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phones with an ir blaster

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. We recommend this over the P40 Pro while the P40 has dropped the IR blaster.


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. Poco F2 Pro

 

The Poco F2 Pro.

The Poco F2 Pro is known as the Redmi K30 Pro in some markets, and offers an accessible price with high-end phone features. It sticks with the IR blaster making it quite a deal for what’s on offer.

This Snapdragon 865 phone sports a 6.67-inch Full HD+ display, up to 8GB of RAM, and a 4,700mAh battery with 30-watt charging. The company claims you can get the battery from zero to 100 percent in 63 minutes.

The battery is said to go from zero to 100 percent in 63 minutes.

The F2 Pro also features a pop-up selfie camera, four rear cameras, and a headphone jack. All these things combined and the IR blaster make it useful, plus one of the best Snapdragon 865 phones you can get at the price point.


Poco F2 Pro specs:

  • Display: 6.67-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 865
  • RAM: 6/8GB
  • Storage: 128/256GB
  • Cameras: 64, 13, 5, and 2MP
  • Front camera: 20MP
  • Battery: 4,700mAh
  • Software: Android 10

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 Mi10Xiaomi Mi 10 10

 

Xiaomi has had IR blasters with its Mi line for a long time, including the previous Xiaomi Mi 9, which remains pretty handy with its high-end Snapdragon 855 chipset and solid specs. But the Mi 10 and Mi 10 Pro are two of the best Xiaomi phones you can currently get with a much higher-end package over the Mi 9. And, IR blasters the pair.

If you’re deciding between the 10 and the 10 Pro, the biggest difference between them is in the camera department, where the Pro model offers more. The phone also supports faster charging (50W vs 30W) but comes with a slightly smaller battery. You can check out these details and more in the specs section below.

The RRP of the Mi 10 series was pretty high, but Xiaomi has offered solid sales since. Check what’s available to you, but know that Xiaomi is continuing to deliver great hardware while the software takes small steps in the right direction, too. Both are available in Europe but was not released in the US, although you can get the international model on Amazon.


Xiaomi Mi 10 specs:

  • Display: 6.67-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 865
  • RAM: 8/12GB
  • Storage: 128/256GB
  • Cameras: 108, 13, 2, and 2MP
  • Front camera: 20MP
  • Battery: 4,780mAh
  • Software: Android 10

Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro specs:

  • Display: 6.67-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 865
  • RAM: 8/12GB
  • Storage: 256/512GB
  • Cameras: 108, 20, 12, 8MP
  • Front camera: 20MP
  • Battery: 4,500mAh
  • Software: Android 10

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 9

Redmi Note 9 official website

Credit: Xiaomi India

It’s easy to get lost in the ever-confusing sea of entry-level smartphones from Redmi. However, the Redmi Note 9 manages to keep the streak of great on-paper value for money, plus IR blasters, for those that need them.

The Redmi Note 9 sits at a great price and comes with a total of five cameras, a Full HD+ display, a huge battery, and the latest Android operating system. 

Related: Redmi Note 9 Pro review

Along with the IR blaster, you get dual-SIM support, microSD expansion, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and a Gorilla Glass 5 display. Also offered is 18W fast charging and 9W reverse charging which could come in handy if a friend’s phone needs a quick top-up. This shouldn’t be much of a problem for the Note 9 since it comes with a massive 5,020mAh battery.

Check Redmi Note 9 pricing


Redmi Note 9 specs:

  • Display: 6.53-inch, FHD+
  • SoC: MediaTek Helio G85
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Storage: 128GB
  • Cameras: 48, 8, 2, and 2MP
  • Front camera: 13MP
  • Battery: 5,020mAh
  • Software: Android 10

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.