Netflix has added the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 – releasing September 15 in parts of the world – and the Sony Xperia XZ1 – launched at IFA last week, and expected to be available later this month – to its list of devices that support HDR (high-dynamic-range) video. That means you will be able to make use of the better displays by enjoying brighter highlights, and a wider colour gamut.
They join a select group of phones that are currently capable of HDR playback on Netflix, alongside the LG V30 and the Sony Xperia XZ Premium, and the LG G6, which has Dolby Vision support. To use it, you will need the latest version of the Netflix app on Android – v5.0 or above – and the latest firmware for HDR playback, provided by the device manufacturer.
HDR feature is only available on Netflix's most expensive plan: Rs. 800 per month, which also gives you access to 4K video, and support for 4 simultaneous screens. Netflix recommends you've an Internet connection of 25Mbps to stream 4K HDR, though you can still avail HDR functionality at lower resolutions if your Internet isn't fast enough.
To find HDR content, just type 'HDR' into the Netflix search box. Most of the titles are currently limited to Netflix originals, including Marvel's The Defenders, Death Note, Okja, Abstract: The Art of Design, and Chef's Table.
It's interesting that Netflix and Samsung haven't managed to figure out HDR on the Galaxy S8 and S8+, both of which do have HDR-capable displays, and have been out for a few months. The discrepancy between HDR and Dolby Vision, on the other hand, is borne out by the competing standards currently in play.
While HDR10 – also supported on PS4 and Xbox One – is an open standard, Dolby Vision is proprietary. There's also HDR10+, from Samsung and Amazon Video; Hybrid Log-Gamma (HLG), developed by BBC and NHK, and used on YouTube; and SL-HDR1, from Philips, Technicolor, and ST.