FOREX MOBILE TRADING: The Definitive Guide (2020 Update)

It’s no secret that Forex mobile trading (smartphone trading) has given traders the ultimate freedom.

Until recently, trading required you to spend several hours in front of a computer or laptop each week.

Thanks to smartphones and tablets, these days you can trade from anywhere with a good internet connection.

In this guide I am going to show you everything you need to know to trade Forex on the go.

Let’s dive right in!

Contents

CHAPTER 1:
Trading Forex From Your Phone

Before we dive into the best phones, tablets, and platforms for Forex mobile trading, it’s important to understand what mobile trading is.

Forex Mobile Trading Fundamentals

Trading Forex From Your Phone

Trading Forex from a smartphone, or “mobile trading”, has really taken off in the last few years.

It’s easy to see why. Fitting Forex trading around a busy schedule isn’t always easy. Between work, family, and your social life, finding time to trade can be a challenge.

But trading Forex from your smartphone allows you to trade around a busy schedule.

Over the last three years more and more brokers and charting providers have begun releasing software for mobile trading.

So now all you need in order to trade Forex is a smartphone or tablet, and a stable internet connection.

Is mobile trading a good idea?

A lot of people ask me if trading from your smartphone is a good idea.

Is it safe?

Is it realistic?

Does it actually work?

They find it difficult to imagine professional traders using their smartphones for all of their trading.

While having the larger screen of a laptop or computer is handy for certain tasks, it is not a requirement. My Forex trading strategy can be traded entirely from a smartphone or tablet.

Smartphones have changed the way I trade.

In 2016, 73% of my trades were taken from my smartphone. Since then, I have taken even more trades from my smartphone in 2018, 2019, and 2020.

I have taken trades while hiking, cycling, travelling, and even at the beach.

Trading from your phone is safe, realistic, and it does work!

But what kind of phone do you need for trading?

CHAPTER 2:
What to Look For in a Trading Smartphone

Not all smartphones are equal for trading – some simply aren’t up to the task – and not all smartphones work with current mobile trading software.

However, throughout 2019 support for mobile trading grew rapidly. In 2020, more smartphones than ever before now have easy access to trading platforms.

But what is the best smartphone for trading?

Well, let’s break this down into three categories: operating systems, screen size, and battery life.

What to look for in a trading smartphone

Best Smartphone OS for Trading

OS is short for operating system, it is the software that the phone uses to operate its core functions. The two most common ones are Android and iOs (iPhone’s OS), but there are others such as Windows 10 mobile and BlackBerry 10 which surprisingly still exist.

Right off the bat I am going to eliminate both Windows mobile and Blackberry.

This is not to say that there are no trading platforms on Windows and Blackberry, but the choices are limited, and trading from these devices is not easy.

The dying market share of both these OS’s means Forex brokers and charting providers do not support them. If you have one of those OS’s then it is time to get something new for trading.

So it all comes down to Android vs. iPhone.

2017 saw iPhone catch up to Android so that in 2018, both operating systems were neck and neck which continued into 2019.

In late 2018, we saw an app launch for TradingView on iOs which helped close the gap between iOs and Android.

However, 2019 saw a dedicated Android app for TradingView which levelled out the playing field so that we now move into 2020 with great options all around.

It is fair to say that in 2020, both Android and iPhone are great OS’s for trading Forex. It will simply come down to preference.

You do not need a top of the line smartphone for trading. When it comes to specs, even low end modern smartphones are more than powerful enough for mobile trading.

So if power is not important, what is?

The most important factors are screen size and battery life.

How Important is Screen Size for Trading?

While you can trade on a smartphone with a tiny screen, it is tedious, and you are more likely to make mistakes. A large screen allows you to trade much more comfortably, which helps during stressful trades.

Smart Phone Screen Size

I recommend a 5.5 inch screen or better for trading from your smartphone. I have thoroughly tested several screen sizes and I have found anything under 5.5 inches is just too small.

If you have tiny fingers you might be able to trade comfortably with a smaller screen, but I do not recommend it.

If your screen is too small to trade from comfortably, there is a good chance you will make more mistakes. And in trading, mistakes can cost you a lot of money

Screen size is vital for trading Forex from your phone.

Battery Life So You Can Keep on Trading

Battery life is another vital factor, you don’t want your battery to die mid trade.

As you can see in the chart below, over the last five years battery life has been increasing at a surprising rate.

Average Smartphone Battery Life

smartphone battery life

In 2019, the average battery life of smartphones went up to over 12 hours of charge. This time is based on web browsing which uses about as much resources as mobile trading.

2020 should see an increase once again but so far nothing that is groundbreaking from what we already have.

Anything above 10 hours should be enough for trading, but some phones are able to go for much longer.

The age of your phone will also influence your battery life, as software improves and battery quality declines with time.

Personally I prefer at least 13-14 hours of battery life, especially if I am trading whilst abroad.

Don’t be fooled by battery sizes – a bigger battery does not mean longer battery life!

For example, the iPhone 8+ has a smaller battery than the Note 8 from Samsung but the iPhone 8+ lasts 5 minutes longer at 11h 16m vs. 11h 11m.

Below are 2020’s top picks for mobile trading!

CHAPTER 3:
Best Forex Trading Smartphones 2020

What’s the best smartphone of 2020 for Forex trading? Let’s take a look!

Best Forex Trading Smartphone 2017

1 Samsung Galaxy S10/S10 Plus

I am personally a fan of Android phones so for me, that puts the Samsung Galaxy S10 at the top of my list for 2020’s best mobile trading phone. There is also the option of the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus if you have the budget.

Samsung phones have consistently been at the top of my list because they have been reliable, powerful, great screen size, and easy to use.

With a more powerful battery than the Samsung S9, this next generation of Samsung’s flagship phone also boasts 8GB RAM, an upgrade from the 4Gb in the S9.

So we have a pretty good upgrade from the S9 but all things considered, there aren’t any drastic changes and the reliable Galaxy remains at the top of my list.

What if you are an iPhone person though?

2 iPhone 11 Pro/11 Pro Max

The iPhone 11 Pro is one of the new iPhones released toward the end of 2019. Overall, there isn’t too much to distinguish this from its predecessor except a better battery life and better camera.

The Pro version fits in one hand quite nicely at 5.8 inches but the look and feel are similar to the XS. You can get the iPhone 11 Pro Max if you have the budget but you will only be getting a bit more battery life.

This phone is a bit pricey and you will only get 64 GB memory with the cheapest option, a bit disappointing in my opinion.

3 Google Pixel 4 XL

Some of you will have noticed the rise of Google’s Android phone in the last few years and they have managed to care out a corner of the market for themselves.

The latest Pixel 4 XL has an impressive battery life accompanied with 6GB RAM and 128GB memory. This is the phone of choice for a few of my students and they are happy with it so far – the big question is battery-life longevity.

You can’t really go wrong with the Pixel, Samsung, or iPhone choices – it comes down to budget and preference as they are all very similar in their capabilities. The next question is, what budget options do we have?

4 Huawei P30

The Huawei P30 is a great budget option with fantastic specs to go alongside the price tag. For 128GB memory and 6GB RAM you are looking at just under $500 for this phone.

The battery is big and long-lasting, it is a powerful phone and it has great customer reviews all over the web. It is safe to say that this is a great Android phone that many people back.

Notable Mention: OnePlus 7T Pro

My partner is a casual trader and at the moment she is using the OnePlus 7T, released in 2019, and loves it. I have tried it out and the phone is great.

The camera was previously the let down for OnePlus phones but they have now sorted out that aspect of the device. Battery and screen size are great so this is definitely a phone you should consider out of all the ones I have listed.

Price wise it is similar to the others but the 8GB RAm and large memory make up for it.

Big Screen on a Budget

Generally a big screen requires a big budget, but there are some exceptions.

If you want a screen bigger than the standard 5.5 inch but are on a budget, check out the Huawei Mate 10 Lite. It’s huge 5.9 inch screen gives you a lot of room to trade comfortably at an affordable price.

While the Huawei is not the cheapest phone, when compared to phones of a similar size like the iPhone X, it is certainly one of the biggest screens you can get on a budget.

Want more options?

If you want to take a look at some other smartphones suitable for trading, below is a small table showing current popular smartphones, it shows their screen sizes and battery life.

SmartphoneScreen SizeBattery Life
Google Pixel XL5.5″10h 34m
iPhone 8 plus5.5″11h 16m
OnePlus 55.5″13h 06m
LG G65.7″08h 39m
iPhone X5.8″9h 15m
Galaxy S85.8″10h 39m
Huawei Mate 95.9″12h 06m
Galaxy S8 plus6.2″11h 04m
Galaxy Note 86.3″11h 11m
Galaxy S9+6.2″17h 00m
OnePlus 66.28″12h 11m
Motorola Moto G65.7″11h 35m
Google Pixel 25.0″11h 00m
Google Pixel 2 XL6.0″12h 25m
Huawei Mate 10 Lite5.9″10h 44m
Google Pixel 35.5″8h 47m
OnePlus 6T6.4″12h 32m
iPhone XS5.8″09h 41m

CHAPTER 4:
What to Look For in a Trading Tablet

Your tablet does not need to be the most expensive and powerful on the market for trading.

Expensive tablets and notebooks are made for graphic designers and engineers using resource intensive software.

Trading is not resource intensive at all, but backtesting software like Forex Tester 3 is moderately intensive.

I am going to show you several tablets that are suitable for both trading and backtesting. And I will also show you some trading only tablets.

What to Look For in a Trading Tablet

Tablets, Laptops, & Notebooks – What’s The Difference?

Traditionally a tablet is a device with a touchscreen and no keyboard, and a laptop is a computer packed into a small package with an inbuilt keyboard.

Notebooks started as very compact and slim versions of laptops with built in keyboards. They were generally heavier than a tablet, but lighter than a laptop.

Over recent years the distinction between these three devices has become blurred.

Now you can get tablets with removable keyboards, these are called 2 in 1’s. A 2 in 1 acts as both a slim lightweight tablet, and a powerful notebook when the keyboard is attached.

For trading, 2 in 1 tablets are best. A portable tablet combined with the functionality of a keyboard make 2 in 1’s the ultimate device for a trader on the move.

All the tablets I discuss below are 2 in 1’s, but I will be referring to them as tablets.

What Tablet OS is Best for Trading?

In the previous chapter I discussed the two major mobile OS’s Android and iOs. Well tablets and notebooks can also have desktop OS’s, like Windows 10 or Mac.

So what is the best tablet OS for trading?

Right off the bat let’s eliminate Android and iOs. While these are great for smartphones, a good tablet needs and OS with more functionality.

Both Windows and Mac can do so much more than a standard mobile OS.

So the choice is between Windows and Mac.

Windows vs Mac

Now, this will annoy a lot of Apple fans out there, but Windows 10 desktop is hands down the best OS for trading.

Mac is simply not as widely supported by broker’s. You can get some platforms on Mac, but it does not come close to the trading software available on Windows.

Some of the most popular trading platforms in Forex are not available on Mac, or are very poorly supported.

One example of this is MetaTrader 5, which requires extra software that allows the use of Windows applications on Mac.

Another example is Forex Tester 3, an essential piece of software for any serious Forex trader, and it’s not available on Mac.

There are workarounds such as Parallels, a software which allows you to run Windows applications on Mac. However, these workaround can be unstable on lower powered devices such as the entry level Macbook.

In my opinion Windows 10 is currently the best OS for mobile trading.

CHAPTER 5:
Best Forex Trading Tablets 2020

When it comes to tablets there is no true “best” tablet.

However, there are a lot of great options.

Below I will list the best trading tablets I have found, I will share several options including:

  • Window 10 tablets
  • Budget tablets
  • Apple tablets
Best Mobile Trading Tablets

The choices I have made below are my personal picks. The reality is there are hundreds of tablets available these days, and dozens of new choices being released each month.

It is impossible for me to test and keep track of every tablet that hits the market. I am a trader first and a tech enthusiast second.

The Best Windows 10 Tablets For Trading

1 Microsoft Surface GO

At the top of 2020’s list of the best 2-in-1 tablets is Microsoft’s Surface GO. This is a wonderfully designed 2-in-1 that has a great display.

Not the most powerful 2-in-1, this 10-inch tablet is affordable which is what sets it apart in my list. Whilst you aren’t getting the most powerful machine, what you do get for the price is simply too good to pass up on.

If you are trading, this is a great choice. If you want to use it for more strenuous activities, you may want to spend a bit more for an increase in power.

2 Asus Chromebook Flip C434

The Asus Chromebook Flip C434 is a new entry on my top list for 2-in-1 tablets as some have dubbed this the best chromebook on the market. Remember that – it’s a chromebook so if you are an Android user, this will be great for you. iPhone users less so.

Boasting a simply amazing battery life and great display, you will have to splash a bit more cash to get this tablet but it is worth it I think. The screen is larger than the Microsoft GO above and you can obviously add more RAM or memory if you want.

Google’s operating system is becoming better every year and that has helped push this chromebook up to second on my list. Keep your eyes peeled for more chromebooks over the next few years!

3 Dell XPS 13

Another new entry in my 2020 list is the Dell XPS 13 which is an expensive option but there is good reason.

This is one of the best 2-in-1’s on the market and you will see that in its processing poewr, battery life, display, and design. Dell have improved upon their laptop from last year, making changes that were needed and keeping what worked.

It may be a bit overkill to get this much just to trade, but realistically you will use your laptop for more than just trading so you could justify it to yourself!

4 Microsoft Surface Pro 7

Microsoft’s Surface Pro line of 2-in-1’s has had a consistent showing in my top recommendations. With the GO shooting to the top of my list, the Surface Pro 7 remains in the same spot as last year’s Surface Pro 6.

The long and short of it is that there has not been much change from last year’s model so don’t expect to see any new design. However, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it is relevant here as the Surface 7 is good at what it does. Except it does it better since the internal hardware is an upgrade and you have more power.

This is also a detachable so you can go full tablet mode if you want to. Overall, this is a safe choice that you will be happy with if you can afford the price of about $750

5 HP Spectre x360

If you don’t have any worries regarding budget then you can’t go much better than the HP Spectre x360. This has actually been called the best laptop made by HP so you should definitely check this one out if you are interested in a 2-in-1 that carries a big punch.

A powered-up CPU combined with a 4K display and sleek design makes this a great choice, not to mention the 1 terabyte hard drive and double the RAM from last year’s model. The negatives are that it can run hot and it doesn’t quite hold up in the battery life department.

Conclusion

The 2-in-1 tablets that are on offer in 2020 have yet again significantly improved from last year. We are seeing companies create products that sit in the mid-range price area which is great for competition. With high-end options like the HP Spectre you can look to increase your laptop’s power and display. You do still have budget options though that will let you trade without any concerns for battery or performance.

I personally prefer the mid-range 2-in-1’s for trading. They offer the perfect balance of performance, battery-life, and price that amplifies my trading. With so many 2-in-1’s being released, you can expect this article to be updated further into 2020 so keep an eye out for any that you like and let me know so I can check them out!

The Best Apple Tablets For Trading

Apple’s only true tablet is the iPad range which uses Apple’s mobile operating system iOs. While iOs is fine for trading from your smartphone, a good trading tablet should be able to do so much more than your smartphone. Sadly, Apple’s iPad range are just super sized smartphones.

If the only functionality you need for your trading is chart and trading platform access, the iPad might suit your needs. But be warned – if you need something more, it will fall short.

So, the only suitable option for Apple fans is the Macbook or the Macbook Air.

While both of these devices look stunning and have impressive hardware, they do not come with a detachable keyboard so I struggle to consider them true mobile trading devices.

Apple simply isn’t optimal for mobile trading. This might change in 2019, and I will certainly update this article if it does.

CHAPTER 6:
The Best Mobile Trading Platforms

Having a smartphone and/or tablet is only part of the mobile trading process.

But to trade you need an actual trading platform.

In this chapter I will show you what platform you should be using.

The choice is actually pretty easy!

Mobile Trading Platforms

When I first wrote this article in 2015 there were few good options to choose from for mobile trading platforms.

These days things have changed and we are drowning in mobile platforms. There are still some standout platforms, but in many cases they might not be worth using.

How to Choose a Mobile Platform

More likely than not your broker already offers a mobile trading platform. Depending on your broker this will be their own proprietary platform, or they will probably offer you options like MT4, MT5, or cTrader.

The truth is, using your broker’s platform is almost always the easiest and best option. Trying to connect to your broker through other platforms can be tedious and unreliable.

So when it comes to recommending the best mobile trading platform, the answer is often to just use what your broker provides.

Now, you might be thinking “what about Trade Interceptor!” which was known as one of the best mobile trading apps, if not the best. Well they were purchased by the broker ThinkMarkets, so they no longer connect to any other broker’s.

cTrader has always been a great option but very few broker’s support cTrader so it’s not widely used.

TradingView is consistently getting better on desktops and tablets and with their recent addition of an Android app, we could be seeing TradingView taking both app stores by storm. There are still improvements to be made to the app, however.

This is why I recommend using whatever platform your broker provides.

Hopefully in the next update I will have some exciting mobile trading platforms to share though.

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