If you want to play high resolution 4k videos on your phone or computer, what are your options? You need a video player that can handle them and CnX Video Player for Android is on test here.
In order to play 4k videos, there are hardware requirements of course, and you must have a screen that has a high enough resolution to cope with 4k video. So what is 4k resolution? There are actually two standards and consumer 4k video is 3,840 x 2,160 pixels, but there is an even better 4,096 x 2,160 pixels. standard for the movie projection industry (Wikipedia).
Some mobile phones have the resolution to be able to display 4k video, but phone screens are small and the largest are only around 6 to 6.5 inches. At that size you will probably not be able to tell the difference between HD and 4k video because the pixels are so small in both cases.
Where a 4k video player is needed is when you use your phone to send video to another device, such as a large screen TV. If you use your phone this way, there is a visible advantage to being able to play 4k and it makes a big difference to the quality and sharpness on a 50+ inch TV.
It needs to have a high enough screen resolution to show it and it needs some method of receiving it, such as an Apple TV 4k, Chromecast Ultra, Amazon Fire TV Stick 4k or some other dongle.
Many top-end phones can record 4k video, although you may have to go into the camera settings to select it – HD may be the default. The phone also needs to have a lot of free storage because high resolution videos take up a lot of space.
Assuming you have a phone with 4k videos you took or downloaded, how do you play them?
4k video player for Android and iOS
CnX Video Player is available for Android phones and tablets, iPhone and I tried the Android version here. In the Google Play Store it is called Play All 4K Video Player – Cast to TV CnX Player and on iOS it is called CnX Player – Play & Cast. It is free, with ads and some limitations that can be removed with a small-ish payment.
Browse videos on your phone
The Android app starts with a file browser and it shows all the folders on the phone that contain videos. This includes WhatsApp videos, those taken with the phone’s camera, saved video downloads and so on.
Tap a folder and thumbnail images are displayed for each video, along with the filename and clip length in minutes:seconds. There are some useful options for customising the view and there are grid (thumbnail) and list views, all folders or all videos, and sorting by size, date, name and more. You can even hide videos too.
There is also a view which shows the last played video as a large image at the top with a play button so you can play it again. Videos can be deleted using this browser too. You can delete videos elsewhere, but it is more convenient here because only your videos are listed, not photos, and they are all in one place.
Play 4k videos on your phone
The video player can cope with any resolution up to 4k and it supports more file video and audio formats than you can think of. CnX Player can play pretty much every video file you will come across on your phone or downloaded from the web.
There are some limitations in the free player that can be unlocked by going pro. For example, 10-bit HDR playback is only available as a paid pro feature. Sending video from the phone to a Chromecast and Fire TV is a paid pro feature, but you can send video to an Apple TV for free. Some video codecs are pro only.
Even in free mode, this CnX Player is a great video player and there are many controls. For example, you can adjust the brightness, contrast and saturation of the video. The playback speed is adjusted using a slider that ranges from 0.5x to 2.0x. There is a choice of hardware or software video decoders, videos can be cropped or stretched to fit the screen, or looped.
You can view file information, select audio tracks if more than one is embedded in the video, and show subtitles if they are available. Videos on the phone can be browsed while one is playing a video in the top half of the screen. CnX Player will even play videos on an Android phone’s home screen while you do other things. That’s a clever multitasking feature.
As a free video player for your phone, CnX Player is good and it has some nice features like the file browser and playback controls. If you want to stream video to your TV you will need to pay, but this is not an expensive app. A subscription is needed, but is only UK £8.49 a year (around US $11).
If you need a good video player for your phone, take a look at this app.