4K media is widely available nowadays, and YouTube is absolutely full of it, thanks to 4K cameras on smartphones and mirrorless cameras, too. Now, the platform is allowing more people to see content in 4K, with YouTube for Android now streaming 4K content no matter the resolution of your display.

Over the past day or so, YouTube for Android has widely rolled out the ability to view content in up to 4K resolution if it’s available, even if your display doesn’t offer that resolution natively.

For the most part, smartphone displays fall somewhere in between 720p and 1440p, with YouTube previously limiting the streaming resolution of a video to the resolution of the display itself. Now, YouTube for Android is streaming video in up to 2160p on all displays. The Pixel 4a and Pixel 5 with their 1080p displays, for example, now have the ability to stream 4K videos on my devices and our tipster was able to see the same on his Pixel 4. Two Reddit threads show that this feature is rolling out quite widely.

Of course, this doesn’t change the actual resolution of the display itself. IF you have a 1080p display, you’ll still be watching content effectively in 1080p. However, streaming the higher resolution content will result in content looking a bit sharper on that display, even if there’s technically no resolution difference. The difference will be harder to see on a small phone display than it is on a computer, but it’s nice Google is giving users the option.

Screenshot on Pixel 5

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Ben Schoon

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