The Pocophone sold like hotcakes in its first sale yesterday. One of my friends bought the phone, and we noticed something peculiar about it. The Poco F1 does not support Widevine L1 DRM.
Widevine is a security feature, more precisely, it is a DRM (digital rights management) module which decrypts encrypted media. This is used in almost all popular video and music streaming services.
It is important, very important in fact. You see, Netflix requires Widevine support for streaming. But there is something else you should know, there are different levels of certification, such as L1, L2, and L3.
To stream HD videos, i.e., 720p or above, Widevine L1 is required. Unfortunately, the Poco F1 does not support Widevine L1 DRM. It is certified for L3. Also, HD quality videos from other streaming services such as Amazon Video, Hulu, BBC, all the major players rely on it.
If someone from Xiaomi or Pocophone is reading this, we would love to include a response. We are putting this here as we can't reach them through official channels. Send us a response (if any) to avinash [@] androidpure.com.
How do you find that?
It's simple, free, and takes just a few seconds. Download the DRM Info app from the Play Store. Open it, and it should tell you, like so in the screenshot above.
Interestingly, the ASUS Zenfone Max Pro M1 does support Widevine L1.
The irony here, is that though the PocoF1 does not support Widevine L1 DRM, it comes with the Netflix app pre-installed. That's hilarious really, you can only watch videos in up to 540p (that's what the Netflix test video capped at), because of the no L1 issue.
If you are wondering why I cannot play HD videos on Netflix on the Pocophone. This is why..
The big question is, can Xiaomi fix it with an update?
No, I don't believe so. If you remember, OnePlus drew flak for this exact same issue from OnePlus 5 and 5T users. And people had to ship the phones to the company's service center for the devices to be patched.
So, the Poco F1 might require similar treatment. And we are just wondering why Poco did this. Did you know that Widevine belongs to Google, and they charge nothing for licensing? So why the Poco F1 does not support Widevine L1 DRM is baffling.
Thanks Jay for the screenshots and the info.