When shopping for a smart remote, you need a device that comes with a color touchscreen, allows for closed cabinet control, supports multiple operating systems and has a sleek design. Usually, you only get to pick two or three of those. However, both Logitech managed to create smart remotes that deliver on all those fronts and more. The Logitech Harmony Elite allows for you to connect up to 15 devices, use one touch actions and easily replace the removable battery while the Logitech Harmony Ultimate comes with backlit buttons, a relatively lower cost and a full color touchscreen. Wondering which smart remote is better than the other? We will compare the two smart remotes head to head and help you to make a judgment as to which smart remote is best for your home or office.
Table of Contents
Quick Comparison Table Logitech Harmony Elite vs Ultimate
|Logitech Harmony Elite||Logitech Harmony Ultimate|
|Number of devices controlled||15||15|
|Connectivity||Bluetooth with IR “blasters”||RF with IR “blasters”|
|One Touch Actions||Yes||Yes|
|Full color touchscreen||Yes||Yes|
|Closed cabinet control – control devices in cabinets and behind walls||Yes||Yes|
|Physical buttons||More, with some allowing you to control smart devices||Fewer buttons present|
|Playback buttons||Below the touch screen||Below the touchscreen|
|Cost||More expensive||Less expensive|
|Battery||Removable Li-ion battery||No removable Li-ion battery|
|OS support||Mac, Windows, Android, iOS||Mac/Windows, Android and iOS|
|Price||Check Price||Check Price|
Key Similarities between the Logitech Harmony Elite and the Logitech Harmony Ultimate:
- Both support up to 15 devices
- Both are compatible with Harmony’s database of over 270,000 products
- Support for Amazon Alexa
- Both come with a hub to help you control devices behind closed cabinets
- Both support the use of smartphones
Key Differences between the Logitech Harmony Elite and the Logitech Harmony Ultimate:
- Physical buttons
A Comprehensive Comparison between the Logitech Harmony Elite and the Logitech Harmony Ultimate
1. Closed Cabinet Control
Through the use of the included Harmony Hub, the Logitech Harmony Ultimate can be used to control your entire home entertainment system. This includes but is not restricted to game consoles and devices that are hidden behind cabinet doors and walls. The Logitech Harmony Elite also offers such capabilities. This means that if you own either device you do not need to worry about your home entertainment devices being located behind walls and cabinets.
2. One Touch
This feature allows for you to greatly customize your smart remote. It gives you the ability to create one touch activity sequences. You can adjust and remap the buttons that are present on the remote. You can set device delays and timings. An example is watch a movie. Through touching such an activity, you can automatically power on and switch the home entertainment devices to the right settings. This is available in both types of smart remotes.
3. Device Control
Both the Logitech Harmony Elite and the Logitech Harmony Ultimate allow for you to support up to 15 devices. This makes the remotes quite robust as you are guaranteed that they can control virtually all of your smart home devices. This feature also makes both remotes future proof as you are guaranteed of robust support.
4. Alexa Support
The Logitech Harmony Elite and the Logitech Harmony Ultimate are both compatible with Amazon’s Alexa/Echo. This means that you can control the devices to your Amazon Echo device. This will allow you to use voice control through the use of the Alexa voice assistant. You will then be able to control your smart home devices quite easily.
5. Smartphone Support
Both the Logitech Harmony Elite and the Logitech Harmony Ultimate allow for you to use your smartphone. This means that if you would love to use your mobile device in conjunction with the hub to control your smart home devices, then the application on your phone will be identical.
This is where the Logitech Harmony Elite and the Logitech Harmony Ultimate start to get different. The Logitech Harmony Ultimate supports Infrared, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi in addition to RF. This allows you to control more devices that use different wireless communication protocols. However, the Logitech Harmony Elite has more limited support for RF. This means that if you have a lot of RF devices, the Logitech Harmony Ultimate may perform much better than the Logitech Harmony Elite.
7. Physical Buttons
This is another difference between the Logitech Harmony Elite and the Logitech Harmony Ultimate. The Logitech Harmony Ultimate has a limited number of buttons. This means that there are no physical buttons for smart home devices such as powering on the lights. Only having access to such features via the touchscreen is a disadvantage as you can easily touch the wrong icon and end up having the wrong sequence of actions carried out. Having more physical buttons makes it very easy to press the exact activity you want carried out, and you are guaranteed that you will not miss the buttons at all.
The batteries that are present in the devices both use the Li-ion technology. The battery in the Logitech Harmony Elite can be removed, whilst the battery in the Logitech Harmony Ultimate cannot be replaced. This means that if you eventually have any challenges with the battery, you will have to replace the whole remote unit.
The memory that is present in the Logitech Harmony Elite is more than that present on the Logitech Harmony Ultimate remote. This allows for better performance and it also means that you can save more custom actions.
The Logitech Harmony Ultimate is rather old. It was made available in 2013. Logitech eventually decided to make changes and in their upgrade, they made the Logitech Harmony Elite remote. As a result, the Logitech Harmony Elite comes with the latest technology in it. This obviously means that it is now more expensive to purchase than the Logitech Harmony Ultimate remote.
The layout of the Logitech Harmony Ultimate was found to be quite undesirable by most customers. They complained about the positioning of the playback buttons. These buttons were located just above the touch screen. This meant that every time you would hit pause, fast forward, etc. you would have to hold the remote right at the top otherwise you would lend up accidentally hitting the touch screen. The Logitech Harmony Elite was made to be ergonomic and it came with additional physical buttons for smart home devices such as lights.
We fell in love with the Logitech Harmony Elite. This is because of the host of features that it comes with. The design is quite beautiful and it is quite easy to use. One can clearly tell that the engineers at Logitech spent a great deal of time making this product look good and be fully functional. The layout changed to make it very easy to press the playback buttons without accidentally pressing the touchscreen. There are also additional physical buttons right at the bottom that can be programmed to control your smart home devices. It has a removable battery which allows for you to swop it with another one when it eventually reaches the end of its life. It allows for you to use the Logitech Harmony application to control your smart home devices.
Why Do You Need a Smart Remote?
Smart remotes usually allow for you to control multiple devices at once. This means that you can use one remote to control several devices. This is a very huge advantage as it means that you do not have to go through the pile of remotes on your living room’s table as you will just have one.
The smart remotes that are present now have features such as rechargeable Li-ion batteries. This means that you do not need to worry about the battery suddenly running out of juice. All you need to do is to place the remote into its charging station and it will get charged.
Mobile Device & Voice Control Support
The smart remotes allow for you to install an application on your mobile device and control them through the use of the mobile application. This means that if you are in a separate room, then you can simply use the mobile application to control your smart devices. In addition, you can use voice control to control your smart devices. This is not only convenient, but it is a cool feature that you can use to show off to your friends.
Factors to Consider When Choosing between the Logitech Harmony Elite and the Logitech Harmony Ultimate
The Logitech Harmony Ultimate was made a long time ago. This means that it uses rather old technology. As a result, it is much cheaper than the Logitech Harmony Elite. If you are someone who mainly focuses on the price of items, then the Logitech Harmony Ultimate may be the right product for you.
The Logitech Harmony Ultimate was designed quite well, but the placement of the playback buttons was not thought out. In addition, it has a limited number of physical buttons. If you do not mind such minor differences, then go for the Logitech Harmony Ultimate. If you are easily annoyed by pressing the wrong buttons, then go for the Logitech Harmony Elite.
The battery that is present in the Logitech Harmony Ultimate is not removable. This means that if you plan to keep the remote for a long period of time, then this product may not be the best product for you to buy. The Logitech Harmony Elite comes with a removable battery which means that you can use it for a couple of years, and when the battery eventually fails, you will simply purchase another battery and replace the faulty one.
The Logitech Harmony Ultimate is heavier than the Logitech Harmony Elite. It comes at a weight of 24.96 ounces. This makes it rather uncomfortable for using for extended periods of time. The Logitech Harmony Elite, however, comes with a weight of just 12 ounces. This allows for you to use the device with great ease. You will not strain your hands in any way at all.
As mentioned earlier, the Logitech Harmony Ultimate is older than the Logitech Harmony Elite. This means that it uses older, less reliable and less efficient technology. This means that the performance of the Logitech Harmony Elite will definitely be much faster than that of the Logitech Harmony Ultimate.
Logitech Harmony Elite vs. Ultimate FAQs
Are Both Devices Compatible with Amazon Alexa?
Yes. Both the Logitech Harmony Elite and the Logitech Harmony Ultimate are compatible with the Amazon Echo as well as other compatible Alexa devices. You do need to make sure that the remote your purchase includes the hub and is marked “Certified for Alexa.”
Can I Replace the Battery?
It is possible to replace the battery if you are using the Logitech Harmony Elite. This is because the battery that is present in this device is removable. This means that after your battery eventually fails, you can simply go on amazon and look for a replacement battery and replace the battery with great ease. It is not possible to replace the battery present in the Logitech Harmony Ultimate. This is because the battery that is present in this device is not removable. This means that when the battery fails, you will need to replace the entire device.
Can The Devices Control Devices Behind Cabinet Doors?
The answer to that is a very big YES. Both the Logitech Harmony Elite and the Logitech Harmony Ultimate allow for you to control the devices that are behind your cabinet’s doors. This means that you do not need to worry about having your devices outside looking messy and you also do not need to worry about line of sight issues as these devices do not need the smart devices being controlled to be outside any cabinet.
Which Common Alexa Commands Can I Use to Control my Harmony Devices?
The most popular commands are:
“Alexa, turn off my Xbox,” “Alexa, turn off my entertainment center,” and “Alexxa, turn off the TV”
Feel free to experiment with your own commands and see how Alexa responds to them.
Do other Harmony Remotes Work With Amazon’s Alexa?
You can easily use Alexa with any Logitech remote that is compatible with the harmony hub as the hub is what actually connects to the echo. Examples of such devices include, but are not restricted to: the harmony elite, the harmony ultimate home, and the harmony 950. You need to make sure that you have a hub for you to use Amazon’s Alexa. This means that if the hub is not included, you will have to purchase it separately.
In this article, we explored the similarities and the differences that exist between the Logitech Harmony Elite and the Logitech Harmony Ultimate smart remotes. We declared the winner to be the Logitech Harmony Elite due to the ability for you to replace the remote, it’s new and improved design which is more ergonomic and results in you pressing the touchscreen by accident much less frequent, and it comes with the latest technology which makes it a very reliable smart remote to use on a daily basis.
We included a comprehensive list of features that you will need to consider when choosing between the two smart remotes. This will help you to choose which device will best suit your needs for your particular application.
Check out the best smart remote, the Logitech Harmony Elite on Amazon.