This Samsung Galaxy Note 20 leak also shines a light on the Galaxy S20

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus
The Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus (Image credit: Future)

If the constant barrage of Samsung Galaxy S20 leaks has you exhausted, we've got something completely different to sink your teeth into – the first proper Samsung Galaxy Note 20 leak instead! Yes, although the phone is likely six months away and Samsung's previous phone hasn't even been unveiled, we're hearing Note 20 leaks.

This piece of information comes from prolific leaker @UniverseIce, who posted a tweet simply saying 'The Galaxy Note20 will use a more fine-tuned 120Hz refresh rate technology.'. However this leak is just as useful for understanding the Galaxy S20 as it is the Note 20.

So it seems the Note 20 will have a 120Hz refresh rate screen, if this leak is to be believed. Several top-end phones in 2020 are embracing this technology, which improves the speed your screen updates, making motion look smoother.

UniverseIce's choice of words 'more fine-tuned' implies that the tech won't debut in the Galaxy Note 20 though, and we've heard plenty of rumors suggesting the Galaxy S20 will have a 120Hz refresh rate, too, as a maximum setting in addition to the industry-standard 60Hz refresh rate.

Let's focus on that 'fine-tuned' - what does it mean? Well, certainly it seems the Galaxy Note 20 will have the same refresh rate but with better implementation, and this could manifest in plenty of ways.


In smartphone screens, 120Hz refresh rate technology can often be a huge drain on battery life, and it's possible the Samsung Galaxy Note 20's tech will find a way to reduce the power consumption of the tech compared to the Galaxy S20. This interpretation would suggest the latter (and soon-to-launch) phone has a slightly weak battery life.

Alternatively, it's possible the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 will have 120Hz refresh rate tech that works across the board in different apps and technologies: phones with 90Hz or 120Hz refresh rates right now usually offer different speeds depending on what app you're in, or if you're watching video, so the final viewing experience isn't always very consistent.

Finally, this could just refer to the auto-mode that many phones with different display rates have, and these modes detect what you're doing on the device and pick a corresponding refresh rate to match. Sometimes the detection can be a bit off, and therefore will give you a non-ideal refresh rate, so possibly the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 will have better auto-detection.

Whatever we decide this leak means, the implication here is that the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 will have a better screen tech than the Galaxy S20 – if the leak is correct, that is, and with the phone still six months out, it's likely even Samsung doesn't know for sure what the new phone will end up like.

So for now, let's stick to the Samsung Galaxy S20, which is destined to be out in exactly a week as of writing. Samsung (hopefully) knows what that phone is bound to be like, and we'll find out soon too.

Tom Bedford

Tom Bedford was deputy phones editor on TechRadar until late 2022, having worked his way up from staff writer. Though he specialized in phones and tablets, he also took on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness, mobile gaming and more. He is based in London, UK and now works for the entertainment site What To Watch.

He graduated in American Literature and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Prior to working on TechRadar, he freelanced in tech, gaming and entertainment, and also spent many years working as a mixologist.