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YouTube allows 4K playback on Android even on lower resolution mobiles

YouTube playback on Android mobiles takes a leap in quality to allow the 4K display even on low resolution phones. This not only improves the clarity of the content, but also its quality thanks to a higher bitrate.

Accessing YouTube to view any of its millions of videos is such a simple gesture that it can be done from almost any device with a screen. It doesn’t matter whether it is from a web browser or from a dedicated app; for more than in the application the experience tends to be more comfortable and versatile. And this mainly concerns Android: as a pre-installed application that it is, YouTube offers its benefits without having to be downloaded. With constant improvements, by the way.

Playback quality improves thanks to higher resolution and bitrate

Google updates the list of settings that Android smartphones can access to allow most devices to access 4K quality playback. This seems logical in those mobiles with this resolution, but also it is great advantages for those who have fewer pixels. Even on 720p screens.

Until now, only Android phones with a 4K screen could access this resolution on YouTube; quite the opposite of Apple smartphones and tablets, which they already had it available (and with HDR). With the change, the playback quality is significantly improved since, when playing videos at a higher resolution than that supported by the panel, the higher bitrate of these videos ends up improving the viewing quality. Always in exchange for two inconveniences:

Data consumption is higher. The higher the bitrate and resolution, the more the videos occupy; a fact that ends up resulting in a higher expense in the mobile rate.
Increase energy expenditure. Decoding 4K video is a more demanding task for the phone, so it ends up consuming more battery. It is also likely to heat up to a greater extent.

Despite the drawbacks, forcing 4K resolution on YouTube videos ends up resulting in a better experience. To do this, you just have to open the videos, click on the three menu points and choose ‘2160p’ in the quality section (or 2160p HDR if the video is available in high dynamic range). This process must be done on every video that is viewed as it is not possible to choose the default 4K resolution.

4K resolution for mobile phones with a lower screen begins to be available to all users and without updating the YouTube application: Google is activating it from its servers. It is advisable to try it as long as the Internet connection is under Wifi.

Via | XDA Developers