Harmony Ultimate and Smart Hub review: Logitech outdoes itself with new remotes
The Hub is the greatest addition to the Harmony family to date. While it's still not the remote we dream of, it's easily the best user-programmable option available.
- Keeps physical and smartphone remotes in sync
- High-quality hardware, easy to program
- More reliable macros than hand-held IR remote
- Relies mostly on IR, which is slow and unreliable
- Programming options aren't as expansive as we'd like
- No API for third-party app compatibility
Until now, Logitech's Harmony line has been the name in user programmable remotes. Now the company's back with three follow-up products, and they differ enough from earlier models to warrant an explanation. Instead of using a programmable IR remote, the Harmony Ultimate, Harmony Smart Control and Harmony Ultimate Hub each offload the IR-emitting duties to a networked device, allowing smartphones and tablets to act as remotes too. Additionally, the Hub uses Bluetooth to control your game console. Ranging in price from $99 to $349, the lineup covers almost every budget, with the Hub sold as a standalone accessory for smartphones and tablets. Meanwhile, the Smart Control includes a simple remote, and the high-end Ultimate Hub swaps a basic remote for the Harmony Touch. How exactly might these enhance your home theater enjoyment? Read on to find out.