If you are a proud owner of shiny new Galaxy S8 or Galaxy S8+, first thing that would be on your mind whether your device comes with Samsung’s famous IR Blaster. IR Blaster was first launched by Samsung in the earlier models of Galaxy smartphones but later discontinued the feature for some reason. Images leaked earlier this year (see below) before the official launch of Galaxy S8/S8+ gave rise to rumors that in this year’s flagship Galaxy phones we may see the return of an IR Blaster.
The IR Blaster feature was conspicuously absent from the Galaxy S7 & S7 Edge devices released in 2016. Rumors prior to the official launch of the Galaxy S8 phones suggested that an IR Blaster could feature in the 2017 flagship Galaxy phones.
But there is a bad news for all those hoping to see an IR Blaster in the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus. As opposed to what you may have read and heard in rumors, the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus do not come with an IR Blaster. What does this mean then? Well, it says that you have no official way of using your smartphone to control non-smart TV, AC, music player, and other non-smart devices at home or office.
An IR Blaster tool is a really useful technology to have on a phone, especially in regions where the usage of smart devices is not that common compared to well advanced countries. It’s really disappointing to see Samsung deciding against bringing IR Blaster back on the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus phones.
Samsung is not the only company that ditched the IR Blaster, LG also did the same on its LG G6 model this year. Chances of seeing an IR Blaster on a smartphone this year are getting slimmer with each new launch as company are moving away from providing this useful feature on their smartphones.
Previously, Samsung did offer an IR Blaster starting from its Galaxy S4 to Note 4 and all the way up to Galaxy S6 phones. Later the feature was removed from all Galaxy devices launched after the Galaxy Note 5. Likely reason could be that Samsung might have conducted a research and found out that the usage pattern of IR Blaster on the Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy S6 was below expectation which doesn’t warrant adding it in new phone either due to low demand or to cut costs. With that mentioned, the IR Blaster feature is still popular in Asia and adjoining regions. This makes Samsung’s decision to push the IR Blaster feature out of its new smartphones a strange one, especially on variants of Galaxy phones released in the high-demand regions. In the end, it seems cost consideration trumped user demand.