The Harmony touch is a replacement for the older Harmony one, however many people have preferred the Harmony one more. We will get to that in a second. But while it is a replacement of the Harmony one, the Harmony touch is a downgrade from the Harmony Ultimate. One of the main features distinguishing it from the other remotes is it’s touch screen. Which brings it in the league of the Harmony Ultimate, but of course on further inspection of the details you will find that the features are NOT the same at all.
So the question… Is this a good universal remote? We have tried to remain as objective on this as possible, and will leave you to make the final verdict.
Let’s start with the hard ware, the Logitech Harmony Touch looks a lot like the Harmony ultimate, it comes with the 2.4 inch touch screen that is sensitive to the touch, 320 x 240 pixels of color. It has the standard forward, rewind, play, stop and pause buttons for the DVD/Blue-ray on the top, and surprisingly, FAR FEWER buttons on the bottom, below the touch screen. In-fact this remote has very few hard buttons at all. This can be a bit of a learning curve as you have to either use the touch screen now or be economical with the use of your buttons. Overall we think more buttons for dedicated functions would have helped since as it is currently, there are not enough, and they either all have to be programmed in to the hard buttons or on to the touch screen. Which is a long process.
The remote itself has a glossy front finish with a fabric like back, the shape of it is perfect for the hand and very easy to handle and it comes with a charging dock which charges via a microusb port at the bottom, which can also be used to connect it to the PC for the software programming aspect. Overall the build quality is good, all components are responsive. We had no issues with loose or faulty buttons. However perhaps for the price tag it comes with more could have been included. For instance one of the MAJOR missing features is a lack of RF compatibility, and no Bluetooth. The remote is point and control, infra-red only. For just a little more money you can get the far superior Harmony Ultimate.
The touch screen is the main source of control in this remote given the lack of hard buttons. This is a blessing and a curse. On the good end of this the touch screen shows 3 by 3 grid of your favorite channels, which can be manually set or automatically learned over time. Similarly, your favorite activities can also be set or learned. This may include watching cable, or turning on Xbox or whatever it is (not PS3 is not compatible since it is RF dependent). One of the major draw backs is it’s infra-red only like the Harmony 650. So although it will still work with a great deal of devices, some, that require Radio Frequency will not be able to be controlled by this remote. It comes with 15 device compatibility.
Another draw back is that the screen is closer to the center so you really have to look down at the remote while using it, also considering it’s size, this makes it somewhat annoying to use the remote. Constantly having to look down to make sure you press the right button. Besides these things the remote works great. Reliable. And definitely a cheaper option to the Harmony Ultimate if you want a touch screen remote.
In terms of design it is the best looking remote out there. Wide and thin, easy to hold, almost like a smartphone. Large touch screen, glossy finish at the front with a fabric like material at the back. The whole thing being perfectly shaped to fit the hand and look aesthetic. A very well designed remote.
The only reason to buy this remote is if you want a touch screen remote that is NOT as expensive as the Harmony Ultimate. Because otherwise the Harmony 650 which is far cheaper and can perform almost all the functions that this remote can. Is the screen worth it? We will leave that up to you, it certainly makes certain things easier, such as flipping through your favorite channels, hand gestures etc. But the same can also be done a slightly longer more traditional way via button on the 650, so it is up to personal standards and preferences.