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Absolutely horrible/sub-standard YouTube video quality (Google Chrome)

As the title says.


I find the YouTube quality on this phone to be horrible compared to my 4.5 year old Nokia Lumia 1520 

(which runs Windows Mobile 10).


After setting the device up for the first time today (updated it to Oreo 8.1 right out of the box), 

i went straight to YouTube to compare the video quality between my old Nokia Lumia 1520,

and my new Nokia 8, only to be very disappointed in the video quality.


The Nokia 8 seems to be playing videos at 144P, whilst my old Lumia 1520 plays at what seems like 4k in compare

(i am using WiFi on both devices, and i got 1000Mbit Fiber, so it's not a connection issue).


Here are some screenshots of the same video:


Nokia 8: https://i.imgur.com/dvm6tTD.jpg

Nokia Lumia 1520: https://i.imgur.com/dvm6tTD.jpg

Windows 10 PC: https://i.imgur.com/DKpFLZQ.jpg


And here's the video i used: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Scxs7L0vhZ4


I threw in the PC screenshot just to show how good the Lumia 1520 is compared to the Nokia 8.


Not sure why one can't edit a post, but i'll list the screenshots again since i messed up the links.


This is the same video being played on both phones (still images),

using their native Google Chrome and Edge browsers:


Nokia 8:  https://i.imgur.com/dvm6tTD.jpg

Nokia Lumia 1520:  https://imgur.com/a/yAXTDxd


And here's the same video being played on a Desktop PC (using Google Chrome):

https://i.imgur.com/DKpFLZQ.jpg


As one can see, the Nokia 8 is not a pleasant experience at all, as for video quality on web pages like YouTube goes.


The old Lumia has nearly the same video quality as a Desktop PC.


Is this really just how the Chrome browser on the Nokia 8 is supposed to be?

Maybe Windows Mobile 10 users are just spoiled, but i find this ridiculous myself


I did not expect a flagship like the Nokia 8 to have this low of a video playback quality.


Tech Wizard

Chrome should open YouTube links in the YouTube app on the phone.

While playing a video full-screen, tap the screen, tap the 3-dot menu upper right, set the quality to what you want or 'Auto'.
Auto runs most videos at 720p on my phone if the video is HD.

@SuperConker Why are you using Chrome to view YouTube videos, as user389 says YouTube links should be opening in the app instead regardless of the website?

I wasn't opening links though, i was just using the browser as-is, to browse and watch YouTube videos.


It does not have a quality setting as far as i can see, videos are automatically played back at a pretty low quality.


Never had to use a separate App on my old phone though, videos would just play beautifully,

and at high quality through the Edge browser.

Tech Wizard

I can't make Chrome not open YouTube videos in the YouTube app on my phone. I wonder how you managed that.


The YouTube app in Android phones does much more than just play videos.
Do videos play in HD resolution in the YouTube app?

All i did was to go to www.youtube.com and started watching a video there (side by side with my old phone).


The YouTube App does play videos in high quality, but that doesn't change the fact that the Browser does not.


Only "workaround" i have found is to enable the "Desktop site" option on the phone.

This let's me select the quality on the videos (it plays up to 4k60fps just fine it seems)

but i'm sure this will drain the battery faster.


It also wants to zoom in on small buttons (like the Quality setting) so it's still not a fluent experience.

Try to install Brave Browser, it's Chromium based and pretty much is Chrome with an ad-blocker.

Anyhow, i can't see anything wrong with video's i play in Brave Browser via youtube.com, but i always use the Youtube app anyway.

Can't speak for Chrome as i've disabled the app.

My question still stands, why go to the YouTube site in Chrome to watch videos instead of using the app?

@SuperConker use the YouTube app and you can change the quality. Chrome for Android is not designed to be an app replacement. I used to have several W10M phones too and understand your habit of is opening everything in the browser because there are no apps available, but Android is an app based OS.

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Community Hero

I use Firefox on Android for Youtube, not the built in app. Because I don't like using apps when the website has all the same functionality ;) And btw it works great, no quality problems.


To change the default app to use for opening links to Youtube go to Settings>Apps&notifications>Default Apps>Opening Links.



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Clearly the Nokia 8 screenshots are in SD, hardly the phones fault is it.

I think you missed the point though MrBelter, the Chrome browser doesn't want to play in HD like other Browsers do, clearly i want Chrome to play back videos in HD too (and not in SD).


The screenshot itself is taken directly from the phone, and is in the phones native 1440P resolution,

in case anyone think the screenshot has been edited in any way (it hasn't).


There is no way to change the quality on the Nokia 8 through it's Chrome browser

(unless you enable Desktop Site in the Settings, which is quite a clumsy workaround).



Older and discontinued platforms, like Windows Mobile 10 doesn't have this issue

with it's Edge Browser, nor does the Desktop PC version of Google Chrome.

So it is quite weird that the Android version of Chrome have this issue.


I don't have no real desire to to keep switching between Chrome, and some other App 

(YouTube App in this case), all depending on what website i'm browsing.



Best solution so far seems to be to install a 3rd party Browser, like Firefox (thank you madbilly). 


This is indeed better, but i'm still very disappointed in Chrome on Android.



1 person likes this

I have not missed your point at all, Chrome is playing the video in SD, it is the fault of Chrome and not the Nokia 8.


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Community Hero

This thread seems like a great set of reasons not to use Chrome! Firefox all the way in my mind, I don't use Chrome at all, anywhere.

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