Sideclick Prototype Review

Sideclick is a minimalistic remote attachment that turns your Fire TV voice remote or Fire TV Stick non-voice remote into a universal remote. It clips onto the left side of your remote and provides a column of eight programmable buttons that can be taught to replicate any button on any IR remote you have. The Kickstarter campaign to fund the sideclick had a rough start, but eventually reached its goal. The husband and wife team behind Sideclick sent me one of their prototypes to try out, so here are my thoughts.


First and foremost, the Sideclick I’m reviewing here is a rough prototype, which is why I won’t be commenting much on the physical characteristics, but rather the functionality. The prototype is 3D printed from bright green filament to clearly distinguish it from the final product, which will be black and injection molded. The fit and finish of this prototype should not be used as an example of the final products quality.

Each Sideclick order for Fire TVs will come with the Sideclick, as well as two clips, one for the Fire TV remote and one for the Fire TV Stick remote. Additional clips can be purchased separately for about $8, and are also available for Roku, Apple TV, and Nexus Player remotes.


The clips hold onto the Fire TV remotes using only the elastic pressure of the slightly flexible plastic. The prototype clip I tested held the Fire TV voice remote very securely. The Fire TV remote did not slide up or down at all while held in the clip.


The clips attach to the Sideclick through a series of alignment tabs and one locking tab in the center. To detach the Sideclick from the clip you must pull the locking tab away and slide the Sideclick free. The locking tab is concealed by the Fire TV remote when the system is all put together. This means you will not be able to detach the Sideclick from the clip without first removing the Fire TV remote from the cip.


Programming the Sideclick is a breeze and easier than any universal remote I’ve ever used. You simply hold the topmost and bottommost buttons for few seconds until the LED light blinks rapidly, which indicates it’s ready to learn from your existing remotes. You then just press the Sideclick button you want to program, point it at your existing remote, and press the button on your existing remote that you want the Sideclick to replicate. You repeat the press-point-press process for each of the Sideclick buttons you want to program, and when you’re done, after a few seconds of not pressing any Sideclick buttons, the Sideclick comes out of programing mode and is ready to use.


The labeling of the Sideclick buttons are arbitrary and are only a suggestion. For example, even though the first button is labeled with a power icon, it can just as easily be programmed to change inputs or any other function. My button use was, from top to bottom: TV power, A/V receiver power, A/V receiver volume up, A/V receiver volume down, TV input change, A/V Receiver input change, Kodi stop (using FLIRC), Fire TV Sleep (using FLIRC).


The Sideclick works perfectly with FLIRC and together make up a team that rivals my Harmony universal remote. FLIRC, which adds IR capabilities to the Fire TV, lets you assign any number of Fire TV commands to various IR remote button presses. Since the Fire TV remote does not have a stop button, I used the FLIRC to assign one of the Sideclick buttons to act as a standard media “Stop” button, which works perfectly in Kodi. I also assigned a Sideclick button to act as a “PC sleep” button using my FLIRC, which puts the Fire TV in sleep mode.


Sideclick is a welcomed addition to my living room that makes me wonder what I need my fancy Harmony universal remote for anymore. Sideclick takes the most important parts of my various remotes and puts them right where I need them; attached to the remote I use the most. It’s a simple solution with no frills that works exactly as I expected, and I look forward to getting the final product.

Update 8/21/2015 7:00 am PT

Here are photos of the Sideclick in my hand, as requested by some in the comments. Note that I have larger than average sized hands.

  1. folkboat says:

    Will it learn keys programmed with a Macro??

  2. Kalyway says:

    I’ve been following this project since I got my fireTV Stick. Thankful it works! I use my TV remote to control ‘most’ of the fire stick using CEC. Now I’m happy there is this all in one solution.

    Thanks for reviewing! Helps me make my decision about this great product ;)

  3. Some Guy says:

    Would you mind adding a picture of it in your hand, with your thumb reaching to the sideclick buttons?

  4. natebetween says:

    Apologies if this is a stupid question, but how do you program sleep (since it is a long press of the home button, followed by the enter button), and how do you program Stop, since that I not a teachable function from the FTV remote?

    Are these functions available to assigne from the FLIRC program?


    • AFTVnews says:

      Yes, these are functions available only because of the FLIRC dongle.

      The Fire TV understands many standard Windows keyboard functions. If you connect a USB keyboard to the Fire TV that has media keys PLAY/PAUSE/STOP/RW/FF, they will all work. The FLIRC will read an IR remote and emulate any of these keys, which is how I assigned STOP. The Fire TV also interprets a keyboards STANDBY button as sleep mode, so again I used FLIRC to assign one of the Sideclick buttons to emulate a STANDBY keyboard press.

      • natebetween says:

        Fantastic! I ordered based upon one of the articles here, but had NO idea it could do all that. Can’t wait until it comes in. Thanks for the answer.

      • Some Guy says:

        Is there a way to make FLIRC launch an app? A and B as Netflix and Hulu would be cool. I suppose I could use the “launcher” app you mentioned before, which isn’t actually a launcher.

  5. Ray Fox says:

    I’m curious as to why you’d use Sleep or Stop? Energy savings?

    • natebetween says:

      I want stop in order to stop the movie that’s playing. Right now my only option is to pause or use the back button, then from the menu of the skin (Confluence) navigate to stop. Otherwise I can still see the movie in the background while I’m nagivating around, when I want to see my movie posters. This is annoying…though I don’t know if this is a problem with other skins.

      I put mine on sleep for energy savings yes…but mostly to make the screen go dark immediately…but maybe I don’t want to turn off the TV or maybe I’ll be switching inputs soon.

      • Drumst1x says:

        Not a single-button solution like the side-click, but you could also, when a video/song is playing, press the middle “select” or “OK” button (not sure what it’s called) on the AFTV remote, then navigate over to “stop” on the Kodi pop-up menu. This will stop the video/song then bounce you back to whatever menu you were on before you played the media.


        Thanks for the review, been following this product, good to hear that even the prototype is fitting well and functioning as expected!

      • HiOb says:

        You can just assign the back button a Stop function while in Full Screen video in Kodi using KeyMap Editor. Download addon from kodi repository, launch it, then go to Edit>Full screen video>Playback, then Edit the “Stop” in there and assign the Back button from your harmony. After this the video will stop whenever you press back button :)

    • AFTVnews says:

      I had two unused Sideclick buttons and these were the first two functions that came to mind. I’ll likely play around with changing them. The sleep isn’t all that use, especially since it doesn’t really save any extra energy as long as you turn your TV off anyway. The STOP is actually quite handy in Kodi. Since the Fire TV remote doesn’t have a STOP button, you have to use Kodi’s on-screen buttons to stop a video. Having a dedicated Sideclick button that does this is small time saver.

  6. Rob says:

    So now you just need to find us a compatible lamp/light module and way to turn it on/off with this remote. :)

    I’m thinking some LED strip lighting (that remembers last used setting, of Red LED lights) that are ran around the room, simulating a movie theater, would be convenient to turn on and off with this remote. Just have to point it at the LED strip’s remote sensor but should be easy enough to pull off. This would eliminate a whole remote for just that function.

    For those that just want some light to offset only the TV lighting you could simply put a LED strip behind the TV and the sensor would be right where you’re always pointing anyway.

    Definitely looking forward to the remotes to come in.

  7. Mark says:

    Honestly, I am not impressed. It might be a good idea if the remote wasn’t as wide as a wide-bodied 747. And the keys, not enough. I find it difficult to believe the reviewer HONESTLY wondered why he would still want his Harmony remote…

    This is a great idea that is long past its usefulness. Without macro, it is a losing venture. People want the convenience of one button operation, not one button for the TV power, one for the AVR power, one for the TV input, one for the AVR input, etc…

    If this came out 10 years ago before the Harmony, thenm I might be able to see this being useful. Not so much now tho. Nothing personal, just my opinion.

    A suggestion that MAY be useful to the makers though, would be to make it glow in the dark. So at least you can find the black remote in the dark after it has fallen off the arm of the couch, when viewing programming.

    As a final thought, I wonder why I would have to pay for the Sideclick and then buy separate clips to use it with my Roku? Why not make one for each box? If there is only one model Sideclick being developed and then an additional $8 (or so) needing to be spent to use with a different streaming box remote, isn’t a viable business model in my opinion.

    I for one won’t be purchasing one in the configuration being prepared to be mass produced. Sorry.

    • AFTVnews says:

      I may not be a typical Harmony user, but I don’t use any macros. I got it because it’s one of the few universal remotes that works with the Fire TV for the sole purpose of reducing three remotes to one. I still prefer using the Fire TV remote to the Harmony, so Fire TV + Sideclick servers the same purpose as my Harmony remote now with the added bonus of letting me use the Fire TV remote. If you use macros or any of the other fancy Harmony features, then of course the Sideclick won’t replace a Harmony. But if you use a Harmony just to reduce the number of remotes you need, like me, then the Sideclick is a comparable replacement.

      • Mark says:

        But that’s just it. The Harmony takes the place of 3 remotes. Any universal remote can do that, easily. The difference (and likely the reason you bought a Harmony and not a RCA universal remote) is that you can press one button and then the TV turns on, the AVR turns on, the FireTV turns on (if you have that ‘flirc'(?) thingy I guess) and you are good to go. I’m certain you didn’t get the Harmony so you can go thru all the button presses needed for EACH device, each time you want to watch something. Otherwise, why waste the money and just continue using all 3 remotes?

        The Sideclick does not emulate your Harmony remote as much as it emulates any generis, dollar store universal remote.

        But I am curious about something you said tho that got me thinking. Why would you want a Sideclick if you already have the flirc thingy? That makes the FireTV remote [almost] as obsolete as the Sideclick, minus the voice search feature.

        I don’t know…to me, the Sideclick is just something else that isn’t needed. At least for serious users. Now for Kids? That would be the way I would market it. Kids won’t get their sticky little fingers all over the expensive Harmony. What is the price point of the Sideclick? Is it inexpensive enough to toss when non functioning any more?

        • Rob says:


          I’ve given up on teaching people how to use the harmony remotes. Even with a one button press of macros they somehow screw it up. too much time wasted on my part to set it up and then showing them how to use it and then troubleshooting the whole thing over the phone, like stop pointing it at the TV after one second.

          The great part about this is how simple it is. IF you’ve gotten someone used to using the Firetv controller then they are no longer scared to have a few more buttons to process. I’ve setup many firetv boxes up for friends with all the exact same kodi setup using amber. Since they are all virtually the same everyone knows how to use everyone else’s system. So many happy people and I’m happy too ’cause they can call each other instead of me all the time to figure stuff out… WOO!!!

          This button will work out for me in several scenarious, and even a few more that I’m not gonna post since this is already a wall of text.

          You don’t need a AVR power-on button if you get a TV capable of enabling it. I have a 2014 39″ Panasonic Viera and a semi-old Onkyo TX-SR508. When I turn on power to TV it auto-turns on my Onkyo as well. The same button turns them both back off. I’m certainly not saying go buy a new TV (even though this one was only $250 last year) but if you use the FireTV in your bedroom/spareroom then this saves the hassle of needing 2 remotes just to turn units off and on and control volume on.

          No need for volume buttons on tv since Onkyo will be used anyway so they can be programmed to change OTA/cable channels. Just set your cable box to “favorite channels” in this room and up and down is all you need since most people only use half a dozen channels anyway. I’ve sold my 360 and PS3 and no longer have cableboxes but I think my AVR auto-sensed power and swapped inputs for me automatically. It would failback to the always on cablebox when they were powered off.

          The other use I can think of is for people who are unable to understand remote controls or just genuinely hate the concept of them. (I don’t know why they think this way and will never understand why that is but) For instance, I have someone in mind who I’m just going to make labels called “Pandora” “Sound of TV” “Stereo on/off” “A speakers” “B speakers” “Volume up” “Volume down” and slap it on the remote. then all they have to do is hit those buttons to control a receiver that has a built in pandora input and autostarts songs when it’s chosen when they decide to swim and yet they can still use the remote to change back to TV sound output for indoor speakers when they want to watch a movie (through Sat. input) with surround sound on. I am of course going to ask them what button looks like the button I’m going to label it as so it makes sense to them, not me.

          Another use is a room we have two large screen TVs on same wall for sports season… and yet we still have friends bring in another 32″ and their firetv during March Madness… but basically this should help immensely in being able to control the TV sound insanity during football season. one tv stays on redzone, the other on my team, (dual mutes, dual volumes, and channel up/down on hometeam game if anyone wants to swap to a different game. As long as I set those football channels as favorites then it will just rotate between them. Then anyone can figure out how to use the thing, within a minute, and I don’t have to be the one in charge of how the whole thing works all the time. :)

          I suppose if everything you have has to be controlled by many buttons then this wouldn’t work out for you and you would require the harmony. Just keep simplicity of use in mind on your next setup. Your GF/wife will probably thank you.

  8. xnamkcor says:

    All the Harmony remotes I’ve bought were between 15 and 25 USD. The 200 and 300 series are very basic and lack certain features, but are great remotes. The jump up to the 50 to 100 USD models adds certain things that add little or even detract(certain ones that remove buttons in favor of a screen) value.

  9. nyder says:

    wow, that is ugly. Seriously, it’s really freaking ugly.

  10. awdahelwidit says:

    The reason I enjoy using the fire’s remote is the comfortable shape, which this interferes with.

    I would imagine someone from Amazon has caught wind of this, said “geez our users are resorting to this”, and will bring it to the attention of the design team. Before you know it they will be offering a remote with programmable (favorite app or whatever they feel like calling it) keys.

    Hope these people get their product to market before Amazon integrates their idea.

  11. Mike says:

    Ok… Couldnt i simply use some electrical tape and tape my tv remote and aftv remote back to back and get the same remote arrangement?

    This is alot of talk, designing, fundraising on kickstarter, engineering, marketing, promotion, selling, credit card processing, shipping and people writing reviews for something that can be solved so simply.

  12. HeyRadar says:

    I’m sorry, but I’m not going to pay $27+ for a remote add-on.

    For less than $30, they should have focused on making a actual after-market remote for Roku, FireTV, etc. That has both the basic TV buttons and Roku/FireTV buttons all in one device.

    They should have spent the kickstarter money to team up with Aigen, RCA, TCL, or even Amazon/Roku themselves to make a complete remote replacement.

    If you don’t plan on using with any of the ‘sticks’, you can buy a RCA universal remote for less than $10 that works with a Roku.

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