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Logitech Harmony Express arrives as a new $250 Alexa-enabled universal remote

Today Logitech has announced the newest addition to its expansive universal remote lineup, the Harmony Express. This Alexa-powered remote ditches the old game plan made so popular by Logitech over the years for a sleek minimalistic design that centers around Amazon’s voice assistant. Alongside new visuals is a completely revamped smartphone app, which promises to simplify setup in a whole new way.

Logitech’s Harmony Express arrives with a $250 price tag. That’s a hefty chunk of change for consumers to shell out for a remote. So what makes Logitech’s latest worth this premium? According to the brand itself, it’ll be one of the most powerful yet simple universal remotes on the market. Head below for more.

Logitech Harmony Express: Pricey, slim design

Universal remotes have always had some level of appeal, but as home theater setups have become more complex the need has grown quite a bit. Logitech has always been one of the biggest names in the game and its latest release aims to bring years of experience into the sleekest package yet.

The design itself is rather muted aside from the glowing Alexa circle near the top. Otherwise, there is just a handful of buttons for basic actions. Unlike Logitech’s other Harmony remotes, the Express appears to fit nicely in the palm of a user’s hand.

Alexa takes center stage, for better or worse

It’s been a rough few days for Alexa, following news that Amazon is regularly listening in on conversations. Logitech’s decision to include the voice assistant here makes sense, but the announcement timing isn’t ideal. Alexa will enable the Logitech Harmony Express to call up a wide range of actions, from turning on the TV to controlling gaming consoles and more. Much of this functionality has been demonstrated previously on Amazon’s Fire TV Cube, which also leverages Alexa to control a range of home theater tasks.

Alexa can handle the following tasks:

  • Turn your entertainment devices on or off, even devices inside closed media cabinets
  • Go straight to your favorite TV channels, whether by channel name or channel number
  • Launch streaming apps, including Netflix or Amazon Prime
  • Utilize popular Alexa features, so you can ask when TV programs are scheduled, hear the latest news, control smart devices around the home and more

Revamped Logitech smartphone app

Logitech is also introducing a redesigned smartphone app today. With a focus on streamlining setups, this new app uses a visual-friendly layout to easily get your setup running. Logitech is also changing the installation process itself. Users will need to turn on all devices prior to beginning the process, and the remote will (supposedly) detect all equipment within range and add it to your app. This can be done manually when the auto-detection fails.

The new Logitech Harmony Express retails for $249.99 and is available today at Amazon.

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