Samsung and Apple can't keep up with OnePlus

This article may contain personal views and opinion from the author.
Samsung and Apple can't keep up with OnePlus
The OnePlus 7 Pro is a great phone all around, but the area where it truly shines is speed: use it for just a short while, and you will notice that this phone sets a new standard for performance and fluidity. This is due to OnePlus focusing on two fundamental areas of the smartphone experience: the first one is meticulous software optimization that gets rid of every millisecond of lag, and the second one is the implementation of a brand new type of display on a non-gaming mainstream phone, one that refreshes 90 times per second, much more often than all other flagship phones that refresh at a rate of 60 times per second.

So... while the newest upcoming iPhones and Samsung Galaxy phones do not yet have this 90-hertz display technology, they should surely have this coming in their next flagship phones, right?

They should... but they most likely will not.

Reputable Samsung leakers say that the Galaxy Note 10 will NOT have a 90-hertz display, and Apple is also not currently expected to implement a 90-hertz display in its newest iPhones.

So... how is it that probably the most impactful new phone technology of 2019 will not make its way to the most advanced phones made by the biggest companies out there? And should we just now all agree that Samsung and Apple just can't keep up with OnePlus?

If Samsung and Apple indeed fail to implement a 90-hertz display in their forthcoming phones, then clearly, yes, the only logical assumption would be that... they just can't keep up.

But why are they behind? Why are the two companies that depend so much on their phone sales will not implement the hottest available technology and leave a Chinese company run away with the title of the fastest smartphone around?

I do not know the exact answer to this why question, but I have a very good guess and it comes from an interview dating back a few years ago, that one of the creators of the iPod and iPhone, Mr. Tony Fadell gave:


That is important: OnePlus sells a few million of its smartphones per year at best, while Apple and Samsung could sell a few million over a weekend, so scale is something that gives OnePlus an unexpected advantage and a pass to innovate.


All these comments were made in regards to Essential, the start-up company by Android creator Andy Rubin, but they do apply to the current situation with OnePlus as well.

All about scale

Underdogs can deliver technologies that Apple and Samsung cannot


The millions of iPhones that Apple has to sell are great for the company's financials, but they also mean that futuristic technologies that are available on a smaller scale will simply not come to an iPhone. And Samsung is in a similar position with its Galaxy S and Note series too. Well, at least not until a given supplier is able to ship the required millions of units in very little time.

Meanwhile, a few gaming phones already support 120-Hertz displays that appear buttery smooth too, and new ones are coming soon. It must be embarrassing for the two largest flagship phone makers in the world to not be able to catch up with those smaller newcomers, especially considering that Samsung and Apple charge a lot more for their devices. Remembering that Apple charges as much as OnePlus 7 Pro for a phone with a much lower, 750p resolution with giant bezels in the form of the iPhone XR makes things even more aggravating.

But on the flipside, this also does show that in this fiercely competitive industry there is still room for innovation and improvement, and you do have a chance to beat the industry behemoths even as an underdog.

Related phones

7 Pro
  • Display 6.7" 1440 x 3120 pixels
  • Camera 48 MP / 16 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Octa-core, 2840 MHz
  • Storage 128 GB
  • Battery 4000 mAh(34h talk time)

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48 Comments

1. OneLove123

Posts: 1152; Member since: Aug 28, 2018

Samsung does not depend on phone sales like Apple. You need to get rid of that line.

6. oldskool50 unregistered

They know that already. They just like to act purposely stupid to the facts. Of course because its Samsung, they go at them way harder than Apple. Samsung Electronics as a whole, is the largest and most profitable wing of Samsung LTD. They are the largest supplier of consumer products in the world. Amazon is probably the only company that ships more product, but none branded as Amazon. Samsung makes most of its money in components and electronics. Samsung can stop selling phones right now and would be find and it would only cause a slight blow to South Korea's economy. And being smaller does not me you will be better at innovating. It just means you only have one phone to concentrate on. Samsung even with having so many models have ALL, even cheap ones; brought innovative features others have never had because they are waiting for such to be natively supported in Android.

10. superguy

Posts: 462; Member since: Jul 15, 2011

True. Go to Korea and you can see Samsung's hand in everything. Insurance, construction, real estate - the list goes on. If people think big business controls stuff here in the US - look at Korea and its chaebols. Samsung, LG, and Hyundai are the big 3, with the top 5 making up over half of Korea's stock index (Bloomberg). And unlike here, they're usually family controlled.

26. oldskool50 unregistered

The problem here is simple. Every company who makes phones, always get a one up on everyone else. Motorola had the coolest flip phone, were one of the biggest brands to offer FPS on their phone. Apple brought full multi-touch displays, Samsung brought the best displays, ram, internal storage and more. Samsung has been making phones for a long time and is the only OEM who has sold more phones than Nokia. This is something even Apple has not done yet. Samsung has a lot of competition. Phones, batteries, chip fabrication, displays, modems, ram, storage, computers, appliances and more. They are nebver gonna have all their eggs in one basket. EVER!!!!

33. mackan84

Posts: 536; Member since: Feb 13, 2014

Who gives a s**t? They’re both corporation that lures us into thinking we need that next feature in our little phone even tho the one you had for 2-3 years is exactly as good for what you do with it. Stop acting like these are sports teams and one need to be the winner. Both have already won so what is there to talk about?

52. buccob

Posts: 2971; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

If OnePlus made a flagship device, with the size of the S10e I would get it in a heartbeat

2. notfair

Posts: 753; Member since: Jan 30, 2017

that 90hz screen is eatin battery for no reason, meaning, why do we need such a high pooling?

22. Cicero

Posts: 1136; Member since: Jan 22, 2014

This is like the need of UHD or FHD screen resolution. At the end the FHD won. So ut is with 60Hz against 90Hz screen refresh rate. It"s better but 60Hz will stay for beeing enough, better battery, small cost and so on.

44. TheOracle1

Posts: 2324; Member since: May 04, 2015

This 90hz circle jerk is over blown. It may be nice to look at and use but it's absolutely not necessary. Kinda like a stripper.

29. Mike88

Posts: 435; Member since: Mar 05, 2019

And don't forget the eye strain issue on one plus 7,,

36. RonanDjinn

Posts: 7; Member since: May 23, 2017

No reason? Loool. You can force it on all apps and it makes a difference. Or turn it off.

3. User123456789

Posts: 987; Member since: Feb 22, 2019

PA keeps saying like OP7 Pro is the only non-gaming with more than 60Hz. Many have passed this years ago ....

4. Rampage_Taco

Posts: 1070; Member since: Jan 17, 2017

1. Neither phone needs a 90hz refresh, except when playing games and watching videos, otherwise it's just exra consumption for the battery 2. For the average consumer (Apple and Samsung's demographic) the 90hz isn't a deal breaker, they want other features the phones offer 3. As with most Companies, as they get larger they also grow in complacency and until they are hurt by their own decisions, it won't change

8. superguy

Posts: 462; Member since: Jul 15, 2011

To number 3 - or until someone brings some real competition and gets them off their butts and moving again. Intel is a prime example of this. Some of their best products have come from a healthy and innovative AMD knocking their blocks off. When AMD is behind and struggling, Intel's pace slows down considerably and they milk what they can from a slower pace. Both Samsung and Apple are comfortable with the slow, iterative pace. Until some company comes and really shakes them up, they're going to continue sitting on their behinds and milking these slow, iterative upgrades.

35. Knownhost

Posts: 107; Member since: Nov 13, 2017

True. Samsung abandoned the J series and replaced it with the much more modern A series with better specs. The Chinese brands were outclassing them by a wide margin, so they stepped it up.

11. DFranch

Posts: 551; Member since: Apr 20, 2012

I'm pretty sure the OP 7 Pro does not use 90hz when playing a video.

16. Boast_Rider

Posts: 535; Member since: Sep 14, 2017

Why would you need 90Hz for watching videos? Most of your videos are in either 24 or 30 fps, and higher refresh rate would do nothing for it. In my experience, the biggest advantage of a higher refresh rate display is when you scroll, pan or move stuff on screen. Even simple swipes and pop-ups are so much smoother. Try to experience a 144Hz monitor for once, you'll never want to go back to 60Hz.

20. Rampage_Taco

Posts: 1070; Member since: Jan 17, 2017

Why would you need 90Hz for video? The same reason you can buy TVs with up to 240Hz refresh rate. It helps reduce motion blur in the video to make it look a little cleaner than the standard 60Hz

25. zunaidahmed

Posts: 1184; Member since: Dec 24, 2011

That’s called interpolation, the “soap opera” effect, and it isn’t always a good thing, not to mention that videos will still only refresh at 24Fps or 30Fps, interpolation also needs software support or processing which most video players don’t have

5. shield

Posts: 851; Member since: Sep 12, 2015

Red Magic 3 from ZTE 90Hz Asus RoG 90Hz But Only Razer with 120Hz!

9. User123456789

Posts: 987; Member since: Feb 22, 2019

Almost all Xperia since 2016 have 120Hz, also many from Sharp.

14. Predict

Posts: 19; Member since: Apr 11, 2017

The OnePlus screen is much better than what you mentioned, its a OLED 2K with no bezels...the Razer, Asus and ZTE are s**t screens compared to it...

17. Boast_Rider

Posts: 535; Member since: Sep 14, 2017

Red magic 3 and ROG phone are 1080p and much lower quality than OP7 pro. The Razer one is 1440p, but it's an LCD. OP7 pro is the first OLED display to hit 1440p and 90Hz. On top of it, it maintains excellent color accuracy, brightness and panel quality. It's a one-of-a-kind display.

30. User123456789

Posts: 987; Member since: Feb 22, 2019

Xperia 1 has 120Hz

34. Larry_ThaGr81

Posts: 592; Member since: May 26, 2011

So what does that make the Sony Xperia 1 with its 1644p @120Hz?

7. superguy

Posts: 462; Member since: Jul 15, 2011

Some good points so far. I'd also add that most people really only know Samsung and Apple, and to a lesser degree LG because of their other products like TVs. Motorola used to be rockin' but most have forgotten about them too. Nobody really bothers to look at other phones, so Samsung and Apple will put out whatever and most will assume that those are the best that are available at a given time. As long as what they put out is better than the previous model somehow, people will still buy them. I think most people only wake up to other brands when they're looking at the budget to mid-range phones and see there are more options - especially as many of these devices are sold unlocked.

12. slvnofrr

Posts: 18; Member since: Aug 27, 2015

When you realise that display is made by Samsung, so why you think they can't make for their own phone if they want.

31. User123456789

Posts: 987; Member since: Feb 22, 2019

1) maybe it was not ready early enough for s10 series. OP was announced in May, while s10 was before MWC. 2) Samsung Display is going to sell their stuff, Samsung Mobile cant keep them from it until they decide to use.

13. willk

Posts: 24; Member since: Jun 12, 2015

I have mine set at 90 hertz yet my battery lasts longer than the one on my Note 9.

24. Cicero

Posts: 1136; Member since: Jan 22, 2014

That's because OP7pro will use 90Hz only on some tasks. Most of the time it stays on 60Hz.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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