What is IR blaster and why did most phones remove it?
IR is short for Infrared Radiation, an IR blaster can allow you to send command and control electronic devices via infrared rays, just like a universal IR remote. It’s very useful, especially when the electronic equipment you wanna control is compatible with IR. In other words, if you would like to control a TV or stereo set , you can simply use a phone with IR blaster. It’s compatible with TV, Air Conditioner, Music Player, Projectors, Set top box or anything that can be controlled by a remote. IR Blasters are usually placed at the top of your phones edges, it looks like some black plastic circle or rectangle indent. If you have it chances are it’s an IR blaster.
Why did most phones ditch IR blaster? Does it cost too much? The answer is no, IR blaster is one of the features which is really practical while without high cost on manufacturing. Samsung used to sport it and named it Smart Remote as a main spec till Samsung Galaxy S6. Samsung used to explain to the customers why the IR blaster was removed from Note 5, “We are constantly improving and updating our operating systems, and with every improvement there is always a chance an older feature may be changed or removed.” That’s what Samsung said. We do understand that the whole smartphone industry is developing super fast and keep updated with the leading technologies, like AI, complicated facial or fingerprint recognition systems, quick charging capability etc. Nonetheless some users still stick to the old features like IR blaster, 3.5mm headphone jack, so the Chinese companies like Huawei and Xiaomi still remain the IR blaster for good.
What phones still holds IR blaster?
I would only wrap up the well-known phone in the latest 2 years:
Huawei: Honor View 20, Mate 20 (Pro), P20 (Pro), Honor View 10, Mate 10 (Pro), Honor 10, P10 Plus
Xiaomi: Mi 9, Redmi Note 7, Redmi 6 Pro, Redmi Note 5 Pro,Mi A2, Redmi 5 Plus, Redmi Note 4, Mi Note 3
LG: Q8, V20