These smart universal remotes can control your TV, speakers and other areas of your home

Jacob Krol, CNN Underscored
Mon July 29, 2019

Each of your different devices (Roku, Apple TV, speaker systems) are all controlled with its own individual remotes. Meaning, the more you trick out the TV, the more remotes you'll have lying around your living room.

Sevenhugs, however, wants to make controlling different devices around your home easy with one "universal" remote that also features a touch screen.

Meet the Sevenhugs Smart Remote U ($199.99; bestbuy.com) and the Smart Remote X ($299.99; bestbuy.com). These remotes work with over 650,000 devices in total and include products such as TVs, streaming boxes (Apple TV included), streaming sticks, speakers and even smart plugs.

The U or X remote is likely smaller than your current remote at just 5.4-inches tall and just 1.7-inches wide. It also fits pretty comfortably in your hand with a curved design on the back. Inside you'll find WiFi, Bluetooth, an infrared sensor and a 700mA battery. Each remote can work with around 80 devices simultaneously, with a maximum of 20 using infrared and comes with an included charging stand that uses USB-C for fast charging.

What sets it apart from other universal remotes is its smart display, which has some neat tricks. For instance, when you need a keyboard, the remote can become one. And that display on the front will update on the fly depending on the device you're controlling. With an Apple TV, you'll see similar buttons to the actual controller, but you get some more customization over the ones that appear. Controlling the appearance is done via the companion app for iOS or Android.

So far, the Smart Remote U and X might seem similar, but there is one core difference: The Smart Remote X also features contextual awareness via sensors that you can mount in your house. For instance, if you want to use your Sonos but are in the middle of using your Apple TV, simply just point the Smart Remote X at the sensor associated with the Sonos to get instant control for it. This replaces the need to manually select the device you want to control on the remote at any given moment. It's a perfect feature if you have a few devices that you use a lot.

At $199 for the Smart Remote U and $299.99 for the Smart Remote X, these aren't the most affordable smart remotes out there. But the brand has a good track record for providing updates, and with over 650,000 controllable devices, this can likely help make your digital ecosystem easier to control.

Note: The price above reflects the retailer's listed price at the time of publication.