Pros / It has an easy-to-read color LCD screen on the remote.
Cons / Setup can be complicated if you’re not tech-savvy.
Verdict / The Logitech Harmony 650 is a high-tech remote with a handy LCD screen – a good choice for high-end systems and their tech-savvy owners.
Logitech makes several more expensive universal remotes, but the Harmony 650 has a more reasonable price point under $100 and is still the perfect remote for anybody who loves technology.
Like the Sony 8-Device RMVLZ620, the Harmony 650 can sync with up to eight of your devices including a Blu-ray player, your TV, a VCR and your cable connection. Setup requires an internet connection and a computer (you have to plug the remote into a computer via a USB cord, which is included in the packaging). We wouldn’t recommend this remote for someone who isn’t well-versed in home entertainment systems because even with step-by-step instructions, setting it up is time-consuming and technical. On the other hand, if you’re already familiar with the way these devices work, you’ll be fine.
During setup, you can program buttons that perform several functions at once in a specific order. For example, one button could be programmed to turn on your TV, then turn on the Blu-ray player and start playing a disc. The remote’s color LCD screen shows what each button does as you use it.
Some of our reviewers were concerned the screen might break, but the Harmony 650 passed our drop tests with flying colors and still worked from 21 feet away from the devices we synced it with. The USB cord is also small and potentially easy to lose, but also easy to replace as they’re available for sale online and at most retail stores. The screen takes you through a tutorial at startup too, which we liked given the fact not many people use remotes with screens on them.
Aesthetically, our testers preferred the look of this remote – with its gray face and contrasting buttons – over the Logitech Harmony 350. The power button is also easy to find. However, in our tests the keys lagged a bit when we tried hitting several in quick succession, such as turning the volume up and then immediately turning it back down.
Finally, it’s worth noting Logitech collects data from its remotes like IP address, errors and whether you’re using certain functions like the “help” button. There is no opt-out for this feature and Logitech says to simply not use their products if you don’t want that data collected. Overall, this high-tech remote is ideal for streamlining a high-end home theater system as long as you have a grasp on technology in the first place.