Is it Worth Owning a 120 Hz Display Smartphone?

Author Alex Zhang 11.6.2020. | 14:27

There are pros and cons of owning a smartphone with a higher refresh rate. Is a higher resolution rate an important feature to have on your phone?

You might have heard of the new mania in the cellphone industry. Manufacturers are dipping their toes into making phones with higher refresh rates. You probably would be familiar with this term because this is used when we talk about televisions and laptops.

Famous phones in the market like the Razer Phone 2 and Asus Rog Phone 2 come with a 120Hz refresh rate display. Lots of people want higher refresh rates because it promises smoother display and is more visually appealing. 

What is refresh rate?

Before digging deeper into higher refresh rates let us understand the term. Simply put, refresh rate is the number of times the display of your phone refreshes while being used. 

Most people who prefer higher refresh rates are gamers. Games run smooth with a higher refresh rate and the graphics become quite impressive. Apart from improving the quality of games having a high refresh rate screen also promotes smooth navigation of the UI and makes the phone more responsive while scrolling.

What Is a 120Hz Display?

120 Hz display suggests that your phone will be able to refresh a single static image for 120 times every second. This boosts your overall viewing experience, as the refresh rate spikes every second. The refresh rate will be double the amount compared to smartphones most of you are using now.

Refresh rate Vs Frame rate

Now it is easy to get confused between refresh rate and frame rate. Frame rate is the rate at which frames are fed into the display of the smartphone created by the GPU. Refresh rate is meant for static images while frame rate is meant for videos. 

Refresh rate Vs Touch sample rate

There is also another metric called touch sample rate. This refers to the time the screen takes to respond to your touch. A higher touch sample rate corresponds to less lag between touch and response. This is another feature that is important for fast-paced games.


Is it worth having a 120 Hz display?

Higher refresh rate displays make videos look and feel smoother and faster. However, most content like swiping through mails, going through texts, interacting with a website UI doesn't require anything above 60Hz.

 Yet, one could argue that graphically intensive video content appear faster with higher refresh rate. High refresh rates not only give you the advantage of frictionless video but also a competitive edge while gaming.

But remember that on a smartphone, which unlike a desktop isn’t constantly plugged in, there are many more drawbacks.

Drawbacks:

  • The first one which makes people say no to high refresh rates is the high consumption of battery. Higher refresh rates require more processing power which leads to your battery draining faster.

  • The second factor is that there are not many compatible apps for high refresh rates. Not even high end mobile games have high refresh rates. Even the most elite ones stop at 30 or 60 Hz. 

  •  One more argument that can be put forward is the requirements for a higher refresh rate. The device would need the required specs and proper cooling.'


How to find your current refresh rate?

If you want to check the current refresh rate of your phone this is what you have to do. 

You would need to enable developer settings to access this feature.

  • First go to Settings and press "About phone."

  • Click "Build Number" seven times and enter your lock screen passcode.

  • Once this is done go back to settings again and select System.

  • Find advanced among the options displayed. This will take you to Developer Options.

  • Enable the "Show refresh rate" toggle. This will indicate the current number in the upper-left corner.  

Phones with 90/120 Hz display

Here are five phones with higher resolution rates in case you are looking for some:

Samsung Galaxy S20 5G – 120Hz display

The Samsung Galaxy S20 is a smartphone featuring a fast processor and 240Hz touch response. The phone, owing to its 120 Hz display feels smoother and lets you have a great video viewing experience. You can also easily toggle between 60Hz and 120Hz in the display settings menu. 

Asus ROG Phone 2 – 120Hz display

Though this phone falls in an expensive price range, the Asus ROG Phone 2 is a dream phone for gaming enthusiasts. You can use the Game Genie toolbar which can be accessed from within a game to help you configure the AirTriggers, live streaming on YouTube, Twitch, etc.  The phone comes in two variants one with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage; the latter version costs you more.

Google Pixel 4 XL – 90Hz display

Google's flagship phone comes in two different sizes, the 5.7-inch Pixel 4 and the 6.3-inch Pixel 4 XL. The latter has a significantly larger battery to match its bigger, higher-resolution screen. The 5.7 inches smaller Pixel 4 is the best for those who prefer compact handsets. 

OnePlus 7T – 90Hz display

OnePlus7T is a smart looking phone that packs a bunch of features. There are UI customization options which include system-wide themes, a dark mode, an optional search interface, fine-grained notification behaviour control, multiple icon packs, and several useful shortcut gestures. Though it is a pricey phone, it is powerful and fast.

Realme X50 Pro 5G – 90Hz displayRealme X50 Pro 5G is a good looking phone with rounded glass back and a semi-matte, frosty finish. It also has attractive specs and a smooth display. An impressive fact is that the phone has a 4200mAh battery which can charge at 65W. That means it takes less than 40 minutes for your phone to get fully charged.

Consider buying these phones from Chinavasion.

 

Should you consider getting a 120Hz display phone?

According to a weekly poll conducted by gsmarena, one in three people think that a 60Hz refresh rate is good enough for phones. Most believed that 90Hz should be the minimum for mid-rangers and flagships. However, there were equal number of supporters for 120 Hz display phones as well.

So it is safe to say that there is a demand for higher resolution rates in the market. 

If you are a gaming enthusiast who plays a ton of games on your phone in need of peak performance at all times, then you should probably consider a 90Hz or 120Hz phone. But make sure the games you play are actually compatible with a 90Hz/120 Hz display. 

To conclude, the apps we have available don't really call for the need of a smartphone with a 120 Hz display. A 60 Hz display would be good enough for those of you who use your phone for regular tasks like calling, texting, browsing or viewing videos.

Author Alex Zhang 11.6.2020. | 14:27
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