We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
 
Digital Home Reviews
15,103 Reviews

Logitech Harmony Touch review

£150 inc VAT

Manufacturer: Logitech

Our Rating: We rate this 3.5 out of 5

The Logitech Harmony Touch is a programmable universal remote with a colour touchscreen. Read our Logitech Harmony Touch review to find out more.

The Harmony Touch is a remote control from Logitech’s Harmony line-up. It’s more advanced than the Harmony 700, but less so than the Harmony 900. It’s more expensive than the “only remote you may ever need” Harmony One, with which it shares an almost identical feature-set, but the Harmony Touch is much simpler and abandons most of its physical buttons for the versatility of a 2.4-inch colour touchscreen. See all Digital Home Reviews.

Logitech Harmony Touch: Design and construction

The Harmony Touch is a great-looking remote control. Like so many of Logitech’s accessories, it’s very well designed and built — and what stands out first is the palm-friendly base of the remote, which is contoured to fit your hand comfortably when you’re holding it normally. It’s a small touch, but it helps more than you’d think. See also Logitech Harmony One universal remote control review.

The face of the Harmony Touch is relatively clean — a grand total of 27 physical buttons are used for the remote, all of which have backlighting which turns on automatically when the remote is activated. These buttons are organised around the central 2.4-inch touchscreen, which also has some touch-sensitive buttons above. Take a look at the pint-sized media streaming device, the Roku LT review too.

The physical buttons cover most basic playback and navigation, although the placement of play/pause/stop and forward/back skip buttons above the touchscreen is an odd choice. If you’re generally sitting down to play a movie and watch it the whole way through, this isn’t a problem, but if you find yourself stopping or starting, or skipping through scenes, the placement stands out.

Interestingly, it’s only possible to activate the remote by pressing a button or tapping the touchscreen. We would have liked to see an accelerometer built in, to wake the remote and turn on the touchscreen whenever there’s significant movement.

Logitech Harmony Touch

There’s a non-removable rechargeable battery built into the body of the Harmony Touch, the remote can be charged using the bundled charging cradle, which has a microUSB connector and runs off a wall-socket power plug. A microUSB cable is also included for connecting the Harmony Touch to your PC or Mac, but you can’t combine the charging cradle and microUSB cable — the remote doesn’t charge or connect if you’ve got it set up this way.

Logitech Harmony Touch: Setup and My Harmony

Button placement and battery charging aside, the stand-out in our experience with the Harmony Touch was setting it up through the Logitech MyHarmony website. MyHarmony is an online portal, although it does require a software install, that lets you configure your Harmony remote control through a Web interface, adjusting settings and then synchronising them to your remote control once you’ve made all the changes you want.

Our initial experiences setting up the Harmony Touch with MyHarmony were mixed. The setup procedure is very simple and organised through a series of steps asking you about your devices and your activities — we successfully set up a Pioneer PDP-LX509A, a Cambridge Audio Azur 351A amplifier, an Oppo BDP-103, and an Xbox 360, then set up activities for playing a game, watching TV, or watching a movie.

Favourites are also a big part of the Harmony Touch’s appeal — they’re shortcuts to take you straight to a digital TV channel. With a grid layout not unlike Apple’s iOS, you’re able to create and name channel shortcuts through MyHarmony, choose their order on the Harmony Touch, and assign a picture for each. Annoyingly, there’s no online database of channel logos on MyHarmony, so you’ve got to jump on Google for each one — we’ll soon put up an archive of the logos we used for Australia’s free-to-air networks to save you a bit of time.

The activities are great, in theory — tap the touchscreen to turn on the TV, change its input, turn on the Blu-ray player, and jump directly to the disc menu, for example — but their basic implementation requires some work. We found that directly after setting up Harmony Touch afresh, operating the Watch A Movie activity after previously selecting Watch TV actually turned the TV off as part of the procedure.

We tracked this down to the remote sending a power toggle command rather than a power on command, expecting the television to be turned off by default. We also found that some buttons weren’t mapped correctly to their corresponding physical counterparts — the Back command worked fine when controlling the Oppo Blu-ray player, but not the Pioneer TV, for example — and the whole process required sitting down with MyHarmony and checking and adjusting configurations and activities where necessary.

After a few more trips to the PC and back to the home theatre setup, we had everything drilled down appropriately, and activities and button presses worked exactly as we were hoping. When it’s set up correctly, the Harmony Touch works exceptionally smoothly and reasonably seamlessly over a range of devices — it just takes some setting up to get to the point of being correct.

Once you’ve got it set up properly, using the Harmony Touch is simple, and it effectively replaces the remote controls of an entire home theatre setup. It works best when used alone, though — if you turn the television off with its own remote control temporarily (we do this sometimes to prevent image retention), selecting a new activity won’t have the intended effect.

Logitech Harmony Touch: Conclusion

The Logitech Harmony Touch is a technically competent, physically impressive, theoretically simple universal remote control. For the average user it should offer a reasonably trouble-free and accurate setup process that acceptably replaces a handful of remote controls.

The touchscreen interface is a smart move, with the biggest advantage over traditional universal controls being a simple and organisable list of less-common commands. The favourites list of TV channels is also a time-saving convenience, especially if you’re spending most of your time watching movies rather than TV.

We did encounter some issues during the setup that required some troubleshooting, but once this procedure was complete we were definitely happy with the experience we had with the Harmony Touch.

Logitech Harmony Touch Expert Verdict »

Price comparison powered by Reevoo

£99
£108
£109
£133
£185
Logitech Harmony Touch Scores 7.9 out of 10 based on 21 reviews
Connectivity Technology: Infrared
Supported Device Qty: 15
Input Device: Keypad, touch screen
Features: Back-lit buttons, rechargeable
Display: LCD display - 2.4"
Colour Display: Yes
Connector Type: 1 x USB (4 PIN USB Type A)
Operating System: MS Windows XP, MS Windows 7, MS Windows Vista, Apple Mac OS X 10.5 or later, MS Windows 8
  • Overall: We give this item 7 of 10 overall

Logitech’s newest remote controls sits comfortably in the middle of its product line-up. The Harmony Touch is more than capable enough for most home theatre setups, but setting it up is more complicated than it needs to be.

Price comparison powered by Reevoo

£99
£108
£109
£133
£185
  • Logitech Harmony One universal remote control review

    Logitech Harmony One universal remote control

    Unlike many remote controls, Logitech's Harmony One requires little brainpower to use.

  • Logitech t620 Touch Mouse review

    Logitech t620 Touch Mouse

    The Logitech t620 Touch Mouse is touch controlled computer mouse for Windows 8, supporting six Windows 8-friendly gestures. Here's our Logitech t620 Touch Mouse review.

  • Logitech UE 9000 review

    Logitech UE 9000

    These headphones have Bluetooth and active noise-cancelling built in. Read our Logitech UE 9000 review to find out more.

  • Griffin Beacon for iOS review

    Griffin Beacon for iOS

    The Griffin Beacon for iOS lets you control all your home entertainment devices with an iPhone or iPad.

  • Samsung Series 9 review

    Samsung Series 9

    The Samsung Series 9 is a 55in 3D LED TV with a stunning side profile, good picture quality and a huge range of features. But it's pricey.


IDG UK Sites

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 release date, price and specs 2014

IDG UK Sites

What's the best smartwatch? 11 iWatch rivals compared in our wearables round-up

IDG UK Sites

App cloning: the mobile software industry’s hidden shame

IDG UK Sites

Developers get access to more Sony camera features