The YouTube Android app is now letting some users playback videos at up to 4K resolution at 60 frames per second, even if the device itself doesn’t have a 4K capable screen. Although first noticed on the YouTube app v15.05.35, a report by XDA suggests the feature can be spotted on multiple recent YouTube app versions.
The report also suggests that the new feature is a system-side switch, likely making it an intentional addition and not a bug. Additionally, various users in a Reddit sub-thread have pointed out that the new change offers better video quality even on low res screens.
We tested the feature on a OnePlus Nord, which features an FHD+ screen. We managed to see and select options of up to 2160p 60fps video with HDR playback support. The videos can also be played back at a lower resolution at 60fps with HDR, if the video itself supports the same.
Check out the screenshot below.
While users will not actually be able to watch the videos in 4K resolutions technically, the feature does offer sharper playback thanks to the HDR option as well as the improved bitrate. However, users will need to ensure that they have a fast enough Wi-Fi connection to avoid choppy playback.