The Pocophone F1 can't stream HD video from Netflix, Hulu or Amazon as it turns out

Peter, 30 August 2018

Here we go again – the Pocophone F1 does not have Widevine L1. Technical details aside, this means that you won’t have access to HD quality videos from streaming services – Netflix, Amazon Video, Hulu, BBC, all the major players rely on it.

Widevine is a DRM system that ensures a video stream cannot be copied illegally. There are three levels, but essentially any stream with 720p resolution and above requires L1. The phone does come with L3, which enables 540p streaming, but even on a mobile screen it doesn’t look great.

Widevine is not something you can just install, even an OTA update cannot fix the sittuation. As OnePlus 5T users found out, Widevine L1 can only be installed at a service center, so owners had to ship their phones back to OnePlus.

By the way, this problem is not unique to the Pocophone. Even the Xiaomi Mi 8 flagship only comes with Widevine L3. Same for the Android One-running Mi A1, Redmi Note 4 and many others. This probably means that there’s no fix incoming (though again, if there’s a fix, it won’t be pleasant).

PS. You can use the DRM Info app to check which Widevine level is supported on your device.

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Reader comments

Tell me , which device price $ 300 has those features you mention ? Remember it must include SD 845 /flagship SoC

Installed before Lineage and works better than day 1

  • Alan

Maybe you should wipe the device and install the latest software with a clean wipe. Most lagginess is legacy software causing issues, and simply clean wipe and install fixes this. My MI5 runs almost as good as day 1 after 2.5 years and the camera has...