Some Pixel owners have noticed over the last couple of monthly updates that their phones have lost Widevine L1 status, falling to L3 and rendering them incapable of playing back some DRM-protected content at high quality. More simply, that means they can't play HD content in apps and services like Netflix. By far the majority of devices are not affected and the cause isn't immediately clear. Google tells us it's aware of these reports and working on a fix, and devices from other manufactures may also be affected.
Some folks using the new ASUS ROG Phone 3 are having issues playing back HD content in certain apps like Netflix. The cause, as some of our more savvy readers might expect, is an issue with Android's Widevine DRM system, with some phone owners reporting that their L1 Widevine state has been lost, relegating them to standard definition playback. ASUS has now fixed the problem with a software update after initially asking customers to send in their phones to get back HD playback.
It's a bit of a bummer that the OnePlus 7 is only able to stream Netflix at "HD" resolution — that's below the full 1440p resolution of its beautiful display, after all. But if you decide to unlock the bootloader for future root/ROM adventures, then you'll have to make do with just non-HD 480p Netflix streams.
$1,000 flagship phones are an unfortunate reality in today's market, but there are plenty of options out there with most of the performance at a fraction of the price. One of the newest entrants to this game has been Xiaomi's Pocophone F1, which offers flagship-level specs at just $300. In case the low, low price wasn't incentive enough to pick one up, the Poco team will be adding a bunch of features and fixes in the coming weeks.