Samsung's Galaxy S21 Ultra packs a new type of OLED that helps boost battery life

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra review
(Image credit: Future)

Earlier this month, it was announced that Samsung's Galaxy S21 Ultra would be the company's first phone to offer a 120Hz refresh rate at the display's full QHD+ resolution, meaning users would no longer have to choose one or the other.

Just how Samsung was able to achieve this without the handset's battery life taking a significant hit became the question on everybody's lips, and now the South Korean electronics giant has answered it via Business Wire.

According to Samsung Display, which is the world's largest manufacturer of OLED screens, the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra is the first product to take advantage of a "new low-power OLED display for smartphones that reduces power consumption up to 16 percent."

It said that the new lower-power OLED takes advantage of "a just-developed organic material whose luminous efficiency has improved dramatically compared to the company’s previous OLED smartphone panels."

The new OLED is apparently able to achieve this “by having electrons flow faster and more easily across the display’s organic layers,” meaning the low-power panels can produce the same brightness while consuming less power, “which improves the battery lifetime for 5G smartphone users who spend more time watching video.”

Samsung says that "when the display’s power consumption is cut, this can significantly impact smartphone usage time." It will be interesting to see how Samsung's claims about reduced power consumption will translate to real-world usage and how the new technology could impact other devices that utilize OLED panels.

Stephen Lambrechts
Senior Journalist, Phones and Entertainment

Stephen primarily covers phones and entertainment for TechRadar's Australian team, and has written professionally across the categories of tech, film, television and gaming in both print and online for over a decade. He's obsessed with smartphones, televisions, consoles and gaming PCs, and has a deep-seated desire to consume all forms of media at the highest quality possible. 

He's also likely to talk a person’s ear off at the mere mention of Android, cats, retro sneaker releases, travelling and physical media, such as vinyl and boutique Blu-ray releases. Right now, he's most excited about QD-OLED technology, The Batman and Hellblade 2: Senua's Saga.