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I have a ZTE model N817 android smart phone. Does it have a built in IR blaster? If not, what do I need to do so that I can use my phone as a remote for my Sony flat screen TV.

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    check your phone's specifications online, because, each region may vary with some specifications.
    – Rahul Gopi
    Jul 28 '17 at 5:41
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According to the spec sheet at http://mobilespecs.net/phone/ZTE/ZTE_Quest_N817.html, it says IrDA = no which means it doesn't have an IR blaster.

As for using it as a tv remote, you can always get an 'ir blaster dongle' - there are various types, if you don't use the headphone port there are convenient ones that will go into the 3.5mm headphone port and not hang around as wires etc. (easier to carry in pocket).

However, you should check the TV as well; if its a newer tv with bluetooth remote then you just need a bluetooth remote control app.

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