Scooch, iPhone 12, Androids are getting 10-bit HDR from camera recording to display

Scooch, iPhone 12, Androids are getting 10-bit HDR from video recording to display
Apple casually mentioning that the iPhone 12 models can now record 4K video in Dolby Vision is a watershed moment in mobile camera performance, as the dynamic HDR format was heretofore prerogative of pro cameras that cost north of two grand. 

The brighter "Super Retina XDR" displays also cover the wide DCI-P3 color gamut and are HDR certified to show the Dolby Vision video recording that the iPhone 12 series is uniquely positioned to capture thanks to its powerful image processing graphics subsystem. 

Granted, the A14 processor can't crunch the complete 12-bit Dolby Vision standard with its 68.7 billion colors, but the 10-bit HDR and its billion hues are nothing to sniff at, when you keep in mind that the best part about Dolby Vision - its dynamic metadata for per-scene and per-frame HDR adjustments - are kept intact on the iPhone 12, and Apple worked with Dolby to ensure so. 

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The kicker, however, is that iPhone 12 can do Dolby Vision HDR at 4K video recording definition, and at 60fps at that, at least on the 12 Pro an Pro Max models (the 12/mini are restricted to 4K 30fps HDR video) - something that no other phone can achieve at the moment. When will we see similar 4K high dynamic range video recording and playback on Android phones? Well, glad you asked, as soon as the next flagships from Oppo, the Find X3 models, roll off the conveyor belts.

The first end-to-end 10-bit color system on an Android phone will land in 2021

In our Oppo Find X2 Pro review, the phone was the 2020 trailblazer in terms of dynamic refresh rate, per-unit calibration by Pixelworks, MEMC video frame rate upscaling, and some of these are not possible even for the Note 20 Ultra still, like a dynamic high refresh rate at the Samsung phone's QHD display resolution, for instance.

120Hz at the full 1440p screen resolution? Check. Upscaling content frame rate to match the one of the display? Yep, Oppo calls it Ultra Vision Engine, and it is able to upscale video to 60fps as well. Variable refresh rate based on the content you are currently viewing? Check. According to Bai, product manager at OPPO: "Based on the stellar color performance of the Find X2 Pro, the new Full-path Color Management System has been meticulously developed to support for 10-bit image capturing and HEIF format. We aim to deliver to our users a seamless and systematic color experience, which unleashes content creators’ desire to explore, capture and express themselves fully.”

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Oppo's so-called Full-path Color Management System is just what it says on the tin and just what Apple does with the iPhone 12. Not only does it record 10-bit HDR video, but also encodes, stores, decodes, and displays it on the HDR display. Said Oppo Find X3 panel will be able to show the HDR footage in its full glory, and both the standard color gamut, and the wide DCI-P3 one that is needed to display HDR video, have been calibrated with the perfect 6500K white balance point to ensure display consistency for a change.

We can't wait to put our grubby mitts on one, as the 6.78" 1440p "Ultra Vision" screen of the X2 Pro does exactly what the OnePlus "Fluid Display" technology of the 8 Pro does, so the technology will most likely trickle down to OnePlus at some point next year as well. For now, we are fairly certain that the Find X3 model's end-to-end 10-bit HDR Color Management System will be nothing short of breathtaking to watch. Now off to buy that Dolby Vision TV so you can enjoy what your phones will be able to muster next year on something larger than 6.7 inches or so.

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