Sadly, no always-on 120Hz refresh for the Galaxy S20, but that may be a good thing

Sadly, no always-on 120Hz refresh for the Galaxy S20, but that may be a good thing
We've been hearing that Samsung may double its flagship phone displays' refresh rate since last fall, when the option to switch between 60Hz and 120Hz was discovered in a hidden menu of the OneUI 2.0 beta update.

Since then, we've been on an emotional will-they-won't-they rollercoaster on the issue, especially when pertaining to the upcoming Galaxy S20 series flagships. Leaked firmware code tipped 120Hz for the Galaxy S20 displays indeed, but was subsequently dropped, at least as far as the full resolution of the displays was concerned.

Now, however, the leakster that stirred the most controversy on the matter, claiming 120Hz for all Samsung flagship phone fans, and then tipping that it may only apply at the virtual 1080p resolution that Samsung applies as default, seems to have made up their mind in the negative direction.

The Galaxy S20 series, it turns out, may have indeed ditched the option for 120Hz refresh at the full display resolution and left it for the default one that Samsung's high-end phones usually ship with out of the box, and the option switch may look like this.

Notice the warning about the negative impact on battery life from a screen constantly refreshing at 120Hz? Well, that might be one of the reasoning behind such a move by Samsung, even though the graphics subsystem still has to refresh the same physical number of pixels regardless of what the virtual resolution is. 

We'll see if this no-120Hz-at-full-resolution restriction pans out very soon, not that this is something that will bother the average user anyway. We ran a test and the uninitiated couldn't really tell the difference between 60Hz and 90Hz in regular usage though with 120Hz they might be a bit more pronounced.

Related phones

Galaxy S20 Ultra (S11+)
  • Display 6.9" 1440 x 3200 pixels
  • Camera 108 MP / 10 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 865, Octa-core, 2840 MHz
  • Storage 128GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 5000 mAh



1. Feanor

Posts: 1431; Member since: Jun 20, 2012

So many articles and such a buzz for a feature that 99% of people will not even be able to notice. If this is the headline feature of the next Samsung Galaxy flagship, then indeed we have reached a level where -other than flexible sceeens- technology has plateaued.

5. MsPooks

Posts: 310; Member since: Jul 08, 2019

It's the headline DISPLAY feature. But yes, it's getting way more articles than it deserves. I'm looking forward to camera features and whopper battery.

8. Well-Manicured-Man

Posts: 727; Member since: Jun 16, 2015

120Hz is noticeable. I use an iPad Pro and once you go back to a 60Hz screen, everything will feel slower and less fluent. I am sure every consumer will notice the difference once he has used 120Hz for a week.

12. Papa_Ji

Posts: 912; Member since: Jun 27, 2016

So, time has come to upgrade your boring and $**t phone.

15. avernon2000

Posts: 8; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Noticable yes. Noticable to the masses who are not buying thousand dollar cell phones any more. No

21. midan

Posts: 3228; Member since: Oct 09, 2017

"Noticable to the masses who are not buying thousand dollar cell phones any more. No" What you mean by this? People are buying more expensive phones than before, More people are investing more to their phones these days than before. It makes sense, these devices gets more personal and people use them more and more so they want to invest money to get very good experience from it.

25. avernon2000

Posts: 8; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Only 10 percent of buyers are buying $1000 cell phones in 2020. The mid range phones is where all the movement is. Are $1k cell phone being sold? Of course they are. Buy the mid range far out sells the premium. Just like ever other area of life. Cars, homes, food, tv etc. The midrange is where the volume is. As phones get more expensive and as more carriers are not subsidizing anymore. More and more people are keeping phones longer and buying less expensive phones. So this new premium screen will matter to a small segment of those in the market.

19. zenith22

Posts: 2; Member since: Jan 14, 2020

Obviously you've never used a phone with a HRR screen. I use a 144hz monitor with my Windows machine, and my OnePlus 7 Pro supplements that. 90hz is extremely noticable when compared to 60hz. People think high refresh rate is some tiny detail you have to force yourself to notice, when it actually improves on every action significantly. Scrolling is smoother, touching is more responsive, literally every single action is improved.

24. xocomaox

Posts: 208; Member since: Dec 14, 2015

Not every single action. For instance, playing a game that does not support it. However, the point remains: Higher refresh rate screens are definitely the way mobile phones should be moving towards. And being able to control this rate for battery life control is even more important.

28. avernon2000

Posts: 8; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

No i have not and most people haven't either. And most people dont care to either. Most people don't have OLED tvs either. The top level of anything is never the top seller. The midrange is where the volume is.

29. zenith22

Posts: 2; Member since: Jan 14, 2020

And how is a high refresh rate screen a high value part? Believe me, the screens will start showing up mid-range phones. In fact, high refresh rate lcds are common and cheap.

30. avernon2000

Posts: 8; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Of course the mid range will start getting these features. But midrange is about putting the minimum in while still giving the customer good performance. Midrange phone customers (the majority of buyers) dont rank refresh rate very high on the must have list. Some don't even have it on nice to have. Speed, battery and size are much more important to the masses.

2. ShadowSnypa786

Posts: 655; Member since: Jan 06, 2017

Im just going to turn it off and keep it at 60Hz and have the resolution at 1440p. That way I get the most out of the battery since tests have shown dropping resoution to 1080p from 1440p barely has any difference in battery life.

3. DBozz

Posts: 153; Member since: Sep 19, 2019

Otherway u can choose ur most favorite apps to run at 120hz... Thats wat Samsung is best at it tat to give freedom of making choices where every1else just lackin behind

13. Papa_Ji

Posts: 912; Member since: Jun 27, 2016

the main difference is in gpu load... not in battery drain

27. AlienKiss

Posts: 318; Member since: May 21, 2019

I've been using my phone in WQHD+ mode all the time, but for about 2 weeks now I've been using it in HD+ and let me tell you there's a BIG difference. The processor and the GPU are working 2 times less than before + the battery will last longer. Test it yourself. PS after lowering the resolution, play with the DPI density (from developer options) and the font size for a better experience. My setup : - HD+ 720x1480 - DPI 724 - font size 6 (of 8)

4. mohsin845

Posts: 50; Member since: Apr 05, 2014

Well Decided...

7. shield

Posts: 890; Member since: Sep 12, 2015

No 108MPx all S20 Series, no 120Hz, rly Samsung?

9. Sooraj2

Posts: 4; Member since: Jul 11, 2015

It should be adaptive. Dynamic 120 Hz 1440p for regular apps and ui and 120hz 1080p for games.

10. cmdacos

Posts: 4390; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

Pointless article for this gimmick

16. avernon2000

Posts: 8; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Is it better? Of course it is. Does matter to the majority of buyers? No it doesn't.

18. User123456789

Posts: 1354; Member since: Feb 22, 2019

Sharp has 240 Hz with less than 3300 mAh. How cannot other be able to manage?

20. gadgetpower

Posts: 295; Member since: Aug 23, 2019

And people will still opt for battery saving mode

22. Epicness1o1

Posts: 327; Member since: May 30, 2013

Wait the screen must support 144hz QHD if it can be fullhd 144hz and QHD resolution. But they will just turn it off ????

23. Cat97

Posts: 2024; Member since: Mar 02, 2017


26. GuaTech7

Posts: 6; Member since: Nov 08, 2018

I don't get it, based on the screenshots it says one option called "Best Display" and it says it uses the 120 Hz always so it doesn't match with the title of the article saying there isn't such option.

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