OnePlus was one of the first smartphone makers to offer phones with higher display refresh rates than the standard 60Hz. It has been followed by the likes of Asus and Google, and Samsung is expected to implement a high refresh rate display in the Galaxy S20. OnePlus has now confirmed its next smartphone will have an even smoother screen than the current OnePlus 7 generation. The OnePlus 8 will support a 120Hz refresh rate, and Co-founder Pete Lau posted a video demonstrating the advantage of such a display.
Resolution used to be the high-spec battleground for smartphones, but that’s increasingly unimportant as even budget phones now ship with 1080p displays. High refresh rates may be the most important display improvement we see in 2020. Most of the screens you stare at all day refresh at 60Hz, meaning 60 frame updates per second. The few exceptions include some PC gaming monitors, the iPad Pro, and phones like the Pixel 4 and OnePlus 7T. A high refresh rate makes movement look more fluid and realistic, but not most content doesn’t have support for high refresh rates. For example, most mobile games are locked at 60 frames per second.
OnePlus uses scrolling as an example of where you will see the advantages of 120Hz. The video on Twitter can’t fully recreate the experience of using a 120Hz display — after all, you’re probably looking at it on a screen with a much lower refresh rate. However, you can get a sense of how it will operate thanks to some slow-motion renders.
The OnePlus 120Hz Fluid Display: The smoothest, most effortless scrolling experience ever on a smartphone. pic.twitter.com/I4FWP64NfO
— Pete Lau (@PeteLau) January 15, 2020
The video shows how scrolling through an app causes slight stuttering on a device with a 60Hz display — it doesn’t matter how powerful that device is if the screen can only refresh 60 times per second, a problem PC gamers will find familiar. That’s why high-refresh technologies like G-Sync and FreeSync have proliferated throughout the high-end monitor market.
OnePlus always uses the latest-generation Qualcomm processors in its devices, so the OnePlus 8 will most likely have the new Snapdragon 865 when it launches in the coming months. That chip has a more powerful GPU that should have no trouble outputting 120 fps. It will also have the 5G modem that Qualcomm requires for all 865-based devices. OnePlus will probably announce the OnePlus 8 in the next month or two for a spring release.
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