Modern living rooms today come with a number of tech products that come with their own remote control and remembering what remote does what as well as where you put them all can be a real pain. This is the problem at universal remote controls aim to solve but providing you with one remote control that can control multiple devices. Sounds great you say, and it is for the most part, the issue however is that most universal remote leave little to be desired. If there’s one company that knows how to make amazing universal remote controls than that is Logitech and if there is one universal remote capable of ruling them all, it’s the Logitech Harmony Elite. Today we are going to take a look at Logitech’s latest offering in our Logitech Harmony Elite review.
Logitech Harmony Elite Review – What’s in the Box?
Priced at around $549AUD, it’s a high-end device compared to other universal remote control brands in the market and the price is justified when you take into account the design and functionality of the product. Its design and overall functionality have garnered praise and respect from users and tech experts.
The Logitech Harmony Elite remote control was delivered packaged away inside a standard brown parcel box that kept the Harmony Elite nice and safe during shipping. Inside the shipping carton was the stylish packaging that we have come to expect from other Logitech products.
The Logitech Harmony Elite packaging is simple and stylish making use of matte white and blue colours along with imagery of the Harmony Elite itself. On the front of the box you will find a large image that showcases the Harmony Elite in all of its glory. The image really pops on the white background. Leaving all focus on the product design itself. On the sides of the box is where you will find the Logitech Harmony branding printed on matte blue background. Turning to the rear of the packaging is where Logitech has places the product specifications.
Contents of the product include:
Harmony Elite remote (with rechargeable battery)
2 IR mini-blasters
2 AC adapters
Logitech Harmony Elite – Once Again Logitech Delivers Another Killer Remote
One of Logitech’s biggest strengths with all of their products is their product design. Logitech clearly takes the time and effort required in order to product some of the best looking products that are also functional. Their ability to create great looking and functional products is key when producing the Harmony series of remote controls as they need to look great sitting next to your expensive home entertainment setup but must also be easy to use, feel great in your hand and also perform all the tasks you need it to. Thankfully Logitech has once again delivered these requirements with the Harmony Elite remote control.
The Harmony Elite makes use of very high quality plastic and contains both gloss and soft touch plastic. The textured backing feels great in your hand as it keeps the remote control steadily placed and also doesn’t make your palm feel sweaty. The remote control has a slight curvature to it which really helps make the remote control comfortable to use and does not require you to have to keep moving the control in your hand in order to reach the buttons.
The remote control comes equipped with a touchscreen at the top, allowing you to easily navigate and select your various activities that have been setup. It comes with a micro USB port concealed behind a rubber flap located at the bottom. Two metallic controls allow for charging (while this doesn’t allow for USB connectivity, you’ll need to directly plug in the remote to the cable for updates).
The remote control is just part of the Harmony Elite system. It also comes bundled with a Logitech Harmony Hub, a box that works hand in hand with the remote control for handling Bluetooth and infrared repeating. In itself, the box is black and portable in size with measurements of 4.9 inches by 4.1 inches by 1 inch.
The Logitech Harmony Elite is an all-in-one remote with radio frequency and Bluetooth capabilities. Both frequencies don’t require you to maintain line of site with your devices or the Harmony Hub. Thanks to the RF and Bluetooth functions it means that commands made via the remote can easily be done through doors and walls, making the Logitech Harmony Elite a perfect choice for users who use it for wireless gadgets tucked away in closets and cabinets.
Most importantly, getting Bluetooth in the mix allows for a universal remote that’s compatible with IR-less devices that come with Bluetooth capability. With more and more devices opting for Bluetooth over IR this means that the Logitech Harmony Elite is pretty much future proof, making it a worthy investment.
Another big upside to the Harmony Elite over other remote controls is the Wi-Fi capability that lets you update your remote control’s settings via a desktop PC (or through the remote on its own). This allows for wireless syncing without needing to tether the remote to your desktop PC by means of a USB cable.
Furthermore, the manufacturer will let you utilize their free apps (via iPhone or Android device) to control your devices (via Wi-Fi) for interchangeable use with the remote.
The Logitech Harmony Elite gives you the ability the handle a huge number devices at the same time. According to Logitech, they have a library of more than 240,000 home entertainment products along with their set of infrared commands. If you currently run an obscure Blu-Ray player or TV, there’s a good chance you can control it with the remote.
Setup is simple to carry out with Logitech’s providing an app for your PC that is capable of configuring all Logitech Harmony remotes by means of a USB connection (via the bundled micro USB cable). Once you go to the site, it’ll ask for your home entertainment device’s model number and brand. It then updates them to the remote along with control support before setting up entertainment activities (ex. watching a DVD or viewing TV).
After entering the desired devices for an activity, the app then generates a set of commands to send out and decide which devices should be active for that current activity.
If you want to watch TV via the remote, you can also key in the cable/satellite service provider and zip codes to fill the remote with the right channel numbers along with their networks. You can even go as far as listing your favorite channels to access via the remote’s touch screen during the “Watch TV” mode.
Connecting to Bluetooth devices (such as gaming systems) require additional steps that can all be done through the remote. After communicating to the app on which device you’re using and syncing with the remote, the screen will lay out instructions for proper pairing.
The home button seen on the remote lets you access your remote activities. Tap on the Activity button to flick your home entertainment system on or move to another wireless activity.
The Start button showcases your Favorite Channels. Tap the “Favorites” option to tune in to your channel. If your home entertainment system is off, tapping the Favorites button will start the Watch TV Activity, which automatically tunes to your channel. Navigating your on-screen TV guide can also be done through Favorites.
Once you’re able to start an Activity, controlling your devices can be done through the on-screen commands allowing you to toggle between Favorite Channels, command guide list, and numerical pads.
Whenever an Activity is running, making a screen swipe from the bottom-up will show the gesture screen. This is where swipes and taps can be carried out related to your present remote activity (playing, pausing, skipping, volume changes, and etc…). Tapping the top button lets you view gestures available for a particular activity.
If you need an even easier way to setup the Harmony Elite and create your activities, Logitech has provided an iOS and Android app that allows you to do so very easily. The app essentially walks you through the entire process of creating activities and is extremely simple to use. It it simply a matter of following the on screen prompts and away you go.
At present, the Logitech Harmony Elite is one of few universal remotes in the planet that’s powerful yet simple to set up (thanks largely to its paired Harmony Hub and PC and mobile apps). Its added Bluetooth capability and iOS and Android app functionality it highly flexible. Infrared emitters within the Harmony Home Hub lets you access and control your entertainment devices without worrying about the line of sight.
While $549AUD may be a bit uncomfortable for some, it’s actually worth every penny. The remote lets you control your home entertainment system in a simple and intuitive manner. So if you’re in search for the sleekest-yet-powerful remote in today’s market, the Harmony Elite is the best you can ever go for.