Smart remotes can be an incredibly convenient way to operate your household devices. Moreover, they’re also easy on your nerves, ‘coz the struggle to find the right remote at the right time from a dozen of them is real!
The best smart remote must ideally combine all of your clickers, including those that control your Blu-ray player, soundbar, Apple and Android TV, sticks, and other devices, into a single control panel that could be a voice UI app or a physical remote.
The ideal smart remote must feel almost magical, mainly because you’ll never have to look for another remote.
All said, there are some features that you must ensure in the smart remote you choose to buy. This article will see five such features that you must consider before buying one.
Smart Remotes vs Universal Remotes
You may have already heard of universal remotes. They work with various brands and models of televisions and other associated products like stereo systems, DVD players, etc.
The main positive of a smart remote is that they look and feel similar to regular TV remotes, just with a few extra controls. This makes them easy to use for kids, the elderly or just anyone who likes the feeling of a physical remote.
However, these remotes only work with a minimal range of products. For example, you will not be able to control your air conditioner, cooler or any other appliance that isn’t a part of your TV set-up. This defeats the primary purpose of switching away from regular remotes.
On the other hand, a smart remote uses wifi and infrared (IR)-blasters to control most of the remote-controlled appliances in your home, plus more, using additional gadgets such as smart plugs.
Choosing the Right Smart Remote
Gone are when smart remotes were basic clickers that switched a few things on and off. Unfortunately, there’s little the best and most high-tech smart remotes cannot do today.
Here are a few features you should look for in a smart remote:
1. Wide compatibility
If you’re buying a smart remote, you’ll be doing so to toss out all your other remotes and replace them with one little device. So, it’s important to make sure that it’s compatible with a wide variety of appliances and brands—both ones already in your home and ones you plan to buy in the future.
The OakRemote, for instance, is compatible with 12 brands of set-top boxes, 16 brands of ACs, and much more.
2. Truly remote access
Another handy feature of the best smart remotes on the market is remote access to your devices, meaning you can control them using your smartphone or another device no matter where you are.
This feature is essential if you’re tired after a long day and waiting for your geyser to heat the water or your AC to cool down the sweltering room. Just some taps on the app on your way back home will do the tasks.
Smart remotes’ true remote access is also perfect if you’re a little forgetful—no more rushing back upstairs to check if you remembered to switch off the cooler!
3. Mobile app
A mobile app goes hand-in-hand with remote access, allowing you to control your appliances using an affiliated app you install on your mobile phone rather than a physical remote.
To get the best experience from your smart remote, ensure the makers offer an app at least compatible with your iOS or Android smartphones.
Smart remotes that come with compatible mobile apps make it easy to use and discover the awesome ways it can help. Apps also streamline the user experience by providing valuable support and FAQ address.
The best part is that the apps can enable voice-command features in smart remotes and are critical for remote control of your connected appliances.
4. Voice control
In the age of Alexa and Siri, do you want to be fiddling with buttons on a remote to change the channel or increase the volume? Probably not. So, you should try to find a smart remote that can pair with smart voice assistants and recognise/respond to voice commands.
Some of these remotes use their voice assistant services, while others are compatible with popular ones created by tech giants like Apple, Google and Amazon.
The latter is usually a safe bet because their voice assistants are more sophisticated and less prone to malfunction. Oakter’s OakRemote, for instance, can take commands like:
- “Hey, Google, Change channel to HBO”
- “Alexa set bedroom AC to 22 degrees”
- “Hey, Google, switch on the soundbar”
- “Hey, Google, mute the main TV”
- “Alexa, unmute/mute the TV”
- “Alexa, next channel on the TV, please”
5. Private and safe
All the features in the world mean little if your smart remote doesn’t protect your data and ensure your privacy and safety. There’s a common misconception that smart remotes are security risks because they connect to your home’s Wi-Fi and appliances, but this is far from the truth. Just choose a remote that doesn’t record your data and activity, and you’re good to go.
All of us know the struggle of fiddling with a remote to turn on the TV seconds before the most crucial match begins and having it refuse to work because it’s run out of battery.
Leave all your battery woes (and costs!) behind by switching to a smart remote like OakRemote connected to your home’s electricity grid. It doesn’t have batteries or needs to be changed by users.
While many remotes have one or more of these individual features, it can be quite a task to find one with all of them, especially from a brand you know you can trust.
Oakter’s Smart WiFi universal remote controller, OakRemote, is one of these rare specimens. In addition, it’s affordable and comes with a 1-year REPLACEMENT warranty and Whatsapp Customer Service integrated into its mobile app. Every part of the device is made right here in India.If you want to automate and simplify your home even further, take a look at our Smart Wi-fi Plugs, which work perfectly in tandem with the remote to make your home more efficient, environmentally friendly, safe, and of course, convenient. Here’s one way it can save you energy while making your life easier at the same time.