In addition to becoming one of the best phones of 2019, the OnePlus 7 Pro that we analyzed at the time was the smartphone in charge of introducing a higher screen refresh rate in the first line of high-end smartphones of the past year, thus popularizing this concept that, until now, seemed to be exclusive to the well-known "gamers phones".
Models like the Razer Phone – in its two generations – Sharp Aquos R3, ASUS ROG Phone or the Red Magic 3 of Nubia were among the first terminals they saw how the frequency of updating your screens multiplied with respect to the 60 Hz to which we were accustomed.
Now the screens with high refresh rate They seem to be one of the leading trends in the telephone sector in 2020. We have already seen them in mobiles such as the Google Pixel 4, the Samsung Galaxy S20 or the Xiaomi Mi 10, among many others that are yet to come. But, What does this technology really bring?
Screen refresh rate: what it is and how to know your mobile's
As the name suggests, the term "refresh rate" refers to the speed with which the screen content is updated. This speed is measured in images per second, so that the unit of measurement used to determine the refresh rate of a panel is Hertz –Hz–.
With this in mind, it is easy to deduce that, the higher the refresh rate of a screen, the greater the "fluidity" with which the animations and movements that appear on it are displayed, as the time between each update will be significantly reduced – However, this also entails some disadvantages that we will address later. In the video under these lines the difference can be seen more clearly.
At present, the great majority of the screens of televisions, smartphones and monitors is 60 Hz. It is in this last category, however, that panels that reach refresh rates of up to 144 Hz have proliferated to a greater extent, thanks especially to the sector of the gaming. In the end, We all want to enjoy as smooth as possible when playing our favorite titles.
With the rise of mobile games, manufacturers saw an interesting way to uncheck the rest by integrating screens with higher refresh rates in their new terminals. As were born devices such as the aforementioned Razer Phone, ASUS ROG Phone or Nubia Red Magic 3, mainly intended for a public who use the mobile to play above all.
However, smartphones such as the OnePlus 7 Pro, the Pixel 4 or the Galaxy S20 series models, or tablets such as the latest generations of iPad Pro and its Pro Motion technology, have implemented panels with refresh rates of 90 or 120 Hz respectively, despite not being focused on gaming As it happens with the devices mentioned above. It turns out that not only the ms gamers They seek the greatest smoothness when interacting with the screen.
And really, noticeable. Our experience with the OnePlus 7 Pro and Pixel 4 display has been excellent, and the combination of the Quad HD + resolution with the 90 Hz refresh rate is very much to blame. And the difference is even more evident in terminals like the Razer Phone, because the increase in the speed of refreshment of the screen is double, and the fluidity is simply incomparable.
Check the refresh rate of your mobile screen
OnePlus 7 Pro – 90 Hz refresh rate
Pixel 3rd XL, 90 Hz refresh rate
Leaving aside the fact that if your cell phone had a screen at 90 or 120 Hz long ago you would have noticed, it is necessary to comment that you can check the refresh rate of a smartphone panel easily. To do this, you just have to resort to one of the many apps that allow you to see the information about the mobile components and go to the section corresponding to the screen.
What advantages and disadvantages does a higher refresh rate provide?
Having already seen what it means to have a higher screen refresh rate, one of the main advantages of this concept is clear: fluidity and softness of the animations are clearly superior to those of a screen with a lower refresh rate. This, in addition, to be notable in the majority of actions that we carry out with the mobile throughout the day, from doing scroll in any application or web page, until moving through the system interface or the apps installed on the mobile.
Of course, in turn, other advantages arise. Some that you might not have imagined. As the team of experts in DisplayMate screens, since some people exhibit problems such as eye and eye fatigue, or even headache due to the flickering of smartphone screens, a higher refresh rate, and therefore a smaller blink, you can Reduce or completely eliminate these inconveniences.
Now, that the screen increases the refresh rate by 50% – in the case of a panel at 90 Hz – or up to 100% – if we talk about a screen at 120 Hz -, It also translates into higher energy consumption, which will be translated into lower autonomy – Hence, not many manufacturers have dared to introduce this feature in their terminals. And so we could see for ourselves when trying the OnePlus 7 Pro
The higher energy consumption is one of the reasons why only some manufacturers have decided to introduce screens with refresh rates higher than 60 Hz in their phones.
You also have to keep in mind that not all content is ready to be displayed at 120 Hz. After the arrival of the Razer Phone in 2018, a good number of games had to be updated to support this peculiarity on the terminal screen, and yet, firms like OnePlus have confirmed that sometimes it does not make much sense to maintain the rate of screen update as often as possible, for example when playing videos or while using the camera application. For this, the vast majority of devices whose screens exceed 60 Hz, they have variable refresh rates that allow the frequency to be modified automatically depending on the content.
In short, seeing that only the highest energy consumption is a difficult problem to solve for manufacturers, It is not surprising that, from this year, we will see more and more smartphones whose refresh rates cross the 60 Hz barrier. It is possible that even within not too much, the 144 Hz cease to be characteristic of the monitors gaming and they end up making their way through the devices that we all carry in our pocket.
Refresh rate vs. sample rate, how are they different?
In recent months, some of the manufacturers that have presented devices whose screen exceeds the 60 Hz screen refreshment barrier, have also referred to the panel sampling rate. This is the case of the Samsung Galaxy S20 and S20 Ultra whose panel at 120 Hz, also has a 240 Hz touch sampling rate. What does that mean?
If before we commented that the refresh rate refers to number of times the panel updates its image in a second, the sampling frequency, also measured in Hertz refers to the number of times the screen tracks the touch input. Thus, the higher the frequency value, lower be the touch latency or input lag, and greater the feeling of fluidity and lightness of the movements.
Mobile with high screen refresh rate you can buy
More and more are the Android phones from various brands that integrate screens with a high refresh rate. Below, we list some of the models that can already be purchased.