I’ve owned the Logitech Harmony Elite smart remote control for around 10 months so I thought that now would be a good time to write a long term, real user review on the top of the line Harmony remote from Logitech.
First off, prior to the Logitech Harmony Elite, I owned (and loved) the Harmony One for a around 3 years. Unfortunately as the smart devices evolved during this period, wifi and bluetooth control became essential so I knew that upgrade time had arrived.
I went for the Harmony Elite primarily due to the huge catalog of supported devices and the great experience I’d had with my previous remote from Logitech. With well over a quarter of a million devices in their database, there’s an extremely good chance that the Harmony Elite will be able to control every device sitting under your TV and then some!
In addition to traditional remote controlled things like TV’s Sky/Virgin boxes and Blu Ray Players, the Harmony Elite supports smart home devices like Sonos, Philips Hue, Nest, Smartthings and many more so you can turn off the lights and turn down the thermostat and turn off the TV all from the single remote! The amount of devices that Logitech hold in their database is really incredible.
Once you’ve set up all the devices you’d like to control in your home, it’s time to dive in to the ‘Activities’. These are combinations of single actions that can be performed by pressing a single button on the Elite’s screen – Pressing ‘Play Xbox’ for example can turn on your TV, set it to the correct input, turn on the amp, set the amp to the correct input, turn on the Xbox One and turn down the Nest thermostat…. all by pressing one button!
All this is great and watching the onscreen buttons intelligently remap depending on the current activity is really cool as is the way the Harmony Elite almost completely eliminates the need for other remotes in your home.
As great as the Elite is, it does however have a few downsides. Let’s take a look at these now.
Did you notice how I wrote almost completely eliminates the need for other remotes? This is because there’s no voice button or microphone on the Elite. This wasn’t a problem in years gone by but in 2017 half of my ‘traditional remotes’ have a voice search button that I use regularly. So when I want to perform voice searches on my Apple TV 4, Nvidia Shield or Sky Q box, the Harmony fails and I’ve got to go back searching for the original remote.
As voice search becomes a larger part of our lives, this problem is going to get bigger and bigger for Logitech so I’d like to see them address this with a microphone and voice search button on their next flagship.
As a temporary work around, the Harmony team could possibly add a voice search facility to the (excellent) mobile app and use my phones microphone?
The second problem I’ve had is after recently upgrading to a 4K HDR TV, even though the TV is in the Harmony database, it doesn’t always switch inputs correctly. This wasn’t a problem on my previous TV’s so it may only be related to this particular model but it’s a deal breaker for the wife who gives up as soon as Sky Q doesn’t come on when she launches the Sky Q activity.
In Logitech’s defence, they do offer a great trouble shooting and ‘fix it myself’ options on the remote so it’s nothing more than a mild nuisance to me, I do understand how it’s more that that for some people.
Overall, I’ve been really pleased with the Harmony Elite. It’s a solid remote that will control almost every device you’ll ever own and Logitech are constantly updating their database as new products and devices are released.