Review: Logitech Harmony One Universal Remote
Stylish, ergonomic and easy-to-use, but are those features worth the price tag?
October 02, 2008 by

When a new Logitech Harmony Remote arrives on the scene I like to review it to update readers on the latest models in the line-up. With the introduction of the Harmony One universal remote I felt that Logitech had finally completely usurped the original Harmony design and replaced it with a “from the ground up” approach that reflected Logitech’s penchant for svelte devices. In case you were still navigating through that last bit of pontifical text, I was giving them a high compliment. Logitech’s Harmony One remote is quite possibly the most beautiful remote control I’ve ever held. Like a sports car that has endured countless hours in a wind tunnel, the One simply feels right and looks like it was sponsored by the Chevy Corvette. Come to think of it, with the recent rash of corporate sponsored television fare, I might need to see if it actually was before moving on…

Build Quality
Logitech’s new remote arrives in a beautiful retail package that looks as good as the remote itself. Opening it up you’ll find the remote, its integrated charging cradle with AC adapter, Li-ion battery, USB cable and installation guide. There is also a CD with the initial remote control application, but the software is largely online-based, so expect an update or two once you get it installed.

As hinted at above, the Harmony One just feels right in your hand. In fact, if you hold it naturally and remove all your fingers except your middle, the remote will balance perfectly, if precariously, atop your finger. While not a good balance for a throwing knife (which I don’t recommend using for home theater anyway), the remote is perfect for controlling your A/V electronics and using both the hard buttons and the 2.2-inch touch-screen LCD. Speaking of the touch-screen, it is of the capacitive variety. This means that you can get touch-screen capability while maintaining a solid, thin layer of glass across the face of the remote. The result is a beautiful, continuous finish that isn’t interrupted by an inset, or bordered, LCD screen.

The unit recharges by being placed in the charging cradle - a process I found much improved from the 880 model I reviewed a couple years before. The remote simply slides right into the proper position and I was never able to get it to “not” dock properly (and believe me, I tried). When the unit is docked, the LCD lights up indicating (with an animated graphic) that the battery is recharging. The LCD screen goes black after several seconds to maximize charge time and not waste the usable life of the backlight. Charging occurs rather quickly and since the battery is Li-ion, users don’t have to worry about memory effect. If you aren’t planning on using it immediately, just place it in the dock and you’ll be good to go when you need it.

Now on the buttons. This remote is nearly perfect in that the most-used buttons are within easy thumb-reach. The only exception is the lower numbers of the keypad, which tend to be a stretch, causing you to want to physically shift your hand lower on the remote. The face of the remote is actually divided into 5 clear sections: LCD, Menu, Navigation, Transport, and Keypad (these designations being mine). If you’re like most people, you will find yourself most often using the Menu, Navigation and Transport functions. These sections are perfectly located in the central area and the Harmony One makes it easy to thumb through any of the buttons in these areas.

The LCD is in beautiful full color and remains active for about 9 seconds before going to sleep. It awakens, instantaneously, whenever the remote is picked up or jarred. This helps conserve battery life which I found to be acceptable but not stellar. I could get several days out of the remote if I was using it heavily (activating lots of DVR functions, for example). This isn’t bad, especially since the remote can be plopped down onto its charging cradle at any time.

Read the complete review at

Related articles:
Remote Controls for Less Than $500
Controls & Cables: Best Products of 2008
A History of TV Remote Controls

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Product: Logitech Harmony One

Price: $249

Performance: 4 out of 5

Value: 3 out of 5


  • Beautiful look and feel
  • Nice, tactile button response
  • Rechargeable with replaceable Li-ion battery


  • Finicky touch screen
  • No RF features or options
  • Almost no icon choices for LCD screens
  • Pricey

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