The OnePlus 8 Pro's 120Hz display tech could be revealed next week

The OnePlus 8 Pro's 120Hz display tech could be revealed next week
After announcing its first concept phone earlier this week at CES 2020 in Las Vegas, OnePlus has today sent out media invites to yet another gathering due to be held next Monday, January 13.

Your OnePlus 7 Pro's 90Hz screen is so 2019


The unexpected event is being held in China’s Shenzhen district and is entitled “OnePlus 2020 Screen Technology Communication Meeting.” The brand hasn’t yet revealed what it’s planning to announce on the day but, going by the name of the event, it’s safe to assume it probably has something to do with displays.

OnePlus became one of the first mainstream brands to adopt 90Hz screens on its phones last year with the debut of the OnePlus 7 Pro. Eight months on and the panels have now made their way over to Google’s Pixel lineup and should soon be featured on other flagships such as the Huawei P40 Pro.

But in an attempt to stay ahead of the competition, or at least keep up with Samsung and the Galaxy S20 series, OnePlus is reportedly going to debut an even smoother 120Hz screen on the OnePlus 8 Pro later this year.

This flagship isn’t expected to arrive until sometime in March, one month after the Galaxy S20. However, in the hope of retaining its current image of being an innovative brand, OnePlus may announce its upcoming display technology on Monday, four weeks before Samsung gets to show it off.

OnePlus is ditching its controversial pop-up camera system


The OnePlus 7 Pro was able to achieve that all-screen design thanks to a pop-up selfie camera system. The implementation was, however, rather controversial due to questions surrounding its long-term durability and it appears the China-based brand has succumb to the pressure from more traditional buyers.

Leaked CAD-based renders suggest the OnePlus 8 Pro will make use of punch-hole display technology, which means the selfie camera is going to be situated inside a small cut-out positioned in the top-left corner of the screen. Paired with this should be minimal bezels and curved edges, just like the OnePlus 7 Pro.

The rear of the next-gen flagship is arguably where things change the least because, for the fifth consecutive generation, the company is planning a vertical camera setup. However, several changes are reportedly planned in an attempt to better compete with rival flagships from Samsung, Huawei, and Apple. 

Specifics haven't been provided as of the time of writing, but it's believed an upgraded main camera is planned alongside a revised ultra-wide-angle shooter and a high-resolution telephoto alternative capable of 3x optical zoom.

Last but certainly not least should be a Time-of-Flight sensor. These are increasingly common on premium flagships and generally improve the accuracy of the background blur in portrait photos, although the sensor's can also benefit AR content.

The OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Lite won't feature 120Hz screens


Accompanying the OnePlus 8 Pro later this year will be the OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Lite. These phones will be considerably cheaper than their Pro counterpart and, as such, won't benefit from the 120Hz screens – the OnePlus 8 is expected to boast a 90hz display and the Lite model should settle for a 60Hz screen.

Design-wise, the OnePlus 8 will look a lot like the Pro-branded model, the only major difference being the slightly smaller 6.5-inch display and the lack of  a Time-of-Flight sensor on the back.

The OnePlus 8 Lite, on the other hand, should feature a flat display complete with a centered punch-hole. Additionally, the camera setup will sit in the top-left corner of the rear panel and house a downgraded triple-camera setup.

Related phones

8 Pro
  • Display 6.7"
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 865, Octa-core, 2840 MHz
  • Storage 128GB
  • Battery 4500 mAh

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13 Comments

1. Locked-n-Loaded

Posts: 114; Member since: Sep 13, 2019

Utterly pointless. And before you say something lamely cliche like, "choices are good" consider 1) it's a total battery killer 2) this will not change the experience with the phone in any meaningful way 3) most will have no idea how to turn it down so will just leave it on the default setting because the average person isn't a tech nerd 4) there is a ceiling effect on certain tech like this & 120 is over that ceiling. But glad this is what phone companies are enamored with. Batteries? Nah. 120hz refresh? Thank God! smh

4. splus

Posts: 174; Member since: Nov 26, 2011

Consider this: 1. You obviously don't like smoothness because battery because this excuse, because that excuse,.. 2. Manu people like smoothness because they like smoothness (and they're OK if batteries need to be bigger to make up for increased power usage). 3. Human eyes can perceive far faster than 120 Hz, so even 240 Hz in a phone screen makes very much sense. I'm looking forward to it in 2021.

5. Locked-n-Loaded

Posts: 114; Member since: Sep 13, 2019

LOL - I guess reading comprehension is not your strong suit you should re-read what I wrote I never said smoother scrolling was bad in fact I made it very clear to point out there is a ceiling affect. The ceiling effect as an absolute scientific fact. It's not important what the actual I can see just like it's not important how many colors the actual I can see when it comes to phone technology people don't care this deeply. They care up to a certain point and then it stopped mattering. This is a simple basic fact about technology and humans. You can make a phone that is a foot tall and a foot wide do you want it? It's possible. But does it make any sense in a phone? No

8. splus

Posts: 174; Member since: Nov 26, 2011

That's what I wrote - you got the ceiling wrong. 60 Hz isn't the ceiling, nor is 120 Hz. The refresh rate ceiling for human eye is upwards of 300 Hz. 120 Hz screens are just the beginning, and a very welcome beginning.

7. Skizzo

Posts: 436; Member since: Jul 14, 2013

Would have to agree with you to an extent. On a phone, we have to aim for the "golden zone" between discernible difference for the user, and overkill for the sake of "specs." Most of the spec overkills, while admittedly nice, are impacting the device negatively (ie. battery life, cost of device, heat, etc.) without much, or any discernible difference to the end user. Things like a 4K screen on a relatively tiny disply. Quad HD is already more than enough, and 1080p is arguably the "sweet spot." 90hz is a noticeable and welcome difference, but 120hz is certainly overkill.

9. splus

Posts: 174; Member since: Nov 26, 2011

Please read the review of the new 360 gaming monitors when compared to 240 Hz monitors. 360 Hz might be an overkill, but 120 Hz isn't. 240 Hz is noticeably smoother for human eye when compared to 120 Hz. But I agree with you about the golden middle! It's just that I think that middle has a bit more Hz...

13. Abdbaas

Posts: 163; Member since: Apr 05, 2016

I don't care if it's a battery killer as long as I can go on for a day without having to charge. Battery are getting bigger and processors more efficient. YES it will change the experience. What phone are you using to say something like that? Have you tried 90 Hz refresh rate screens? How is the 3rd point your problem in the first place? Are you buying a phone for yourself or someone else? 120 is over that ceiling. Just research before writing things like that. Just like for music and bandwidth, some people will notice what some others don't.

2. surethom

Posts: 1748; Member since: Mar 04, 2009

Please return tons smaller screen size & reduced price then I will return to OnePlus.

3. sirohunter

Posts: 222; Member since: Sep 23, 2017

They’re releasing them phones every month or something now damn! I mean, didn’t the 7 7t pro came out like super recently?! I’d never buy a phone that’s not gonna be the latest thing in two months. That’s why I like iPhones. One flagship a year is the sweet spot

6. splus

Posts: 174; Member since: Nov 26, 2011

So what if they have 2 flagships in a year? Does the new phone you bought become useless if they release a new phone 6 months later? Does a new iPhone you bought become useless if they release a new iPhone 12 months later?

12. sirohunter

Posts: 222; Member since: Sep 23, 2017

Not useless but definitely lacking some improvements that anyone would want to have spending $1k+ on a phone...

10. Iodine

Posts: 1515; Member since: Jun 19, 2014

120 Hz on mobile is a thing of 2017. You got it on iPad Pro. It was Oxide TFT backplane, it was on a 5 megapixel display, it was dynamic refresh anywhere from 24 Hz to 120 Hz and it was driven directly by the GPU and custom Apple TCON. This means that display is not asking GPU for a new frame every 1/60 of second, but it holds the curent image for up to 1/24 of a second and GPU refreshes it when it has the frame ready. It is super efficient, lag free and smooth. It works like magic. It is Pro display XDR worth level of stuff. One plus on the other hand just takes the display, overclocks the panel to 120Hz and makes the animations faster. Zero low level work and tinkering. Bad efficiency, but good marketing and cheaply done. Not even talking about laminating their displays. iPhone 4 got one.

11. splus

Posts: 174; Member since: Nov 26, 2011

Well said! I also wonder why no one seems to talk about iPad Pros, their screen is so smooth at 120 Hz, and battery life is great. I wonder if a custom chip is needed for that, and maybe most phone makers don't have expertise to make/design such chips so they have to use what's readily available?

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