The Smart Home market has exploded over the last year and a half with thermostats, light bulbs, switches and plugs, and many more solutions hitting the market from several vendors. Many of these solutions, I have been lucky enough to test and review here at TweakTown.
The Harmony remote goes way back to the days when the universal remote was in its infancy and homes had a TV, VCR, and possibly a stereo system. As technology has evolved, more devices have entered our living space, and Logitech is still aiming to have everything controlled by a single remote.
With that in mind, Logitech has deployed a two-part solution with new smart home devices linking over your home network to a hub that interfaces with the remote. Logitech has worked to bring many platforms together, and that includes support for Amazon Alexa and Google Home personal assistants, Honeywell, Nest and ecobee thermostats, along with Philips Hue and Samsung Smart things.
Mobile setup requires an iOS 8.0+ device or Android 4.2+ device with Bluetooth capability. Online setup can be achieved with Windows 7+ or OS X 10.7 and above. The MSRP for the Logitech Harmony Elite comes in at $349.99 with a one-year warranty.
Packaging is very clean cut; the front carries an image of the remote with branding at the top left and bottom center.
The backside details feature of the Harmony Elite along with a list of what's in the box.
Opening the box, each part of the system has its place in the molded packaging.
The scope of delivery includes two IR receivers, two power adapters, and the Harmony hub.
The remote comes with its charging base seen above docked together.
The remote itself houses two tabs at the bottom that connect to that same system inside the dock.
Part of the setup process includes placing the remote in its cradle.
The backside of the hub houses both ports for the IR blasters along with power input via micro USB.
Once we have all the hardware setup, we move on to software below.
The app on iOS is called Harmony Control; we are running in on an iPhone 7 Plus.
To start setup, we are pairing the Harmony hub with your home network via wireless.
For those that already have a Harmony remote, you can copy your current configuration to make setup extremely quick. For this article, we used new setup.
The menu for the Harmony app gives you the ability to upgrade and setup your Harmony along with changing app settings.
On the remote side, once all your devices are set up, you have Activities that can control multiple devices and functions at once and you have devices.
The devices menu item gives you a list of everything you setup with the Harmony.
For a little over a month, I have been using the Harmony Elite to control everything from my TV, Xbox, Apple TV, and even home heating. You can control even more including lighting and window coverings - Logitech claims 250k devices are supported by Harmony. Build quality is top notch for both the hub and remote, the plastics feel good in your hand thanks to ergonomics designed into the remote.
Performance in an everyday scenario is remarkable. For those that have their homes decked out with all the latest smart home technology, this remote can take the place of a smartphone and control every aspect of your indoor life.
Also, the app used to aid setup doubles as a second remote - a solid idea. Battery life for me came in just under two days, that is 40 hours straight with no charge before needing to dock in the cradle. Adding to this the battery for the Harmony Elite is user replaceable and can be had from the Logitech parts store for $20.
Overall, I've had nothing but a positive experience with the Harmony Elite, and while this remote won't be for everyone with its MSRP sitting around $349.99, for those invested in smart home solutions, this remote is certainly a must have.
The Bottom Line: Logitech's impressive Harmony Elite allows you to engage all your Smart Home devices from a single familiar and ergonomic device.
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