Without every seeing or using the 659, I would say that the 880 is the cats meow!
However, since I had a 659 and got use to it, I now see things that the 880 does that are different or I am not familuar with yet. I guess I need to give it time. Here is what I am getting at.. (this is not an 880 bashing post, I know in a couple weeks I'll think the 880 is where it's at)
I'll give the 880 a rating of 8 right now and I am pretty sure it will be a 9 or 10 in a week or two, so take that with a grain of salt as you read my post below.
Love the color display, wish the resolution was better (128x160-pixel ), I am spolied by my 320x320 Treo 650 Smartphone I guess.
When you pick up the 880, it wakes up, pretty slick!! It's got a motion sensor in it. It also has a screen saver with an option to load your own pictures.
I love the craddel idea and the Li-Ion battery too, no more having to put new batteries in every two months.
The layout is different then the 659 and perhaps I am not use to it too, but the 659 seems more intuitive. On the 659 it's easier to hold the remote in one hand and be able to access the volume, Channels, number buttons and such. I seem to remember with the 659 getting to those with ease. On the 880 I have to stretch my fingers more it seems for some things. I'll get use to it I am sure.
I like the fact that there are 8 activities I can choose with just a press of the button next to the icon. However, once in the activity, there are no one touch buttons to press to get to another activity like on the 659 where there were always the "watch TV" and "Watch Movie" buttons to press no matter what. With the 880, when in an activity, I have to press the "Activity" button to choose another thing to do. So it made switching to a new activity go from one press to two it seems, once you are in an acivity.
My gut feeling it's just a comfort level (both physical and mental) and I'll get over it really soon, I am just trying to be frank with post. Also to note, I have to really problem with this, I just want to say what was going thru my mind.
The buttons fell better over all too, but the number buttons are close together and it would have made more sence to me, to have the lay out like the 659 where its the mouse in the center and below that are the channel buttons with the DVD/VCR buttons on the bottom. With the 800, it's the mouse in the center, then the DVD/VCR buttons with the Channel butons on bottom. Once again, just a comfort and getting use to thing I assume. I would like to have the DVD/VCR buttons on botton since I use them less then the number buttons.
Fully charge the 880 before you use it. Also if you have another Harmony, make sure you logout off the account and then close the browser before you start the install. I was getting an error about not enought memeory in the remote. I had both accounts open (659 and 880) so I could see my old settings and I think that kinda jacked with the setup of the 880. Once I closed everything out and started with install again, it went smooth. It opened a browser for me and walked me through it and I didn't get that memeory error again either. Logitech says you can email them and they will move your account over to the new user name (you can only have one remote model per user name, so for the 880 I had to make a new account) and make it preset for the 880 for you, but that takes time and I wanted to play with the 880 ASAP..LOL If you get an error like i did (not enough memeory), try to do the whole install over again.
Back to the buttons, the mouse clicks when you use it, unlike the 659, so I find the pysical click annoying, but I'll get use to that too I assume. Just when I am going thru the STB menu/guide, I hear Click,click, click, a bazzillion times as I navagte around the menu.
Someone or website said the 880 was bigger, it looks about the same size as the 659 and seems to have a bottom half almost identical to the 659, So I see little to no size increase.
Having said that, the 880 has many more options and buttons then the 659 and the 880 is billed as an "Advanced Remote" verses the 659 that is not billed as an Advance Remote. So all in all, I would rather have a remote that is a little cramped, then one that is bigger. So all my concerns could be that I went from a no thrills basic remote, to a sports car remote. Like having a concern becasue my new vette is harder to see out the back window then the Toyota Camry that I sold for the vette..someone may say, what do you expect bonehead...
I hope this post doen't detour anyone from buying this remote. I just want everyone to have a normal expitaion for it. After the CES 2005 write up and hype, perhaps I had my expitations at an unrealistic level. As a matter of fact, I now know I did.
See I feel better about it already.. :p
Off to play around with it somemore and I'll try to get some good pictures later too.
Caveat This is my inital responce, right after paying full pop retail of $249 and not having ever seen a 880 in real life. After a couple days I may be so impressed that I will go door to door selling these for Logitech. I still think I made a good choice getting the 880 and selling my 659 and Logitech did a good job on this remote and thinking it out. Also this is the first full Harmony to be from Logitech and not the Canadian company and logitech together, so the thinking and or layout is bound to be different.
Let me know if I can expand on any comments that I made above.