120Hz display refreshes image 33 percent faster than a 90Hz screen, thus ensuring better animation and lesser motion-blur
We’re quickly moving on 90Hz (best 90Hz display phones) to the era of 120Hz display phones. Not just gaming phones, even mainstream smartphones these days are flaunting the high screen refresh rate that is rated to offer buttery-smooth scrolling, animation, and transitions. The list of 120Hz display phones is growing, with Samsung leading the pack with its Galaxy S20 series, followed by Xiaomi, Realme, and OnePlus, among others. We also expect many unconfirmed smartphones, including iPhone 12 series, Samsung Galaxy Note 20, and Google Pixel 5, to join the 120Hz display phones bandwagon later this year. Before we begin with our list of the best 120Hz (or above) phones, let’s take a look at what the tech brings to the table and how better it’s from 90Hz.
What is a 120Hz (or above) display?
The 120Hz is the refresh rate at which the image redraws on the screen. It can render the image 120 times per second, which is 33% faster than what a 90Hz screen offers. While the difference between 120Hz and 90Hz screens is not easily perceivable with the naked eye, you’ll undoubtedly see that the difference if you’re upgrading from phones with a 60Hz refresh rate.
The high refresh rate makes the animations and content on the screen look and feel smooth and snappier, thus, improving the overall experience. You’ll love scrolling through the app drawer, images, web pages, and more on 120Hz display phones. It’s worth mentioning that the refresh rate is a hardware feature, compatible with only supported apps and videos. However, most games these days come with support for the high 120Hz refresh rate. That said, the high refresh rate requires a powerful chipset to keep up with the graphics frame rate and a beefy battery cell to ensure the 120Hz display phone lasts long.
The refresh rate should not be confused with its co-related metric, i.e. touch sample rate. The latter, also measured in Hz, is the speed at which a screen registers your touch and responds with the next set of renders in the animation. A higher-touch refresh rate means less lag between input (touch or swipe) and action. If the touch refresh rate and screen refresh rate are the same — say 60Hz or 90Hz, the animations will render in one interval. Apple’s iPhone 11 series phones, for instance, have 60Hz refresh rate and 120Hz touch response rate.
List of 120Hz display phones
1. OnePlus 8 Pro
OnePlus is here on 120Hz phones list, thanks to its latest flagship offering OnePlus 8 Pro. The handset packs a 6.78-inch Fluid AMOLED display that bears a 120Hz refresh rate, which is slightly better than 90Hz display on the vanilla OnePlus 8. The OnePlus 8 Pro’s screen also touts QHD+ resolution, HDR10+ support, punch-hole for the selfie camera, and MEMC technology that boost the frame rate of a standard video from 24fps to 120 fps.
The rest of the OnePlus 8 Pro is also to be admired. The handset is powered by Snapdragon 865 SoC paired with up to 12GB of RAM and 256GB storage onboard. It sports a 48MP quad-rear cameras and a 16MP shooter on the front. The entire setup is driven by 4,510mAh battery with 30W fast wired and wireless charging support. There is an in-display fingerprint scanner for security and OxygenOS atop Android 10 taking care of the software side of things. The OnePlus 8 Pro is also the first smartphone from the brand to come with IP68 water- and dust-resistance rating.
2. POCO X2
The POCO X2 is the comeback device of Xiaomi’s spin-off brand POCO and is the most affordable 120Hz display phone in the market today. To keep the cost down, the POCO X2 sports a 6.67-inch full HD+ display of LCD variety instead of AMOLED. The phone is powered by mid-range Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G SoC coupled with Adreno 618 GPU, up to 8GB RAM and up to 256GB UFS 2.1 internal storage. The handset boots Android 10 OS with MIUI 11 out of the box.
For photography, the X2 features quad cameras at the back consisting of a 64MP Sony IMX686 primary sensor, an 8MP ultra-wide-angle lens, a 2MP macro lens, and a 2MP depth sensor. On the front, there is a 20MP main sensor and 2MP secondary depth sensor backed by artificial intelligence (AI) in an elongated punch-hole atop the display. A 4,500mAh battery with 27W fast-charging fuels the handset.
3. Samsung Galaxy S20 series
All three Samsung Galaxy S20-series smartphones come with a 120Hz display. While the vanilla S20 has the refresh rate on a 6.2-inch Dynamic AMOLED Infinity-O QHD+ display, the Samsung Galaxy S20+ and Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra pack 6.7-inch and 6.9-inch Dynamic AMOLED Infinity-O QHD+ display respectively. These 120Hz display phones are powered by Exynos 990 chipset in India and other selected markets.
The Samsung Galaxy S20 series also packs a beefy battery cell with fast wired and wireless charging and up to 108MP quad-rear camera setup with 100x Space Zoom. Other highlights include 5G connectivity (for selected regions), ultrasonic in-display fingerprint scanner, IP68 rating, Android 10-based One UI 2.0 OS, and up to 16GB RAM + 128GB user-expandable storage.
4. ASUS ROG Phone 2
One of the popular 120Hz display gaming phones is the ASUS ROG Phone 2, which features a 6.59-inch AMOLED display 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 120Hz display phone is 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 features Game Liquid II tech 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. OPPO A92s
OPPO A92s is a mid-range 120Hz display phone. The handset has been released only in China so far where it packs a 6.57-inch IPS LCD display with HD+ (1080 x 2400 pixels) resolution and the high refresh rate. The OPPO A92s is powered by the MediaTek Dimensity 800 (MT6873V) 5G chipset and there are two configurations to offer – 6GB RAM + 128GB storage and 8GB RAM + 128GB storage. For photography, the OPPO A92s sports a quad-camera setup at the back, which is headlined by a 48MP primary sensor. The front camera of the phone gets a 16MP shooter.
6. nubia Play 5G
nubia Play 5G is another mid-range phone with a high refresh rate. However, unlike OPPO A92s, this gaming-focused smartphone rocks 144Hz refresh rate, which is even higher than the 120Hz display. That also means higher battery consumption, but fret not, the Play 5G packs an impressive 5,100mAh cell, which is backed by 30W fast wired charging support. The handset sports a 6.65-inch FHD+ AMOLED display and Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G 5G chipset under the hood. To assist gamers, the phone sports a couple of capacitive shoulder buttons.
In the imaging department, the nubia Play 5G features quad rear cameras, which consist of 48MP Sony IMX582 primary sensor, an 8MP ultrawide snapper, and a couple of 2MP shooters – one for macro shots and another for depth data. The front-facing camera gets a 12MP sensor for selfies and video calling. The handset boots nubiaUI 8.0 on top of Android 10 out of the box.
7. nubia Red Magic 5G
The nubia Red Magic 5G is a flagship gaming-centric smartphone. Like Play 5G, it also sports a 6.65-inch AMOLED FHD+ display with 144Hz refresh rate. At its core, however, lies Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 chipset coupled with up to 16GB of RAM and speedy UFS 3.0 storage that maxes out at 256GB. The handset is fuelled by a 4,500mAh battery and supports 55W fast charging tech, while Android 10-based Red MagicOS takes care of the software side of things.
As for the cameras, the Red Magic 5G packs triple rear cameras that bear 64MP Sony IMX686 main sensor, 8MP ultra-wide snapper, and 2MP macro shooter. There is an 8MP sensor on the front for selfies and video chats. Other features include active air cooling system, an RGB light panel, Wi-Fi 6 connectivity, a headphone jack, and a 3-microphone setup for optimal audio capture.
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. A 3,200mAh battery derives the entire setup is driven with support for 11W fast charge.
9. Sharp Aquos Zero 2
If the 90Hz or 120Hz refresh rate doesn’t fulfill 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 a 12.2MP + 21.1MP dual rear cameras, up to 8GB of RAM, and 256GB storage onboard. The handset is also IP65/ 68-certified for water- and dust-resistance.