“High screen refresh rate ensures smoother scrolling, better animations, and the ability to display 90 frames per second”
Phones with 90Hz display are the new trend in the smartphone industry. In no time, the feature has become just as important as any other aspect of a handset, such as the screen resolution, chipset, cameras, battery, and configurations. The high refresh rate of 90Hz (or more) means smoother scrolling and much better animations compared to the average 60Hz refresh rate panel, thus improving the overall user experience. The 90Hz panels have been around for a while – in monitors or gaming phones – but never on a mainstream smartphone. Had it not been for OnePlus to introduce a phone with 90Hz display, who knows we would still be making peace with a lower refresh rate.
What is 90Hz (or 120Hz) display?
There’s a fairly big assortment of 90Hz or 120Hz display smartphones out there, but before we get into that here’s a quick explanation about the tech. The 90Hz or 120Hz are the refresh rates at which the image redraws on the screen. Displays with a 90Hz refresh rate render images 90 times per second, while the 120Hz refresh rate will display images at 120 times per second. The higher the refresh rate, the lesser is the motion blur and the better the image quality. How does it affect your experience? Such displays offer fluid animation and you’ll love scrolling through the app drawer, images, web pages, etc. The only drawback of high refresh rate is that it consumes more battery.
Additionally, while the screen refresh rate and Touch Refresh Rate are co-related, they are not the same. The latter is basically the speed at which a screen register your touch and respond with the next set of renders in the animation. If the Touch Refresh Rate and screen refresh rate are same — say 60Hz or 90Hz, the animations render in one interval. However, if the touch refresh rate is slightly higher than the screen rate, then the animation will be fluid and overall experience will improve. Apple’s iPhone 11 series, for instance, have 60Hz refresh rate and 120Hz touch response rate. Notably, only compatible apps and videos will seem smoother and fluid on a 90Hz display compared to a 60Hz display. There’s no native way to force apps to run on 90Hz or 120Hz refresh rate.
So, yes, the refresh rate is definitely a feature to keep in mind when buying a phone.
List of 90Hz displays phones
1. Realme X2 Pro
The Realme X2 Pro is the cheapest phone with 90Hz display in India right now. The handset has been priced under Rs 30k, and apart from the headlining refresh rate feature, it also packs Snapdragon 855 Plus chipset, a 6.5-inch Fluid AMOLED Full-HD+ screen, and among the highest fast-charging tech in the industry. The Realme X2 Pro is a first-ever flagship offering from the brand, designed to take on the likes of the Redmi K20 Pro and OnePlus 7T.
As for the cameras, the phone ships with quad rear cameras that houses a 64MP Samsung GW1 primary sensor, a 13MP telephoto lens with 20x hybrid zoom, an 8MP ultra-wide-angle lens with 115-degree field of view and is capable of capturing 2.5mm macro shots and lastly, a 2MP depth unit for portrait shots. It can record 4K 60fps videos and 960fps slow-motion as well. On the front, there is a 16MP selfie snapper accommodate in the waterdrop notch. The Realme X2 Pro also features a 4,000mAh battery with 50W Super VOOC fast-charging support.
2. OnePlus 7T series
The OnePlus 7T and OnePlus 7T Pro smartphones both pack 90Hz screen. In fact, the lineup has phased out the average 60Hz panels from the company’s portfolio. All the future OnePlus smartphones will now have a high refresh rate. While the 7T features the waterdrop notch display, the OnePlus 7T Pro comes with a pop-up selfie camera design and curved edge-to-edge panel – just like its predecessor the OnePlus 7 Pro.
Both the OnePlus 7T smartphones are powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Plus chipset and sport triple rear cameras with a 48-megapixel primary sensor. The phones rock a beefy battery cell, latest fast charging tech, up to 256GB storage, and Android 10-based OxygenOS 10 out of the box.
3. nubia Red Magic 3s
Next in the list of phones with 90Hz screen is nubia’s gaming-focused Red Magic 3s smartphone. The handset is an iterative upgrade from the Red Magic 3 smartphone, which was introduced earlier this year. The Red Magic 3s sports a 6.65-inch Super AMOLED display that bears 90Hz refresh rate, DC dimming, HDR support, and full-HD+ (1,080p) resolution.
At the phone’s core lies Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855 Plus mobile platform that has higher clock speed and graphics performance than the regular Snapdragon 855 SoC. The Red Magic 3s is also equipped with 8GB of RAM, an active cooling system that uses liquid cooling and a turbofan with an improved air inlet.
4. ASUS ROG Phone 2
This gaming-focused phone has 120Hz refresh rate display. The ASUS ROG Phone 2 features a 6.59-inch AMOLED display with 120Hz refresh rate and 240Hz touch sampling. The screen has fair amounts of bezels that houses front-firing speakers for an immersive gaming experience. To take care of that high refresh rate, the ROG Phone 2 houses an astounding 6,000mAh battery with 30W fast charging support.
As for the performance, the phone powered by 2.89GHz octa-core Snapdragon 855 Plus SoC, which is accompanied by 8GB RAM + 128GB storage and 12GB RAM + 512GB UFS 3.0 storage options. The ROG Phone 2 has got Game Liquid II to keep the thermals under check, and support for accessories such as a cooling fan, controller pad, dual-screen accessory, Nintendo Switch Joy-Con like controllers, and a Switch-like docking station.
5. OnePlus 7 Pro
The OnePlus 7 Pro was the first-ever mainstream smartphone to sport the 90Hz refresh rate display – the vendor calls it Fluid AMOLED. The handset sports a curved 6.67-inch Fluid AMOLED screen with Full-HD+ resolution, HDR10+ support, and in-display fingerprint scanner. Thanks to the pop-up selfie camera design, the OnePlus 7 Pro has an all-screen design without the interference of a notch or bezel. The phone sports an impressive 19.5:9 aspect ratio and 88.3 percent screen-to-body ratio.
Other highlights of the phone include triple rear cameras with 48MP primary camera, Snapdragon 855 SoC, Gorilla Glass 5, up to 12GB of RAM, and 4,000mAh battery with 30W fast charging support.
6. Pixel 4 series
Although the Pixel 4 series is not coming to India, it’s one of the smartphones out there to sport 90Hz screens. Both the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL sports display with a high refresh rate. The handsets are the latest flagships from Google that comes running Android 10 out of the box and features dual rear cameras with a dedicated telephoto lens.
The Pixel 4 lineup also features Soli radar sensor to detect your presence and motion and facial recognition. The handsets are driven by Snapdragon 855 mobile platform paired with 6GB of RAM and 64GB/ 128GB storage onboard. While the Pixel 4 houses a 5.7-inch display and 2,700mAh battery, the XL version features a 6.3-inch QHD+ display and 3,700mAh battery.
7. OPPO Reno Ace
The OPPO Reno Ace is the first smartphone from the brand with 90Hz screen. OPPO has introduced the handset only in China so far. It’s a mid-range offering that sports a 6.5-inch 1080p OLED display that bears refresh rate of up to 90Hz refresh rate and 135Hz sampling rate for a smooth experience. The screen also features a waterdrop notch that accommodates selfie camera and optical fingerprint scanner for biometrics.
The Reno Ace has Snapdragon 855 Plus SoC ticking at its core. The phonemaker ships the phone with up to 12GB of RAM, 256GB native storage, TurboBoost 2.0 and FrameBoost 2.0 to up its performance. OPPO has quad rear cameras on the back panel of the phone. The setup sports a 48MP Sony IMX586 primary sensor with f/1.7 aperture paired with 13MP telephoto lens, 8MP wide-angle lens, and 2MP macro lens. The Reno Ace houses a 4,000mAh battery with, unheard before, 65W Super VOOC fast charging tech – which is said to charge the battery from 0 to 100 percent in just half-an-hour.
8. Sharp Aquos R3
The Sharp Aquos R3 smartphone comes with a couple of interesting features. The handset sports an impressive 120Hz refresh rate display that bears dual notches. The top-notch on the smartphone is home to its selfie shooter, whereas, the bottom one accommodates the physical fingerprint scanner. As for the specifications, the Aquos R3 packs a 6.2-inch QHD Pro IGZO display.
At the handset’s core lies Snapdragon 855 SoC, accompanied by 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. For photography, there are 12.2MP + 20MP dual-camera setup at the back and 16.3MP selfie shooter on the front for selfies and video calling. The entire setup is driven by a 3,200mAh battery with support for 11W fast charge.
9. Sharp Aquos Zero 2
If the 90Hz or 120Hz refresh rate doesn’t fulfil your appetite, the Sharp Aquos Zero 2 could be the best choice. The handset offers the maximum screen refresh rate in the smartphone industry yet – Aquos Zero 2 from the Japanese phonemaker Sharp packs a 6.4-inch full-HD+ (1,080 x 2,340 pixels) curved OLED display that has an astounding 240Hz refresh rate and a waterdrop notch up top. Although the phone will offer the most fluid experience ever in a smartphone, it’s 3,130mAh battery is definitely going to take a tole.
The Sharp Aquos Zero 2 is a flagship powered by the Snapdragon 855 SoC and runs Android 10 out of the box. It comes equipped with 12.2-megapixel + 21.1-megapixel dual rear cameras, up to 8GB of RAM and 256GB storage onboard. The handset is also IP65/ 68-certified for water- and dust-resistance.
|Octa core (2.96 GHz, Single Core + 2.42 GHz, Tri core + 1.8 GHz, Quad core)|
|Snapdragon 855 Plus|
|8 GB RAM|
|6.5 inches (16.51 cm)|
|1080x2400 px, 405 PPI|
|64 + 13 + 8 + 2 MP Quad Primary Cameras|
|Dual LED Flash|
|16 MP Front Camera|
|USB Type-C port|