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Logitech Harmony 890-Pro Advanced Universal Remote E-mail
Featured Reviews: Accessories
Written by Olin Coles   
Thursday, 07 June 2007
Table of Contents: Page Index
Logitech Harmony 890-Pro Advanced Universal Remote
Features and Specifications
Detailed Features: Harmony 890
Closer Look: Harmony 890
Setup and Installation
Final Thoughts and Conclusion

Final Thoughts: Harmony 890 Pro

Logitech has created a piece of functional art in the Harmony 890 Pro Advanced universal remote control. It compliments my home theater system very well, and perhaps even raises the living room appearance up a notch. The color LCD is a helpful feature, especially since it acts as an on-screen assistant to help me fine tune the configuration. I later explored the Harmony software, and learned that I could customize the background with an image of my own. While there isn't documentation anywhere as to the size and file type requirements, I found that GIF images work just fine.

Since most of my time in the living room is in the evening hours where light is dim, the dark-chromed array of buttons were a little difficult to see due to very faint back-lighting. Once I memorized which side was volume and which side was for channels, everything fell right into place and I no longer searched for text labels.

Logitech Harmony 890 Pro Advanced Universal Remote

The range on the Harmony 890 Pro Advanced is unbeatable. Even when I stand over sixty feet away and behind a wall, the home theater devices have no problem receiving commands. In a larger home, this feature is invaluable.

Conversely, there was a noticeable one-second delay in-between the push of a button and the reaction of the device. This would become a problem when rapidly changing channels or adjusting volume. The remote remembers how many times you pressed the button, and the result would usually mean passing the stopping point.

Conclusion

Logitech doesn't let you forget for one moment that you have just purchased a premium product. From the sturdy velvet-coated plastic trays, to the thread fastening ties replacing standard twist ties, the Harmony 890 Pro Advanced is presented as a crown jewel.

The Harmony 890 has a look and feel all of it's own. Not one boxed corner or square button to be found, it truly is a sculptured piece of art guaranteed to add value to your home theater systems appeal.

Even when dropped onto a carpeted floor from a standing position (and it was often... just for testing of course), the Harmony 890 never had a single problem. The ergonomic design offsets the LCD screen below surface level, so even in the worst accidents the screen should be safe from contact.

The fact that the Harmony 890 Pro Advanced conveniently dismisses up to 15 other remotes from my tabletop is testament to it's functionality. There were a few tiny glitches, such as button delay and dim backlighting, but it was an otherwise very functional universal remote control. Even when the initial configuration faltered, the assistant corrected the configuration problem in under a few seconds.

Value is a subjective term in regards to a product such as this. Similar to comparing luxury cars to economy cars, the Harmony 890 Pro Advanced is not meant to be the every-mans replacement. Logitech clearly issues the Harmony 890 as a prestigious product destined for premium home theater environments. This is why the device is guaranteed to work with every piece of equipment out there, and also why it features an LCD display and Li-Ion rechargeable battery. Add to these features the additional tilt sensor power-resume, and extended radio frequency range, and the Harmony 890 Pro Advanced begins to sell itself well worth the premium price.

In conclusion, the Harmony 890 Pro Advanced comes highly-recommended for above-average entertainment centers and premium home theater systems. There is nothing else presently available for less which offers nearly the same features and functionality, except of course for the other Logitech Harmony family of universal remotes. This is one product which clearly has blown away the competition.

Follow-Up 08/29/07: I have noticed that the Harmony 890 does not keep charged for as long as I initially tested. With almost 90-days worth of testing, it seems that they Li-Ion battery is good for only a few days before it requires recharging. If you keep the Harmony 890 on the charging cradle (which I don't), then this becomes a moot point and you'll be fine.

Pros:

+ Extremely attractive design
+ Large on-line device database
+ Ergonomic lightweight case
+ Replaces up to 15 remote controls
+ Convenient button layout
+ RF works with components hidden behind walls or in cabinets
+ High-quality solid construction
+ Smart tilt sensor brings remote out of standby
+ Rechargeable Li-Ion battery

Cons:

- Remote does not power off ability
- Dark-chrome backlighting is too dim
- Charging base ring always glows
- Delayed button reaction
- Not able to enter digital channels (1.2)
- No favorite buttons, must use menu

Ratings:

  • Presentation: 9.00
  • Appearance: 9.25
  • Construction: 9.25
  • Functionality: 8.00
  • Value: 8.00

Final Score: 8.7 out of 10.

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