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10 Best 90Hz and 120Hz Display Refresh Rate Phones To Buy In 2020

Thanks to OnePlus, 90Hz displays became a popular word amongst smartphone enthusiasts in 2019. High refresh rate monitors have been around for ages, but it’s only for the last couple of years that the tech has successfully transitioned to phones. (हिंदी में पढ़िए)

While most of us talk about the screen’s resolution, colors, PPI, and type, we never consider the display refresh rate a priority. Well, that has now changed and high refresh rate screens are now in demand.

Before we list phones with 90Hz or 120Hz refresh rate displays, let’s talk about what’s refresh rate and how much of a practical impact it makes at the user end.

What is Refresh Rate (Hz)? Is it the same as FPS?

The term refresh rate, in layman terms, is the count of how many times the screen refreshes its image in one second. It is basically measured in Hz. At present, most smartphone displays have a 60Hz refresh rate, or in other words, even if you are viewing a static image, your display is redrawing the same picture or is pushing the same frame 60 times every second.

At times people tend to get confused between higher refresh rates and higher frame rates (Hz vs FPS). FPS is the count of how many frames are being pushed to the display every second. FPS is related to the content you run on the screen, which might be a video or a game.

So, ideally, if your video has been shot and packaged at 90 frames per second (FPS) and your display has a 90Hz refresh rate, your phone will be able to push all frames.

Similarly, you can play games or videos at 90fps on 90Hz refresh rate panel but not on a display with a lower, say 60Hz, refresh rate.

If you feed 60fps content to a 90Hz screen, the display will either switch to 60Hz or duplicate some frames.

What does a higher refresh rate screen feel like? The impact is subtle yet noticeable and, we’d say, quite addictive. If you are scrolling in App drawer, in your browser, settings menu, or your social media feed, your content will flow up and down smoothly with less friction. Kind of like the difference you’d feel between pushing an ice slab and a wooden slab on a marble floor. Similarly, animations are smoother too.

Higher Refresh Rate displays: Advantages and Disadvantages

Pros

  • Noticeably smoother scrolling and animations
  • Less eye fatigue

Cons

  • Consume more battery

Limitations 

Not much content is available to take advantage of 90Hz, so most videos and games push only 60 frames per second. This is also why most high refresh rate phones are programmed to dial down to 60Hz refresh rate when you are watching videos.

Difference Between Touch Refresh Rate and Display Refresh Rate

Touch Refresh Rate means the speed at which the screen can register your touch and respond by starting to render the next frame in an animation.

If the touch refresh rate and the display refresh rate are both clocked at 60Hz, it means the tracking and refreshing coincide, and the animations are rendered one interval later.

However, say, if the touch refresh rate is 120Hz and the display refresh rate is 60Hz, animations will still be snappier and smoother, and your screen would still appear to be more responsive, but the overall experience won’t match the fluidity of having a 120Hz refresh rate screen.

The iPhone Xs and Xs Max, for instance, have a 120Hz touch refresh rate, and the new iPad Pro 2018 has a 120Hz display refresh rate.

Best Phones with higher refresh rates – 90Hz or 120Hz

1. Samsung Galaxy S20, S20+ & S20 Ultra

Samsung is one of the champions of Smartphone displays manufacturing. Therefore, it was matter of time when Samsung decides to offer high refresh screen on phones. With the Galaxy S20 series launch, it has become a reality.

The Galaxy S20, Galaxy S20+ and Galaxy S20 Ultra all dope Dynamic AMOLED Infinity-O Displays with up to 120Hz refresh rate. While they natively support Quad HD+ resolution, Samsung has restricted 120Hz refresh rate option to FHD+ resolution only. In terms of hardware, these phones are specs beasts rocking Snapdragon 865 SoC /Exynos 990 SoC, upto 16GB LPDDR5 RAM and 512GB of UFS 3.0 storage.

2. Asus ROG Phone 2

Asus upped the ante with the ROG Phone 2 (review) as it is the first phone with a 120Hz AMOLED display as well as Snapdragon 855 Plus chipset. Speaking of the display, it’s a 6.59-inch Full HD+ screen that’s protected by Gorilla Glass 6. It sports an optical under-display fingerprint scanner, DCI-P3 color scale, HDR10 and SDR to HDR upscaling.

Best 90Hz and 120Hz display phones

The phone is powered by a beefy 6000mAh battery with 30W fast charging support. The heavy lifting is backed by up to 12GB LPDDR4x RAM and 512GB of UFS 3.0 storage. The cameras include a 48MP plus 13MP duo at back and a 24MP front camera.

2. OnePlus 7T Pro and OnePlus 7 Pro

The OnePlus 7 Pro (review) can be accredited with making high display refresh rate on phones mainstream, and naturally, the new OnePlus 7T Pro has the same slick screen.

The OnePlus 7T Pro has almost the same hardware as the OnePlus 7 Pro, but it gets the more powerful Snapdragon 855 Plus chipset and improved Warp 30T charging.

3. OnePlus 7T

OnePlus has also passed down the high refresh rate screen to the 7T. The 7T (review) is a more affordable alternative to the 7 Pro that offers a similar experience.

Apart from the high-quality AMOLED screen, the OnePlus 7T powered by Snapdragon 855 Plus chipset paired with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage, has extremely fast 30W Warp charging and is the first phone to run the latest Android 10 out of the box.

4. Realme X2 Pro

Realme X2 Pro (review) has been very well received globally and earlier this November it touched Indian shores. Realme’s first flagship smartphone packs really aggressively specced hardware.

Realme X2 Pro

The phone rocks a 90Hz FHD+ AMOLED Screen along with Snapdragon 855+ chipset and up to 256GB UFS 3.0 storage. The phone has built-in 4000 batteries which support 65W Super VOOC charging. The result is it only takes about 30 minutes to go zero to a  hundred.

5. Poco X2

The recent launch of Poco X2 (review) spices up the things in under Rs 20,000 segment. The Poco X2 becomes the first smartphone in its category to offer a 120Hz refresh rate screen. The 6.67-inch IPS display supports full HD+ resolution. HDR10 support is also present on the device. While the X2 display specs look staller, we found overall brightness a tag underwhelming.

The X2 is powered by Snapdragon 730G which is the same as the Redmi K30 launched in China and Europe last year. Other highlights of Poco X2 are 4,500mAh battery and bundled 27W fast charger.

6. Realme 6 Pro and Realme 6

Realme’s 6-series phones trade AMOLED display for 90Hz IPS LCD panel. Both the Realme 6 (review) and Realme 6 Pro (review) are driven by powerful chipsets, employ 64MP primary cameras, have side-mounted fingerprint sensors, and run Android-10 based Realme UI.

The Pro variant is the more premium of the two and offers a few extras like better camera sensor, option to choose between color profiles, better audio, NavIC support, and glass back. 

7. Nubia Red Magic 3S

ZTE backed smartphone manufacturer Nubia recently launched its gaming phone Red Magic 3 which also bolsters a 90Hz AMOLED screen.

This aggressively specced phone comes with a copper cooling tube to keep the temperature under check even after prolong intense gaming sessions. Nubia has powered its gaming phone with Snapdragon 855+ chipset, coupled with up to 12GB of RAM and up to 256GB of UFS 2.1 storage. It is aided by a 5000mAh battery with 27W fast charging.

8. Xiaomi Mi 10 / 10  Pro 5G

The Mi 10 Pro also dashes into the limelight with its aggressive specs. Xiaomi’s 2020 flagships – Mi 10 5G and Mi 10 Pro 5G smartphones houses a 6.67-inch 90Hz AMOLED display running on full HD+ resolution. Xiaomi even pushed the touch sampling rate 180Hz which is still less than the Galaxy S20 series and ROG Phone 2.

The Mi 10 5G, which is now available in India, has four rear cameras including 108MP sensor, supports dual Mode 5G, runs Android 10-based software, and has a 4500mAh battery with 30W fast charging support.  

9. Realme X50 Pro 5G

Realme X50 Pro 5G Review

The Realme X50 Pro 5G became the first phone to come with fifth-generation network capabilities in India. The Realme 5G phone packs top tier hardware including a 90Hz refresh rate. Realme ships it with a 6.44-inch full-HD+ 2400×Super AMOLED display with HDR 10 support.
 

The Realme X50 Pro (review) also X50 is aided by Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 chipset coupled with 12GB LPDDR5 RAM and 256GB internal storage. It is packed with a 4200mAh battery with 65W SuperDart charge. Other prominent feature of the X50 Pro includes a 64MP sensor led quad-rear camera, 32Mp selfie camera and X50Modem for 5G connectivity support. 

ALSO READ: List of Best Snapdragon 865 Phones to buy in 2020

10. Razer Phone 2

Following the footsteps of the original Razer Phone, its successor Razer Phone 2 also comes with a 5.7-inch 2K LCD screen with a 16:9 aspect ratio and 120Hz refresh rate.

What it means is that, theoretically, it is more fluid and smoother than the OnePlus 7 Pro. Another good thing about the Razer phone is that you can actually experience games with up to 120fps (LCD). Apart from this, it packs the same hardware as any other Android flagship in 2019.

Other Mentions

Google Pixel 4

Google Pixel 4 XL preview

While the Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ (review) and iPhone 11 Pro Max skipped the 90Hz display, Google might stand out for wielding one. Google has equipped its Pixel 4 with a 5.7-inch FHD+ screen and the XL variants with a 6.3-inch QHD+ panel. Both these displays support a 90Hz refresh rate. But contrary to 2019 trends, the purported Smooth Display would be engulfed by bold bezels. While these phones are globally available, Google won’t be bringing them to India due to regulatory constraints.

ALSO READ: Here’s why Google Pixel 4 series is not coming to India

Sharp Aquos Zero2

The Japanese brand, Sharp, was perhaps the first to embrace high refresh rate screens. It’s also the first to bring a 240Hz refresh rate display to market with the Aquos Zero2. There’s a catch though. Sharp achieves the famed 240Hz refresh rate by adding a black screen between each frame.

The Aquos Zero2 has a 6-inch curved AMOLED display and is loaded with flagship-grade hardware, yet weighs just 143 grams. That’s because it employs a paltry 3130mAh battery. Other highlights include in-display fingerprint reader, Snapdragon 855 octa-core chipset, 8GB LPDDR4x RAM, 256GB storage, and water and dust resistant body.

Nubia Red Magic 5G

Red Magic 5G is a phone that features 144Hz refresh rate screen.

Best higher refresh rates display phones in 2020

At present, there are only a handful of phones are equipped with a display that is capable of handling more than 60Hz of refresh rate. In 2020, we expect higher refresh rates screen to become a common phenomenon at least in flagship phones.

Here’s the list of all 90Hz display or 120Hz display phones available in 2020

List of phones with higher refresh rate display
Samsung Galaxy S20/S20+/ S20 Ultra
Asus ROG Phone 2
OnePlus 7T Pro
OnePlus 7T
Realme X2 Pro
Realme 6/ Realme 6 Pro
Nubia Red Magic 3s
Xiaomi Mi 10 / Mi 10 Pro
Realme X50 Pro
Razer Phone 2



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