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Have cellphones abandoned the infrared?

Was wondering about this for some time now. IR was once a staple feature for connectivity options on mobile phones and it was even more common than Bluetooth.

infrared phones

Today, I almost never see infrared as a feature in the newer phones. Bluetooth survived but it looks like IR was totally forgotten. And I thought there was much more potential with transferring data thru light/lasers than radio signals, tech-wise.

I might be wrong though. There could be low-end models that still have IR in them. Has anybody bought a cellphone recently that has IR in it?

Abe is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of YugaTech. You Can follow him on Twitter @abeolandres.

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33 Responses

  1. Bentong says:

    I think high end units already phased out the IR functionality. IR can be mostly found on low ends I think it’s to compensate for the bluetooth

  2. deuts says:

    My old good Nokia E-51 has IR, but I don’t even know where’s the interface, I mean where do I point it to another IR device if there’s any.

    I moght have totally forgotten about that technology in cellphones. :D

  3. Jhay says:

    I agree with Bentong’s observation. In all my years of cell phone usage, IR has always been looked down upon by my friends and classmates while having Bluetooth connectivity on your phone is a high watermark.

  4. whaâ„¢ says:

    my nokia 6610i has an IR but i’m not using its IR this days coz most mobile phone this day are using BT.

  5. beng says:

    If I’m not mistaken, my old omnia had IR. I never used it but I always remember seeing it whenever I had to turn on my bluetooth! hehe!

  6. reynaldo says:

    the IR is a connectivity feature that is relatively ‘easier’ to implement (esp. cost and size-wise). it has its cons, though. one, it cant be blocked and two, it must be in a straight line with a limited distance with the other IR device, etc.

    as for Bluetooth, it can carry ‘heavier’ data. and marketing people ‘suggests’ it to be cooler.

    anyway, i wont ditch the IR if i’d be them. my nokia 6600’s IR functions as our alternative appliance Remote Control at home!!!!

    P.S. Yuga, where’s the LG KS360 review? you’re my deciding factor so as to buy it or not. It’s been a week!

    more power Yuga!

  7. spiderye says:

    i’m still carrying an old SE phone with IR in it.

  8. I use IR to play 2-Player Snake with my 7110 before! Yay!

  9. Mike Wagan says:

    I think its easier to develop apps for Bluetooth rather than IR. I’ve seen a couple of Special Projects using bluetooth on phones when I was still in college, but didn’t saw anything about infrared. Besides, its much cooler to hear your phone/device has ‘Bluetooth’ rather than infrared I think; some marketing strategy.

  10. sky says:

    IR is too slow, based on my experience. And I think cellphone makers are losing space as to where to put it. What, with 3.5mm headphone jack, hotswap memory card slot, micro/miniUSB port, volume rocker, media rewind-play/pause-forward control keys, camera shutter, and of course charger port surrounding the phone, where to put IR? at least that’s what I’ve observed.

    and yeah, I remember playing 2-player Snake before! using IR!

  11. sylv3rblade says:

    Well IR had it’s day. Compared to the current wireless transfer modes, it’s simply too slow. I still remember how Nokia used to charge premium for phones with IR LOL

  12. 1. IR is Slow
    2. You need it to be aligned
    3. Short Distance

  13. there are also some hi-end phones that has IR

  14. pinoymax says:

    im still carrying my old cellphone with IR.. for calling of my friends contacts..

  15. goosebumps says:


    Are you going to make a review for Samsung Omnia HD?

  16. Lowell Tortona says:

    Question is most notebook PC comes with bluetooth. Before like my Thinkpad having IR easily connecting to my cellphone. Now, is there any dongle for IR. Most USB communication device are Bluetooth and those with IR using with cable and mouselike terminal is too bulky to carry.

  17. Well, I have a SE phone that has IR in it. I haven’t found any use for it, except that it blinks ala Ultraman chest-light whenever it goes low-batt. haha, its as if my SE phone is a mini-Ultraman slowly losing energy, haha :D
    Hmmm,now all I need is the Ultraman-sound effect when my SE phone is low in battery power…(ting-ting, ting-ting~!)

  18. loadex says:

    Nokia E71 have IR as one of it’s features.. though wala na akong matandaan which phone I used before ang IR capable…

    And besides lappies have bluetooth as standard specs.. so it is more practical to deploy BT than IR.

  19. Mikmik says:

    Because of its short range data transmission, limited functionality and much disadvantages IR lost its power over that of its counterpart Bluetooth. Infrared had its time and how technology goes. Additionally, i also support the idea that manufacturers and designers do have these problems of placing the infrared hardware into the phone because of the ever increasing functionality and shortcut buttons place on the shoe nowadays.

  20. Mikmik says:

    Pls. Be corrected. Thats how technology goes… Place on the phone… Just using my phone for this reply, thats how i got that errors. :(

  21. Mikmik says:

    Pls. Be corrected. Thats how technology goes… Placed on the phone… Just using my phone for this reply, thats how i got that errors. :(

  22. Mikmik says:

    Please be corrected. Thats how technology goes… Placed on the phone… Just using my phone for this reply, thats how i got that errors. :(

  23. Tech Blog says:

    Last IR capable phone I have is N92 the 1st one that came with DVB Tv Receiver, For the entire 2 years I have that phone I have never used the IR, Now I have N96 I just found out it doesn’t have IR

  24. Andre Marcelo-Tanner says:

    bluetooth won over this tech,

  25. Richard says:

    Well, if you have a smart phone like windows mobile in it, you can still use the IR port to change channels of your TV.. just install additional software.

  26. Martha says:

    Me I have a phone with an IR, it’s one of the earlier versions of the NOKIA 3 series, not exactly sure what the last 3 digits are, lame no sumagot pa wala namang complete info? But I think there still are newer models with an IR. Or maybe I’m just imagining it…

  27. alejojoe says:

    most of the phones “i know” have IR-ready feature but not actually a built-in package.

  28. agentmango says:

    Not really abandoned. But maybe on its way. We are going to a generation of high tech gadgets. Many fones remain the IR but most use bluetooth.

  29. Most of the users depend on bluetooth, faster than IR and no need to be align.

  30. Adi says:

    IR is obsolete and time consuming for you need to aline both Ir devices and quit moving it or else u’ll lost the connections. But, IR is safer from virus and unwanted data. syempre kelangan mongang i aline to other ir device para mag tansfer or mag receive ng data, unlike on BT, if ur BT is open ay nako maraming pumapasok, kasi open nga.. ano kaba! hehe!!…. Pero sa BT parin ako madaling pasukin e haha!!

  31. im still using my nokia 8310, and the ir feature is nice. im using this phone for my pldt landline plus prepaid. on my camera phone, i use bluetooth to transfer files, it is much faster and more secure

  32. rgpod says:

    infrared…naalala ko tuloy mga indians…peace

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