Universal Remote Control Reviews

REVIEW / Logitech Harmony 650

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Régis Jehl Published on June 10, 2010
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SPECIFICATIONS

  • Buttons 54
  • Supported devices 5
  • Dimensions 220 x 60 mm
  • Weight 176 g
The Logitech Harmony 650 looks very similar to another Harmony universal remote, the 700. We include a few points of comparison here.

Handling: very good

The Harmony 700 and 650 look identical except for colour: grey for the 650, black for the 700. The handling is high quality for both and the buttons fall easily under your thumb. Both have backlighting and give good legibility in a dark room. We like the automatic backlighting that comes on when you pick it up.

The colour screen is the same on the 650 as on the 700 - very poor quality. Viewing angles are too restricted and the defininition poor. Various information is displayed. First of all you have the list of available activities (see inset) and then the list of the various devices that can be set up with the remote. While the 700 supports up to 6 devices, the 650 is limited to 5.

You can also disply the logo of TV channels on the screen and set up 4 shortcuts per page.
While the 700 is powered by rechargeables, the Harmony 650 is standard batteries: two AAs.

Settings: simplified or advanced

You set up the device with an on-computer utility (Windows or MacOS). The basic settings are carried out via a succession of questions: you select your hardware from an enormous database (all our devices were there, even the media centre), then you define the various activities (see inset).

You can then refine and assign various settings. If your hardware isn't recognised, you can still set it up manually. Another advantage: setting delays on buttons and their sensitivity. This is a real advantage over the competition as it allows effective control of very sensitive devices such as the Freebox HD.
Activities
Harmony remotes control your various devices in two ways. The standard method where you manually select the device of your choice. And the automated method, called "Activities" (which is based on a system of macros).

What happens is, a series of manoeuvres is carried out on the remote to correctly turn on all your pieces of equipment. Take an activity such as "Watching a Blu-ray". With one click, your remote will turn on your TV, select the right video in, turn on your audio amp and finally turn on your Blu-ray player.

With just one press of a button, all the various commands are automatically carried out. You can also assign affinities to each button. For example, the play buttons (Play/Pause/Stop etc) will be assigned to the Blu-ray player while the volume control will be assigned to your audio amp.

Just pressing the On/Off button will turn off all your devices. How easy!

PROS

  • Device set-up: automatic (big database) or manual
  • Setting sensitivity and button delay
  • Original
  • Screen: it simplifies access to advanced features on devices
  • Backlighting of buttons

CONS

  • Poor quality screen
  • Incompatibile with radio frequency devices

CONCLUSION 4/5

If you don't need a rechargeable remote and you don't have more than 5 devices to set up, this model won't disappoint.
4 Logitech Harmony 650 DigitalVersus 2010-06-10 00:00:00
Compare: Logitech Harmony 650 to its competitors
Store Available Price £ P&P
Amazon 44.99 - See offer  
Amazon 83.64 - See offer  
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