Most streaming platforms offer different playback qualities to their users. These have settings in the respective apps, although companies Limit aspects like resolution or HDR to select Android phones. How do you know which ones are compatible with the highest quality? We teach you how to find out.
Mobile not only provides access to messaging and games, but watching movies and TV shows is generally one of the ways to take advantage of the phone’s growing screens. And Netflix is generally one of the most used, along with other platforms like Amazon Prime Video or Disney +: all offer a more or less voluminous catalog that can be viewed in different qualities. As usual, not all mobiles can access the best breeding conditions. But do you know why and how to know if your mobile is suitable? The key is in Widevine, a file protection or DRM system.
Widevine, the DRM that dictates reproduction quality
This is one of the key aspects of any Android mobile and the first thing to know whether your mobile can play high resolution streaming content or not. Widevine is a protection system or DRM which ensures reproduction of protected content to avoid copying and sharing. On Android, most platforms use this system. And manufacturers certify their phones with Widevine so they can access streaming apps.
One of the key aspects of Widevine DRM is that it Divides devices into two levels for their playability: L1 and L3 (Widevine is L2 level, but not used on Android). In terms of resolution, here’s how the two certifications work:
- These mobiles Widevine L3 certified They will have access to playback on Netflix, Disney + or Amazon Prime Video up to maximum SD resolution (standard or basic, up to 720p).
- Widevine L1 offers high resolution playback, above 720p. The decoding process is more demanding than Widevine L3, many midrange to low range mobiles are not certified for the top level (the reason is often attributed to the material contained). Additionally, having a Widevine L1 certified mobile means that it is also compatible with the lower level, L3.
Having a phone with Widevine L3 or L1 makes a remarkable difference as the reproduction quality differs greatly from one to another. It doesn’t matter if your mobile phone has an FHD screen if it is certified with Widevine L3: Netflix, Disney +, Amazon Prime Video and the rest of the usual platforms they will only download the SD version of the streaming; so you can see the somewhat pixelated content.
As long as your mobile has a high resolution screen, if your mobile has Widevine L3, you will see Netflix in SD
How do you know which Widevine level your mobile understands? You can check it as follows:
- Download an app that can read DRM certification. For example, DevCheck Hardware and System Info. This app offers a wealth of information with everything your Android has, hardware and software.
- Open the app and go to the « System » tab.
- Go down to where it says « Widevine » and look at the security level, « Security Level ». It will appear there if you have L1 or L3. If your mobile is not Widevine certified, this part should appear blank.
Widevine L1 Safety Certified
With Widevine, you can access content in SD or HD resolution, depending on the level of security in DRM. And if your mobile doesn’t incorporate any certification, such as cooked ROMs, you may be able to use a Magisk module, like the one from XDA developers.
Can your mobile phone stream Netflix in HDR?
Besides resolution, which is a fundamental aspect of the quality of any video, Netflix offers HDR playback to just a few phones. And it does not matter here that your mobile has a screen compatible with HDR standards: Netflix will only play this way if the phone is certified by the platform for it.
To know Which phones are compatible with Netflix in HDR you need one of the following:
|Googloe Pixel 3 et Pixel 3 XL|
|HONOR / HUAWEI||Honor 10
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
Huawei Mate 20
Huawei P30 and P30 Pro
LG G7 One
LG Q9 One
|ONEPLUS||OnePlus 7 and 7 Pro|
Razer Phone 2
|SAMSUNG||Samsung Galaxy Fold et Fold 5G
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip
Samsung Galaxy Note 8
Samsung Galaxy Note 9
Samsung Galaxy Note 10 et Note 10+
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3
Samsung Galaxy Tab S4
Samsung Galaxy Tab S6
Samsung Galaxy S9 et S9 +
Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite
Samsung Galaxy S20, S20 + et S20 Ultra
|SONY||Sony Xperia 1
Sony Xperia 1 II
Sony Xperia XZ Premium
Sony Xperia XZ1
Sony Xperia XZ2
Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium
Sony Xperia XZ3
|TCL||TCL 10 Pro|
|XIAOMI||Xiaomi Mi 9T and Mi 9T Pro
Xiaomi Mi 10 et Mi 10 Pro
Xiaomi Redmi K20 et K20 Pro
Whether you meet the requirements does not imply the highest quality
Ok, your mobile is compatible with Widevine L1. It’s even certified to play HDR content. Now, are you still going to get access to the highest quality streaming available? The answer is no, because other factors also come into play.
In addition to compatibility with certificates and reproduction standards, streaming depends on the quality of your network, whether it is WiFi or mobile. This way if your internet connection is saturated, surely you can only access SD playback. You will even enjoy terribly pixelated scenes with drops of « frames » against which you can do nothing. And there is one final point to keep in mind: most streaming platforms has reduced quality by confinement, you will therefore not appreciate the 100% clear image at all stages of the day (the platforms have chosen to lower the « bitrate » or the flow, the amount of information that passes per second).