2019 has been the year of high refresh rate displays in smartphones. Companies like OnePlus and Google have brought 90Hz displays to their flagship phones making them extremely smooth and pleasant to look at. The OnePlus 7 Pro, released earlier this year, was one of the first non-gaming smartphones to incorporate a high refresh rate display.
Later during the year, the company decided to add the high refresh rate display to both the OnePlus 7T and the OnePlus 7T Pro, making their flagships smooth across the board. The change was extremely well received with a lot of people just straight up ditching their iPhones and Samsung devices just for that high refresh rate display.
OnePlus 8 Pro will one up the OnePlus 7T Pro with an even higher refresh rate on the display
While Samsung and Apple have still not made the inevitable jump to higher refresh rate displays, it looks like OnePlus is not ready to stand there and wait for them to catch up either. According to a leak by Max J. on twitter, OnePlus is apparently ready to make the jump to an even higher refresh rate for the OnePlus 8 Pro.
Be a "pro". pic.twitter.com/h4UwnOXn8H
— Max Jambor (@MaxJmb) November 7, 2019
Apparently, the much-anticipated flagship OnePlus 8 Pro will have a 120Hz display as compared to the usual 90Hz that we get on other devices. This will be the first time that we’ll see a 120Hz ultra-high refresh rate display on a non-gaming phone. Previously, phones like the ASUS ROG Phone 2 and the Xiaomi BlackShark 2 Pro have had 120Hz displays but those phones cater to a much smaller market.
It will be interesting to see how the new refresh rate displays perform on a relatively mainstream device. According to the leaks, the OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro will be revealed sometime during Q2 2020.
In addition to the higher refresh rate, OnePlus will also be making the jump to a hole-punch display, which might be a downgrade for some people. However, this will make the phone much more robust and durable, thanks to no moving parts on the device.
The downsides of OnePlus 8 Pro having a 120Hz display
While higher refresh rate displays are very fluid and make the smartphone experience much more pleasant, they have their own downsides as well. For example, the higher you push the refresh rate on a display, the more battery it will consume. So, OnePlus will have to come up with a robust solution to make sure that the battery drain is not too high at 120 Hz.
Usually, companies combat battery drain by having a dynamic refresh rate meaning that it goes up or down depending on the situation. However, no amount of software optimization can beat a bigger battery.
This is not the first time we’re seeing a 120Hz display either. The one peculiar thing that people have noticed about the 120Hz displays over the past year is that they just don’t feel that different as compared to the standard 90Hz displays. For some reason, when you make the jump to a 90Hz display from a 60Hz one, the difference is massive and very much noticeable.
In fact, the difference is so vast that all 60Hz phones start to feel like they’re lagging after you’ve used a phone with 90Hz display. However, when you bump it up to 120Hz, the upgrade is not something you’d notice right away. So, is the extra loss in battery life really worth the minute bump in smoothness? Well, OnePlus seems to think so.
How can a 120Hz display be a game-changer?
Increasing the refresh rate of the display, however, is not the only thing that makes a phone smoother. While it is true that most new Android phones are getting higher refresh rate displays that make them feel smooth, that alone is not enough to make the devices truly feel fluid.
In order to make the whole OS feel smoother, smartphone companies also need to take the touch response time in consideration. Apple was the first company to bump it up in the iPhone X even before they’d increased the display refresh rate. This was a game changer for Apple as the iPhones felt smoother and snappier even with lower refresh rate displays.
While other Android manufacturers have started to catch up in terms of touch response rate, they still have a lot of work to do. However, if OnePlus can somehow pair a better touch latency with a higher refresh rate display, the OnePlus 8 Pro could become the smoothest phone out there.