Did you know that not all tablets and smartphones support Netflix in HD or HDR quality? In fact, on a lot of devices movies and TV shows are played back in standard definition only. While that might not be noticeable on a phone, it certainly is when watching with a tablet.
Like lots of people, I too like to watch Netflix and I am testing it on every tablet I review. But to be honest, I didn’t know myself that a lot of devices can’t playback movies in HD or higher. Maybe I didn’t notice it because I like to watch old Star Trek episodes. Anyways, I noticed this issue after reviewing the Huawei MediaPad M5 series which did not support Netflix in HD at the beginning. While that was fixed with a software update later, that is not the case for most.
Netflix in HD: These Tablets Are Supported
So, which tablets can play Netflix movies and TV shows in HD? Luckily, the streaming service published a list of devices that support that. In this article, you’ll find all the information I could find about this issue.
If you own an iPad, you don’t have to worry about it at all. In fact, all recent iPads with so-called “Retina Displays” support a playback quality of 1080p. So, all iPads that have been released in the last couple of years support HD Netflix. Just the first two iPads and the first iPad Mini generation had lower-resolution screens.
Well, there are exceptions though. If your iPad is running iOS 6.0 or even older, you can watch in 480p only. Starting at iOS 7.0, 720p playback is supported. And, as I said, devices with “Retina Displays” support 1080p which means full HD.
If you want to watch Netflix with a Windows tablet, you don’t have to worry at all. In fact, using the official Windows 10 Netflix app, you can watch movies and TV shows in up to 4K resolution. Well, at least if your screen is high-resolution and powerful enough. Using Chrome and Firefox, you can watch in up to 720p HD. However, you might want to switch to Microsoft Edge for Netflix because that one supports up to 4K.
Android Tablets: These Support HD Netflix
Alright, so, how is it with Android tablets? Sadly, this is much more complicated. While you can watch Netflix in HD with a lot of them, some don’t support it at all. Here is a list of tablets that do support it according to Netflix and my testing:
- Acer Predator 8 (GT-810)
- Acer Iconia Tab 10 (A3-A30)
- Amazon Fire HD 10 Zoll 2017 (KFSUWI)
- Amazon Fire HD 8 Zoll 2017 (KFDOWI)
- Amazon Fire HD 8 Zoll 2016 (KFGIWI)
- Amazon Fire HD 10 Zoll 2015 (KFTBWI)
- Amazon Fire HD 8 Zoll 2015 (KFMEWI)
- Amazon Fire HD 7 Zoll 2014 (KFASWI)
- Amazon Fire HD 6 Zoll 2014 (KFARWI)
- Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 8,9 Zoll 2014 (KFSAWIS)
- Asus ZenPad S8 (P01MA, P01M)
- Asus ZenPad 10 (P023, P021, P01T)
- Asus ZenPad Z8 für Verizon (VZW_P008)
- Google Nexus 7 2013
- Google Nexus 9 (erfordert Android 6.0)
- Google Pixel C
- Huawei MediaPad M5 (SHT-AL09, SHT-W09, CMR-AL09, CMR-W09, CMR-AL19, CMR-W19)
- Huawei MediaPad M5 10 Lite (BAH2-L09, BAH2-W19, DL-AL09, DL-W09)
- Huawei MediaPad T5 10 (GS2-L09, GS2-W09, GS2-W19)
- Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro (YT3-X90F, YT3-X90L, YT3-X90X)
- Nvidia Shield Portable
- Nvidia Shield Tablet
- Nvidia Shield Tablet K1
- Nvidia Tegra Note 7
- Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 (SM-T700, SM-T701, SM-T702, SM-T705, SM-T707)*
- Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 (SM-T800, SM-T801, SM-T802, SM-T805, SM-T807)*
- Samsung Galaxy Tab S2* (SM-T710, SM-T715, SM-T715C, SM-T715Y, SM-T715N0, SM-T810, SM-T815, SM-T815C, SM-T815Y, SM-T815N0, SM-T817, SM-T817A, SM-T817V, SM-T817W, SM-T817P, SM-T817T, SM-T817R4) *HD nur verfügbar auf Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 mit Android M (Version 6.0–6.0.1)
- Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 (SM-T825, SM-T825Y, SM-T827, SM-T825N0, SM-T827V, SM-T825C, T825X, T827R4, SM-T820, T820X)
- Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 (SM-T835, SM-T835C, SM-T835N, SM-T837, SM-T837P, SM-T837V, SM-T837A, SM-T837R4, SM-T830, SM-T830X)
- Samsung Galaxy View (SM-T670, SM-T677, SM-T677A, SM-T677V)
It could be that this list is not complete. For example, Netflix does list some Amazon Fire tablets at some placed and not at other. However, at the same time, they say that all Fire HD tablets starting with the 2014 lineup do support HD playback. So… there might be others.
These Android Tablets Don’t Support HD Netflix
When I’m reviewing a tablet, I always check if it supports HD playback. Here is a list of tablets where I know that they do not support HD Netflix. At least not at the time I’ve been reviewing them:
- Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.5
- Lenovo Tab P10
- Lenovo Tab M10
- Lenovo Tab E7
- Lenovo Tab E10
- Chuwi Hi9 Plus
- Chuwi Hi9 Pro
- Chuwi Hi8 Se
- Xiaomi Mi Pad 4 Plus
- Teclast T20
- Teclast M20
How To Check If HD Is Supported
You can check very easily yourself if a tablet or smartphone supports HD playback or not. For that, you simply search for the “Test Pattern” video inside Netflix. Once you start, you get a lot of data about it. I’ve gotten the best results with the Test Pattern 7.
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