*** Update ****
Not 3 days after purchasing the remote, I started experiencing a problem with the Volume buttons not working properly, which apparently may be a widespread problem and not just an isolated bug. The volume button does not always register when pressed. I have to repeatedly press the power button and it may be detected maybe only every other push. Also If I just hold down the volume button, It's only adjust the volume up or down a little, then a pause, then a little more, then a pause, then a little more. Very annoying little bug if your relying on this remote for volume control. I've dropped from 5 stars to 4 stars. I still really like the remote but I do expect the volume to work normally and will have to contact microsoft about this issue. Maybe a bigger drop in stars is incoming if I don't resolve this problem.
****// End Update ****
The remote is about half the height of the 360 media remote. Very straight forward and easy to use. Has a soft touch feel that feels really good. The downside of the soft touch material is that it is a bit of a lint magnet. Remote picked up lint just from the packaging it came in and I had to wipe it clean first thing.
I'm still quite happy with the soft touch and think it will be great in the long run. The remote also has a sensor that turns on the backlighting when you pick it up without you having to do anything. The back light then very gracefully fades after about 5-7 seconds when the remote is placed down again. Very slick and the design akin to something Apple might do. Very good on Microsoft here.
To turn on Xbox you long press the Xbox logo button on the remote.
This is so much better than using the Xbox One controller as your remote control. It's just less work. Easier to pickup and use one handed. Easier than talking to Kinect all the time...although I still enjoy talking for certain things like Pausing a video or opening an app. A great solution for the non-gaming family members to interact with the Xbox with easily and without clunkiness.
It seems like many don't know this, but the Xbox One has an IR blaster in the Kinect device. You can program your Xbox One to control your specific TV and Receiver / Amplifier, or your Cable TV, via the IR blaster. You don't have to run any special cables or anything, the Kinect just bounces high power IR signal around your room and it gets back to your TV, receiver, cable box...etc. You can even control your Amplifier / Receiver audio volume from the Xbox One Media Remote! It works unbelievably well. Go into your Xbox One settings > TV & One Guide > Devices.
If you want to change the increment of how much the Xbox One increases or decreases your volume (when controlling by voice), follow these instructions:
Go to the Xbox One settings app
Go to TV & OneGuide
Again the above instructions are only for voice control, "Xbox Volume Up". The media remote only does volume control by standard +/- 1 unit of audio and can NOT be adjusted by the above increment settings.
So for my fairly straight forward setup where I only use the Xbox One for games, Blu-Ray, and streaming media, I now don't need my Logitech Harmony Remote anymore, or any other remote. This media remote is my ONLY remote!
I have a love hate relationship with the Logitech Harmony. With the One remote, my setup no longer needs it!!! My wife will now be able to easily turn on the TV without issues, and unlike the Logitech harmony remote which you had to carefully keep pointing at the TV / Amp / Cable box till it finished all it's commands, lest it get out of sync and be a headache to fix...the Xbox One sends such a powerful blast of IR out to your other devices, that you don't have to think about how long you point the remote.
This is a huge feature that the Xbox One has that the PS4 does not. It's one of the features made possible by the Kinect device.