Up until recently, Forex mobile trading (cell/smartphone trading) has been pretty dismal.
However, Forex charting providers and brokers have started to pick up their act. They have realised that traders want the convenience of trading from our mobile phones…
… And they are giving us the tools to do just that.
In this article I will show you all the best options for trading Forex mobile trading. Specifically, I will show you:
- What mobile trading is
- The best phones and tablets for trading
- The best mobile forex trading platforms
- My solution for mobile trading
What is Forex mobile trading?
Simply put: mobile trading is trading the Forex market from a smartphone or a tablet.
I am sure you agree, it can sometimes be hard to fit Forex around a busy schedule. Between work, family, and your social life, finding time to trade can be tough.
Thankfully, over the past few years there has been rapid advancement in smartphone and tablet technology. Now you are no longer limited to trading from your PC or laptop. Today, you can trade Forex from most smartphones or tablets as long as you can get a stable and secure internet connection.
Smartphones have changed the way I trade. These days, I do at least 50% of my trading while I am away from my PC. I have taken trades while hiking, while cycling, and even while swimming, although I do not recommend trying to use your phone in the pool.
Best smartphones for Forex trading
This is where it gets tough. In the smartphone world there is so much choice that it can get confusing finding the best phone for you. Let’s break this down into two logical categories. First, let’s look at the phone’s operating system (OS).
Best smartphone OS for trading
A smartphone’s OS is the software that supports the basic functions of your phone. Your phone’s OS allows you to do things like making phone calls, and installing apps.
Picking the best OS for you is pretty simple. There are three main choices for Forex mobile trading: Android, iOS (iPhone), and Windows Phone. When it comes to Forex apps, Android and iOS have much more choice than any other OS.
You could also go for a Windows Phone, but there really aren’t that many Forex apps for a Windows Phone; the same goes for Blackberry, Fire OS (Amazons offering) and Firexfox OS.
My advice is to pick either Android or iOS.
Best screen size and hardware
One of the most important factor when looking for a smartphone to trade from, is screen size. Having a small screen makes it very hard to trade effectively.
You will want a phone with a screen size of around 5 inches or more. It is fine if it is a little bit smaller, but too small and charts become a nightmare to navigate. You will also want a minimum screen resolution of 1920×1080 (1080p). Anything less than 1080p will also be a pain to chart on.
While the specifications above are ideal, they are not essential. If you have an older phone with a smaller screen or resolution, give it a shot anyway.
Hardware is usually a big concern with people. However, you do not need a very powerful phone for Forex trading. You don’t have to go out and buy the best phone on the market just for Forex trading.
The other benefit of large phones is that they have large batteries. Which brings me to my next point.
Battery life is important, you do not want your phone dying mid trade. Try to find a phone that has at least six hours of battery life while in use. This should allow for heavy usage all day without recharging. You will often find that larger smartphones have better battery life. This works out well, since you need a phone with a large screen.
While battery life is important, do not make it a top priority. Batteries are light, you can always buy a spare and carry it with you. I have two spare phone batteries in my girlfriend’s purse at all times. Keep in mind that the iPhone 6 plus is fully enclosed, so you cannot switch out its battery.
My phone recommendations
I use the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 because of it’s large screen and long battery life. I highly recommend the Note series; even though they are big phones, the extra screen size helps with charting.
If you prefer an iPhone, the iPhone 6 plus is a nice choice; again due to the large screen size. However, please keep in mind that you cannot use spare batteries with it.
If you are on a budget, the Bluboo X6 is an awesome choice. The Bluboo is about six times cheaper than the Galaxy note 4, and seven times cheaper than the iPhone 6 Plus. Regardless of its budget price, the Bluboo has great performance and is perfectly suitable for smartphone trading.
Another solution for tight budgets is to go for an older model. I am still using the Galaxy Note 3 for Forex mobile trading, and the Galaxy Note 4 was released months ago. I probably wont upgrade until the Note 5 is out.
Best tablets for Forex trading
Choosing the perfect tablet for Forex mobile trading is similar to choosing the perfect phone. Screen size and OS are the most important factors. However, when it comes to your tablet OS, Windows is by far the best option.
I use the Surface Pro 3 from Microsoft. The Surface Pro range does not use a mobile OS like Android, iPhone or Windows Phone, it uses Windows 8 as an OS. As Windows 8 is the same OS used on desktops and laptops, you can install your normal trading platform onto your tablet, such as MT4.
Essentially, a Surface Pro tablet is like a very small, compact, and thin laptop.
The drawback of the Surface Pro range is that they are very expensive. The good news is that there are other options…
… Lenovo also has a very nice range of Windows 8 tablets, as does Dell and Acer.
A Windows 8 tablet is your best option for Forex mobile trading. If you really want an Android tablet, check out the Samsung Galaxy Tab. If you want a Mac tablet, your only option is the iPad.
I would recommend a 10.1 inch screen size tablet; that being said, I have used tablets with a smaller screen and they are fine for trading.
Finding the perfect mobile Forex trading platform
Chances are your broker already has a mobile trading platform. The most popular platforms at the moment are MT4/MT5 mobile or cTrader mobile.
You can get MT4/MT5 mobile on Android and iPhone, and both platforms work well. You can also get cTrader on both Android and iPhone, and it also works well. Personally, I prefer cTrader mobile, it is much faster and easier to use.
All three platforms are let down by their charting though. The charts simply do not have as many features as we are used to from normal platforms. For example, with MT4/MT5 mobile, you cannot change chart colours, and the range of indicators is very limited. With cTrader mobile, the time frames you can use are very limited.
The biggest issue I have with charting on MT4/MT5 mobile and cTrader mobile is that they do not sync with your normal charts. I could spend one hour setting up all my charts on my PC, and then I would have to redo all that work on my mobile charts.
While all these platforms are fine for taking trades, if you want a good charting solution, your options are slim.
You should download all three platforms and test them out. I tested MT4 mobile through Avatrade , you can get their meta trader 4 free download here.
Many brokers have their own proprietary mobile trading platforms, sadly I cannot test every broker’s proprietary platform. I am sure there are some gems out there,and if you know of any let me know by commenting below.
The best solution I have found for charting and trading is Trade Interceptor. Trade Interceptor is a user friendly mobile platform, and is available on Androids, iPhone, Windows, Blackberry and Amazon devices. Trade Interceptor is available with a long list of brokers, so your broker may already connect with it.
I could give a pretty long four star review on Trade Interceptor, but you are better off just trying it for yourself.
Charting only mobile platforms
If you want to use your mobile platform solely for charting, there aren’t many good options. The only good dedicated charting platforms are TradingView or ChartIQ, both of these platforms are very similar. In my opinion, TradingView wins out as it is packed with an endless amount of features. However, the extra features come at a price, TradingView is $9.99 per month, while ChartIQ is still free.
Both TradingView and ChartIQ solve the problems I mentioned above about charts not syncing. If you use either of these platforms on your desktop PC, they will sync with your phone and tablet.
Again, I could give you a long review, but you are better off trying them for yourself.
I am currently using TradingView as my mobile and desktop platform. While I really wish they would create an Android app, accessing my charts via my phone browser works well.
Remote desktop and Windows 8 tablets
While Forex mobile trading solutions are getting better and better, I personally feel that most mobile platforms are lacking.
How do I manage to take at least 50% of my trades while I am away from my PC?
Well, on my phone I use remote desktop software. Basically, what I do is I leave my PC on 24/7, and I use an Android app called Splashtop to access my PC desktop remotely. This allows me to use my actual trading platform to trade. You can also use TeamViewer as a remote desktop tool, both Splashtop and TeamViewer work very well.
Obviously, the major drawback of this solution is that I need to keep my PC on all the time. Also, if my PC crashes, I would not be able to access my desktop, what then? Well, as a backup I have a mobile trading platform that I can use to manage my trades.
If I have my tablet with me, I just use that. I am currently using a Surface Pro 3, which is a Windows 8 tablet. This means I can install the exact same platform on my tablet that I use on my PC; so, my tablet doesn’t require a mobile trading platform at all.
The best solution for Forex mobile trading
For me, the best solution for mobile trading is to not use a mobile trading platform. I do use TradingView to chart on mobile, but I take my trades via remote desktop.
The best solution for you will depends on your needs. The best way to find out is to test everything and figure out what works. So, what should you test first? Well, here is a handy guide.
Step 1: Contact your broker and see what Forex mobile trading solutions they have. Also, make sure to ask if they support Trade Interceptor. Brokers may try to push their proprietary software on you, so asking if they allow a specific platform will get you a more direct answer.
Step 2: Test all the mobile platforms your broker has available.
Step 3: If you are not happy with your broker’s platforms, try out some of the other platforms mentioned above. You may decide you want to switch broker if you find a great mobile platform.
Step 4: If you are not happy with Forex mobile trading platforms in general, download Splashtop or TeamViewer and try using remote desktop. Personally, I think this is the best solution for most people, but it does have drawbacks.
Step 5: If remote desktop doesn’t suit your needs, look into buying a Windows 8 tablet.