One of the things we love to look for deals on come Black Friday are remote controls. They're sort of the redheaded step-child of the living room — nobody wants to have to think about the remote control. But it's the thing you're going to use the most whether you're only using a TV, or some sort of streaming stick like Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K, or the Roku Ultra. Or even Apple TV, which is our pick for the best streaming hardware while also having the worst remote control in the history of remote controls.
The point is, you deserve something better. And Black Friday sales are a fine time to save a little money on a new remote control.
Here's what we're looking for when we're looking for Black Friday Deals on remote controls:
Logitech Harmony Companion
The Logitech Harmony Companion is still my absolute favorite remote control. It has all the buttons you'll need, including numbers (just in case), volume and channel up/down, a full-size directional pad that's easy to use without looking, and options for smart home devices like lights, so it's super easy to turn things off and on, or just dim them, while you're watching TV.
The Harmony Companion also comes with a Harmony Hub for controlling all those smart things. The remote talks to the hub, the hub talks to the internet, and then all the things work. Setup is a breeze, and this remote control is still the most beautifully designed hardware in my home.
I've been using one for years, and it's just as good today as it was when I bought it.
Logitech Harmony Elite
If you need a serious upgrade, the Logitech Harmony Elite is where it's at. It appears to have lost a the numeric buttons but gained a touchscreen, which in fact is where those buttons have gone. And the touchscreen allows for so much more, because it's able to adapt to whatever situation you put it in. The screen also it makes easier for everyone to use, because you don't have to know what the function buttons do — it's all just written right there on the screen.
This remote control is rechargeable as well and looks great on its stand in your living room. It also comes with a Harmony Hub for controlling all the smart things — basically it's the last remote control you'll ever need.
Alexa Voice Remote
For those who are all in on Amazon Fire TV and are suffering along with the original remote control, consider an upgrade to the Alexa Voice Remote. This second-generation remote control still lets you use your voice to do all the Alexa things, but it also includes TV controls, so you can adjust the volume without needing a separate remote, as well as a power button so you can shut things down when you're done.
It normally retails for $29, but look to maybe shave off a few dollars come Black Friday.
Function Apple TV replacement remote
The remote control that comes with Apple TV is, in not so many words, bad. It is not a good remote control. This one from Function is a lot better, and it's a mere $30 before any Black Friday Deals.
It's programmed to work with Apple TV And Apple TV 4K out of the box and unlike Apple's remote has actual buttons that you're used to using, instead of a finicky trackpad thing that was lovingly dreamed up by engineers who apparently never actually sit in front of a television. Plus it has infrared built in to work with all of your usual TV controls.
Phil spent his 20s in the newsroom of the Pensacola (Fla.) News Journal, his 30s on the road for AndroidCentral.com and Mobile Nations, is the Dad part of Modern Dad, and is editor of WhatToWatch.com.
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