The Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ are finally official. And the question that is perhaps on the mind of many potential customers looking to upgrade to it from one of their older Galaxy S flagship is whether it features an IR blaster or not.
Samsung had last included an IR blaster on the Galaxy S6, with every major new flagship being introduced by the company since then — the Galaxy Note 5, Galaxy S7, Galaxy S8, and Galaxy Note 8 — skipping the handy sensor. Sadly, Samsung has continued that trend and skipped including the IR blaster on the Galaxy S9. This means that you will not be able to use the Galaxy S9 or Galaxy S9+ to control TV, AC, music system, and other appliances near you.
Its surprising to see Samsung not include an IR blaster on its flagship devices, while Xiaomi includes one even on its $75 Redmi 5A smartphone. Including an IR blaster is not going to cost Samsung a lot but will end up making a lot of users happy. However, in all its wiseness, Samsung seems to have decided otherwise.
Samsung is not the only one that has taken this route though. All other major OEMs like LG, HTC, and Motorola have all but given up on the IR blaster and stopped including it in their devices. Huawei is the only major OEM that includes an IR blaster on its flagship Mate series of handsets. The company’s recently unveiled Mate 10 features an IR blaster that can be used to control nearby devices. Thus, if you cannot live without an IR blaster on your smartphone, it is time for you to look elsewhere and perhaps give the Galaxy S9 a skip.