Qualcomm Demos Mobile High Dynamic Range Video

Audiophiles have many portable playback options, including compact high-performance DACs and serious headphones, to choose from. But what about high-quality video on a phone?

One demo in the Qualcomm booth provided a hint of good things to come for on-the-go videophiles. The demo consisted of two smartphones both playing video and connected to an external TV. The first phone was playing regular HD, and the second was playing HDR10-format high dynamic range video, a solution made possible by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 processor. To my eyes, the benefits of HDR video on a phone were clear—they didn’t even need to have the device connected to big-screen TV.

Which smartphone apps will benefit from HDR? The usual suspects that we look to now for HDR playback on our TVs: Netflix, Amazon Video, Vudu, YouTube, etc. With new portables such as the iPhone 7 arriving with an ability to achieve full DCI-P3 color space, the combination of HDR and wide color gamut display on mobile devices could make on-the-go video a compromise-free experience.