Samsung's trying to be a little less square. Its new smart TV remote, debuting at CES, does away with the sharp corners for curved edges, while tweaking the touchpad to combine four-way directional buttons. The end result is 80 percent smaller than last year's model. There are still voice controls that can change channels and launch apps like YouTube, but new are motion controls that let you zip around on-screen menus. Samsung's also added a button to watch two programs at once, side-by-side, which was not there in last year's remote. Some of these things have been replaced by Samsung's higher-end model TVs, which let you change channels and control other functions with hand gestures.
Smaller, but with more features
After playing with it briefly here at the show, it feels quite good in your hand, with a rubbery back that looks a lot like a zeppelin. The control scheme can be swapped on the fly between motion gestures and a four-way directional pad. That touchpad has been shrunk down from last year's square design, but still lets you slide your finger to move around. All that results in a lot of ways to jump from menu to menu, something that might keep it from being forgotten in the couch.
The remote replaces last year's model, and will ship with Samsung's 2014 Smart TV sets this spring.