The Device That Turns an iPhone Into a Universal Remote

Credit: Courtesy Pronto

What It Is: This small, stand-alone Bluetooth gadget allows you to communicate with a TV, cable box, DVD, and Blu-Ray player directly from your phone.

RELATED: Cutting the Cable: Sling TV

Why We Like It: This is one of the easiest universal remotes we've ever set up. The 3.5-inch tall Pronto is powered by 4 AA batteries, and it sits beside your TV without any additional wires or cords. After syncing it to our iPhone, we answered a few simple questions via the SmartRemote app and were able to control our cable box, TV, and Sonos soundbar in seconds. The user-friendly app has some basic functions (volume, channel up/down) and a DVR-like channel guide that helps you find and navigate to shows and movies currently airing. Best of all, the Pronto's 360-degree signal coverage means we no longer have to constantly reach at odd angles to make sure the remote has a clear view of the finicky cable box. No matter where we sat in the living room, the device responded to our actions immediately.

RELATED: Everything You Need to Know About Your Connected Home

Nitpick: The app is slick, but very limited. We could not search for shows beyond scrolling through the channel guide (a huge oversight in our opinion); and we could not access saved shows on our DVR — meaning we still had to reach for that awful Time Warner Cable remote from time to time.

[$50; getpronto.com]

Get the latest in gear, style, travel & adventure news delivered directly to your inbox. Sign up now for the
Men's Journal newsletter.