YouTube update brings HDR playback to Samsung Galaxy phones

An app update is all that's preventing you from taking full advantage of your phone's display.
Written by Jason Cipriani, Contributing Writer

60 seconds with Samsung's Galaxy Note 8

Ready to take full advantage of the screen on your Samsung Galaxy S8, S8 Plus, or Note 8? Update the YouTube app, right now.

First noticed by users on Reddit, the latest version of YouTube adds HDR support for the 2017 trio of Samsung's flagship phones.

High-Dynamic Range, or HDR, adds a more realistic look and feel the video being viewed by increasing the contrast and color. CNET's Geoffrey Morrison digs into the finer details of HDR when it comes to watching video. It's worth taking the time to read through.

After installing the latest version of the YouTube app, search for a video with HDR capabilities. I used the video in the screenshot on Reddit -- titled "The World in HRD in 4K (ULTRA HD)." Tap the menu button once it starts playing, then tap quality, and select your preferred HDR playback setting. After adjusting my display setting to WQHD+ in the Note 8's settings app, the option for 1440p playback showed up in YouTube. And, boy, did it look crystal clear.

Netflix recently updated its Android app to include HDR support for the LG V30 and the Note 8, but curiously the S8 or S8 Plus.

The difference between an HDR video and non-HDR is stark once you've seen it. After YouTube's added support, users now have free options to watch HDR content (albeit currently limited), without having to pay for video from Netflix or Amazon Prime Video.


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