple and got pushed an update as soon as it connected to WiFi. There are some things that you need to understand when using this remote. This can be configured two different ways: by default it acts as a traditional ‘universal’ remote, though it needs to contact your mobile App to fully add new devices. The other way is a ‘point-to-control’ type mode. Traditional Remote Mode: The remote is a bit cumbersome to use, let me explain. It’s a very small touch screen. To get from volume up/down to Menu Up/Down (for example), you have to swipe left or right. While that may not seem like a big deal, it can be. To go from TV to Receiver (for another example), you have to use the top of the small screen to swipe to the device you want to control. IF you accidentally tap the device at the top, it shuts that device off. If you have a TON of devices to control, like I do, you can get lost and miss the image. When you add a device, it seems to "download" configuration specific to your device - but it doesn't. It downloads generic IR codes for that vendor and the buttons it gives you don't always (or for me, ever) line up. For example: Aux 1 on the remote, is "TV" -- and TV is Aux 10 (which my receiver doesn't have). You have to re-map the buttons which to me, defeats the purpose. Now, if you want to use the ‘point to control’ mode - and thus saving yourself from having to swipe to select a device to control you have to install / hang the sensors around the room. While that may not seem all that awful, it is. Each sensor MUST see the other *and* they all have to see the charging base. All 3 need to be installed even if it’s an 8x10 room because the remote seems to always be emitting IR in this mode - and uses 3x sensors to triangulate where it’s pointing. Oh yeah, the charging base. It’s USB-C which is great, though it has to sit upright and I can only see it getting bumped and snapping off. I was hoping it was a magnetic charging base … maybe for the next version. But before that mode works, you have to hold the remote in front of the device you want to control and ‘pair’ it with that spot in your room. Point at the TV, the input on the screen switches to TV and you get a slight haptic vibration … pretty cool. Well, it’s cool if you only have one thing in that general direction. If you have, say, a TV with a receiver below it, you can’t control them both because there is no height determination with the sensors, just general direction. To control your TV, you should position the remote off to the side of the room during remote location pairing and then remember that you have to control the TV pointing nowhere near the TV. The remote should be placed on the charger every night. After 2 nights of it being off the charger, it dies and needs to be re-calibrated with the sensors (point the remote at the blinky light for every sensor and hit a button). I have never needed to charge a remote overnight and have had it die three times already … and have fallen back to my old remote + Google Home integration. Lastly, there is no way to start/turn on SmartTV Apps -- not natively. While you CAN set up a routine to turn on TV, Receiver, change Input -- but it can’t launch, Netflix, for example. Yet. They say it's coming. The way around it is to “create a mapped button” from a remote that *can* launch Apps. Even then, it can’t be part of the routine, you have to hit the button afterwards. I reached out to support with some general questions and they were responsive, so they have that going for them. It does control my Hue lights without issue, though it always starts at "yellow" so if you want to solely lower the brightness, it changes it to yellow first and then lowers it. That's pretty annoying. At this time and with these limitations, I can’t recommend this remote. I just can’t.
No, I would not recommend this to a friend
We’re sorry to hear that Smart Remote is underperforming for you in a few areas, but thanks for sharing all this detailed feedback. We’d like to get in touch with you to follow up on a couple points that seem like unexpected behavior. Please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org when you get a chance. In the meantime, here are a couple tips that should improve your overall experience:
1) The best way to control your entertainment center is by creating AV Scenes, which allow you to control multiple devices simultaneously with a single button. You can also combine controls from multiple devices into one interface (e.g. control volume for your AVR on your TV control screen) All your AV Scenes will appear in a list on Smart Remote. Just tap the device you want to watch and let Smart Remote do the rest (turn on the right devices, switch to the right AV inputs, display the right control screen). You can easily access all your AV Scenes in either Manual Selection Mode or Point Mode. Once you’ve created AV Scenes for all your media players and set top boxes, there really no reason to control one of these individually any more.
2) The best way to control your home theater in Point Mode is to locate your AV Scene list at your TV. This way, when you point at your TV, you’ll see a list of all the media players and set-top boxes that are available to watch with a single tap.
3) If you don't like how a default control screen is designed, you can fully customize all the controls and buttons for any devices or AV Scene using the Smart Remote app.
Great TV and smart home remote! Easy for Everyone!Posted
Review I was cautiously optimistic about Smart Remote when I first got it, but after a week of use now, I’m happy to report that we just put all our old remotes in a drawer and we’re not looking back. I’ve got a pretty basic TV setup at home (TV, AV Receiver, Roku, cable box, Blu-ray, Xbox) and some smart home devices (Sonos speakers, Philips Hue bulbs, Wemo plugs, Nest thermostat). But my wife and kids and I have grown fed up juggling with multiple remotes to watch something on TV and we also wanted a more convenient way to control our lights and Sonos speakers. SETUP The setup was really easy...a lot easier than I was expecting. You need to download the Sevenhugs Smart Remote app to get started and then add all your devices. It found my Hue, Sonos and Roku when I did a Wi-Fi network scan and I was able to add all my infrared devices in less than 2 minutes. I then set up some AV Scenes. These are like shortcuts to control groups of devices. I set up 5 scenes (Watch Cable TV, Watch Roku, Watch Blu-ray, Play Xbox, and Movie night) and they all appear in a list on the remote. When I tap one, it turns on my TV, AVR and whichever media player I selected and switches to the right AV inputs. Instead of fumbling with multiple remotes, we can just tap one button to start watching. It’s now super quick and easy to control our entertainment center. ROOM SENSOR & POINT MODE To use Point Mode, which gives you the ability to point at something and see the right control interface displayed on Smart Remote, you’ll need to place the three room sensors that came in the box on your walls. They look like white hockey pucks and are battery powered (2 AA per sensor). You can’t just place them anywhere, so make sure you follow the instructions. They need to be placed at least least 6 feet high and they all need to see each other. The packaging includes a bunch of 3M Command strips to stick them to your walls, which makes installation really easy and won’t damage your walls. Once your sensors are calibrated and you activate Point Mode, you need to locate your devices. All you need to do is select the device you want to locate, walk over to that device, and hold Smart Remote where you want to locate it. I created locations for a two groups of lights and my Sonos speaker. As for all my TV devices, Smart Remote recommend that you only locate your list of TV-related scenes (what it calls “AV Scenes”) at your TV. My TV scenes includes: Watch Cable TV, Watch Roku, Watch Blu-ray, Play Xbox, and Movie night. So now when I point at my TV, I see a list of all my available AV Scenes and can activate any one I choose with a tap. The pointing technology is 2D so it doesn’t distinguish between pointing at things that are high or low. And if two devices are located close to each other, Smart Remote will display both devices in the carousel at the top of the remote. All you need to do is swipe left or right to select which one you want to control. Once everything is set up (it took me about 10 minutes), anyone can pick up Smart Remote and just point at what they want to control. I really like how easy it is to use. EVERYDAY USE We’ve been using Smart Remote for a week now and it’s completely changed how we interact with our home. My wife and kids are using our smart lights a lot more and it’s really nice not having to pick up three remotes to just watch TV. The touchscreen takes a little getting use to, but it’s working out well for us now. CONCLUSION If you’re looking for a remote to control your entertainment center and smart home, then you should definitely consider Smart Remote. It’s been a great addition to our home and we’ll probably get another one for our bedroom. Just make sure that Smart Remote is compatible with all the devices you care about most before buying. They have a pretty good compatibility search page on their website and have plans to release a lot more integrations and features in the near future.
I would recommend this to a friend
Cool concept will be better when fully fleshed outPosted
So I have to say the idea of a remote that controls everything is one of those kind of sci-fi things that I can remember from movies. While companies try to do this with phones it never really works out because of the many different user interfaces and honest the phone form factor is a bit to large to hold comfortably in one hand while controlling things. The Sevenhugs Smart Remote is a strong contender at an attempt to address some of those shortcomings. Like some other smart remotes out there, it has functionality to control almost anything from Smart TVs to Smart Thermostats and Smart Lightbulbs (IE: Hue) with continued work to add more devices. Currently I've set it up for my TV and soundbar and while setup wasn't the best (more on that in a minute) the unified interface is something I can appreciate. I was a little bummed that my Nest thermostat shows as 'coming early december' on the site, but is not yet available. With all the other 'smart' devices I have in my house I'd need to walk around to recall what they all are to try to add them to the remote. To start, the initial setup of the remote and connecting to it to get started is quite easy. It did have an issue connecting to my WiFi the first time, though a quick retry fixed that. Strangely the remote only supports 2.4GHz WiFi which seems like a shortcoming to me. Once it was connected and I downloaded the app on my phone, it was a fairly quick process to get it paired as it found it on my network then asked me to put in the security code to pair it to the app. Then I was off, attempting to add devices to the remote. This remote works in two ways when attempting to add devices. The first way is similar to that of things like the Harmony remotes where you specify the manufacturer and the model number, and I by far prefer this method... I did, however, run into an issue where my Sony HT-Z9F sound bar was not recognized, but the remote is not detterred... Instead it allows you to select 'Sony' as the sound device manufacturer then you can step through pressing the power button until it finds the correct IR codes to control it. This is cool, but it does end up with functions that dont entirely match the device you're controlling (my Sony sound bar has essentially 2 HDMI inputs, Analog and Optical, but the remote has like 10 separate inputs defined). I can control it, but it's not a perfect 1:1 setup as if it knew what it was. That's to be expected though since it did not recognize the model number... That does display a shortcoming on the site of Sevenhugs though as they need to keep on top of their device database. I was easily able to add my Tivo Roamio Plus and my Samsung TV without issue and controlling each is fine. Once you set up a few devices you can then create a 'scene' which is essentially a macro of commands or devices to control... for example 'Watch TV' includes my TV, sound bar and Tivo, all of which it turns on and sets to the right inputs, very similar again to a Harmony type device. I did notice, however, that the initial screen after turning on my scene has a button layout that I would say isn't the best. I noticed the Guide button wasn't even on the main panel for the remote and I had to swipe to the next page to get to that button. The channel button was there, but I cant think of the last time I traditionally 'surfed' channels with the channel up/down button. It would be nice if you could customize the button layouts or at the very least if there was a slightly more intelligent layout to those buttons based on your activity. IE: for a Tivo I would want to at least see the guide button, Tivo button and the colored buttons (for things like commercial skip and basic Tivo control). Overall it's a pretty slick design. I thought it would be annoying to tap buttons on a screen, but it really isn't bad, likely because it is so narrow. I can forsee this becoming a pretty cool device when additional devices and features are added.
I would recommend this to a friend