Your guide

phones with an ir blaster

Credit: Bogdan Petrovan / Android Authority

A phone with an IR blaster can double as a universal remote, allowing you to control various electronic devices in your home — such as a TV. Unfortunately, phones with IR blasters aren’t as common as they used to be. Companies like Samsung and HTC have more or less ditched the technology altogether, but you can still find it on smartphones from Chinese brands.

Best phones with an IR blaster:

Editor’s note: We will be updating this list of the best phones with an IR blaster regularly as new devices launch.


What is an IR blaster, anyway?

The “IR” in IR blaster simply stands for “infrared.” The hardware itself is also equally simple to understand. If your phone has an IR blaster, it allows you to send commands, via infrared rays, to another device, such as a television, set-top box or stereo that is compatible with IR remotes. The main advantage of using an IR blaster-based device is that you don’t have to go through a cumbersome Bluetooth pairing process and that you can use it with older devices that don’t offer Bluetooth or wireless connections.


1. Huawei P30 Pro

Huawei P30 Pro with IR blaster

A true powerhouse among flagships, the Huawei P30 Pro is one of the best smartphones you can currently buy, even though it’s almost a year old.

It features the Kirin 980 chipset accompanied by 8GB of RAM and either 128 or 512GB of storage. Of course, the IR blaster is also present. But just like other smartphones from Huawei’s P series, its camera is the most spectacular feature. The P30 Pro not only offers 5x optical zoom, 10x hybrid zoom, and 50x digital zoom, but it is also the best phone for taking low-light and night photos. Not even Google’s Night Sight compares. The P30 Pro is in a class of its own.

Read more: 2019 photography showdown: Huawei P30 Pro vs Samsung Galaxy S10 vs Google Pixel 3

And you won’t drain your battery too quickly when snapping photos thanks to the 4,100mAh battery on board. The device also offers wireless charging and reverse wireless charging. It’s one of the most feature-packed smartphones on the market. Unfortunately, it is hard if not impossible to obtain it in the US, but you can get it in Europe and many other regions. And since the phone was released before the Huawei ban debacle, future software updates are expected to be unaffected.


Huawei P30 Pro specs:

  • Display: 6.47-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: Kirin 980
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 128/512GB
  • Cameras: 40, 20, and 8MP + ToF
  • Front camera: 32MP
  • Battery: 4,100mAh
  • Software: Android 9.0 Pie

2. Honor 20 and 20 Pro

honor 20 pro phantom black purple version back

Huawei’s sub-brand Honor has never shied away from eye-grabbing designs, and the Honor 20 Pro is no exception. It comes in several elegant and colorful gradients that are sure to turn heads. But the Honor 20 Pro is also a feature-full device.

It sports the Kirin 980 processor with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, offering excellent performance. And as you can expect from the name of this post, you will also find an IR blaster on the device. Battery life is above average thanks to the phone’s 4,000mAh cell. There’s fast charging on board, but no wireless charging. You also get four rear cameras.

The Honor 20 shares a lot of the specs and features with the Pro model, but offers less in a few areas. It has a smaller battery, a different camera setup, and less RAM as well as storage. You can get the Honor 20 on Amazon by clicking here. If you’d rather opt for the Pro model, you can do so via the button below.


Honor 20 specs:

  • Display: 6.26-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: Kirin 980
  • RAM: 6GB
  • Storage: 128GB
  • Cameras: 48, 16, 2, and 2MP
  • Front camera: 32MP
  • Battery: 3,750mAh
  • Software: Android 9.0 Pie

Honor 20 Pro specs:

  • Display: 6.26-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: Kirin 980
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 256GB
  • Cameras: 48, 16, 8, and 2MP
  • Front camera: 32MP
  • Battery: 4,000mAh
  • Software: Android 9.0 Pie

3. Xiaomi Mi 9

Xiaomi Mi 9 screen - phones with an ir blaster

Xiaomi ditched the IR blaster with the Mi 8 but decided to bring it back with its successor. The Xiaomi Mi 9 was announced at MWC 2019 and is powered by the high-end Snapdragon 855 chipset.

The Mi 9's battery can go from zero to 100 percent in around 65 minutes.

The phone features an in-display fingerprint scanner and three rear cameras. The battery comes in at 3,300mAh and supports 27W wired charging, which gets it from zero to 100 percent in around 65 minutes. The Mi 9 also supports wireless charging, is a dual-SIM device, and has a premium look and feel thanks to its metal and glass design. All these things combined make it one of the best phones with an IR blaster you can get.

What makes it special is its price tag. The phone is a lot cheaper than the likes of the Galaxy S10 and Huawei P30 Pro — check pricing via the button below. It’s available in Europe but was not released in the US, although you can get the international model on Amazon.


Xiaomi Mi 9 specs:

  • Display: 6.39-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 855
  • RAM: 6/8/12GB
  • Storage: 64/128/256GB
  • Cameras: 48, 16, and 12 MP
  • Front camera: 20MP
  • Battery: 3,300mAh
  • Software: Android 9.0 Pie

4. Huawei Mate 20 Pro

The Huawei Mate 20 Pro -- best phone with an IR blaster

This is the oldest phone on the list, but it’s still a great one. It’s successor — the Mate 30 Pro — has already been released, but we don’t recommend getting it since it doesn’t come with Google services.

In addition to an IR blaster, the Mate 20 Pro sports a large curved display, an in-display fingerprint scanner, and a massive battery. Then there’s the triple-camera setup at the back, a gorgeous design, and tons of other features including 3D facial recognition.

The Mate 20 Pro has an in-display fingerprint scanner, a triple-camera setup, and 3D facial recognition.

The phone offers everything you need and more. It’s IP68 rated for protection against water and dust and can double as a wireless charger, allowing you to charge your Qi-compatible phone by placing it on the back of the Mate 20 Pro. However, the phone doesn’t have a headphone jack and runs EMUI on top of Android, which isn’t the best skin out there.


Huawei Mate 20 Pro specs:

  • Display: 6.39-inch, QHD+
  • SoC: Kirin 980
  • RAM: 6GB
  • Storage: 256GB
  • Cameras: 40, 20, and 8MP
  • Front camera: 24MP
  • Battery: 4,200mAh
  • Software: Android 9.0 Pie

5. Redmi Note 8 Pro

Redmi Note 8 Pro review home screen

The Redmi Note 8 Pro packs a 4,500mAh battery that’s significantly bigger than any other device Xiaomi launched in 2019. You’re also getting an upper mid-range Helio G90T processor, 6GB of RAM, and 64GB or 128GB of storage.

The star of the show might be the quad rear camera setup, though, featuring a 64MP main camera, 8MP ultra-wide sensor, 2MP depth sensor, and 2MP macro camera. The phone also comes with a large 6.53-inch display, a headphone jack, and an IR blaster. The fingerprint scanner is located at the back of the device.

The phone is available in quite a few markets including China, India, and Europe. It’s very affordable based on the specs it offers, which is what Xiaomi has always been about.


Redmi Note 8 Pro specs:

  • Display: 6.53-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: MediaTek Helio G90T
  • RAM: 6GB
  • Storage: 64/128GB
  • Cameras: 64, 8, 2, and 2MP
  • Front camera: 20MP
  • Battery: 4,500mAh
  • Software: Android 9.0 Pie

6. Xiaomi Mi A3

The Xiaomi Mi A3 in various colors.

The next model on our list of the best phones with an IR blaster is the Xiaomi Mi A3. What makes it special is that it’s part of the Android One family, meaning it offers a clean software experience. It’s also guaranteed to get at least two years of OS and three years of security updates.

The Xiaomi Mi A3 is a mid-ranger, packing the Snapdragon 665 chipset under the hood along with 4GB of RAM. It sports an in-display fingerprint scanner, a 6.01-inch AMOLED display, and a large 4,030mAh battery with 18-watt charging. Like its predecessor, it offers great value for money.

The phone is already on sale in a number of European countries via Amazon as well as Xiaomi’s website and retail stores.


Xiaomi Mi A3 specs:

  • Display: 6.01-inch, HD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 665
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Storage: 64/128GB
  • Cameras: 48, 8, and 2MP
  • Front camera: 32MP
  • Battery: 4,030mAh
  • Software: Android 9.0 Pie

7. Redmi Note 8T

Redmi Note 8T back

The Redmi Note 8T sports great cameras for the price, has a headphone jack on board, and even features NFC for mobile payments. You’ll find the mid-range Snapdragon 665 under the hood along with as much as 6GB of RAM. The phone also has a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner, sports an IR blaster, and can handle two SIM cards at the same time.

Despite its affordable price, the phone has a modern design with thin bezels and a small waterdrop notch on top. The display comes it at 6.3 inches and offers Full HD+ resolution. If you’re on a tight budget, the Redmi Note 8T is a great buy.

There are some drawbacks to consider, though. One of them is the huge camera bump at the back, which looks weird and can get annoying.


Redmi Note 8T specs:

  • Display: 6.3.inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 665
  • RAM: 3/4GB
  • Storage: 32/64/128GB
  • Cameras: 48, 8, 2, and 2MP
  • Front camera: 13MP
  • Battery: 4,000mAh
  • Software: Android 9.0 Pie

8. Xiaomi Mi Note 10

Xiaomi Mi Note 10 back of the phone

The Xiaomi Mi Note 10 is a mid-ranger packing the Snapdragon 730G chipset under the hood along with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. There’s also a Pro version of the handset available with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, although its availability is very limited. The phone’s highlight feature is its rear camera setup with five sensors that can adapt to pretty much any shooting style.

The standard 108MP sensor has a sensor size of 1/1.33-inches and an individual pixel size of 0.8μm. Below the main lens you’ll find a 12MP 2x telephoto lens. Xiaomi advertises the third lens as a 5x optical telephoto lens, but that is not the case. It’s actually a 3.7x optical telephoto lens on an 8MP sensor. Xiaomi then performs a digital crop to produce a similar reach as a 5x telephoto. This is a bit misleading and produces the same perspective distortion as a 3.7x optical zoom. Below this 5x zoom lens, you’ll find an ultra-wide lens, and below that, you get a dedicated macro camera. The latter shoots 2MP images and has a bigger pixel size of 1.75μm.

But the Xiaomi Mi Note 10 has more to offer than just its cameras. It sports a large 6.47-inch Full HD+ display, packs a massive 5,260mAh battery, and comes with a headphone jack as well as an IR blaster. Like the rest of Xiaomi’s lineup, it also offers great value for money.


Xiaomi Mi Note 10 specs:

  • Display: 6.47-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 730G
  • RAM: 6GB
  • Storage: 128GB
  • Cameras: 108, 20, 12, 5, and 2MP
  • Front camera: 32MP
  • Battery: 5,260mAh
  • Software: Android 9.0 Pie

There you have it, folks. These are our picks for the best phones with an IR blaster. Many other phones with IR blasters debuted last year, mostly from Chinese manufacturers like Xiaomi, Huawei, and Honor. If you’re looking for a Samsung or HTC-branded handset, you’ll have to go with something much older like the Galaxy S6 and One M9.