Skip to content

Do you really need a 90Hz display on your smartphone?

  • by
  • 4 min read

Casual and professional gamers worldwide have been using high refresh monitors for quite a while, but it’s not until recently that the trend started finding its way to the mobile gaming scene. Phones from manufacturers like Razer, with their Razer Phone, and Asus with their ROG phone, brought high refresh rate displays to gaming-centric phones. These phones attracted enthusiastic mobile gamers, but that’s all they accounted for as gaming phones aren’t feasible for daily use.

But that changed earlier this year with the launch of OnePlus 7 Pro, which became the first mainstream device for consumers with a 90Hz display. The high refresh rate display was one of the unique selling points of the 7 Pro. While the folks at OnePlus were the torchbearers for the high refresh rate trend, lots of brands and their products followed.

If you’re considering a phone with a 90Hz or higher refresh rate, it’s essential to understand what this means to you as a consumer and whether it would really change your smartphone experience in daily

Also read: 60Hz vs 120Hz vs 144Hz vs 240Hz monitors

Why does the refresh rate matter?

Refresh rate refers to the number of times a display is capable of redrawing an image on the screen. A vast majority of mobile phone displays comes with a 60Hz refresh rate, which means that the display can redraw an image on the screen 60 times in a second.

OnePlus 7 Pro: From Flagship killer to simply flagship?
OnePlus 7 Pro was one of the first devices to popularise a higher 90Hz display on a smartphone among the masses

While this is more than sufficient for traditional phone usage, a 90Hz display can make things seem noticeably smoother and seem faster than ever before. Scrolling through the app drawer and other elements of the UI feels silky smooth with no stutter whatsoever, and games seem more immersive and enjoyable.

This may justify the presence of a 90Hz screen for most, but there are some caveats.

Also read: Nokia unveils 5G Holographic technology at IMC 2019

Pros and Cons of a higher refresh rate display

Continually running the display at 90Hz or more makes the battery drain faster. Manufacturers like Asus, Razer and OnePlus include provisions in the software to reduce the refresh rate of the display when running applications and services that don’t need the excessively high refresh rate of the display.

Do you need a high refresh rate smartphone display? 90Hz vs 60Hz
Asus ROG Phone 2 also features a 90Hz refresh rate display

Another factor is the price, and that not many high refresh rate displays are available at a price point accessible to many. Higher refresh rate displays incorporated into OLED panels are expensive to manufacture, which translate into a costlier end product for consumers.

The fact remains that high refresh rates are not a necessity, but a nice feature to have on your mobile device. If the pursuit of speed and a snappy UI experience are paramount to you, high refresh rate displays offer an experience that’s better understood in person rather than words. You need to witness it to comprehend the kind of change it brings.

With manufacturers like OnePlus, Google, Realme, Oppo, Razer, and Asus picking up the trend, it won’t be long before high refresh rate displays are the industry standard, and they’ve proven themselves to be beneficial features rather than a pointless gimmick. After all, we did come from resistive to capacitive almost a decade ago, but the buck doesn’t stop there — we mean to go further in tech developments.

Also read: 6 tips and tricks to help you fool face recognition systems

Prathik Jayaprakash

Prathik Jayaprakash