How to Identify the Best Video Format for Android Devices

Best Video Format for Android Devices

Trying to identify the best video format for Android devices can be a little bit tricky. Aside from the fact that there are a lot of different video formats out there, the fact of the matter is that Android devices are just as varied and many use different versions of the mobile operating system.

But before you get ahead of yourself, you should first pinpoint what you should look for in the ‘best’ video format for Android devices:

  • Compatibility

It goes without saying that the video format needs to be compatible, otherwise it won’t be able to be watched. That means it must be supported in some way, and Android devices need to be able to decode the video.

  • Hardware support

The ‘best’ video format should preferably have hardware support as well. Simply put software decoders are processor intensive and requires a lot of power and on mobile devices that can result in a significant hit to your battery life – which you will want to avoid.

  • Compression

Formats (i.e. codecs) that are able to compress video files more efficiently and maintain their quality while reducing them to smaller file sizes are definitely preferred. They will let you enjoy the same quality of video while conserving valuable storage space.

While the criteria listed above should let you know what you need to look for in a format, trying to go over each and every video format out there is simply not feasible. Instead of that you should start with the more popular options.

Popular Video Formats for Android

Out of all the numerous video formats out there, there are a handful that are popular on Android devices:

  • MP4 with H.264

As the most popular format in general, MP4 with H.264 is supported natively by Android. On top of that most devices have hardware support for the format, making it one of the best formats to choose.

  • MP4 with HEVC (H.265)

In Android 5.0 onwards some support is included for HEVC (H.265) but only for lower resolution videos below certain specifications. Newer Android devices and flagship models have hardware support – but in general support is still far from widespread.

  • WebM with VP9

Seeing as it is a format developed by Google it should come as no surprise that Android supports VP9 decoding natively, and newer Android devices tend to have hardware support as well. However VP9 is not as popular as other formats, and its compatibility may vary between other platforms.

The bottom line is that if you want the ‘best’ format in general for Android devices, MP4 with H.264 is certainly it. It is also an easy format to convert to, and for example you could use Online Video Converter (

That being said if you want to optimize a video for specific Android devices then you can check for HEVC or VP9 support as both will be able to compress the video more efficiently. That will let you conserve storage space as well, by a significant margin.

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