The Google-designed G10 remote is going to quickly become ubiquitous with Android TV as more and more streaming device manufacturers are choosing to include this remote with their streamers, and for good reason. In a sea of pretty horrible Android TV remotes, the G10 easily stands out as one of the best, thanks to a plentiful selection of buttons and a very close resemblance to the Fire TV remote in both size and button layout. Unfortunately, the G10 does not work with Fire TVs, Firesticks, or Fire TV Cubes, but it does work with the 2020 Chromecast with Google TV as well as the Nvidia Shield TV. However, if you’re thinking of using the G10 remote with either of those devices, there are some important shortcomings to be aware of.
The G10 remote I tested with the Chromecast and Shield TV is the one include with Walmart’s Onn UHD Streaming Device. This is the first device in the US to ship with this remote, but there are already numerous devices internationally that also include this remote. According to TW Electronics, which manufactures this remote, the G10 uses “certified Google firmware” so, theoretically, all G10 remotes should work the same regardless of the brand name stamped across the bottom. The only place I’ve found that sells the G10 remote on its own is AliExpress, which has several listings for the MECOOL branded version. Of course, if you’re in the US and willing to pay $30, you can also get it by purchasing the Onn UHD Streaming Device from Walmart.
Here is a breakdown of which buttons on the G10 remote work with the 2020 Chromecast and the Shield TV. There are some important caveats, especially regarding TV controls, that I’ll list in more detail below, so don’t just rely on the information in the table.
|G10 Button||Chromecast||Shield TV|
|Power||Controls TV Power*||Puts device to Sleep|
|Input||Controsl TV Input*||Does Nothing|
|Bookmark||Adds highlited content to Watchlist||Acts as Menu Button|
|Voice||Works as expected||Works as expected|
|Settings||Does Nothing||Does Nothing|
|Nav. Circle & Select||Works as expected||Works as expected|
|Back||Works as expected||Works as expected|
|Home||Works as expected||Works as expected|
|TV||Does Nothing||Opens Channel Guide|
|Volume & Mute||Controls TV Volume*||Controls Shield TV Volume*|
|Channel Up/Down||Works as expected||Works as expected|
|App Buttons (All)||Does Nothing||Does Nothing|
The basic remote buttons all work as expected on both the Chromecast and Shield TV, including Voice, Back, Home, the Navigation circle, and the center Select button. Buttons that don’t do anything on either device include the Settings button and all four app shortcut buttons. The TV button, to the right of the Home button, does nothing on the Chromecast but opens the Channel Guide on the Shield TV. The Input button in the top right does nothing on the Shield TV, but does work with some caveats on the Chromecast, which I’ll explain below.
The TV control buttons, which include the Power, Volume Up/Down, Mute, and Input buttons, are the ones that need a more detailed explanation, especially for the Chromecast. With the Shield TV, none of these buttons can control the TV, even if you try to use the Shield TV’s settings menu to program the remote for IR control. That menu only works for Nvidia’s own remote. The Volume and Mute buttons on the G10 remote will control the system volume of the Shield TV and the power button puts the Shield TV to sleep, but the input button does nothing.
For the Chromecast, it’s a different story. If you have the original Chromecast remote already configured to control your TV, those IR controls will automatically be programmed onto the G10 remote when the G10 remote is paired to the Chromecast. That makes all the TV controls on the G10 work as expected with your TV. If you first pair the G10 remote and then go in and configure TV controls, that too will work fine and both the G10 and the original Chromecast remote will receive the new TV control programming.
The issue with the Chromecast and the G10 remote is if you do not have the original Chromecast remote at all. In that case, you have no way to configure the G10’s TV control buttons. The Chromecast setting menu that lets you configure the TV control buttons disappears if the original Chromecast remote is not paired to the Chromecast. This means that if you buy the G10 remote to replace a lost original Chromecast remote, you will never be able to program the G10 remote’s TV control buttons. One saving grace is that if you configure TV controls on the Chromecast with both the G10 and the original Chromecast remote paired, you can then unpair the original Chromecast remote and the G10 will retain the TV controls. So you do not need to keep the original remote paired, but you do need it present to do the initial TV control configuration.