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!
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.
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 to 2023.
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?
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 2022 support for mobile trading grew rapidly. In 2023, more smartphones than ever before are starting to be supported.
But what is the best smartphone for trading?
Well, let’s break this down into three categories: operating systems, screen size, and battery life.
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. In 2023, the competition is still close.
Last year, we saw an app launch for TradingView on iOs which helped close the gap between iOs and Android.
However, in 2023 we now have a dedicated Android app for TradingView which levels out the playing field once more.
It is fair to say that in 2023 both Android and iPhone are great OS’s for trading Forex.
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.
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
In 2023 the average battery life of smartphones has gone up to over 12 hours of charge. This time is based on web browsing which uses about as much resources as mobile trading.
Anything above 10 hours should be enough for trading, but some phones are able to go for much longer.
Personally, I prefer at least 18-24 hours of battery life, especially if I am trading abroad.
Don’t be fooled by battery sizes – a bigger battery does not mean longer battery life!
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.
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.
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.
Best Forex Trading Tablets 2023
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
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 Tablets For Trading
1 Microsoft Surface Book
At the top of 2023’s list of the best 2-in-1 tablets is Microsoft’s Surface Book 2. This is an incredibly powerful, long-lasting 2-in-1 that is one of the best on the market today. The device has a 15-inch screen with storage options up to 1TB on a SSD.
It is very pricey, however, which is obviously a big consideration when looking at what you want to trade on. The surface pen is also not included so you will have to buy that separately. Overall, this is the best performing 2-in-1 that is incredibly lightweight and has improved from its earlier iterations.
However, unless you are a graphic designer or have the money to spend, this isn’t the most optimal purchase that you can buy. There are plenty of good options out there that are cheaper though!
Coming in at a surprising second is Lenovo’s Flex 6 14 which is a mid-range priced 2-in-1 that has had some great reviews since its release. This doesn’t boast as impressive specs as the Surface Book 2, but you are paying a third of the price and this 2-in-1 is going to do almost everything a Surface Book can do.
A 14-inch screen, lightweight build, and double the RAM and storage of the entry model of this series, this is a great upgrade to Lenovo’s 2-in-1 offerings. The only downside is that it is only available in the U.S. which is frustrating. Hopefully in the near future we will see it sold in other countries!
The 2-in-1 tablets that are on offer in 2019 have significantly improved over the last few years. 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 Surface Book 2 and low-end options like the Lenovo 300, you are bound to find something that fits your needs and price.
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 2019 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 2023, and I will certainly update this article if it does.
The Best Mobile Trading Platforms 2023
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!
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.
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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