Best phones with an IR blaster for all your remote control needs

Best phones with an IR blaster for all your remote control needs
A decade ago, the sole purpose of cell phones' infrared ports was to enable the exchange of data with another device. These were eventually rendered obsolete by the superior Bluetooth technology, which was more reliable and worked from a greater distance. 

So why then are we seeing more and more Android smartphones launching with a built-in IR blaster? Well, because it allows the handset to act as a universal remote control. And that's pretty neat. With the help of a pre-loaded app, many Android smartphone models let the user control their TV, set-top box, and receiver straight from their smartphone.

If that's a feature you'd like to have on your handset, then check out our list of best smartphones with a built-in IR blaster.

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34 Comments

1. Commentator

Posts: 3723; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

"Best" phones with an IR blaster? This is more like "a list of phones with an IR blaster." Heck, there's even one on the list that DOESN'T have an IR blaster, but I'll leave the particulars of that little mystery to the audience!

5. Commentator

Posts: 3723; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

...Okay, so obviously the suspense wasn't killing everyone as I had intended. It's the HTC One mini.

14. apple4never

Posts: 1064; Member since: May 08, 2013

and what about the Xperia ZL its way better than those mini's

22. Astoni

Posts: 649; Member since: Sep 28, 2013

I'm sorry to tell you but the ZL is weaker than HTC's mini atleast

24. ihavenoname

Posts: 1693; Member since: Aug 18, 2013

No, it's not..

25. Astoni

Posts: 649; Member since: Sep 28, 2013

Xperias are always weaker ;)

27. the_matchless

Posts: 64; Member since: Apr 01, 2012

Ok that stupid comment aside, ZL should've been in the list as it was one of the first few phones to have revived the IR feature and It's a wonderful phone.

2. Xenaz

Posts: 144; Member since: Apr 28, 2013

If I'm not mistaken, the Xperia ZL also have a IR blaster, but I don't find it useful actually

3. superkuiken

Posts: 168; Member since: Mar 24, 2013

Damn it Sony, you're falling behind!!!

8. buccob

Posts: 2975; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

HA, now people just found out another excuse to bash and critizice Sony phones... previous ones were: big bezels (still holds a bit) viewing angle slow updates (still holds a bit) Anti-Shatter Film People will always find something to complain or to hate just because it does not suits them... If so, just don't buy it and get a different brand. I personally dont care much about the IR though I would like to have it... I don't mind narrow viewing angles... I don't mind current size of bezels... Updates have been somehow fair (but could be better)... and I actually love the ASF so I'm sad to see it gone on the Z2... Still debating if I should get the Z1 Compact or wait for Z2 Compact...

9. oister85 unregistered

Sony was one of the brands that started the ir blaster, with the first tablet released. Ir blaster is a good feature to have I don't understand why sony is ignoring that.

12. buccob

Posts: 2975; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

Like I said, I would like to have it... and I am glad that they are including it in their tablets But there are other features I would probably use more... like the stereo speakers, or IP57-58, or dedicated camera shutter button... Again, I agree that they should include it in their phones... but currently, I don't really need that particular feature, specially if it replaces another (which it shouldn't) BTW I would have bought the Xperia ZL in a heartbeat if it was waterproofed... it had a small bezel, IR blaster, waterproof, slightly better screen and speaker than Xperia Z... but now that's past. Size is still crucial to me...

17. The13thKing

Posts: 849; Member since: Feb 26, 2014

or maybe wait for Z4 Compact it's out i guess next month #Fail #SonyIsForThe80s #Its2014Grandpa

20. buccob

Posts: 2975; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

I actually still consider the Z1 Compact but there have been some issues with the device, reported by users... That is why I decided to wait, either if Sony gives an statement about the issues and release a revised version, or a Z2 Compact gets out... To me it makes sense to wait a bit... But definitely will get Z1 C or follower... I don't see the point of your comment

15. iyngr

Posts: 72; Member since: Jul 14, 2013

Also LG Phones with IR blaster are coded only to work with stock app and cant support other apps like samsung's smart remote or touchquid pro app.

21. tasior

Posts: 265; Member since: Nov 04, 2012

Actually, Sony doesn't need IR blaster. If You have Sony TV, You can download Sony app on any android device, that works as a remote via wifi. It's actually more convenient, because: 1. You don't have to point phone in the TV's direction. 2. You can operate from another room. (Quite usefull, if You're tired of shouting that TV is too loud...)

4. hmd74

Posts: 540; Member since: Jan 31, 2013

Shame on you Sony!!!

6. paynekiller

Posts: 152; Member since: May 24, 2010

The IR blaster on my LG G2 seems to be weak as hell! I can't control my tv from my bed, I have to get up and almost be standing a maximum 3 feet away from the tv to control it. Almost useless. But do not take this as an absolute judgment, the TV in my bedroom is Best Buy's Insignia brand, which I can barely get any of my other universal remotes programmed properly for (DirecTV and Google TV remotes). I haven't really found a need to use my phone as a remote on my other more reputable brand TVs as yet.

10. JewBakaUCFG

Posts: 176; Member since: Sep 25, 2012

I use the LG G2 IR Blaster for my Vizio and ATnT UVerse box. Works just fine from approximately 10 feet away.

11. paynekiller

Posts: 152; Member since: May 24, 2010

ok thanks for your reply, I'm gonna try it on my LG tv and an Toshiba soon.. I'll update on how it works out for me

13. paynekiller

Posts: 152; Member since: May 24, 2010

actually, scrap everything I said earlier. This is admittedly down to user error. I just tried it again with the Insignia TV, and it works from far away, I just needed to be pointing the top edge of the phone more downwards and directly at the IR receiver on the TV. Difficult for me to see what I'm actually touching on the phone screen but it does in fact work from a distance. I think I've gotten so used to the freedom I get with my google tvs RF remotes I forget I need to point directly at things with IR remotes..

16. iyngr

Posts: 72; Member since: Jul 14, 2013

Also LG Phones with IR blaster are coded only to work with stock app and cant support other apps like samsung's smart remote or touchquid pro app.

7. surethom

Posts: 1719; Member since: Mar 04, 2009

IR blasters are very good, but are there any good remote control apps for phone & for tablets, cannot find a good one for SKY+ appart from the one that come with the Sky+ app. No good apps yet!

18. The13thKing

Posts: 849; Member since: Feb 26, 2014

I Adore My IR Blaster In My Samsung Galaxy Mega. It's Funny As Hell In Restaurants And Shopping Malls

29. buccob

Posts: 2975; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

Yeah, it is useful to make pranks a couple of times... after that you're just a douche

30. The13thKing

Posts: 849; Member since: Feb 26, 2014

Nope, it's the coolest thing to have on a phone wherever I go, took a friend to the dentist yesterday, and while we were waiting the tv got her annoyed so first we changed channels then i turned it off, in fact i can control anything with it including annoying air conditioners, it's a helluva fun thing turning it from cold to hot, and getting out of the room/restaurant/store and have a serious laughter afterwards with your friends.

19. wilsong17 unregistered

Love it on the note 3.. it automatically change when I go to different room in my house and best of all I doesnt wasted battery

23. Deaconclgi

Posts: 405; Member since: Nov 03, 2012

I don't see the Nokia 5300 Express Music on that list....

26. Lauticol

Posts: 404; Member since: Jun 25, 2011

IR blaster from the HTC One is the best, it can learn codes from other remotes!

28. kevvdogg88

Posts: 1; Member since: Mar 16, 2014

The LG G2 is the best App already on phone and takes less then a min to program for most entertainment devices

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