Ultra HDR is a new photo file format which will be gradually deployed on compatible smartphones running Android 14 and having a very high resolution screen. Clearly, this technology should be reserved for the most high-end smartphones, but Google does not officially communicate on the prerequisites for accessing the Ultra HDR format. The idea is to produce images – we are talking about photos, but also videos – capable of reaching brightness levels significantly higher than a standard image, since we would go from 100 to 1000 nits and even 10,000 nits with support for Dolby Vision and HDR10 (and 10+) standards. Like classic HDR, the smartphone will increase the dynamics of its photos and videos. This widening of the space between the brightest and darkest areas allows for additional detail, while producing more realistic images.
Ultra HDR supported by Google Photos…
Last September, Google Photos saw the first glimpses of Ultra HDR support appear. If it was then only a few lines of code announcing this future evolution, since then, successive updates have completed this integration. We learned that Ultra HDR would be activated by default on all compatible smartphones for shooting in this format. For other smartphones, Google Photos will be able to transform SDR photos classically recorded in standard jpeg into Ultra HDR photos. Google specifies that smartphones that do not have a screen capable of displaying this new type of images will display them in SDR, like traditional files.
…and through Google Messages
Since then, the American giant has redoubled its efforts to impose its technology. This time it is Google Messages, spearhead of the famous RCS protocol, which becomes capable of sending Ultra HDR photos. Of course, not everyone will be able to benefit from it. First of all, your smartphone must be RCS compatible, as well as that of your correspondent. The latter should, just like you, have a mobile running Android 14. He will then be able to enjoy Ultra HDR photos on his screen which retain their quality despite having to go through the compression box. Today, the only ones affected seem to be Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro users, but other smartphones should quickly join the list. In any case, Google is currently distiling the information little by little.