Apart from the iris scanning technology and a really cool stylus, there is one other feature in Samsung’s newest phablet, the Galaxy Note 7, that consumers and the industry should watch out for -- high dynamic range (HDR) compatibility. Also present in the South Korean tech giant’s Notebook 7 Spin laptop, the HDR feature offers the ability to display sharper, and more dynamic colors (i.e. higher range of bright/dark contrasts, wider gamut of colors), and it can do it better than the usual high definition and 4K video available in other mobile devices out there.
By the way, HDR should not be confused with the HDR mode found on smartphone cameras or in Photoshop. The HDR feature on phone cameras is not the same as the HDR feature found on screens. Yes, they both share the same technical name, but they are vastly different from each other in functionality.
HDR used to be only available in a limited number of high specification television sets and projectors. But considering how more and more consumers are devouring streamed video content from providers such as Netflix and Amazon onto their smartphones and tablet devices, it was sort of inevitable for HDR to find its way to handsets, too.
Of course, in order for that to happen, there are some obstacles that need to be overcome. HDR appears to work better with organic light emitting diode (OLED) screens, like the one being sported by the Galaxy Note 7. However, most mobile devices of today still use liquid crystal display (LCD) screens. LCD is still a pretty good screen technology, but when it comes to displaying HDR content, OLED screens are more consistent in quality.
Another potential hurdle for HDR is its own hype. The fact of the matter is, HDR can only work well if it is used properly and with the right combination of specifications (the hardware on mobile devices) and content (video providers should also properly render their content to be HDR compatible). As we have seen in recent years, backlash (justified or not) can quickly damage the reputation of any new technology. And it will certainly not help that there will be brands out there eager to ride on the HDR hype, without actually delivering the actual quality.
There is no guarantee that HDR will be the next big thing among mobile or laptop screens in the years ahead. But if the technology can somehow graduate from its baby steps, the future will look brighter and sharper, indeed.
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