Walmart’s Onn 4K Pro Remote has a Backlight and a Remote Finder

A few features of Walmart’s new Onn 4K Pro streaming device that weren’t immediately obvious when it debuted earlier this week have to do with its remote. While the remote looks a lot like the standard Google-designed G10 remote that ships with many Google TV devices on the surface, it’s packing a few more new features than just the addition of a customizable star button. Those features are a backlight and a remote finder.

The backlight of the Onn 4K Pro’s remote shines through all the buttons on the remote except for the circular directional pad. It’s not as refined as the backlight of the Fire TV Pro Remote or the Nvidia Shield TV Remote, as is evident by the splotchy characteristics of the light which leaks past the edges of some of the buttons, but it’s a surprising addition on a remote that comes with a relatively inexpensive streamer.

The backlight functionality of the Onn remote is quite basic when compared to the Fire TV Pro Remote and Shield TV Remote. Both of these remotes can detect motion and activate the backlight as soon as they are picked up. However, the backlight on the Onn remote only illuminates when a button is pressed. The Onn remote also lights up for every button press, regardless of the brightness of the room. The Fire TV Pro remote uses a built-in light sensor to only illuminate if the room is dark. This reduces unnecessary battery drain, which might be more of an issue with the Onn remote.

The second surprising feature of the Onn remote is its built-in remote finder. There is a button on the front of the Onn 4K Pro which, when pressed, causes its remote to beep and flash a tiny LED light for 30 seconds. The alert also stops when any button on the remote is pressed. Onn says the remote finder works if the remote is within 30 feet of the streamer.

If you ask the Onn 4K Pro to find your remote, using its hands-free voice capabilities, it responds with “Sure, locating the remote” but then does not cause the remote to start beeping. The response seems to suggest that using your voice to find the remote is supported, so this might be a bug or a feature that is coming soon. Amazon’s Fire TV Pro Remote can be found by asking any Alexa device to find your remote.

There are no settings to adjust the remote’s backlight behavior in Google TV, but you can disable the remote finder feature so that the button on the front of the Onn 4K Pro no longer functions. There is also an option to trigger the remote finder sound from within Google TV’s settings, which works whether the remote finder button is enabled or not.

The Onn 4K Pro may not impress with its raw computational power, but its value proposition is unbeatable, thanks in part to these remote features that are, typically, only found on more expensive devices like the Shield TV or Apple TV, or on add-on remotes such as the Fire TV Remote Pro. It’s impressive that Walmart has included so many features on a device and remote that are priced only $15 higher than Amazon charges for its premium remote alone.

7 comments
  1. Quantom Oracle says:

    good lord that free tv button is even worse with the backlight on

  2. Craig says:

    I guess I don’t know why it’s taken so long to release a Google TV with hands-free microphones? I mean? It really is a good value proposition and I will consider it, but not until after Google I/O. I would prefer this, hands-free, but directly from Google themselves, even if it costs more. I can’t imagine Google letting Walmart upstage them with hands-free voice and not releasing a similar box?

  3. Mike says:

    I got one of these 4k pro today and the included remote is NOT backlit though I would kinda like that feature if it actually had it.

  4. clocks says:

    I picked one up yesterday, and sadly it does not have the backlit remote. I might return it. I wonder which version Onn will settle on. I suspect they started down one path, then made a switch early in production. And going forward, all units will be the same.

  5. clocks says:

    So is the backlite more just a battery drain, than actually being that useful? Reading about the limitations, it almost makes me happy mine does not have it.

  6. Ryan Sinclair says:

    The remote does have a backlight but it doesn’t look awful like that picture. It’s more subtle

  7. John says:

    I picked one up yesterday, and my remote is not backlit, nor does it have the Free TV button.

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