YouTube for Android now giving 4K playback option even if don't have a 4K screen

19 February 2021
This is a server-side update and it remains to be seen how many devices are supported.

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mr x, 20 Feb 2021not for your data plan unless you have unlimited Limited data? In 2021? Even India's citizens get dirt cheap data now.

  • Wayne M

Is a good option if you need it, and want to cast to a 4,K TV, but wouldn't the cast just auto pick up the 4k feed anyway? (I don't use my two cast devices very much, useless, it's hard to even set them up with some devices or do direct cast, which isn't available, as it still has to go through the router so it can be examined, by hackers).

Anyway,, it is useful a little for me, if you can zoom in, or extract an original frame from the original recording, because I examine new camera sample images. Zooming in, if you are competent, can show you why footage looks funky, or the quality of the footage, unless you have little skill and easily fooled by cameras that produce footage more and more h264 like, or need to see an optometrist or you are opinionated like Trump. There are lesser professional s like that.

  • AR77

Worked after updating the YouTube app on my Note20 Ultra (Exynos).

Honestly, the biggest reason why Youtube 4K is necessary on phones is due to the abysmal bitrate. 1080p30 VP9 8 bit is usually encoded at 1 mbps while 1440p and 2160p have varying bitrates from 2.4 to 15 mbps. 60 FPS and HDR can boost the bitrate of up to 25 mbps. If it is encoded using H.264, it is twice worse. Other streaming sites have better bitrate. An even bigger difference when you compare it to 1080p blu ray animation encoded to 5 mbps or 4K videos showcasing TV capabilities or recorded videos on phones at 50 mbps. Now that AV1 exists, videos will look a lot better at the same bitrate as VP9 / H.265.

Other than that, I could check if a device supports VP9 which I get disappointed if they don't. I find it baffling when my Redmi Note 4X can do 4K VP9 but not Huawei Mate 10 or other devices with similar performance.

I've noticed that and that's really good and videos will looks better even if we don't have 4k screen. I hope Google will do the same with Stadia and get 4k games on smartphones too.

  • mr x

Deepak Reddy, 19 Feb 2021I'm using lg g7 thinq from india, and I'm getting... morenot for your data plan unless you have unlimited

Ali Othman, 19 Feb 2021what I think he means is some videos seem to have lower res... moreFair enough. I wasn't really saying it was a bad thing. I just thought it's odd they've suddenly added this now

  • Anonymous

Yesterday:

- " 4K is useless".

Today:

- "My phone does not have option yet."

LOL !!!!!

  • Matt

Yep, mine does now. Before it was limited to 720p60. Now i can go up to 2160p60.

Anders, 19 Feb 2021Well I personally can't see much of a difference. If y... morewhat I think he means is some videos seem to have lower resolution than the actual one due to lower bitrate.
I have seen some videos with that problem, even at 1080p the video seems to look more like 720p or even 480p, when I tried 1440p and 2160p the video seemed to look as good as my display could output.

Anonymous, 19 Feb 2021Did you even read the article ? "Even on smaller FHD+ ... moreWell I personally can't see much of a difference. If you can then good for you

  • Anonymous

Anders, 19 Feb 2021Mines showing 1440p. Redmi Note 8 Pro. But what's the ... moreDid you even read the article ? "Even on smaller FHD+ smartphone screens, the 2160p videos look noticeably sharper with less compression due to the higher bitrate."

Anders, 19 Feb 2021Mines showing 1440p. Redmi Note 8 Pro. But what's the ... moreAs per the last sentence or so of the article, it looks sharper as there’s higher bitrate = less compression.

  • Anonymous

4K video played on 1080p is gonna look better than FHD video on 1080p.
Even if you do not yet have option to play 4K, the 8K and 4K vidoes do look way better.

Mines showing 1440p. Redmi Note 8 Pro. But what's the point when the screen is 1080p?

SEUL8TR, 19 Feb 2021You have a budget phone, cheap.How did you assume it's a cheap phone? The person said phone or laptop, so it's probably the internet connection the problem.

I'm using lg g7 thinq from india, and I'm getting 4k on 2k screen thats a good news for me.

SEUL8TR, 19 Feb 2021Huge difference from 1080p too 2160P. Why you worried fo... moreMaybe he's talking about if everyone starts watching videos in 4k it will eat all the bandwidth on Youtube's server.

For those asking why i would play a 4k video on a non-4k phone. Is to have more bitrate, so the video looks less blurry.
Or also to test internet speed on video-streaming.

  • Anonymous

my almost 7 year old galaxy grand prime got 1080p support.
POG