In this part of our article series regarding smart home hub and controllers, we will be covering another product from a popular brand: Logitech. The name Logitech, of course, will be familiar, being a popular manufacturer for devices and especially computer peripherals.
Lately, they are entering the emerging smart home market with various products, including their smart security camera, the Logitech Circle, which we have reviewed before. Now, they also offer a smart home controller, the Logitech Harmony Home Companion Remote, which will be the focus of our discussion today.
As the name may suggest, this product will be different that those we have reviewed before in this series, because it’s essentially a remote. You can also sync the whole system to your tablet or smartphone, and control all the integrated devices from your app.
As a universal remote, the Logitech Harmony will especially be useful to control your home theater system, your smart TV, or your audiophile system. How then, will it fare to other similar products? Will it be able to control smart lighting or smart alarm? It does support many thermostats, smart LED products, and alarms, but we will see together how it fares.
The remote itself is fairly thin and sleek and works with an RF (radio frequency) technology instead of infrared. This means, you won’t need to use this remote in a straight line, which can be handy if you have a lot of devices.
First things first, Logitech recently released a higher-end version of this product, dubbed the Harmony Elite. Hence, the Harmony Home Control has been rebranded as Harmony Companion to be in-line with the brand. The Harmony Elite is significantly more expensive with almost double the price of Harmony Companion, and we will also address their differences below. Hence, if you are also reading any Logitech Harmony Home Companion review, make sure whether it’s reviewing the Harmony Elite or the Harmony Companion.
As a universal remote, however, the Harmony Home Control or Harmony Companion has been widely regarded as the best universal remote out there. So if you are looking for both a universal remote and home controller hub, read along, this might as well be the right one for you.
Let’s kickstart our Logitech Harmony Remote review by discussing its key features.
You technically have 8 remote controls in just one beautiful device or your smartphone. Simply one of the best universal control system available today, thanks to its wide range of support to various products.
The Logitech Harmony supports a wide range of devices and not just AV systems. It supports smart lighting systems from Philips Hue, Lutron, and LIFX. It supports Nest devices, Honeywell, and even Samsung SmartThings. You can also buy an additional Harmony Hub Extender for Z-Wave and ZigBee Support.
Design and Ease of Use
Being a remote control, which we are all familiar with, it is easier to use than most similar devices out there. Additionally, the smartphone app is very intuitive and easy to use, increasing its overall usability. The remote itself is very ergonomics, small and thin enough to be comfortably held.
Entertainment Center Control
Although it will do well as a smart home controller, it will truly shine if you use it with a home theater system, gaming console, and other entertainment systems. You can seamlessly switch between your gaming activities to your Netflix, create multi-device activities, and control your Apple TV with just one remote or smartphone app. You can control up to six AV devices with the Harmony Companion, and you can increase it to 15 with the Harmony Elite.
The Logitech Harmony Home Controller, or now called the Harmony Companion, is technically a package of two products: The Harmony 350 Control, which as the name suggests, is the remote control, and a smart home hub dubbed the Harmony Hub. In comparison, the Harmony Elite package features the Harmony 950 remote in favor of the 350, which has a touchscreen panel.
For the sake of this Logitech Harmony review, let’s first discuss the Harmony 350 remote control. As we have mentioned, the remote itself looks and feels great. It also comes with basically every button you will need from Power, programmable activity shortcuts, dedicated Philips hue control, PowerPoint control, and all the standard buttons you will find in a high-end TV remote. You can customize all the buttons depending on your needs using the included Windows/Mac Harmony software.
Basically, as a remote control, it looks, feels and performs really great, among the best compared to other universal remotes available today. Yet, the true power of this product lies in the Harmony Hub.
Setting up the hub is very simple. As usual, you first download the iOS or Android app to your phone or tablet. Then, the app will provide you with a step-by-step guide, including how to pair the Hub with the Harmony 350.
The devices adding process is also very simple, a lot better than what you’ll find in Samsung SmartThings or Wink. The connection is also very stable, so the overall integration process is very smooth for us.
The Harmony Companion supports a lot of products, the full list can be seen here. As you can see, it does support controls for devices other than AV equipment, but compared to other products such as Samsung SmartThings, it is fairly limited.
The Harmony Companion, however, excels at managing entertainment and media center, gaming console, and other AV equipment.
- One of the best at controlling entertainment systems
- Great design and feel
- Very easy to use
- Stable performance
- Limited control for smart home appliances
- Fairly expensive
- Limited to only 6 AV devices (Harmony Elite has 15)
You Should Buy This If
If you are a gamer, home theater, and audio enthusiasts, or own a media center with more than 4 equipment, the Harmony Companion is simply one of the best choice out there.
Let’s end this Logitech remote review with a verdict:
The Harmony Companion is excellent at controlling your entertainment devices, with added smart home control functionality as a bonus.
As a smart home controller, it may lack compared to other similar products, but you can link it with products like Samsung SmartThings or Amazon Alexa to get the benefits of both worlds.