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The Razer Phone secretly had a Netflix HDR-ready screen (hands-on)

It'll be the first phone to do Netflix in HDR and with Dolby 5.1 surround sound, starting next month.

razer-phone-hdr-netflix
What's HDR video? Read this.
Sean Hollister/CNET

When I reviewed the Razer Phone, I was surprised how deep the screen's blacks could go -- great for nighttime reading, I wrote, about a month ago.

Now I know why the screen can get so dim on command. It's because the Razer Phone was secretly designed to play HDR video. For instance: Netflix. 

Here at CES 2018 in Las Vegas, Razer and Netflix have announced that the phone will be the first phone to play Netflix in HDR, and with Dolby 5.1 surround sound, too -- lest you forget that the Razer Phone is a Dolby-certified device with crazy-loud speakers. The new ability will arrive in an over-the-air software update next month. 

But we knew Dolby was a part of the Razer Phone from day one. There was no mention of HDR in the company's original Razer Phone press release.

And if Razer's Project Linda turn-your-phone-into-a-laptop-dock concept is any indication, HDR isn't the only hidden power Razer might bring to its phones in the future.

razer-phone-hdr-netflix-2
Sean Hollister/CNET

Unfortunately, on the CES show floor, it was pretty hard to get a good idea of how potent HDR and virtualized Dolby 5.1 surround might be on a phone. I definitely saw some flashes of color pop out of the dark background while watching an HDR-enabled trailer for Netflix's Bright, but we'll really need to test in a dark, quiet room after we fly home.