Sevenhugs Smart Remote Review

MSRP

$299.99

Our Rating

3.5/5

3.5/5

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The Good:
Very attractive design Controls many items Easy setup process Remote locator feature
The Bad:
Sluggish interface No vibration when pressing a button Expensive
Our Verdict:
If you are looking for an alternative to the more popular Logitech Elite that still has a touch screen and can control a wide variety of your home theater devices, then the Sevenhugs Smart Remote may be a good option for you.

The Sevenhugs Smart Remote is a very stylish and feature-rich remote control that can be used to control just about anything in your home. It may be a bit on the expensive side, but considering the fact that you can use this remote to control just about any device in your home, and the fact that most people have around 4 to 6 remote controls in their home already, this remote ends up being a great value, overall.

With over 650,000 devices in its compatibility library, it will be hard to find a device that this remote does not work well with. In addition to its massive library of supported devices, the Sevenhugs Smart Remote features a ‘learning’ system that will allow it to learn commands from other remotes, so even if you have a device that is not officially supported, it can be controlled with the Sevenhugs Smart Remote.

Think about it this way: The standard remote controls that are included with new A/V devices are always susceptible to failure, and damage from drops and spills. Unlike the Sevenhugs Smart Remote, almost none of them feature built-in rechargeable batteries.

The Sevenhugs Smart Remote didn’t make our list of the Best Universal Remotes mostly due to the lack of physical buttons, but if you prefer the touch screen interface and want an alternative to the Logitech family of remotes, then it is definitely worth a look.

All of those double A’s that you would have bought for several remotes can really add up over the course of a few years. Constantly having to replace batteries is a hidden cost that increases their total cost of ownership. Also, the battery covers to standard remotes often get broken or lost. Having a non-removal rechargeable battery prevents this issue from occurring.  

Additionally, having a built-in rechargeable battery is good for the environment. It’s important to remember that all those double A’s that you would have bought for several standard remotes would have ended up in a landfill a short time later. Alkaline batteries contain corrosive and toxic chemicals that, despite the best efforts of landfill operators and federal regulators, could end up in the water supply.

Not only will the Sevenhugs Smart Remote control everything in your home that makes use of an infrared remote, but it can also control Bluetooth and wifi devices as well. These non-infrared devices include, but are not limited to, smart thermostats, speaker systems, and various other smart home devices, such as Phillip’s Hue light bulbs.  This means that you won’t have to pull out your phone or stop what you are already using it for, to control these kinds of devices.

In addition to those points, the Sevenhugs Smart Remote is essentially future proof. It’s completely programmable, and the manufacturer has pledged to provide regular software updates to add features and fix bugs. The company has already lived up to that expectation by releasing an update a few months ago that doubles the battery life, among other improvements.

Layout and Ergonomics

The Sevenhugs Smart Remote is sized almost perfectly to fit in the average person’s hand. Some people feel that it’s just slightly too small, but overall, it has good dimensions. It has a sleek glass finish that feels good under your finger, and it’s rounded off base is sculpted with just the right amount of curve for the remote to feel comfortable to hold, even for extended periods of time.

Sevehugs takes the smartphone approach when it comes to the LCD display on the device. The idea here is ‘full screen’. There are no physical buttons to take away from its contemporary, modern design. When there are 2 different methods of input, such as with the Logitech Harmony Elite, this can be confusing to some users.

The build quality of this universe remote control is superb. It’s not at all too heavy but doesn’t feel too light either, which can make a remote control feel ‘cheap’.  When it comes down to it, this remote just feels good to hold. You almost don’t want to put it down. These guys really spent a lot of time on the physical aspects of this device, and it shows in its design.

Equipped with a touchscreen and excellent configuration software, you can fully customize the user experience. Don’t like the default positioning of a control button? Change it. Don’t want a lot of buttons cluttering up your remote? Remove them.

With so many customization options, and an intuitive and easy to use configuration software, the Sevenhugs Smart Remote leaves absolutely nothing to be desired when it comes to its layout.

The Sevenhugs Smart Remote is comfortable, easy to use, and easy to configure.

The lack of physical buttons can be a negative for many users. Being able to feel the commonly used buttons like volume, pause, etc. under your fingers without having to take your eyes off the screen is a bigger deal than it seems at first.

That’s one of the main reasons we would pick the Harmony Elite over this remote. Be sure to check out our complete Logitech Harmony Elite Review for more details on that remote.

But, if the full touch screen and modern design is your thing over physical buttons, you might have a winner here.

Setup

If you have ever used any of the remotes in the Logitech Harmony family, you know that setting up a universal remote for a complex home theater setup can be time-consuming. With so many different types of devices that these remotes can connect to, if the software isn’t designed with the user in mind, setting up these remotes can be a real pain.

But the Sevenhugs Smart Remote is actually relatively easy to set up!

The software is designed specifically with ease of use in mind. Unlike Logitech’s approach, The Sevenhugs software is very simple to use, and it only takes seconds to get each device up and running.

Thanks to the excellently designed software and attractive user interface, the Sevenhugs Smart Remote is extremely simple to set up. It has a powerful, yet simple set up procedure that allows you to easily pair the remote to one of its 650,000 supported devices. It only takes a few minutes to add all your devices to the remote, and the process to do so is intuitive and easy.

Once connected to Wi-Fi, the Sevenhugs Smart Remote is set up using its companion app (Available for Android and iOS). The app is as well thought out and designed as the remote control’s user interface, making setup a breeze. As you would expect, setting up the app to work with your new remote is just as easy as any other setup process for this remote. The process is really straightforward and goes as follows:

1. Turn on the Sevenhugs Smart Remote.

Simply press the power button on the remote. If it doesn’t turn on right away, chances are it’s dead. Like most devices that use rechargeable batteries, the Sevenhugs Smart Remote comes with a partial charge from the factory, but depending on how long the remote was sitting on a shelf, and how long it took to ship to you, it may have lost its initial charge.

2. Connect your remote to your Wi-Fi network.

This is done directly in the remotes user interface and is extremely easy to accomplish. It’s just like connecting a smartphone or tablet to your Wi-Fi network. It will show a list of available networks, you choose your network, enter your password, and then you’re done.

3. Update your remote to the latest software.

This process will be initiated automatically but requires user interaction to proceed. Between the time of manufacture and the time of delivery, there may have been software updates released for your remote. As soon as you connect your Sevenhugs Smart Remote to your Wi-Fi network, it will automatically check for you. All you have to do is agree to allow the update, and you’re good to go.

4. Download the app and pair your new remote.

This part is super simple. All you have to do is go to either Google Play or the App store to get the Sevenhugs Remote App. Once you have the app installed and the remote is connected to your Wi-Fi network, the Sevenhugs Remote App will automatically find your remote on the network and offers a simple procedure to connect to it.

5. Tell the software which devices you have.

The Sevenhugs Smart Remote offers a huge library of supported devices, but for those that are not on its long list, you can make use of its ‘learning’ feature. All you have to do is open the customization options for any of the remote’s buttons, and choose the ‘learn’ option. Once you do this, it’s as simple as pointing the devices native remote directly at the Sevenhugs Smart Remote and press the button that you are wanting your smart remote to learn. The Sevenhugs Smart remote will save that command to the button you assigned it to, it’s that simple.

The process will still take some time if you have a lot of devices and want a detailed custom setup, but the process is rather intuitive and straightforward.

Connectivity

Regardless of what communications technology your devices uses, this remote has you covered!  The Sevenhugs Smart Remote features a fully comprehensive set of connectivity options. Infrared, Bluetooth, and wifi are all supported, making this remote work with virtually any device that can be controlled remotely.

Most universal remotes rely on basic infrared technology, while higher-end models like the Logitech Harmony Elite also offer Bluetooth and wifi through its Harmony Hub.

Battery Life

Battery life is extremely important for any remote control. The last thing you want is to come home from a long day at work, only to find that you are unable to turn on your TV or control any of your other devices because your remote control is dead. Unlike a simple remote, these devices don’t come back on instantly. They take a little time to boot up, and if the battery isn’t charged enough, it simply won’t turn on at all.

The initial release of the Sevenhugs Smart Remote had some serious issues with battery life. Luckily, the developers responded to this issue by releasing a major update that drastically improved the battery life of the Sevenhugs Smart Remote.

The new firmware was released on 5/14/2019. It includes a few different improvements, but the main feature of this update is the fact that it doubles the battery life. This was a much-needed improvement, as the battery life of the initial release only lasted about a day.

Since the update, users of the Sevenhugs Smart Remote are reporting huge increases in battery life. The problem was related to the remote control’s ‘idle state’ and how it handled returning from standby. Initially, when the remote was released, the remote would sit on your table running. After installing the new software, however, the remote detects when it’s not in use, and goes into a power-efficient standby mode.

When the remote is picked up, it’s intelligent software detects that the user is interacting with it, and the remote instantly comes back to life all on its own, so you don’t even have to press a button to wake it up!

Overall Impression

The Sevenhugs Smart Remote is a great remote. Sure it’s a little expensive, but it’s priced similar the more popular Logitech Harmony Elite. The Harmony Elite is the only other remote control in the same class as the Sevenhugs Smart Remote, so the comparison is natural.

Easy to use, easy to set up, customizable, and well designed, the Sevenhugs Smart Remote is a very attractive option. Pretty much anything that can remove clutter from your life will be beneficial to have, and this remote can simplify things for you.

Overall, this is a great remote that is packed with tons of great features, and while it doesn’t quite live up to the quality of the Logitech Harmony Elite, it does offer a different approach that might be exactly what you are looking for.

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