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Sony Xperia XZ2 embraces curves, haptics and 4K HDR

If the definition of madness is doing the same thing, over and over, and yet always expecting a different outcome, then Sony may have finally got the memo at MWC 2023. Here, it’s revealed its latest Android 8.0 Oreo smartphones, the Sony Xperia XZ2 and its potent little sibling, the Xperia XZ2 Compact. Two handsets that finally suggest the phone-maker has seen the error of its ways.

Gone is the old, angular design of previous Xperia phones, replaced by a new, smoothed-off design language that Sony is referring to as “Ambient Flow.” Apparently inspired by a water droplet, in the case of the Xperia XZ2 it takes two panes of 3D Gorilla Glass 5 and sandwiches them either side of a twist-resistant aluminum frame. The Xperia XZ2 Compact misses out on the rear glass, sadly, making do with curved polycarbonate instead. Both are IP68 water resistant.

The Xperia XZ2 may be a departure from the Sony phones that came before it, but I can’t help being reminded of some of Nokia’s Lumia phones, the 925 particularly. That’s no bad thing, mind. The combination of the softer edges and the dramatically reduced screen bezels leave the phone feeling leagues ahead of its Xperia XZ1 predecessor.

In fact, it’s Sony’s first smartphone with an 18:9 aspect display, a 5.7-inch panel on the Xperia XZ2 and a 5-inch panel on the XZ2 Compact. They’re HDR screens too, borrowing technology from Sony’s BRAVIA TVs, with SDR to HDR up-conversion that actually works surprisingly well. It’ll support HDR content from Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and YouTube as well.

Sony has answered some of the criticisms of its old phones. The Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact both get fingerprint sensors, sensibly placed beneath rather than alongside the cameras on the back. They use Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 845 chipset, too, and both get a healthy 4 GB of memory and 64 GB of storage. Their microSD slots support up to 400 GB cards.

Both phones have a 19-megapixel Motion Eye camera on the rear, capable of ISO 12,800 in photo mode and ISO 4,000 in video mode. For the first time it’ll capture 4K HDR video – the Xperia XZ1 could do 4K but not High Dynamic Range – and there’s a new 940 fps Full HD super-slow-mo mode. The front camera is 5-megapixels and, also new for 2023, can now be used to create 3D scans, just like the rear camera. 3D render quality has been improved, with greater detail promised, and thanks to a deal with Facebook it should be easier to share those scans too.

The other big improvement you feel, rather than see. Sony calls it the Dynamic Vibration System, and it’s basically the Xperia’s version of Apple’s Taptic Engine: a larger, beefed-up vibration motor. It offers a greater range of dynamic actuation, which effectively means Sony can offer more defined haptics, both when you tap on-screen and – by analyzing audio data – according to the music or game sound effects currently playing.

It sounds gimmicky, but it actually feels unexpectedly impressive. I played a quick game of Angry Birds, the Xperia XZ2 throbbing and pulsing as I fired them into the stacks of blocks and sent them all tumbling. Because it’s based on audio, developers needn’t do anything specific in order to have the new Dynamic Vibration System work. However, Sony has an API which app-makers will be able to use to better control the new motor if they so wish.

Sony tells me that, despite the physically larger size, the Dynamic Vibration System actually uses no more power than the old version. Unfortunately it’s too big for the Xperia XZ2 Compact, which makes do with regular vibrations.

That’s one frustration. The other is the absence of a 3.5mm headphone jack; instead, Sony will be including a USB-C adapter in the box with both phones, and a set of headphones. Other accessories will include a wireless charging dock for the Xperia XZ2.

Sony says the Xperia XZ2 and Xperia XZ2 Compact will go on sale in late spring; pricing will be announced closer to release. As with previous Xperia devices, they won’t be sold through carriers; Sony tells me that’s a conscious decision, since buyers are increasingly familiar with the Xperia brand at retailers like Best Buy and Amazon. Whether that helps or hinders sales remains to be seen, but at least for 2023 there are no glaring examples of misguided decisions that will hold the new Xperia pair back from the outset.

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Sony Xperia Xz1 Vs Sony Xperia Xz1 Compact

If you regularly use your phone to watch movies or play high-definition games, you will likely need a larger screen and benefit from high resolution and HDR. It would then make sense to invest in an Xperia XZ1. But if that’s not the case, the Xperia XZ1 Compact’s features and specs make it a very interesting alternative, for a cheaper price. It all depends on how you plan to use your new smartphone.

Sony’s latest smartphones from the Xperia series – the Xperia XZ1 and Xperia XZ1 Compact – have now gone on sale in the UK. If you’ve been wanting to get a new smartphone and are not sure which of this two models will be the better fit for you, here are the main differences between the XZ1 and XZ1 Compact.

Sony’s newest phones have lots of similarities, especially in design (they resemble most Xperia phones). The XZ1 Compact is, of course, a smaller version of Sony’s newest flagship. The XZ1 measures at 148 x 73.4 x 7.4 mm while the XZ1 compact is at 129 x 64 x 9.3 mm, considerably smaller. The Compact is also a little thicker, but, because of its size, remains lighter in weight (155g to 140g).

The materials used differ from one model to another. While metal was used for the XZ1, the XZ1 Compact has a plastic body with metal finish, making it chunkier. However, Sony’s ‘loop surface’ is present on both, giving the phones a unibody design, but also making the top and bottom sides curvier than on previous Xperia models.

The XZ1 and XZ1 Compact are both protected by a Corning Gorilla Glass 5 and are also water and dust resistant (IP68 certified).

Both models are available in similar colour ranges: Pink, Black, Silver and Blue, but the shades differ (the XZ1 offers Warm Silver while the XZ1 Compact comes in Snow Silver). The camera and button layout is the same on both phones, and the fingerprint sensor is also present on both.

In terms of price, the XZ1 Compact is of course cheaper than its larger counterpart. The XZ1 costs £599, available to  buy from Sony and Carphone Warehouse. The XZ1 Compact is a whole £100 less expensive, starting at £499. It is also available to buy from Sony and Carphone Warehouse. 

Sony Xperia XZ1 vs Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact: Features and Design

As mentioned, the Xperia XZ1 Compact is considerably smaller than the Xperia XZ1, which also affects the screen size. The XZ1 Compact offers a 4.6in screen with a 720p HD display. This may seem like a major downgrade compared to the XZ1’s 5.2in screen and 1080p panel, but truthfully, 720p performs great on a smaller screen.

In terms of video quality, though the resolution is indeed inferior on the Compact, both phones benefit from Sony’s Triluminos display, which reinforces the colours and provides greater quality. However, unlike the Xperia XZ1, the XZ1 Compact is not HDR compliant, which is a disappointment.

Both phones are equipped with a primary camera very similar to the one we find on Xperia XZ Premium: a 19Mp camera which comprises plenty of new and interesting features such as the Super Slow Motion tool (720p@960fps) and the ‘Smile Capture’ mode. It also offers an ‘Autoburst option’ as well as predictive capture, which makes it easier to obtain great results.

The XZ1 Compact’s front camera is only 8Mp, which makes it inferior to the 13Mp camera you can find on the XZ1, something you might want to remember if you take a lot of selfies. To make up for the pixel difference, the XZ1 Compact gives you the opportunity to take super wide selfies with a 120 degrees field of view in one picture. You can easily switch back from super wide to wide.

Both models also offer an interesting new feature: a 3D scanning option. The primary camera lets you scan real-life objects to be used as stickers in conversations with your friends, or as background photos. If you have access to a 3D printer, you will even be able to print them.

As far as performance is concerned, Sony managed to equip both phones with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835, the best processor currently available, backed by 4GB of RAM. The XZ1 and XZ1 Compact are powered by the same 2,700mAh battery, which means the XZ1 Compact will probably have a stronger battery endurance, thanks to the inferior 720p display.

The XZ1 Compact will be available with 32GB of storage while the XZ1 offers 32 or 64GB, but both enable storage to be expanded up to 256Gb thanks to the MicroSD slot.

Sony Xperia XZ1 vs Sony Xperia Xz1 Compact: Specs

SpecsSony Xperia XZ1Sony Xperia XZ1 CompactOperating SystemAndroid 8.0 Oreo

Android 8.0 Oreo

Display

5.2in full-HD (1920×1080) HDR display

4.6in full-HD (1920×1080) displayProcessor

Qualcomm Snapdragon 835

Qualcomm Snapdragon 835

Memory

4GB RAM

4GB RAM

Storage

64GB plus microSD support

32GB plus microSD support

Connectivity

USB-C 3.1, X16 LTE, 802.11ac dual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC, GPS

USB-C 3.1, X16 LTE, 802.11ac dual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC, GPS

Audio

High-resolution audio, stereo speakers, 3.5mm audio jack

High-resolution audio, stereo speakers, 3.5mm audio jack

Camera

19Mp Exmor RS primary, 960fps slo-mo video, 13Mp selfie

19Mp Exmor RS primary, 960fps slo-mo video, 8Mp selfie

Fingerprint Scanner

Yes, integrated to power button

Yes, integrated to power button

Waterproofing

IP65/68

IP65/68

Battery

2,700mAh

2,700mAh

Weight156g143g

Specs Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact: Specs

Android 8.0 Oreo

4.6in full-HD (1920×1080) display

Qualcomm Snapdragon 835

4GB RAM

32GB storage plus microSD support

USB-C 3.1, LTE, 802.11ac dual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC, GPS

High-resolution audio, stereo speakers, 3.5mm audio jack

19Mp Exmor RS primary, 960fps slo-mo, 8Mp selfie

Yes, integrated to power button

IP65/68

2,700mAh

143g

Sony Xperia Ear, Projector And More Announced At Mwc 2024

Sony’s press event at Mobile World Congress 2024 brought three new devices to consumers and updated old ones. The company is betting on personal digital assistants with their Xperia Agent and Xperia Ear devices and a projector for the home, the Xperia Projector. Sony also updated it’s smartphone offering for 2024 with the Xperia X series of phones.

Xperia Agent mockup by Sony

Xperia Agent

Not to be left in the dust by Amazon and their Echo, Sony introduced their Agent personal assistant box. Like the Echo, Sony plans to offer proactive information with the Xperia Agent. Weather conditions, news

Sony hasn’t mentioned if it can expect regular updates, similar to what we’ve seen with Amazon Echo, or Google Now integration.

Like the Xperia Projector, the Agent will be able to project images onto surfaces as well. Sony’s Agent has no announced release date.

Xperia Ear

The Moto Hint-like device puts a virtual assistant in your ear

Xperia Ear

The Ear connects to any Android device using bluetooth and NFC and settings can be customized from within the companion app. The IPX2 level waterproofing help with those who are accident prone. And a case will come with the Xperia Ear that doubles as a way to charge the device when not in use. We’ve seen similar devices like the Moto Hint use likewise charging methods and offer virtual assistants as well. Now Sony users have their own option.

The Xperia Ear is slated to release summer 2024.

Xperia Eye

Xperia Eye

The Xperia Eye aims to be Sony’s smart camera product. Upon appearance the Eye is similar to HTC’s Re, or FlipCam from the past. What Sony is introducing however is a device that’s dedicated to taking pictures automatically. Wearing the device, the camera will recognize faces and snap photos on its own. Along with face-detection, voice recognition will come with the device as well—allowing photos to be captured by speaking. This is how Sony expects you to wear it:

While the launch is unannounced, we could see the Xperia Eye release sometime around the new Ear bluetooth device and the X series of phones this summer.

Xperia Projector

Xperia Projector

The Xperia Projector is a device that turns any surface into a computer. By placing against a wall or on a table, users are able to see their calendar, the time and contact information on the flat area in front of them. Sony’s Xperia Projector works on white surfaces and responds to table/wall gestures to simulate touch as well as voice.

Xperia Projector

No launch date is available for Sony’s Xperia Projector.

Xperia X

Xperia X series

Sony’s unveiling of the Xperia X series line of phones, when considering the Agent, Ear and Projector, was the expected part of the announcement. The company introduced their Xperia X, Xperia X Performance and Xperia Xa smartphones.

Upgrades introduced to the Sony Xperia phones were incremental, but bring the handsets up to speed for 2024. Internally, Sony Android users can expect a Snapdragon processor within—Snapdragon 650 processor on the X handset and Snapdragon 820 on the X Performance, for an extra bump in capability. With the help of Qnovo’s Adaptive Charging, the battery is said to last twice as long in the long run. Most batteries tend to run their course after 500 cycles of fully using the battery and charging it back up again.

Other improvements users can expect are a curved glass display and “Hybrid Autofocus”—allowing for quicker focusing of shots. Samsung touted something similar during their MWC 2024 press conference.

The Xperia line continues to be water-resistant (in the case of X Performance), run Android and support Remote Play with the PS4. Release date of the Xperia PP10 is slated for sometime in summer 2024.

Parrot Anafi Drone Is A 4K Hdr Flying Camera

Parrot Anafi drone is a 4K HDR flying camera

The best drone is the one you have with you, Parrot says, hence its new foldable Anafi drone being so darn compact. Don’t confuse small size with a shortage of capabilities, mind. With 4K HDR video recording, some new automatic shooting modes that want to make you the next Alfred Hitchcock, and 25 minutes of flight time, there’s plenty to like about the Parrot Anafi beyond its scale.

All the same, it’s hard to ignore just how compact it is. The carbon-fiber reinforced frame has fold-out arms, and Parrot has designed them to open and close quickly to get you flying sooner. Indeed, the company claims you can go from unpacking to airborne in under a chúng tôi 320g drone comes with a carrying case, too, though unfortunately there’s no space in there for the Skycontroller remote.

Power is courtesy of a removable 2,700 mAh lithium-ion battery, and rather than requiring an external charger Parrot has added a USB-C port right to it. There’s a USB-A to USB-C cable in the box, and the Anafi supports USB-PD for the fastest possible charging. With a compatible 24W charger – sold separately – you’re looking at 90 minutes. Expect around double that time for a regular charger. Four LEDs show charge status.

A full charge is good for 25 minutes of flight, with the Anafi capable of up to 34 mph. It has a range of up to 2.4 miles, thanks to a new radio system and antennas integrated into each foot. Maybe more importantly, it’s quiet: 35-percent quieter than Parrot’s old Bebop 2, and – in the company’s own testing – half the volume of rival drones in the category.

At the front there’s a 21-megapixel camera with 4K HDR video support, with optical image stabilization. It’s mounted on a gimbal with 180-degree tilt support, so that the Anafi can look all the way up or all the way down. Parrot is claiming a lossless digital zoom, too, with up to 2.8x magnification – albeit at Full HD resolution. If you’re sticking with maximum resolution, meanwhile, the drone will capture at up to 100 MB/sec bitrates, and has a 1.4x lossless zoom.

If you don’t mind sacrificing range you can pilot the Anafi from your smartphone and Parrot’s Freeflight 6 app alone. However, for maximum ease of use you’ll want to use the Skycontroller. It has a fold-out smartphone holder, with your iPhone or Android device connecting via USB for live video.

There are toggles on the back for controlling the zoom and the camera angle, along with a reset button that quickly takes you back to the defaults. All of the shooting modes and the drone’s settings are handled through the app, though. That’s where you can switch between Film and Sport modes – the former prioritizing smoothness for shooting video, while the latter focusing on speed and agility – as well as choose between the various camera modes.

Not for nothing is Parrot describing the Anafi as a “flying camera” not just a drone, after all. There’s the usual follow-me mode to track a moving subject – though sadly with no smart object-avoidance like a (more expensive) Skydio R1 offers – and automatic framing of objects. You can choose two or more points on a map of the area, and have the Anafi automatically pilot its way between them.

However, there are also what Parrot is calling “SmartDronies”: more impressive effects. Most striking is the Dolly Zoom, a filming effect made popular by Vertigo where the zoom and the focal length are changed in tandem. The end result is a subject that stays the same size, but with the background warping oddly around them.

There’s also slow-motion, with 1080p at 60 fps capture, along with a Hyperlapse mode. High framerates are supported, too, with user-adjustable shooting speeds. A Pro camera mode allows manual control over shutter speed, ISO, white balance, and exposure; or, you can leave the camera to figure it out itself, and rely on HDR to balance out the extremes.

As for safety, there’s optional geofencing, with the ability to define a zone outside of which the Anafi can’t fly. Parrot has also developed a smarter return-home feature, which monitors the current battery level to figure out what the actual safe range is. It can handle wind speeds of up to 31 mph.

The consumer drone space has proven to be unexpectedly competitive. Look no further for evidence of that than GoPro’s surprise decision to abandon its Karma range, despite not only serious investment but apparently strong sales. Increasingly affordable models from DJI and others have forced extra creativity from drone-makers, like the Anafi’s smart shooting modes.

Parrot says the Anafi drone will go on sale in early July. We’ll have final pricing very shortly.

How To Unlock Bootloader On Sony Xperia Z3 Compact

Unlocking the bootloader allows you to put custom ROMs, kernels and boot images on your Xperia Z3 Compact which cannot be done otherwise. Say you want to install an AOSP based ROM on your Xperia Z3 Compact which need to change the boot image on the device to be compatible with the AOSP code then it can only be done by unlocking the bootloader on your device.

Generally, rooting and custom recovery installation also requires an unlocked bootloader, but thanks to the developer community at work for Xperia Z3 Compact that root is often achieved even without unlocking the bootloader.

Also thanks to Sony for having their entire range of Xperia devices released since 2011 to be bootloader unlockable. Not every Android manufacturer does that, at-least not so easy.

The bootloader unlocking process on Xperia Z3 Compact is fairly simple. And with our step by step instructions with screenshots below, even noob users will be able to do it easily.

Two methods of unlocking the Bootloader on Xperia Z3 Compact

There are two methods you could choose from to unlock the bootloader on your Sony Xperia Z3 Compact

Unofficially using Flashtool: You can unlock the bootloader on your device using a program called Flashtool. Getting the bootloader unlocked through flashtool is very quick compared to Sony’s official way of doing it. And on a plus note you also save yourself from letting Sony know that you tried to unlock your device’s bootloader (which voids warranty)

Officially from Sony’s website: You can follow Sony’s official way of unlocking the bootloader which is also simple and easy to follow, but not as friendly as Flashtool. In the official method you’ve to get the bootloader unlock key from Sony’s website, which lets the manufacturer know that you intended to unlock your device’s bootloader (which voids warranty) by provding them your phone’s IMEI number to get the key.

Below are full step by step installation instructions for both the methods discussed above. So proceed with whatever method you think is best. In our opinion, go with the Flashtool method. It’s much easier to unlock bootloader using Flashtool.

Warning!

You’ll void the warranty of your Sony Xperia Z3 Compact by unlocking its bootloader.

Back up your important data!

Every single file on your device will be deleted once you unlock the bootloader. So make sure you back up all your important data before proceeding with the guide given below and also make sure to move your back up files to your PC or Cloud storage because even any backup file kept on the phone will be deleted.

Check out the link below if you need any help with backing up your device.

Method 1 – Unlock Bootloader using Flashtool

Flashtool is a multi utility program for Xperia devices that does a lot of tasks in much easier ways compared to Sony’s official ways. Here in this guide we’ll be using flashtool only for the purpose of unlocking the bootloader.

Download and install Flashtool

Install Flashtool to the directory of your choice

Note: If you’re running a 64-bit windows installation then make sure you start the chúng tôi file

Instructions for unlocking bootloader using Flashtool

Start/Open Flashtool

You’ll see a window asking you to connect your device in Flashmode. You can ignore the animated instruction on the screen as it’s not meant for the current generation of Xperia devices, instead follow the instructions given below to connect your Xperia Z3 Compact to your PC in Flashmode

Switch off your phone

Now while holding down the Volume Down key on your phone connect it to PC using a USB cable

Your device should now be connected in Flashmode and Flashtool should show a ‘Device selector’ pop-up window

Select ‘Sony Xperia Z3 Compact’ from the list of devices in the ‘Device selector’ window

Have fun!

Method 2 – Unlock bootloader using Sony’s website

Unlocking bootloader using Sony’s website would require you to first get the unlock from Sony’s website and then run a couple of fastboot commands using command prompt on your PC.

Getting the bootloader unlock key from Sony’s website

└ You also check the IMEI number from ‘About device’ under Settings on your Xperia Z3 Compact. And you can also look for the IMEI number on the packaging box of the device, just make that you’ve have the original box.

Check for new mail on the E-mail address you provided in the form above with the subject line ‘Your requested unlock boot loader key’. Open the mail and you’ll see your bootloader unlock key.

Save your bootloader unlock key in your Notepad, a text file or anywhere you could remember and refer back quickly.

Unlocking bootloader using the Unlock Key

Now we’ll run some fastboot commands on your PC and for that you’ll need to download some fastboot files on your computer. Below is the download link:

Extract the fastboot file you downloaded from the link above and open the folder where you extract it

Now connect your phone in fastboot mode

Switch off your phone

Hold the Volume UP key on your phone and connect it to PC using a USB cable

On the command prompt window we opened in Step 2 type the command given below and hit enter. This is to verify that your device has connected properly (check the screenshot below for reference) fastboot.exe -i 0x0fce getvar version

Now you’re going to run the main bootloader unlock code. So make sure you’ve backed up your important data on the phone because once you unlock the bootloader every single file on your phone will be deleted

Paste/write the following command in the command prompt window. Do NOT hit enter yet

fastboot.exe -i 0x0fce oem unlock 0xKEY

Replace the last word in the command (KEY) with your bootloader unlock key that you received from Sony via E-mail. Your command should look like this fastboot.exe -i 0x0fce oem unlock 0x636FF374683A24EF

Important note! The key used in the command above is for illustration purpose only. You must NOT use this key. Every single device has its own unique bootloader unlocking key.

Hit enter once you’ve put your unique bootloader unlock key in place

Have fun!

Need help?

How To Watch Youtube In Hdr

High dynamic range video (HDR) offers many benefits, like a much broader range of color and luminance compared to standard dynamic range video (SDR).

HDR vs. SDR

HDR content typically has a bit depth of at least 10-bits per each red, green and blue sub-pixel, resulting in 30-bit color which is enough to encode up to a billion colors. SDR content is usually 8 bits per sample (24-bit color) and that’s good for about 16.7 million colors.

Feeding HDR video to a device that can decode HDR and is connected to an HDR-compatible display yields better contrast, greater brightness levels and a much wider color palette.

You get true-to-life colors like in the movie theater, without ugly banding.

To be suitable for HDR reproduction, an LCD screen must have a maximum brightness of 1000 nits along with a black level of less than 0.05 nits and a contrast ratio of at least 20,000:1.

TUTORIAL: How to watch HDR movies on iPad Pro

In terms of OLED display technology used in iPhone X and many OLED television sets from LG and others, a maximum brightness of 540 nits and a black level of less than 0.0005 nits are required, resulting in a contrast ratio of at least 1,080,000:1.

Many HDR movies are, mostly, between 500 and 800 nits.

Does my Apple device play HDR?

When it comes to watching YouTube in HDR on iOS, your choices are limited to the mobile YouTube app on iPhone X—the only Apple device with a true HDR screen.

Other Apple devices aren’t outfitted with displays that can render HDR signal natively even though they may support Apple’s Wide Color (the DCI-P3 color profile).

Dithering ≠ HDR

What those devices actually do is process the HDR signal and then use various dithering techniques to simulate visual enhancements to dynamic range, contrast and wide color gamut.

Bottom line: iPhone X is the only iOS device with a native HDR display.

While you’re technically able to play HDR-encoded video on your iPhone 8, remember that you’re seeing simulated, dithered color that won’t fool an experienced eye. As for iPad Pro, it does have a Retina display that’s bright and vibrant enough for HDR specification. However, YouTube hasn’t flipped the switch yet enable HDR on iPad Pro yet.

Here’s how you can enjoy YouTube in HDR on your iPhone X.

How to watch YouTube in HDR on iOS

Do the following to watch YouTube in HDR on your iPhone X.

1) Open the YouTube app on your iPhone X.

TIP: Be sure that you’re using the latest version of the app.

2) Tap a video you’d like to watch.

3) Tap the video to reveal onscreen controls, then hit the three dots in the upper-right corner.

4) Choose Quality from the popup menu.

5) Choose one of the resolutions that include “HDR”.

NOTE: The video player will remember this setting for future videos you watch.

If the video wasn’t uploaded in HDR, you won’t be able to pick an HDR resolution from the menu. Unfortunately, you cannot watch 4K video in the YouTube app with your iPhone X because Apple doesn’t support YouTube’s VP9 video compression codec.

Opening an HDR video file in any other app on any other Apple device—including embedded videos like the one included further below—will play it in SDR unless the device has a built-in HDR screen or is connected to one.

Examples of HDR videos

While some videos may have “HDR” in their title, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re encoded in HDR. You can confirm HDR playback when a YouTube video is played if you see an “HDR” badge on the playback controls or in the Quality menu.

Channels like The HDR Channel and Jacob + Katie Schwarz are good starting points for exploring the world of eye-candy footage in all its HDR glory.

I’d recommend checking out the videos titled “The World in HDR in 4K (ULTRA HD)” and “The God of War Intro” on both your iPhone X and a non-HDR device like your Mac or Windows PC to witness the difference in color depth and luminance for yourself.

This one, embedded below, looks crazy on an iPhone X. For the full effect, HDR content will typically make parts of the image look brighter than the display usually allows in SDR mode.

Be sure to boost the brightness when watching HDR to marvel a greater span of colors.

My device lacks HDR

YouTube detects the type of display you’re watching the video on and automatically down-converts the HDR file to SDR. In other words, viewers watching on non-HDR devices will see the video as an SDR video.

Other video apps do HDR, too. Last year, Vimeo added HDR support for iPhone X and Netflix picked up HDR support for iPhone X, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPad Pro.

On desktop, connect your Mac or Windows PC to an external HDR monitor to enjoy high dynamic range on YouTube, but don’t forget to select an HDR resolution from the Quality menu!

As mentioned earlier, even though you’ll see some visual enhancements to dynamic range, contrast and wide color gamut when playing HDR or Dolby Vision content on your iPhone 8 or iPhone 8 Plus, images won’t be at the full level of HDR visual fidelity afforded by the OLED display technology in your iPhone X.

For those wondering, YouTube for tvOS doesn’t support 4K HDR on Apple TV 4K.

Need help? Ask iDB!

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