Most smartphones still have 60 Hz displays, but over the past few years we’ve seen a handful with 90 Hz, 120 Hz, or even 240 Hz refresh rates.

For the most par they’re still niche devices from companies including OnePlus, Razer, Sharp, and well.. Google (which doesn’t actually sell that many Pixel phones in the grand scheme of things).

But now it looks like Samsung might be looking to get in on the high refresh rate action.

The beta version of Samsung’s Android 10-based One UI 2.0 software includes a hidden setting that seems to let users switch between 60 Hz and 120 Hz modes.

It’s not a feature you can actually put to use on any existing Samsung smartphones. But it could be a sign that next year’s Galaxy S and/or Galaxy Note smartphones may be able to draw new imagery up to 120 times per second.

According to a series of tweets from @UniversIce, the hidden setting offers three options:

  1. High refresh rate off: keep the screen at 60 Hz
  2. High refresh rate on: keep the screen at 120 Hz
  3. Save battery: switch between 60 Hz and 120 Hz

A follow-up tweet from @JayDabhi shows an English-language version of the screen:

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11 replies on “Samsung may be prepping a 120 Hz smartphone”

  1. Seems pointless on a smartphone. On my TV, I turn it off. Makes things look bad with its inter-frame interpolation (ie. create fake frames between the real ones).

    Does this cause more power consumption? Seems mostly a negative feature to me.

    1. According to reviews of the razer phones, higher frame rates make text much more legible as you scroll. Of course, it causes the battery to drain faster since the GPU has to work harder. That’s probably why there’s a setting for it at all.

  2. Can the average person tell the difference between 60 Hz and > 60 Hz displays without them being side-by-side? I’m guessing it’s similar to audio where even self-proclaimed audiophiles can’t actually tell the difference between 2 different hardware in practical/typical situations.

    1. You can tell when watching a 30 FPS movie on a 60+ Hz TV and it’s looks like crap. The whole “soap opera” affect. Makes non-live sports/news/etc. movies look like watching a live play.

      For smartphones where people aren’t likely to be watching a lot of movies or playing games, it’s totally just a gimmick. Maybe that scrolling motion may look a little bit smoother.

      It’s mostly marketing and, for movies, it can actually makes things worse.

    2. For what people do on a smartphone, the average person isn’t going to be able to tell the difference.

  3. Fad. For eyes 90 might be the right Hz. But specs are about marketing and profit rather than biology.

    1. Marketing might have a slight influence on it, but the real reason the industry is pushing 120hz panels is because of how video content is displayed on panels.

      Most content is filmed at 24 or 30 fps. On a 60hz panel, 30fps divides evenly, and that means that there will be a perfect sync between frame refreshes. However 24fps doesn’t divide evenly, and you will experience skipped frames every few frames.

      90hz isn’t quite right either. 90 divides evenly into groups of 30, but not 24. Skipped frames are still ab issue.

      120hz is perfect because it divides into 24 and 30 evenly.

      1. Exactly.
        And where a 45fps compares to 60fps, or 60fps to 90fps, the difference is not that large. Stepping up from say 60fps to 120fps is much more noticeable. I know Hz and fps are not the same thing, but I think the analogy works for most PC Gamers.

        And yes, the average person can see/tell the difference between 60Hz and 120Hz displays.

        1. While your logic is spot on and definitely a valid reason to adjust the refresh rates, I don’t think really for 1 second video playback performance/accuracy has anything what so ever to do with this, the battery trade off simply can not be worth it….but then again there are people running around with 4k phones who do nothing but look at social media @720

          1. It’s better to have the hardware capable and control it through software. For instance, the Sony XZ (Xperia Premium) had a display that would often display in Regular 1080p 60Hz… but depending on the content can scale up to HDR-4K at 120Hz.

            And it was able to toggle on HDR on/off, scale between resolutions, and active synchronize the refresh rate. Other devices capable of such things was the Razer Phone 2 and ASUS RoG Phone 2.

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