Universal remotes have been around since, well, VCRs. Maybe before that. So, when a new universal remote comes along, it's not often that tech news covers it. That means that when a remote of this sort is covered, it's probably a really great one. The latest universal remote worthy of note comes from Logitech, and it's called the Harmony Smart Control. Take a look.
Eight Devices At Once (And More)
I love this remote because it lets you control up to eight different devices at once, and that includes a Wii and PS3. Not only can you become the master of all these devices at the same time, but the Logitech Harmony Smart Control also lets you use your iPhone or Android phone to control said devices - or you can stick with the action remote (it's up to you, but it's nice to have an option, right?).
This remotes comes with a 'Harmony Hub,' which is essentially a small black box that communicates with your remote or iPhone or Android phone. Another really nice feature is the way that this remote works. It uses RF instead of IR to operate. No idea what that means? Let me put it this way: you don't have to line up your remote with each device in order for it to work. So, you can sit back on your couch and aim in the air, and all of those eight devices will still become slaves to your universal wonder.
Simple and Efficient
I also love that the Harmony Smart Control universal remote comes with simple buttons. Want to watch TV? Just hit the 'Watch TV' button. I mean, how much simpler could it get? This remote is also really thin, so it doesn't feel like one of those bulky universal gadgets from yesteryear (a design that other companies could take a queue or two from).
While everything about the Harmony Smart Control universal remote is great, there are a few drawbacks - but there always are, right? If you purchase this remote, you can expect a good amount of setup frustrations. It takes time to customize this remote to your personal way of doing things, and it takes patience to go through the setup process with ease.
Got time and patience? This remote won't give you any trouble. No time or patience? Have someone set it up for you - this remote is really worth that extra big of aggravation if you have a ton of devices to control!
Pricing and Where to Buy
There's one little catch with the Harmony Smart Control remote. You have to buy the Harmony Hub (which lets your devices communicate via RF separately for $100. The remote by itself will set you back $129.
That's a good amount to pay for a universal remote, but if you consider the price of buying additional attachments for your PS3 or Wii (and the fact that you can use your phone with this remote), it's not such a bad deal. The Harmony Smart Control can be found online or in stores right now.