YouTube has launched a certification program for 'YouTube Signature Devices' and associated Device Report for devices that provide the best available mobile experience for the app and Samsung's newly announced Galaxy Note 9 phablet sits at the top of the list. That's hardly surprising since YouTube requires devices to meet a total of six requirements to quality and Samsung's latest flagship meets or surpasses all of them. For starters, devices on the list need to have displays compliant with high-dynamic range (HDR), allowing for a wider contrast between bright colors and deeper dark tones. Beyond that, listed handsets need to support 4K decoding and next-generation codecs to play the highest resolution videos on the platform and high frame-rate playback at over 60 frames per second. Samsung hits those marks easily with its HDR10-compliant 6.4-inch 2960 x 1440 Super AMOLED display. Finally, YouTube requires certified devices to support 360-degree video playback either through on-screen controls or with a VR headset and feature robust digital rights management performance.
Given Samsung's long history of devices that have consistently met those requirements, it's also not surprising that five of the remaining nineteen spots in YouTube's Device Report are also made by the manufacturer. Specifically, Samsung's Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8 Plus, Galaxy Note 8, Galaxy S9, and Galaxy S9 Plus are among the other devices in the Google-owned company's list. The listing appears to be organized entirely by release date rather than any bearing on how well they meet the requirements but it's an impressive feat nonetheless. Xiaomi, Sony, LG, and Google also have multiple handsets listed in the new certification program as well. For Sony, those include the Xperia XZ2, in addition to that device's Premium and Compact configurations. Xiaomi handsets featured on the list, on the other hand, include its Mi Mix 2 and Mi 8. LG's entries include its V30 and G7 ThinQ models while Google's Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL round out devices made by OEMs with multiple inclusions on the list.
Other Android devices included in YouTube's Signature Device certification are HTC's U12 Plus, the OnePlus 6, the Nokia 8 Sirocco, and Huawei's Mate 10 Pro. Going forward, YouTube plans to rework and update the criteria for its program, however. It wouldn't be too surprising for the new Samsung Galaxy Note 9 to stick around through at least one more iteration of those. However, although showing up in the listing isn't necessarily arbitrary, there's no guarantee that any featured handset will remain there for long.