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YouTube signature devices offer best mobile viewing experience



4 minute read

YouTube has released a new guide that suggests to users what the top smartphones are for the best mobile YouTube viewing experience. The smartphones in the guide have been tagged as YouTube signature devices, and these particular models will get additional functionality when using the YouTube mobile app.

Here is a look at these YouTube signature devices and what it means if you own such a device.

Is my phone on the YouTube signature devices list?

YouTube HDR In Action

In total, YouTube has shortlisted 22 smartphones to be included on their YouTube signature devices page.

The full list has been provided below:

According to YouTube, manufacturers were in contact to ensure any smartphone they had that qualified for the signature device program met certain technical capabilities and encoding features.

It’s expected that new generations for these devices will also be included on this list. For example, the Galaxy Note10 will almost definitely be a YouTube signature device.

What makes a YouTube signature device special?

Xperia XZ3 Display

To get on the YouTube signature device list, the smartphone must have a number of important video encoding technologies and other features built into the SoC used on that particular device. It also seems that YouTube looks out for good basic viewing criteria such as a large display, high display resolution, and good color reproduction.

Any manufacturer can ask to have their device added to the YouTube signature device list, but YouTube claims that they have a rigorous testing procedure before placing any new devices on their list. The idea is that these smartphones not only have additional functionality for viewing YouTube, but they are the best in class when it comes to watching video content on the go. For this reason, the list should be considered the ultimate buyer’s guide for those interested in a new smartphone that offers the best video viewing experience.

YouTube claims that the signature devices will get six key program features. Whilst other smartphones may support some of these features too, if you purchase a YouTube signature device, you are guaranteed these features. This includes:

360 degree video

360 degree video will allow users to use on-screen controls to look around whilst watching a YouTube video that has been recorded with a 360 degree camera. The signature devices also need to support VR headsets for viewing the same content.

4K decoding

4K decoding is a feature that takes advantage of the smartphone chip’s video capabilities to show crisp, high resolution content. Whilst most devices on the signature device list do not have a 4K display, the technology is there to improve the viewing experience up to the resolution supported by the phone.

High Dynamic Range

High Dynamic Range, often shortened to HDR, is an imaging technique to add a more dynamic range of lighting to videos. When watching videos on YouTube, this will help to make the lighting look even more lifelike. With the high frame rate feature, YouTube claims that your device can view content at 60 frames per second or even higher. Most smartphones use a display that uses a 60Hz refresh rate, so this means you’ll be able to view crisp, fluid video content up to 60fps on the go.

Next generation codecs

With ‘next generation codecs’ signature devices are capable of showing the same quality video with 30% less bandwidth. This is potentially a huge deal for those that view videos on mobile data or a limited WiFi plan.

DRM performance

Finally, we have DRM performance. I’m not sure how this differs to using YouTube on any other device, but YouTube’s official description for this feature is as follows:

“From YouTube TV to rental movies, signature devices seamlessly stream premium content without disrupting your viewing experience.”


Thanks for reading our take on the new YouTube signature devices list. What do you think of the new program? Do you own any of the smartphones on this list?

Written by zerodudex333

Ollie is a big mobile/tech fan. Follow his Twitter and his Instagram travel account