Phones with the highest screen refresh rates, and the Android games to match

Phones with the highest screen refresh rates, and the Android games to match
We bet you've never given the refresh rate of your smartphone display a second thought until the OnePlus 7 Pro came about. The up-and-coming phone maker managed to create a thing of contrasts. 

On one hand, it can hit a 50% higher refresh rate than most phones which is a welcome feat for smoother animations, scrolling and so on. On the other, it manages much worse flicker rates than other phones with OLED displays at lower brightness levels which can be tiring for sensitive eyes

Thankfully, the OnePlus 7 Pro is not the only game in town, however, when it comes to phones with high display refresh rates, contrary to what the company's marketing department would like you to believe. We hope that this list will only be growing over time, but, for now, here are all the phones with high screen refresh rates that have hit the shelves so far, in an order of appearance.

Sharp SH-01 (2015) to Aquos R3 (2019)

Yep, thanks to its unique IGZO display technology, Sharp was doing cool things with "all-screen" designs and 120 Hz screen refresh rates before it was cool. The inconspicuously named SH-01 was part of the winter crop in 2015 and it was perhaps the first phone to sport a display with such a high refresh rate. Sharp continues to churn out phones with 120Hz displays to this day, and has the highest number of such puppies in its portfolio, with the latest being the crazy dual notch R3. Animations, touch response, scrolling - it was all made better circa 2016.

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Razer (2017) and Razer 2 (2018)

Unfortunately, Sharp's phones are barely present outside of Japan, that is why the first Razer phone made such a splash with the 120Hz number when it landed back in 2017 as a gamer's dream. Just for giggle, we have to mention that Razer takes advantage of Sharp's IGZO screen technology as well. 

Serious gaming on a phone is an oxymoron, though, and there's barely anything out there that can take advantage of the higher refresh rate, not to mention what a battery killer the display turned out to be, yet the Razers started a veritable "game phone" trend.

Asus ROG

What's a Republic of Gamers franchise without its own phone? Shortly after Razer outed its second gaming phone, Asus chimed in with the ROG phone. Granted, its OLED display goes up to 90Hz refresh, as opposed to the 120Hz of the Razer's IGZO panel, but the cool logo on the back makes up for it. The best part? It comes with its own controller, trigger buttons and all, as well as a bunch of other dedicated cool accessories.

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Nubia Red Magic 3

ZTE's sub-brand Nubia is where the company does all of its experimenting with bracelet phones and the like, that is why it came to little surprise that it also launched a gaming line dubbed Red Magic. It's the third edition of that series that counts, as it comes with Snapdragon 855 chipset, 90Hz display, and... a real cooling fan. Take that, Razer!

What's more, you can also now get it stateside. The Red Magic 3 is now available for purchase in the United States for less than $500. Nubia announced that the 8GB/128GB model costs $480, while the 12GB/256GB variant can be had for $600, directly from the company's online store. Oh, it also has the largest battery of them all game phones, at 5000 mAh.

OnePlus 7 Pro 

OnePlus 7 Pro vs Galaxy S10+

This one needs little introduction as it is available on T-Mobile in the US, and about the only thing left is to list where exactly you can take advantage of the 90Hz display. Not in videos, of course, as then the phone automatically reverts to the orthodox 60Hz to save on battery. 

In the interface and while scrolling in the browser or apps, however, you have the power of 90Hz turned on by default. Games? Since the OnePlus 7 Pro defaults to 60Hz when it enters game mode to save on battery, you have to get out and manually switch the refresh rate back to 90Hz. Check out a non-exhaustive list below.

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Android games with 90/120 Hz screen refresh rate support for OnePlus, Razer, ROG and Red Magic phones

1. Pokemon Go - yep, catch'em all with one smooth motion
2. Alto’s Adventure - one of the most popular endless runners
3. Final Fantasy Brave Exvius - RPG from the FF franchise
4. Hill Climb Racing 2 - another crazy popular racer
5. Pac-Man - the classic has been updated for high refresh rates
6. Warfair - a great strategy game
7. Modern Combat Versus - fast-paced FPS needs the megahertz boost
8. Ballz - a fun time-waster, this puzzle game is made smooth as silk
9. Dragalia Lost - action RPG with a whiff of GoT dragon mania
10. Vainglory - again, little introduction is needed for this MOBA

Bonus: Asus ROG 2

Shortly after the second Razer phone, Asus came about with its inevitable Republic of Gamers handset. The Asus ROG, however, doesn't support a 120Hz refresh rate. Its successor, though, the ROG 2 that is supposed to be unveiled next month, will almost certainly do, judging from the Asus teaser below.

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