OneForAll Essence 4 review

Pocket-friendly and suited to users with a modest amount of AV kit

OneForAll Essence 4
This is a basic universal remote control for users with a modest amount of kit

TechRadar Verdict


  • +


  • +

    Solidly built

  • +

    Easy to use 'SimpleSet' option


  • -

    Four devices only

  • -

    Clumsy training mode

Why you can trust TechRadar Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

The OneForAll Essence 4 is a respectable entry-level offering that's solidly built, and capable of controlling four separate devices for less than £20. Its standout feature is its 'SimpleSet' option.

Like most universal remotes, this one enables you to manually enter four-digit control codes for a range of well-known electronics manufacturers.

However, the device has also been pre-programmed with a 'SimpleSet' of codes for the top 10 manufacturers in various product categories – such as Samsung, Panasonic and Sony for TVs and Sky, Humax and Philips for set-top boxes.

Provided your TV and home cinema kit are all included on the 'SimpleSet' list, you can program the Essence 4 to control them by simply entering a single-digit number for each device.

I had no trouble using the SimpleSet feature to program the handset to work with a Samsung TV and a few other devices from similar well-known brands. However, it stumbled with my Freeview HD box from FetchTV.

Its 'search' mode did allow me to find a code that provided basic controls, but I still had to use its more laborious training mode to program in one or two key commands for features such as the electronic programme guide.

Basic instinct

The Essence 4 is a good, basic universal remote control for your television and one or two other devices.

However, more experienced users who like to mix and match AV equipment from a variety of different manufacturers should probably look elsewhere for something with more sophisticated features.

Follow TechRadar Reviews on Twitter: