The Logitech Harmony 650 is the natural successor to the trusty Harmony 525, with a similar set of features, but all wrapped up in the new curvy design and with a colour screen.
Take the Logitech Harmony 650 out of its pleasant and easy to get into packaging and you’ll see the basic ‘Quick Start’ instruction booklet, USB cable and batteries – note there is no installation CD – you’ll need to go online to download the software.
Pop the batteries into the remote and it instantly feels a more solid remote from the initially fairly lightweight impression. You’ll also notice how nice it is to hold with a pleasant matt black finish to the rear giving a non slip grip. You naturally tend to hold it near the bottom of the remote where the batteries are located and this ends up giving the control a nicely balanced feel in your hand. Move your thumb around the control and you’ll find the arrow buttons, volume, channel, and colour fastext buttons all within easy reach – in fact pretty much everything right up to the bottom of the screen can be pressed in one sweep. The lesser used activity buttons and screen menu buttons are situated near the top of the remote, with the number buttons probably being the hardest to reach right at the bottom. The buttons themselves have a nice soft touch and have a gently rounded edge to them.
The Logitech Harmony 650 really looks the part as well with its aluminium effect top surface giving a quality look and feel – in fact it looks a classier remote than the more expensive Harmony 700.
Like most of the other remotes in the range, the Logitech Harmony 650 automatically wakes up when picking it up, with the screen zinging into life and the buttons emitting a subtle orange glow. The backlighting goes off after 10 seconds of inactivity to help preserve battery life. One thing we did notice is that the automatic backlighting is not as sensitive as the Harmony 525 (which would light up if a fly landed on it), nor is it as quick to light up.
Like all Harmony remotes, the 650 is programmed by downloading and installing the software onto your computer, entering your devices onto the software, and then updating the remote using the supplied USB cable. In fact the word ‘program’ is a bit too heavy – the software is more like a basic wizard system – all you really need to know is the make and model numbers of your television, Blu-ray player, etc. and you’re away!
What to consider before you buy the Logitech Harmony 650
Whist is does it’s best to conserver battery life, if you want a rechargeable remote, the next model up in the range Logitech Harmony 700 is essentially a rechargeable version of this remote, and also controls six devices to the 650′s five.
Why you should buy the Logitech Harmony 650
The Logitech Harmony 650 is probably our favourite universal remote so far. It might not have the overall wow factor of the Harmony One, or the rechargeable batteries of the Harmony 700, but it does what it sets out to very well. Most importantly it just feels like a remote you can use every day – it’s solid, looks great, and is also very good value for money. Highly recommended. Rating: /5
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Thanks to Logitech for letting us borrow the review sample.