What is a YouTube Signature Device and what phones are certified?

If you’ve never heard of a YouTube signature device until the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 launch, then you’re not alone. For many of us, that was the first time we ever heard of this certification. Join us as we dive deeper into what exactly a YouTube signature device is and what devices are currently certified.

What is a YouTube Signature Device?

In short, it is a device which has been certified by YouTube to provide you with the best video quality and fastest load times on YouTube. Breaking it down further, YouTube tests the devices to make sure that they meet these specific qualifications.

HDR Video

HDR video playback certification ensures that your phone can display a greater dynamic range for videos that support it. Meaning simply that you will be able to view more detail in the highlights and the shadows of the video. It also provides you with more vivid true-to-life colors.

360° Video

Support for 360° videos that allow you to look up, down, and all around you. Whether you’re controlling it with your finger or a VR headset, YouTube Signature Devices are certified to immerse you in the scene.

4K Video

As 4K TVs and video cameras are becoming more prevalent so are the videos. Any phone that has undergone YouTube Signature Device certification has been tested to guarantee it can decode and play 4K videos. You’ll have no worries about watching all your favorite content with crystal clear clarity.

High Frame Rate

Videos shot in high frame rates appear smoother to the naked eye and are very useful for high action situations such as sports. In the case of YouTube Signature Devices, this covers any videos that are greater than 60 frames per second.

Next Generation Codecs

Video codecs are used to compress video files making them smaller and easier to transport faster over the internet. The higher the compression the smaller the file and the more advanced the codec the smaller the file can be while retaining higher quality.

The qualifications for a 2019 YouTube Signature Device requires hardware with the ability to decode the VP9 profile 2 codec. Use of the VP9 profile 2 codec allows for you to stream high-quality video with up to 30% less bandwidth.

Digital Rights Management

Digital Rights Management or DRM is a form of copy protection used to protect media from being shared or stolen. While YouTube is mainly a free or ad-supported platform, they also provide services for renting and purchasing videos as well as the YouTube TV service. All signature devices must be compliant with DRM protection.

What Devices are Supported?

Google

  • Pixel 2
  • Pixel 2 XL

HTC

  • U12+

Huawei

  • Mate 10 Pro

LG

  • G7 ThinQ
  • V30

Nokia

  • Nokia 8 Sirocco

OnePlus

  • OnePlus 6

Samsung

  • Galaxy S8
  • Galaxy S8 Plus
  • Galaxy Note 8
  • Galaxy S9
  • Galaxy S9 Plus
  • Galaxy Note 9

Sony

  • Xperia XZ2
  • Xperia XZ2 Compact
  • Xperia XZ2 Premium

Xiaomi

  • Mi 8
  • Mi Mix 2S

More Coming in the Future

At this time the total includes 19 YouTube Signature Devices in total. One glaring omission you might have noticed is the iPhone. Apple devices don’t support the VP9 profile 2 codec and as such cannot be YouTube Signature Device certified. However, this list can grow over time as YouTube provides a link to a form for manufacturers to request their devices be certified.

The current qualifications are specified for the year 2019. As time goes on, there will certainly be advancements in technology and the requirements are sure to evolve with those advancements.