If you like to play games or watch movies on your phone, and you think that it would be awesome if you could connect your phone to the TV for those activities, then our list of 5 best smartphones with HDMI output, has a lot of information you need.
You’ve probably asked your self already – How do I connect my phone to my TV with an HDMI cable? Obviously there is no such thing as a recent smartphone with HDMI slot, because those slots are huge and have been done with years ago (on phones that is). But if that there are no phones with HDMI slot, does that mean that there are no HDMI supported mobiles? Of course not, as we will see, smartphone manufacturers have made some strange decisions when it comes to this feature, but such phones are not extinct.
Because Android manufacturers needed something smaller than normal HDMI slot, a new standard was created called Mobile High-Definition Link(MHL). What is a Mobile High Definition Link? To put it in the simplest way it is a USB (micro or type-c) to HDMI cable. What phones are MHL compatible? Long answer in the form of list of all supported mobile phones can be found on MHLtech’s website, however the list is very disappointing because phones on the list are old models. To prove the point, according to that list the best Samsung mobile with HDMI port would be the Galaxy S5 series, and the last Sony mobile with HDMI port is the Xperia Z5 series (including compact and premium versions). These phones were launched in 2014 and 2015, yes indeed. Maybe the company behind the MHL standard is not capable of updating their website? No, unfortunately it doesn’t look like that is the problem. If we go to GSMarena website (they provide very powerful search tool, so we can search for all phones from 2015 for example until now) results are more or less the same.
What is the catch here? There is another standard, called Slimport. Slimport is very similar to MHL, but is a little more versatile port because it can be connected to DVI, VGA, HDMI, and DisplayPort. What phones are compatible with Slimport? The list of compatible devices can be found on SlimPortConnect, but even though there are some recent devices that support Slimport, the number of models that were launched since august 2016, is 5 and that is only if you count the model which is only sold in Japan. There are probably two main reasons for this lack of supported recent devices. Two different standards, competing both on phones and TVs, resulted in too many variations of adapters and cables on the market, and created a lot of confusion. The other reason, is that Google declared: Thou shalt not use HDMI cables! Google has USB Type-C to HDMI adapter in their shop, yet their Pixel and Pixel XL phones do not support it. The reason for this is that they want you to buy their Chromecast device. Chromecast is a streaming device, that connects to TV via HDMI, and via wireless connection to a smartphone (it doesn’t have to be Google Pixel) or a laptop or even an iPhone, and enables you to stream your tv shows, games, movies, etc. to TV. To complicate things even further there is Miracast, which is actually an older standard. Again we get possible compatibility issues, depending on devices that you want to connect, but now also with apps that you plan to use. That must be so much “fun”. And, of course, if you plan to play games, you can expect them to lag. If you suddenly realized that you have wrong priorities when it comes to important phone feature, you might want to take a look at our list of the Best Smartphones with FM Radio.
For the creation of our list of 5 best smartphones with HDMI output, we wanted to take a look at reviews of best smartphones in 2017 at various sites, such as TechRadar, DigitalTrends, TrustedReviews and filter them only for phones that have some form of HDMI compatibility, and finally form our own rankings depending on their scores/ranks that they have in reviews. However that approach wasn’t possible, because from all the phones that are usually in the various top tens, only 4 support HDMI, and out of 4 only 3 support it properly. The device with the glitch, is OnePlus 5, and we simply could not include it on the list. According to this xda-developers forum thread, OnePlus 5 needs a custom ROM to work, with the adapter or it freezes after 5 minutes. So now that we were left with 3 devices, we decided to add two most recent devices from the Slimport supported devices list (that were not already among the 3). The reasoning is simple, there is nothing worse than an Android phone without updates.