YouTube is undoubtedly the most popular video platform. Due to its popularity, the video platform has now started evaluating which smartphones are best equipped for watching YouTube. Each of these coveted devices is referred to as a “YouTube Signature Device.” Surprisingly, the first list of thee signature devices does not include any iPhone model.
What’s in a YouTube Signature Device?
Whether or not to tag a smartphone as a YouTube Signature Device depends on several parameters. Some of these parameters are 4K decoding, reliable DRM performance, support for high dynamic range, ability to watch the 360-degree footage, high frame rate and next-generation codecs. In fact, Google says its team studies all devices and also works with manufacturers to integrate features supporting the best video playback performance.
“We’ve worked with manufacturers to verify these devices meet or exceed our performance expectations,” states the YouTube Device Report.
The Samsung Note 9, which was announced yesterday, is classified as a YouTube Signature Device. Apart from the Note 9, the YouTube Device Report lists 17 more smartphones which have earned the classification, including the Pixel 2 XL, OnePlus 6, HTC U12 Plus, LG G7 ThinQ, Xiaomi Mi 8, Huawei Mate 10 Pro, Xperia XZ2 Premium, Nokia 8 Sirocco and LG V30.
“These smartphones can deliver the best-in-class YouTube experience by combining next generation technologies, video performance, and reliability,” the report notes.
Here’s why the iPhone X is not on the list
Though most of these phones were expected to be on the list, one thing that caught the attention of all was the omission of all iPhone models, including the iPhone X. The iPhone X features one of the best displays ever in a smartphone. In fact, it meets all of the requirements to qualify as a YouTube Signature Device, such as support for 4K decoding, HDR, high frame rate, and more. The iPhone X even features a stereo speaker setup, unlike some other devices recommended by YouTube.
There could be two reasons for not naming any iPhone models as a YouTube Signature Device. First, there’s the rivalry between iOS and Android, which of course is owned by Google, just like YouTube. The second and most likely reason is that Apple does not support the VP9 video codec, which was developed by Google. It is because of this that Safari users are unable to watch a video in 4K, notes The Verge.
As of now, there have no comments from Apple or YouTube on the latest development. It is also unclear if the 2018 iPhones will come with the needed hardware and software to qualify as a YouTube Signature Device. However, even if they don’t qualify, there is not much to worry about, as YouTube’s list may not have a meaningful impact on customers’ buying behavior.
Nevertheless, the handsets that bear the YouTube Signature Device tag will surely use this recognition in promoting themselves as a better option than devices that don’t qualify.
iPhone X vs. Note 9
The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 may have outsmarted the iPhone X in this not-so-important benchmark, but the latter outperformed Samsung’s latest flagship on many important parameters. The Galaxy Note 9, which features the Snapdragon 845 chipset, is slower than the one-year-old iPhone X. Reviewers at Tom’s Guide, who tested the 6GB version of the Galaxy Note 9, also found that the iPhone X topped it in the majority of benchmark tests.
For instance, in Geekbench 4 testing, the iPhone X came out ahead with a score of 10,357, while the Galaxy Note 9 scored only 8,876. The OnePlus 6 was at 9,088. In the Slingshot Extreme benchmark test, a demanding graphics test, the Note 9 scored just 4,639. In this test, the OnePlus 6 bagged the highest number of points (5,124), while the iPhone X came in second at 4,994.
Samsung’s latest handset, however, performed well in display testing. The Note 9 with its AMOLED panel managed 224% of the sRGB color gamut, compared to just 128.6% of the iPhone X. The OnePlus 6 bagged the highest score at 240.3%. In another test called Display Brightness, the Note 9 gave 604 nits of brightness, compared to 574 nits on the iPhone X. However, the brightest of them all was LG’s G7 ThinQ with 900 nits.
The benchmark ratings are expected to change when Apple releases its 2018 models. The new iPhone is expected to be powered by a next-generation A12 CPU. Though little is known about the new chip, it is expected to be a significant upgrade over the A11 Bionic processor which powers the iPhone X.