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.
- Device set-up: automatic (big database) or manual
- Setting sensitivity and button delay
- Screen: it simplifies access to advanced features on devices
- Backlighting of buttons
- Poor quality screen
- Incompatibile with radio frequency devices
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.