Never mind Netflix: the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus don't have HDR displays, the iPhone X does


While the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are now in the official list of Netflix-certified phones that can display its HDR10 and Dolby Vision content, you won't be getting the real HDR experience, as the standard's requirements are only covered in full by the upcoming iPhone X. Not that Apple has been claiming otherwise, as it does list just the iPhone X as fully HDR-compliant in its own specs comparison table with the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus.



So, why did Netflix list the two new iPhones in its mobile HDR roster? Well, the same reason that the G6 popped up as the first phone that covered the Netflix Dolby Vision display requirements, despite that it doesn't have a panel that can, say, do a 1000 nits of brightness. Apple has even reached out to Mashable and clarified that iPhone 8 and 8 Plus adopters "will see visual enhancements to dynamic range, contrast, and wide color gamut when playing Dolby Vision or HDR 10 content from their respective content providers, but it will not be at the full level of HDR visual fidelity as it'll be on the iPhone X, which does have an HDR screen."

There you have it, you do get a boost in color gamut, contrast and other enhancements when you watch HDR Netflix shows with your fancy Premium subscription on the iPhone 8 or 8 Plus, and that could be all that matters to the untrained eye. The G6 panel also doesn't fully cover the Dolby Vision standard, but the folks from Dolby are on record saying about their mobile certification that "our colorists actually tune [the LCD screen] so it maps with the displays used by content creators." 

The OLED display panels have much higher contrast ratio, though, which is one of the HDR standard requirements, so that might be why Apple lists only the iPhone X as having an HDR-worthy display, as you can see below, while the other new iPhones only "support" it.

Related phones

iPhone 8
  • Display 4.7" 750 x 1334 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 7 MP front
  • Processor Apple A11 Bionic, Hexa-core, 2390 MHz
  • Storage 256 GB
  • Battery 1821 mAh(14h talk time)

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36 Comments

1. slannmage

Posts: 289; Member since: Mar 26, 2013

Still not convinced about this hdr crap, I think it’s just another marketing term that allows them to lock content behind a pay wall. Instead of just making better quality panels, now they have a feature they can turn on and off... sucks.

2. kartik.07

Posts: 73; Member since: May 04, 2015

HDR content on HDR screen look noticeably better tho

17. sgodsell

Posts: 7365; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

LCD is dead, because it can never have the high contrast that OLED displays offer. Plus OLED use less energy, have faster refresh rates. The writing is on the wall. LCD is dead. Get over it, and move on.

24. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

Actually, LCD has a higher refresh rate (on lower res screens anyway). But on OLED it is less necessary since it doesn't suffer from motion blur that badly compared to LCD.

5. SIGPRO

Posts: 2817; Member since: Oct 03, 2012

Dud HDR is awsome check it on a 4K screen, you will see the difference!

6. nikhil23

Posts: 441; Member since: Dec 07, 2016

I'm assuming You never owned a HDR TV

7. mikehunta727 unregistered

Spoken like a man who has never experienced the awesomeness of HDR

12. slannmage

Posts: 289; Member since: Mar 26, 2013

I have a hdr tv, that’s not my point. My point is instead of making panels just being better, they’ve made it into a feature locked behind a paywall that they can control. They could just make the panels better and allow the content to just be able to display better. However now we have a format war, for what is basically a monopoly over panels.

14. mikehunta727 unregistered

Well not all HDR TV'S are the same. Most actually don't even pass as a true HDR display. The only really true HDR TV'S right now is LG'S and Samsung and Sony OLED TV'S and maybe some other models And I do agree on the HDR format war thing

29. Penny

Posts: 1851; Member since: Feb 04, 2011

It's not a real format war in my opinion. You have two options, HDR10 and Dolby Vision. Between these two, HDR10 is what's going to be adopted everywhere and become mass market, because it is the less expensive to achieve (Dolby Vision requires a true 12 bit panel). Now, because we know HDR10 is the standard, what's happening is that many display manufacturers want to tout HDR10 support even if their displays don't officially get there according to specs. HDR10 mandates a 10 bit panel and 1000 nits of brightness. Most panels that claim it use 8 bit panels with dithering to simulate a 10 bit panel, and far less than 1000 nits of brightness, though "bright enough" for HDR by most people's standards. So HDR10 is the standard, and any fragmentation that's occurring is because it's easier for manufacturers to say "good enough" to call it HDR.

3. SIGPRO

Posts: 2817; Member since: Oct 03, 2012

Hahaha Apple fails once again! But who watches Netflix on a tiny screen anyway?

9. worldpeace

Posts: 3133; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

That's what I think. HDR content did look much awesome, but how much people out there actually watch movies/ series in their phone? (I did have netflix in my phone, but it's only for looking movies that I'll watch later on TV)

11. Macready

Posts: 1821; Member since: Dec 08, 2014

Millions do actually.

19. uncle_gadget

Posts: 1050; Member since: Sep 20, 2017

Well the screen size isn't the issue. What is an issue is, how does 750p or 1080p support such content. First off, HDR10 and Dolby Vision, both require a minimum 1440p display. Which means ALL iPHONES will not be compatible. The content is also formatted for 16:9 aspect ratio as minimum, which again disqualifies ALL iPHONES. Netflix should not have allowed any non-compatible phone to be listed or paid to be listed. Even though the S8 is 1440p, its implementation for HDR and its screen type are not compatible with either standard for other reasons and Samsung so far hasn't paid to be listed. The Note 8 meets the full standard for HDR content. 1000NITS display is also required for HDR. The S8 can't reach 1000NIT even in auto. Thus it doesn't qualify. The Note 8 achieves 1200NITs. Whether the iPhone X qualifies, is yet to be seen until we can get the specific hardware specs of the display, including brightness, aspect ration and more.

27. Ninetysix

Posts: 2964; Member since: Oct 08, 2012

"First off, HDR10 and Dolby Vision, both require a minimum 1440p display." Wrong again TechieXP. Can you tell us the resolution on the Sony Xperia XZ1? A phone that supports HDR10.

30. Macready

Posts: 1821; Member since: Dec 08, 2014

Neither HDR10, nor Dolby Vision specifies an exact maximum amount of nits that a display device should be capable of as a requirement to be compliant, they only specify a maximum that the format itself is capable of. The underlying HDR standard or more specifically in this case the HDR Premium standard does specify a minimum contrast ratio though. In practice that results in a maximum brightness of at least 1000 nits for LCD panels and for OLED panels that's 540 nits (thanks to their lower blacklevels). Which the S8/S8+ easily meet. http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20160104006605/en/UHD-Alliance-Defines-Premium-Home-Entertainment-Experience The tricky part is with the 10 bit signals. Officially they should be able to handle 10 bit signals (which the S8/S8+ are), but preferably also OUTPUT into a 10 bit color space (which to my recollection they don't). But that's of relatively little relevance to smaller displays, since this is about actual color gradations with the sole purpose to prevent visible banding. At a lower bit depth, that is usually countered with the injection of noise (if the signal didn't already have enough noise to do so), also known as dithering. On large displays, this extra tiny amount of noise to smooth the transitions between 2 color gradations, could be visible, but on the small displays discussed here, you wouldn't be able to see it anyway.

36. ebilcake

Posts: 1229; Member since: Jul 16, 2016

TechieXP? Is that you? Has to be, nobody else spouts as much nonsense as Techie, he's a pro at pulling facts from from his arse.

21. uncle_gadget

Posts: 1050; Member since: Sep 20, 2017

Tiny? I can say HDR content looks awesome on the Note 8 display. Yes its tiny compared to a TV, but that doesn't mean you can't see the quality. On the iPhone you won't be able to see it at all which is the issue. Any device, whether it be Samsung, LG, Apple of whatever; if the device is not 100% compatible, it shouldn't be on the list.

22. therealestmc

Posts: 679; Member since: Jul 23, 2012

I do. I don't always have access to a bigger screen.

4. HansP

Posts: 542; Member since: Oct 16, 2011

Yeah, because everybody who subscribes to the expensive tiers on Netflix also reads Apple's disclaimers on Mashable...? How many class action lawsuits are Apple trying to muster with the iPhone 8?

16. tedkord

Posts: 17356; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

If Apple never claimed they were fully HDR compliant, then what suit do people have?

20. uncle_gadget

Posts: 1050; Member since: Sep 20, 2017

They still have a suite. Because Netflix is charging MORE money for HDR content. Because HDR video files, are larger because they contain the extra layer for HDR enhancements in the feed/stream. So if someone specifically bought an iPhone because they think it supports HDR, because Apple paid Netflix to have them certified as compatible when they aren't, then in the US Apple can be sued and Netflix as well for false advertising.

32. AxelFoley unregistered

Sorry man. False advertising is only through the media (TV/Newspaper ads), not getting something certified. I've yet to see a commercial for HDR on the iphone 8.

35. kartik.07

Posts: 73; Member since: May 04, 2015

No one is marketing iPhone 8 and 8+ to HDR compatibles they are just in the list which will get HDR support on netflix which apple said will be a little better experience then standard but not upto HDR. Only iPhone X is marketed with HDR so no one can sue either of the company for false advertising as they have clearly stated the points.

33. HansP

Posts: 542; Member since: Oct 16, 2011

The specs list, shown in the weak attempt to excuse the half truth, clearly says "supports Dolby Vision and HDR 10 content". They're misleading content creators, like Netflix, and end users like anyone buying it thinking it has an amazing display.

8. JohnR

Posts: 151; Member since: Sep 08, 2017

I never watch Netflix on my phone so don’t care either way

10. izim1

Posts: 1599; Member since: Feb 04, 2013

Yet here you are...

13. Derekjeter

Posts: 1488; Member since: Oct 27, 2011

Marco Polo on NetFlix looks amazing on my 4K HDR.

15. izim1

Posts: 1599; Member since: Feb 04, 2013

So can someone explain why the galaxy s8 duo still doesnt get netflix hdr, then?

37. ebilcake

Posts: 1229; Member since: Jul 16, 2016

Not enough incentive for Netflix to add support. Youtube and Amazon have so there are no hardware limitations, it's just Netflix being lazy.

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