Purchasing smart devices for your homes, such as TVs, air conditioners, speaker, and more, usually requires a great deal of thought. Yet how much thought do we put into buying a quality universal remote that works with most different devices in our home?
Today, we’re going to find out if going for the SmartMote is the smart decision we’re looking to make. Let’s take a look at the features, setup, advantages, and drawbacks.
SmartMote – Alexa enabled smart home made affordable
Feature & Overview
The SmartMote universal remote is an Alexa voice activated remote control for most smart home devices on the market at the moment. While SmartMote works do not require a smartphone. It should be noted that the remote also works together with a smartphone app to control all smart devices in your home even if you are away. With SmartMote, you can control all appliance compatible with infrared remotes.
Now let’s get technical and take a closer look at the hardware. SmartMote was initially built on Raspberry PI but later decided to build a dedicated low-cost micro-controller. A risky move, one may say, but this micro-controller is actually one of SmartMote greatest strengths. Not only does the micro-controller pack all the necessary features you need with a smart remote controller but it can also support future updates.
How setting up SmartMote works
Using SmartMote is easy and all users have to do is follow a few basic steps:
- Connect SmartMote to the home WiFi network and place the smart remote controller in the same room with the device you are looking to control.
- Login with Amazon and setup an account on SmartMote.
- Download the SmartMote skill.
- Finally, you will want to help your remote controller learn the IR codes by using the smartphone app or by talking to Alexa.
We enjoyed the easiness of the process and it’s definitely one of the major advantages SmartMote has over competitors.
What we love about SmartMote
- Support task scheduling
- Supports sequencing
- Multi-room setup
- Features the most advanced cryptographic technology
- Compatible with both Android and iOS through the smartphone app
- Powerful and inexpensive WiFi
- 5 built-in IR LED for 360-degree room coverage
- Comes pre-programmed with infrared control code for most devices on the market
- The infrared sensor enabling IR code learning from original remotes
- Infrared blaster connector for smart devices in cabinets
- You can add new features by OTA firmware update
Good and Bad of the SmartMote
Moving on to the advantages and drawbacks of using SmartMote, we can’t help but notice that it’s a pretty tight score:
Pros – What we love
- Switching source is possible
- Support sequencing
- Can be hooked with an external battery pack
- The unit uses standard 5V as power supply; a 10 000 mAh battery can run SmartMote for up to 8 days
- Timed command supported on the firmware
- Google home integration is likely in the near future
Cons – Things to Improve
- Could be improved by adding SmartThing integration.
- Does not work with HomeBridge
- Sequencing support is not fully functional; supported on the firmware only.
- No battery option or USB C
- Only supports English
Should SmartMote Fear its Main Competitors?
SmartMote has some powerful competitors, and we are talking popular names such as Harmony Hub, AnyMote, and BroadLink Pro. However, if we consider the price tags, SmartMote might just be one step ahead of the game. With the cheapest costing around $50 and the most expensive a roughly $90, SmartMote promises to deliver not only the same features BUT more other advantages for no more than $30.
What SmartMote brings new to the table is that it allows Alexa support without a smartphone and you can set it up using your own voice. Furthermore, it allows for multi-room setup and not with my help of 3rd party software. With this being said, it would appear that SmartMote might just surpass important players in the smart home industry.
Verdict and Final Words
We are looking forward to seeing SmartMote evolve and resolve some of the issues users are confronting right now. This is one smart remote control that has a great deal of potential but the current limitations make it a viable option for a smaller pool of customers.
Nonetheless, its features and capabilities are impressing and it’s safe to say that going for one of the cheapest options on the market might just be the best decision you will make at the moment. After all. we should see SmartMote as the Alexa-enabled controller we can all afford.