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Phones with an IR blaster: What are your best options?

They are rare, but there are some!
By
January 9, 2022
phones with an ir blaster

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

The best phones with an IR blaster:

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


What is an IR blaster, anyway?

The “IR” in IR blaster 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 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. Vivo X70 Pro Plus

Vivo X70 Pro Plus camera housing and window
Hadlee Simons / Android Authority

The Vivo X70 Pro Plus is a great device. It has secured its spot as one of the best phones with an IR blaster thanks to its excellent cameras, a fantastic 120Hz display, stereo speakers, outstanding performance, and an IP68 rating. Not to mention its sleek design.

A great phone never comes without its downsides. Some of them include its large size, lackluster zoom camera performance, and a hefty dose of bloatware. It’s also quite pricey and suffers from minimal availability.

The phone isn’t readily available everywhere, and chances of it coming to the USA are slim to none. It launched in China and India. There are ways to get it imported, though.


Vivo X70 Pro Plus specs:

  • Display: 6.78-inch, QHD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 888+
  • RAM: 8/12GB
  • Storage: 256/512GB
  • Cameras: 50, 48, 12, and 8MP
  • Front camera: 32MP
  • Battery: 4,500mAh
  • Software: Android 11

2. Huawei P50 Pro

Despite the lack of Google Play Services, Huawei’s P50 series offers some impressive hardware. The fact that the P50 Pro is a phone with an IR blaster is just some extra icing on top. It revamps the cameras from the P40 with new, circular bumps, and cranks them even closer to perfection.

The P50 Pro is about as refined as Huawei has ever made. Build quality is excellent, and overall specs are outstanding. One benefit to choosing Huawei’s P50 Pro is that you’ll get the 5G-ready Kirin 9000 chipset. It also includes up to 512GB of storage with 12GB of RAM.

As for those cameras, the P50 Pro offers four Leica-tuned rear options. There’s a 50MP primary lens, 64MP periscope telephoto, 13MP ultrawide, and a 40MP black and white sensor for good measure. While the selfie camera only weighs in with 13MP, it still delivers solid results. Huawei’s P50 Pro packs a 4,360mAh battery with 66W fast wired charging or 50W wireless speeds.

 

Huawei P40 Pro specs:

  • Display: 6.6-inch, 1,224 x 2,700
  • SoC: Kirin 9000
  • RAM: 8/12GB
  • Storage: 128/256/512GB
  • Cameras: 50, 64, 40, and 13MP
  • Front camera: 13MP
  • Battery: 4,360mAh
  • Software: HarmonyOS 2.0

3. Poco F3 series

Poco F3 GT with RGB light on
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

The Poco F3 is the closest we’ve come to a true Poco F1 successor, and it packs an impressive hardware package. It sticks with the IR blaster making it quite a deal for what’s offered. It comes with great specs, considering the price. Not to mention the sleek design and super competitive price.

Those looking for an upgrade should also look at the Poco F3 GT. Aside from being one of the few phones with an IR blaster, it’s also a solid contender in the gaming market. The MediaTek Dimensity processor offers reliable performance, and you even get dedicated gaming additions like the triggers.

Again, these phones are hard to find in most Western markets, but some sellers bring them to this side of the world.


Poco F3 specs:

  • Display: 6.67-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 870
  • RAM: 6/8GB
  • Storage: 128/256GB
  • Cameras: 48, 8, and 5MP
  • Front camera: 20MP
  • Battery: 4,520mAh
  • Software: Android 11

Poco F3 GT specs:

  • Display: 6.67-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: MediaTek Dimensity 1200
  • RAM: 6/8GB
  • Storage: 128/256GB
  • Cameras: 64, 8, and 2MP
  • Front camera: 16MP
  • Battery: 5,065mAh
  • Software: Android 11

4. Xiaomi Mi 11 series

Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra 1
Luke Pollack / Android Authority

The Xiaomi Mi 11 gave us a taste of the OEM’s 2021 goals, and it’s still one of the best phones with an IR blaster. It may have been the first Mi 11 series device to hit the market, but now it’s joined by the larger and more powerful Mi 11 Pro and Mi 11 Ultra.

Xiaomi’s latest flagship was one of the first devices to launch with a Snapdragon 888 processor on board, beating the Samsung Galaxy S21 family. Other specs are equally impressive.

If you splurge on either the Mi 11 Pro or Mi 11 Ultra, you’ll still get the IR blaster on board. All three devices pack the same hefty 6.81-inch displays as well as IP68 ratings for dust and water resistance. The most significant change you’ll notice is the massive camera bump on the back of Xiaomi’s Mi 11 Ultra. It even houses a small display that you can use as a viewfinder for crisp selfies.


Xiaomi Mi 11 specs:

  • Display: 6.81-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 888
  • RAM: 8/12GB
  • Storage: 128/256GB
  • Cameras: 108, 13, and 5MP
  • Front camera: 20MP
  • Battery: 4,600mAh
  • Software: Android 11

Xiaomi Mi 11 Pro specs:

  • Display: 6.81-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 888
  • RAM: 8/12GB
  • Storage: 128/256GB
  • Cameras: 50, 13, and 8MP
  • Front camera: 20MP
  • Battery: 5,000mAh
  • Software: Android 11

Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra specs:

  • Display: 6.81-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 888
  • RAM: 8/12GB
  • Storage: 256/512GB
  • Cameras: 50, 48, and 48MP
  • Front camera: 20MP
  • Battery: 5,000mAh
  • Software: Android 11

5. Xiaomi 11T series

Xiaomi 11T Pro main camera closeup - Phones with an IR blaster
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

The Xiaomi 11T series offers a few phones that bring high-end specs at a very competitive price. The Xiaomi 11T and Xiaomi 11T Pro come with excellent 6.67-inch 12HZ OLED displays, powerful processors, a triple rear camera system, a massive battery, dual speakers, and even Wi-Fi 6.

While not rocking the “T” moniker, these phones also launched alongside the Xiaomi 11 Lite NE. This budget device isn’t as powerful; it shares the feature this post is all about. All three are phones with an IR blaster on board.

You guessed it! These phones will be hard to get in the USA. Here are some links if you want to get them imported, though.


Xiaomi 11T Pro specs:

  • Display: 6.67-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 888
  • RAM: 8/12GB
  • Storage: 128/256GB
  • Cameras: 108, 8, and 5MP
  • Front camera: 16MP
  • Battery: 5,000mAh
  • Software: Android 11

Xiaomi 11T specs:

  • Display: 6.76-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: MediaTek Dimensity 1200
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 128/256GB
  • Cameras: 108, 8, and 5MP
  • Front camera: 16MP
  • Battery: 5,000mAh
  • Software: Android 11

Xiaomi 11 Lite NE specs:

  • Display: 6.55-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 778G
  • RAM: 6/8GB
  • Storage: 128/256GB
  • Cameras: 64, 8, and 5MP
  • Front camera: 20MP
  • Battery: 4,250mAh
  • Software: Android 11

6. Poco X3 Pro and X3 GT

Poco X3 Pro camera close up - Phones with an IR blaster
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

Poco first made waves a few years back with the Pocophone F1, and it hasn’t slowed down since then. Its portfolio has grown exponentially, and the Poco X3 series is one of its best efforts yet. Further, these phones with an IR blaster also offer major bang for the buck. Especially the Poco X3 Pro and the Poco X3 GT.

The Poco X3 Pro and X3 GT offer a high-end experience with very few compromises and a very acceptable price. Capable processors and ample RAM power 120Hz displays, multiple camera systems, and large screens. They both also feature huge batteries.

While these are not meant for the American market, they are readily available from Amazon. You can get them through the links below.


Poco X3 Pro specs:

  • Display: 6.67-inch, FHD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 860
  • RAM: 6/8GB
  • Storage: 128/256GB
  • Cameras: 48, 8, 2, and 2MP
  • Front camera: 20MP
  • Battery: 5,160mAh
  • Software: Android 11

Poco X3 GT specs:

  • Display: 6.6-inch, FHD+
  • SoC: MediaTek Dimensity 1100
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 128/256GB
  • Cameras: 64, 8, and 2MP
  • Front camera: 16MP
  • Battery: 5,000mAh
  • Software: Android 11

7. Redmi Note 11 Pro and 11 Pro Plus

Redmi Note 11 Pro official
Redmi/Weibo

Another pair of affordable phones with IR blasters for your consideration is Redmi’s Note 11 Pro and Pro Plus. They’re much improved over the Note 10, earning points for design, battery life, and some seriously great prices.

The beautiful design is the first thing you’ll notice in the Note 11 series. It skips the bold gradients and wild colors of other budget-friendly phones and instead sports a clean and classic look. You’re also bound to notice the camera array with its 108MP primary lens. The peripheral lenses haven’t received much kick, but we can’t ask for the world at this price.

More importantly, both models shine as phones with IR blasters. The batteries are plenty large with impressive wired charging speeds of over 60W. That said, these phones indeed manage to stand out in a rather crowded category.


Redmi Note 11 Pro specs:

  • Display: 6.67-inch, FHD+
  • SoC: Dimensity 920
  • RAM: 6/8GB
  • Storage: 128/256GB
  • Cameras: 108, 8, and 2MP
  • Front camera: 16MP
  • Battery: 5,160mAh
  • Software: Android 11

Redmi Note 11 Pro Plus specs:

  • Display: 6.67-inch, FHD+
  • SoC: Dimensity 920
  • RAM: 6/8GB
  • Storage: 128/256GB
  • Cameras: 108, 8, and 2MP
  • Front camera: 16MP
  • Battery: 4,500mAh
  • Software: Android 11

8. Poco M4 Pro

Poco M4 Pro back cover and cameras
Hadlee Simons / Android Authority

Our last phone with an IR blaster brings us back to Poco one more time. We told you the portfolio has been growing, and the Poco M4 Pro might be one of the brand’s best efforts yet. The design is brilliant, and MIUI offers plenty of control over your customization.

We have to applaud Poco for its impressive battery life, speedy charging setup, and we can’t ignore the rock-bottom price. After all, this is one of the most affordable ways to get your hands on 5G speeds.

Poco grabbed a midrange MediaTek Dimensity 810 processor to pair with its 50MP primary camera. The ultrawide camera is a complete afterthought, though. There’s a lot to like about Poco’s M4 Pro, and we’ll never complain about an IR blaster.


Poco M4 Pro specs:

  • Display: 6.6-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: Dimensity 810
  • RAM: 4/6GB
  • Storage: 64/128GB
  • Cameras: 50 and 8MP
  • Front camera: 16MP
  • Battery: 5,000mAh
  • Software: Android 11