When scrolling through the Instagram feed, a random video clip or reel suddenly pops up, boosting the brightness on the iPhone’s screen to 11. When this occurs, it’s worse if you’re in a dimly lit area because these vibrant burst disregards your brightness settings and can aggravate your eyes.
Whether they realize it or not, more people are posting HDR (high dynamic range) movies on social media. And when your expensive smartphone plays them, the display kicks into high gear to show off the “true-to-life color and contrast” that HDR makes possible, in Apple’s words.
But more than anything else having to do with color, you’ll notice that your screen becomes extremely bright, whether you want it to or not.
For a few years now, high-end smartphones have had the ability to record HDR video. Samsung prefers HDR10 Plus, whereas Apple prefers Dolby Vision. However, these businesses have done a good job of educating customers about how and when the capacity is genuinely valuable. And when it’s preferable to leave it off. When using the default settings, which many people do when using their camera app. Your iPhone will happily record your HDR concert records or vacation memories.
You might not be aware, though, that when you post those videos to Instagram or other websites like Reddit. They will control the screen brightness for everyone watching on an iPhone with HDR capability.
It appears better when you view it in SDR on a desktop browser without distractingly bright highlights drawing your focus away from the content.
That seems out of character for someone who enjoys home theatre and displays. The resulting videos can be breathtaking when HDR is handled skillfully and in the correct scenes. However, our phones are all too eager to rely on them for common, everyday clips.
According to the argument, HDR video recording became popular before many consumers fully understood the ideal usage scenarios. As a result, we are now experiencing the growing pains that come with such an intense push from phone manufacturers.
It seems unlikely that Apple will change anything or become more cautious when it comes to when footage is taken in HDR. This is the firm that has made it impossible to completely off HDR for still images taken with modern iPhones.
However, a temporary “fix” might only include providing iPhone owners more discretion. Instagram doesn’t have a toggle to turn off HDR playback. This frequently vibrant playback experience cannot be disabled system-wide anywhere in the iOS settings.
When you consider that it has been more than two years since the iPhone 12 series launched vibrant Dolby Vision recording, these look like big errors. It does not follow that we should view something in HDR. Or that the display preferences should be disregarded just because it was captured in HDR. The living room TV must be extremely bright and colorful in order to meet consumer expectations. There are times when utilizing a mobile device, and we most surely don’t need it.
For now, turning on iOS’ low power mode will enable HDR videos to play normally while preventing these arbitrary brightness jumps. But there must be a more straightforward, less complicated approach.