Unless you are a hermit living on a desert island, you’ve probably notices that smartphones are how many people throughout the world consume content. There’s nothing more convenient than carrying a screen in your pocket and watching some Netflix when the urge strikes. Unfortunately, the picture quality available to mobile device users has lagged compared compared to TVs and projectors that support HDR. The good news for videophiles on the go is the new LG G6 is the first phone to offer support for HDR, including both Dolby Vision and HDR10 content.
The G6 has a 5.7″ 18:9-ratio LCD screen with 2880 x 1440-pixel resolution. Interestingly, according to a report by Claudia Cruz of CNET, Taeho Oh—the VP of consumer electronics at Dolby—says that Dolby Vision will save on bandwidth because it uses a lower bitrate to achieve a given level of quality versus HDR10. Furthermore, Dolby states Vision will have no impact on the phone’s battery life.
“According to Oh, Dolby Vision will save the phone’s battery power by about 15 percent because the LG G6’s LCD won’t have to fully brighten to display the image in HDR. Further he added that consumers will spend less data when streaming because Dolby Vision content on a compatible device uses fewer bits per second during transmission without sacrificing quality.” – Read more at CNET
It being a smartphone, the LG G6 is full of countless features that are not directly relevant to AV enthusiasts such as dual 13-megapixel cameras plus water and dust resistance. But, the adoption of HDR and support for Dolby Vision is absolutely a milestone in the evolution of portable entertainment. If it’s embraced by the Netflix-watching tablet and cellphone crowd, HDR will enjoy true mainstream popularity soon enough.
As far as content goes, you can stream Dolby Vision content from Netflix, Amazon, and Vudu so there’s plenty to watch. And if HDR content is only available in HDR10, the LG G6 supports that format as well. The debut of Dolby Vision on smartphones is a watershed event for the format. If you want a video technology to succeed, the more eyeballs you can reach, the better.
Following Dolby’s recent announcement that it’s Vision HDR format can be decoded entirely by software, it’s reasonable to expect we’ll see many more devices that support the feature in the near future.