Google has quietly added HDR support for the Pixel and Pixel XL in the YouTube app. Cool, right? It is, but how they did it is pretty interesting.
Typically, phones need to support HDR at the hardware level. Some newer phones and tablets are launching with it despite there not being very much HDR content, but you don’t see OEMs go back to add HDR support via software on older phones, but that’s exactly what Google did.
Unfortunately, the software workaround that Google used here means it’ll only work on the YouTube app, where Google has recently added HDR support to videos. Since other new phones are support that via hardware, they’re also getting HDR in things like Netflix. The Pixel is only going to be able to view HDR content on YouTube and nowhere else.
However, this addition likely means Google’s about to start taking HDR seriously, and I’d be willing to bet we see HDR support in the Pixel 2.
source: Android Police