One For All's Smart Zapper is yet another gizmo released to work in conjunction with its Nevo app (some readers will remember the Nevo name from its pro-grade universal remote days). It's a small, battery-powered IR blaster with eight re-assignable physical control buttons, which connects to your smartphone or tablet using the Bluetooth Smart standard (compatibility is not universal and generally requires the latest versions of Android or iOS). It's controlled by the free-to-download app. So you get a touchscreen universal remote (and don't have to deal with multiple apps), plus a cutesy regular handset to boot.

There’s always a short delay whilst Nevo re-pairs with the Zapper but once hooked up commands are executed instantaneously. A setup wizard guides you through selecting hardware from the comprehensive list; after a slightly labourious process of executing basic commands you’re up and running with shortcuts for watching TV or movies, listening to audio or a customisable fourth macro. The app is clever enough to ask which devices need powering on or off and you can set up separate gear for use in different rooms.

By and large most commands are nicely displayed, spread over three screens per device (on an iPhone). I had no trouble configuring and using a Samsung TV, Sky+ HD PVR, Sony Blu-ray deck and Onkyo receiver. One or two buttons didn’t work out of the gate but these are easy to reassign (including the icon). Another handy feature is that when watching TV, you can adopt a landscape view to display the EPG for your service provider, save favourite channels and select and tune in the PVR, etc.

Overall, this is a decent little gizmo that may be exactly what you're looking for if your coffee table is getting cluttered.

One For All Smart Zapper, £35, www.oneforall.co.uk
HCC VERDICT: 4/5