PROS / The ergonomic shape feels as if the remote was molded to fit your hand perfectly.
CONS / Logitech should have allowed more than five devices to be programmed.
VERDICT / Five programmable activity buttons is just one of the features that you'll love on this universal remote.
The world of universal remotes can be compared to a beauty pageant: who has the best shape, who can answer all of our questions and who has the most features. The winner of the universal remote beauty pageant is the Logitech Harmony One with the Logitech Harmony 700 as runner up. The Logitech Harmony 650 just fell short of the Harmony 700's number two spot due to its lacking power management situation and device support. The Harmony 650 universal remote has won the Top Ten Reviews Bronze Award, however, because of its excellent help and support options, optimized layout for DVR and TIVO and a great list of features.
As previously mentioned, a key point of Logitech's 650's fall from the number two spot deals heavily with its device support. The 650 supports only five devices. For those who are buried in technical gadgetry and the remotes that come with, this remote may not have enough programmable activity buttons for you, leaving you with a pile of regular remotes. But for many of us who have not been dragged into the technical jungle yet, a universal remote with five devices is plenty.
Your life is busy. We get it, and so does Logitech. Just because you are busy does not mean you need to miss your favorite singers on "American Idol," the hilarious Tracy Jordan on "30 Rock" or the victory-fueled football players on Monday night. Right? Right. The Harmony 650 universal remote includes a layout optimized for DVR and TiVO, perfect for your hectic schedule.
The five programmable activity buttons are located at the top of the universal remote. Watch TV, a movie on your DVD or Blu-ray player, or listen to your sound system – they are all perfectly placed for one-touch ease. Another great feature of the Harmony 650 is the programmable channel icons. You can see these icons on the vibrant LCD color screen located at the top of the universal remote along with the activity buttons. Additional buttons on the side of the color screen allow you to select these channel icons or page through until you find what you are looking for.
The Harmony 650 is the first product in our top three that does not have some kind of rechargeable power management option. Instead, this universal remote uses plain and simple AA batteries. Although we believe a docking cradle is the best power management solution, having the ability to put whatever brand of battery you choose in your universal remote could be less expensive. And, due to the motion sensor in the remote, the battery power in the AA could last just as long, if not longer, than the rechargeable batteries.
Logitech has set a standard for its universal remotes, no matter the price or features list. Like our top two products, Harmony 650 has been included in this standard when it comes to the ergonomic design (perfect fit in the palm of your hand and easy control), sculpted buttons (find the play, stop and rewind buttons with ease) and backlit controls (watch your favorite DVD or listen to your favorite CD after hours). Logitech adds these special design elements to each of its remotes, no matter the price tag. We love that. And we know you will, too.
Help and Support
If there ever comes a time when your activity buttons are not working correctly or another issue arises, simply connect to the internet, navigate your way to Logitech.com and access their live support customer service chat. If you do not want to bother with the chat line, just touch the help button located right on the remote and access information from there.
When the setup process for your remote begins, again, turn to the internet and take advantage of Logitech's guided online setup, making the entire process that much simpler. Online, there is also infrared learning for those wanting to know how to get the best control results from their universal remote.
Ease of Use
While there is a learning curve when trying to figure out how to use Logitech's database of over 200,000 devices from 5,000 brands, once you have mastered the curve, programming your universal remote is quite simple. The best feature of the device library is this: This Logitech remote can download devices such as a DVD player or CD player now, and then next year, when you are able to purchase a Blu-ray player and gaming console, you can add those devices, too. With the Logitech device library, you can still be using the same 650 universal remote five years from now, easily adding new devices you've purchased and deprogramming the electronics you are no longer using. Simply use the included USB cable to connect your remote to a PC or Mac with internet access, find the devices already in your home and program them to your remote. This process, according to consumer reports we have read, can take anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour or more. But, in the end, the hour spent programming the remote will be totally worth it.
If you're looking for a smart, all-inclusive remote, the Logitech Harmony 650 universal remote is here for you and here to make your life simpler. Yes, there are only five devices that can be programmed to the remote, but for those of us who do not have a jungle of remotes to wade through, five is plenty.