Logitech Harmony Express review: Why, Alexa, why?

The bottom line

Logitech Harmony Express Should You Buy It?

The Harmony Express finds itself in a precarious position, and mostly not of its own fault.

First, consider the price. It retails at $249, which puts it between the $349 Harmony Elite, and the $159 Harmony Companion. But the thing is that neither the Elite nor the Companion actually costs that much. At the time of this writing, the Elite is going for $269 on Amazon, and the Companion a mere $104. You can pair the latter with a full Amazon Echo Plus and get pretty much the same functionality — plus a decent audio speaker — for just about the same $249. Or get yourself a Harmony Companion and an Echo Dot for about $145 out the door, and treat yourself to a decent meal.

For a universal remote with voice control, Harmony Express is the clear choice.

And therein lies the problem with all this voice-command technology — whether it’s Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant or Apple’s Siri. If it’s already baked into everything, there’s not all that much incentive to pay extra to have it built into a certain something — in this case a remote control. And that’s a shame, because Logitech’s execution really isn’t to blame here. It’s a pretty good remote, done about as well as you could hope.

But if you have a newish setup — Roku, Apple TV, Android TV or Amazon Fire TV — you almost certainly already have remotes with voice control that also work within the limits of their respective ecosystems. So why upgrade?

If you’re looking for a universal remote that can control all the things — and do so by voice — Harmony Express is the clear choice. It controls all your TV stuff. Having Alexa built in means it can do all the things Alexa can do, and control all the things Alexa can control.

But so, too, can so many other things that you may already own — or that don’t cost $249 to duplicate functionality.

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