Logitech Harmony 880 Advanced Universal Remote
- Remote programming interface, database of remote codes, rechargeable
If you're in the market for a universal remote, you won't find one that gets you more for your money than the Harmony 880.
Price$ 399.00 (AUD)
Best Deals (Selling at 1 store)
Logitech knows when it has a good thing going. When we reviewed the company's Harmony 676 remote control in January 2005, the device got our nod as the best model in its class. The more recent addition to the Harmony line, the 880 Advanced Universal Remote, builds on that success in some minor but ultimately meaningful ways. We looked at a preproduction unit.
The same things that make the rest of the Harmony line outstanding are back, including an easy-to-use Web interface for programming the remote; a Help button that makes troubleshooting a breeze; and a comprehensive database of remote codes that makes it possible to control even your air conditioner.
But we almost feel bad for Logitech. When your line of universal remote controls is widely considered the best in its class, figuring out what to improve gets tricky. Sure, you can add a bell here and a whistle there, but you can't do much to shift the paradigm--Moore's Law doesn't apply to remote controls.
So how do you make a good remote even better? First, you add rechargeable batteries. After living day in and day out with the 676, I discovered that its battery life didn't compare to that of traditional remote controls. The 880 comes with a rechargeable lithium ion battery that charges whenever it's sitting in its cradle. Now, if only there were a way to turn off the cradle's glowing blue light.
Logitech has also equipped the 880 with a colour LCD, making the device even easier to use in dim light than previous models. The display's icons for different activities (watch PVR, listen to CDs) seem to scream out "press me!" but it's not a touch screen--you'll need to push the physical button next to the icon. The rest of the keys are easy to locate, and within a few days of using the 880, we were able to change channels and volume in the dark without any difficulty. The 880 has a motion sensor, as well, so it automatically lights when you pick it up.
Other new features are less useful. While we like the option to customise the background image via a USB connection (the same way you program the device), the remote won't accept images larger than 160KB in size. The Harmony software lacks the ability to scale your photos down, so you'll need to have another image editing application handy. And the 880's slide-show feature not only has a clunky interface, but it also raises a question: Who, exactly, wants to view photos on a 1" x 1.5" screen on a remote control? As for the company's claim that the Harmony 880 is perfect for HDTVs and DVRs, it is, but not any more so than the company's other recent remotes.
If you're an existing Harmony user, there's no need to rush out to buy an 880 unless you're really tired of swapping in new AAA batteries. But if you're in the market for a universal remote, you won't find one that gets you more for your money than the Harmony 880.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Mazda MX-5 (2016) review: Absolute driving purity
- 2 Sony 75-inch UHD TV (X9400C) review: Sony and Android are a winning duo
- 3 LG 55EG960T OLED UHD TV
- 4 Panasonic Viera UHD TV review: good hardware, fragmented software
- 5 Microsoft Lumia 640 review: Honouring Nokia's legacy
Best Deals on Good Gear Guide
Latest News Articles
- Sony cranks up optical disc storage to 3.3TB
- Hands-on with Surface Hub: Microsoft's huge tablet has some productivity holes
- Indiepix Unlimited wants to be the Netflix of independent film
- Denon's latest S-Series A/V receivers are built for 4K Ultra HD video and 3D audio
- New Roku Streaming Stick allows private listening via your mobile device
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
- CCTransition Program ManagerNSW
- CCAnalyst Programmer (Lotus Notes/Networking) 160504/AP/781Asia
- CCSenior UX/UI DesignerNSW
- CCOnline Shop Operations Consultant (eCommerce)VIC
- CCSolution ArchitectVIC
- CCApplication Solution ArchitectNSW
- FTNetwork ConsultantNSW
- FTData AnalystNSW
- FTSolution Architect (Guidewire Billing Center)NSW
- CCSenior Technical WriterVIC
- FTHands-on Service Desk Team Lead | Blackburn | Managed Service ProviderVIC
- CCSales Development Executive - Software SolutionsNSW
- CCCommVault Backp EngineerNSW
- CCData Management & Reporting Development OfficerSA
- CCJava Developer- 12 month contractNSW
- CCSenior Business Analyst - Data ManagementNSW
- CCHyperion ConsultantNSW
- FTData AnalystNSW
- CCBusiness AnalystSA
- FTDesktop SupportNSW
- CCBusiness Data AnalystVIC
- CCBusiness Analyst - Digital/Financial ServicesNSW
- CCDigital Producer (Part Time 3 Days Per Week)NSW
- CCIT Network SpecialistVIC
- CCFront End DeveloperWA