Phones with an IR blaster: Your best options (July 2019)

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 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. It is a better Mate 20 Pro in almost all regards.

It features the same 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 U.S., but you can get it in Europe and many other regions.


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 last year’s 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 latest and greatest 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 U.S., 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

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.

The Huawei Mate 20 Pro is an expensive device, as it launched with a price tag of around 1,000 euros back in October (~$1,120) However, its price has been reduced since — check it out via the button below. Like the rest of Huawei phones, the Mate 20 Pro was not released in the U.S.


Huawei Mate 20 Pro specs:

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

5. Redmi Note 7 Pro

Redmi Note 7 Pro

Xiaomi’s Redmi Note series has been one of the most popular lineups of the brand and for good reason. One of the latest additions — the Redmi Note 7 Pro, offers spectacular specs at a low price and still sports an IR blaster.

It comes in two configurations, the first with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, the second with 6GB RAM and 128GB of storage. Under the hood, we can find the typical mid-range Snapdragon 675 chipset, which gives the Redmi Note 7 Pro its great day-to-day performance. It’s hard to beat this hardware configuration at this price point. The cameras aren’t disappointing either — with a 48MP lens combined with a 5MP depth sensor, the rear camera of the Redmi Note 7 Pro takes some impressive shots. The front camera is where quality drops in low light conditions, but overall the results are satisfactory.

MIUI still needs a lot of work.

However, we can’t say the same about the software. MIUI has its issues. Although you can disable the in-interface ads, it still feels quite clunky and unresponsive at times. If you can live with it, however, the Redmi Note 7 Pro is an excellent choice that your wallet will thank you for. The phone is available in India and other Asian countries, but it wasn’t released in Western markets. Your best option right now is to buy it from a Chinese retailer that ships globally, like GearBest.


Redmi Note 7 Pro specs:

  • Display: 6.3-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 675
  • RAM: 4/6GB
  • Storage: 64/128GB
  • Cameras: 48 and 5MP
  • Front camera: 13MP
  • Battery: 4,000mAh
  • Software: Android 9.0 Pie

6. Xiaomi Mi A3

The Xiaomi Mi A3 in various colors.

The last 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. 

Editor’s Pick

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 few European countries via Xiaomi’s website and retail stores. Amazon availability is expected in the coming weeks, which will make the phone widely accessible to European users. 


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

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, most 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.

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