Just because your phone has a high resolution screen doesn’t mean it will play videos at the highest resolution. Most streaming services, including Netflix, use a DRM system called Widevine for media in their Android apps. But even if your phone has Widevine support, if your particular model has not been whitelisted by Netflix, its content will be limited to non-HD.
But that’s not all, even if everything is lined up, sometimes Netflix won’t stream the content in the phone’s highest definition. For example, the content on the Sony Xperia 1 is limited to 1080p despite its 4K display. However, this is difficult to confirm just by watching the video. Despite the support, some phones also lack HDR playback. So what are you doing? While the official site of Netflix has a good coverage of the most popular devices, you can check yourself out using the actual Netflix app.
: Update Netflix to the latest version
Make sure the Netflix app that your device is running has this feature, the latest version. To do this, visit the Play Store page of the Netflix app. When you see the Update button, tap it. If you just see “Open” you are already up to date!
Step 2: check the video quality and HDR support
Open the Netflix app and select the More Tab at the bottom of the page. Select “App Settings” and then “Playback Specification” in the diagnosis Group.
Here you will find all the relevant information on playback quality. Management of digital rights Lets you know what version and level of Widevine you are running (L1 is the highest). If this screen shows L3, the resolution is limited below 720p. If it’s L1 or L2, Netflix allows HD viewing.
Directly below the reproduction This section shows the maximum playback resolution Netflix allows on your phone. Remember that HD 720p, Full HD (FHD) 1080p, and 4K are self explanatory.
This also shows Supported hardware codecs and HDR functions. The latter shows you whether your phone supports HDR in Netflix, which HDR version (either HDR 10 or Dolby Vision) and which codec is used.
If Rendering specificationIf you indicate that your devices support HD playback and HDR, you should see the “HD” badge next to HD (non-HDR) content and the “HDR” badge next to HD and HDR content.
If you still think your video quality is low, download a speed test app like Ookla’s Speedtest and Netflix’s FAST Speed Test and make sure you’re at least 5Mbps for HD and 25Mbps for HDR receive. Also, make sure you have the Netflix Premium plan, which is the only plan that supports HDR.
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