Sideclick is an attachment for any model Fire TV or Fire TV Stick remote, that provides eight universally programable buttons which allow you to control your TV and other A/V equipment using one remote. The device came to be through a successful Kickstarter project and is now starting to ship to the thousands of backers that contributed to the campaign. I had a chance to review the prototype last year, but now that I’ve used the final product, I can pleasently say it’s the best purchase a Fire TV owner can make, if they want to reduce the number of remotes they use, without losing any Fire TV functionality. Read on for my full review as well as how you can enter to win one of two Sideclick remotes that I’m giving away.
When you purchase the Sideclick starter kit for the Amazon Fire TV, you’ll receive one Sideclick remote, an attachment clip made for the Fire TV voice remote, an attachment clip made for the Fire TV Stick non-voice remote, and two AAA batteries needed to power the Sideclick. The single voice remote clip works with both the new and old voice remote, while the non-voice remote clip is used only for the Fire TV Stick non-voice remote. In the kit, you get everything you need to immediately use the Sideclick with any Fire TV or Fire TV Stick remote, regardless of which model you own. The Sideclick starter kit has a retail price of $29.99 and is available at SideClickRemotes.com or through Amazon, once stock reaches Amazon’s fullfilment centers. Orders of $50 or more ship for free through Sideclick’s website, but if you’re just ordering one unit, and don’t mind waiting a bit longer to receive your Sideclick, you’re better off ordering from Amazon to avoid the $5 shipping fee charged by Sideclick’s website.
The idea behind the Sideclick’s detachable clipping mechanism is that, when the time comes to upgrade your streaming device, you’ll only need to purchase a new compatible clip and continue using the same Sideclick remote, instead of having to purchase an entirely new starter kit. Sideclick currently offers clips for all Roku remotes, the Nexus Player remote, and the previous generation Apple TV remote. Clips for other streaming devices, like the new Apple TV voice remote, are in the works. The clips on their own cost between $7.99 and $9.99.
Programming the Sideclick remote to work with your devices is very easy and flexible. Thanks to some clever button detection that puts the Sideclick remote into learning mode when you press the POWER and B buttons simultaneously, there is no need for a dedicated learning button, meaning all eight buttons on the Sideclick can be assigned to replicate the function of a remote you currently own. Once the Sideclick is in learning mode, indicated by a flashing LED, you simply press the Sideclick button you want to program, point it at any stock remote you own, and press the button on the stock remote that you want the Sideclick to replicate. The icons printed on the Sideclick remote’s buttons are just a suggestion since any button can be assigned to any function you wish. You can also use the Sideclick to control multiple devices by using different remotes to program the Sideclick remote’s buttons.
The fit and finish of the Sideclick remote is top notch. The clip hugs the Fire TV remote perfectly with enough force to prevent any sliding during use, but not so much force that it’s difficult to remove the clip. The design has been improved to now use only a single clip, instead of two clips like on the prototype, without compromising stability. The Sideclick remote compliments the Fire TV voice remote better than than the non-voice remote, mostly due to the size of each remote relative to the Sideclick. For Fire TV Stick owners with the non-voice remote, I would suggest considering the PiggyBack Remote by Mission Cables, as long as you’re okay with fewer programmable buttons and the slight awkwardness of having buttons underneath the remote.
Functionally, the Sideclick remote works great. It worked with every IR device in my A/V cabinet without any issues. It even worked well with one particularly troublesome device I have which seems to use an unusual IR pattern that has tripped up other IR learning remotes I’ve used in the past. Sideclick worked perfectly in tandem with with my FLIRC USB receiver, allowing me to directly trigger Fire TV functionality, like putting the Fire TV to sleep, or advanced functions within apps like Kodi. The soft rubber buttons on the Sideclick feel responsive, and while you do feel a nice click when they’re pressed, I do wish the click was more audible, but that’s just a personal preference.
Overall, I would not hesitate to recommend the Sideclick remote to anyone looking to reduce the number of remotes they have to use with their Fire TV or Fire TV Stick. The universal remotes that can control the Fire TV, like the Logitech Harmony remote, come with sacrifices, like losing the ability to use voice input, not to mention a hefty pricetag. If the Fire TV is the primary device of your home entertainment setup, it doesn’t make sense to replace the remote you use the most with a universal remote that can’t fully replicate the Fire TV remote’s functionality. By adding additional functionality to the remote you use most, Sideclick streamlines your remote control use without compromising any of your Fire TV’s features.
To thank AFTVnews readers for being the top source of contributors in Sideclick’s Kickstarter campaign, Brett and Jenn Epstein, the husband and wife team behind Sideclick, have given me a pair of extra Sideclick Fire TV Starter Kits which I’ll be giving away at the end of the week during my podcast livestream.
To be eligible for the first Sideclick, simply reply to the first comment below and say something nice about Sideclick or AFTVnews. You must enter your email address, which will remain private, in the comment form, so that I have a way to contact you. Only one reply to the first comment, per person, is allowed. I will check my server logs for duplicates and disqualify those who reply more than once.
To be eligible for the second Sideclick, simply tweet something nice about Sideclick or AFTVnews. You must include
You’re welcome to enter both giveaways to double your chance of winning. You do not have to watch the podcast to win. You’re also welcome to make additional comments below that are not a reply to the first comment. Additional comments, which are not a reply to the first comment, will not disqualify you.