Phones with IR blaster are kind of rare these days. However, that's not to say that they are non-existent. And it definitely doesn't mean that an IR blaster is useless in 2020.
In fact, it has a lot of possible uses. You can use it to control a supported TV, AC, speakers, projectors, DVD players, and pretty much anything that uses this kind of technology. So, without any further ado, let's get right into it!
When it comes to phones with IR blaster, Xiaomi is definitely one of the first names that come to mind. Even their newest releases are equipped with it and that includes some of the cheaper variants.
While the Redmi Note 8 is definitely not the cheapest Xiaomi device that you can get, it absolutely offers one of the best values at the market right now. After all, apart from the IR scanner that we're after, you also get:
- A huge 4,500 mAh battery
- An 8-core processor (6+2 cores)
- A Quad camera setup (Depth sensor, macro sensor, ultrawide lens, and the main camera)
- And a 6.5 FHD+ display
Considering that you're paying just a bit more than 200 bucks, this is a rather insane deal.
The Mediatek chipset may be a deal-breaker for some. After all, Mediatek has been known as a cheaper and slower solution to pricier Snapdragon processors. However, this one is a pleasant surprise as it can even compete with the Snapdragon 700-series!
Not to mention that the device comes with a headphone jack as well. Overall, if you need a powerful but cheap smartphone that comes with an IR blaster, it's hard to go wrong with the Redmi Note 8 Pro!
It has a great, 64MP camera, up to 8 gigs of RAM with 256 gigabytes of storage along with a microSD card slot, and more!
- Great camera
- Huge battery
- Great value
- MIUI can slow down the phone (But there's always the option of using a custom launcher)
- Mediatek chipset makes it tougher to find good custom ROMs
Yes, this is another Xiaomi device. No, we're not fanbois of Xiaomi who are trying to persuade you into joining our ranks.
It just so much happens that Xiaomi is one of the very few manufacturers who still care about making phones with IR blaster - especially on the mid to low-end department.
We'd say that the Redmi 7 actually offers a terrible value compared to the Note 8 Pro. After all, in order to save 60 bucks (At the point of writing this article), you're sacrificing a lot in terms of RAM, camera, and display as well.
But, hey, if you need a phone with an IR blaster for as cheap as possible without necessarily sacrificing everything in terms of specs, this is a decent choice for sure.
To be more specific with the specifications, you're looking at:
- An 8MP selfie shooter along with a single 12MP main camera at the rear
- A 6.2-inch 720 x 1520 IPS display
- An 8-core, Snapdragon 632 chipset
- And anything from 2 gigs of RAM and 16 gigabytes of storage to 4 gigs of RAM and 64 gigs of storage with microSD card support
It's not a bad phone per se. But, we'd personally recommend spending a tiny bit more and going for the Note 8 Pro instead. Unless you only a phone to perform simple tasks and don't care much about multitasking or taking crazy-good photos.
- Decent chipset
If you're looking for a high-end option, then it's truly hard to go wrong with something like the Huawei P30 Pro.
And while we'd love to pick something like the Galaxy S10 or the Note 10 as well, neither of them are amongst the phones with IR blaster. So, the P30 and the Mate 20 Pro are kind of playing in a league of their own at the high-end market. At least as far as IR blasters are concerned.
Apart from offering an IR blaster, the P30 Pro is all around a very powerful device that has a lot to offer. It's generally superior to everything else that we've checked out till now.
To be more specific, here's what it offers in nutshell:
- 6.4-inch OLED display with a FHD+ resolution and HDR10 support
- Huge 4,200 mAh battery
- Quad camera setup with an ultrawide sensor, a periscope + optical zoom sensor, and the main camera of 40MP along with a selfie camera of 32MP
- 8-core Kirin 980 chipset
- Up to 8 gigs of RAM and half a terabyte of memory
It's a flagship device that can compete with the likes of Samsung and Apple while also offering an IR scanner. What more can you ask for? What? A headphone jack? Well, we've got a dongle for that...
In all seriousness, though, that's as good as it can get for those who love IR blasters. The optical/hybrid is also a great addition that we don't regularly find in most smartphones - at least not at the point of writing this article.
- Runs the latest version of Android 10 (Stable)
- Powerful hardware
- Superb camera with optical and hybrid zoom up to 10x
- Beautiful design and great build quality
- Some people may not like EMUI
Phones With IR Blaster at Early 2020: Wrapping Up
These are more or less all the recommendations that we can give you at this point in time. We tried to mention one phone for each price point - budget, mid-range, and high-end. But, if you've got anything better in mind, feel free to mention in the comments.
Feel like we forgot to mention something important? Got anything wrong? Then let us and everyone else know about it in the comments section down below!
Also, happy new year - from Updato with love!
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May 4th, 2020