HDR video playback spotted on YouTube Android app with Galaxy S8, S8+, and Note 8 [Update: Pixel, V30, and Xperia XZ Premium too]

Update (2:18 PM PT) — Since originally publishing this article, Google has also started to push out HDR YouTube support for the Google Pixel, LG V30, and Sony Xperia XZ Premium. I’m personally not seeing the new addition on my Pixel, but if you have any of the above devices, be sure to head to the YouTube app try watching an HDR-compatible clip!

Last November, Google announced that it was officially supporting HDR video content on YouTube. HDR videos on YouTube have previously only been available to watch on Google’s Chromecast Ultra and select Android TV devices, but it appears that HDR YouTube videos are now available on the Samsung Galaxy S8, S8+, and Note 8

Redditor DeadmanIncYB took to the front page of the Internet to share a screenshot of a YouTube video and the different quality options available to them. The screenshot shows a standard array of resolution options ranging from 144 up to 1440, and along with all of these being in 60 FPS, there’s also an HDR tag by every single one.

Shortly after this initial posting, other Galaxy S8/S8+ users chimed in to report that they’re seeing similar options on their devices as well. Both the S8 and S8+ now have access to HDR YouTube content, and according to comments throughout the Reddit posting, it doesn’t seem to matter if you’re using an unlocked S8/S8+ or if it’s locked to a carrier.

Netflix has been rolling out HDR support to a number of Android phones throughout the year, but this is the first time we’ve ever seen HDR playback on the YouTube Android app. As exciting as this is, not everything is perfect quite yet.

Although HDR playback seems to be working just fine for some people, others are reporting that they can’t make HDR videos go full screen and that the playback performance itself is very stuttery. While a lot of this does depend on the Internet connection you’re using, it looks like it’s safe to say that Google does still have a few kinks to work out.

In addition to this, our own Hayato Huseman also spotted the HDR option on his Galaxy Note 8 — commenting that it looks “insanely good.” Google’s yet to make an official announcement regarding this rollout, and seeing that not all of our Galaxy S8 units we have access to the HDR option, our guess is that it’s slowly being rolled out to select users before a full public release. Even so, it’s worth looking into if you own an S8, S8+, or Note 8 in case you’ve been graced with this latest addition.

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Joe Maring

Joe has been a writer and occasional video producer for 9to5Google since July 2017. Follow him on Twitter @JoeMaring1 and send all emails to joe@9to5mac.com.

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