The Samsung Galaxy S20 range includes three impressive flagships, with the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra recently having been rated as having the best screen on any phone. That’s in part because of the 120Hz refresh rate offered by it, along with the S20 and Galaxy S20 Plus, but it’s a mode that also has a limitation – at least for now.
You see, at launch the Samsung Galaxy S20 phones would only support a 120Hz refresh rate at FHD+ resolution. For the full QHD+ resolution you were limited to a 60Hz refresh rate.
Having to choose between clarity and smoothness seems odd in a flagship, but by the time the devices are released you might not have to, as according to @UniverseIce (a leaker with a good track record) Samsung is working on a software update that will allow the 120Hz refresh rate to be paired with the full resolution of the screen.
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This is one of the firmware versions of the Galaxy S20 series. We see that not only the WQHD + 120Hz mode can be selected, but also the dynamic mode, which is a very mature solution.better than limited to FHDlet's expect Samsung to implement such a solution as soon as possible. pic.twitter.com/mLtFUwH0WZFebruary 18, 2020
Having said that, they claim that the leaked screenshot above shows this, which we're not convinced that it does. Yes there's a mode that says 'always' use 120Hz, but it doesn't seem clear that this would necessarily be selectable when using a QHD+ resolution.
Regardless, one new thing that is clear from the screenshot is a ‘Dynamic’ mode, which will automatically switch between 60Hz and 120Hz to get the best balance of display quality and battery life, similar to certain devices like the iPad Pro which already does this.
It’s not clear from the screenshot when the refresh rate would switch, but elsewhere SamMobile claims to have learned that the refresh rate would drop to 60Hz whenever the battery temperature goes above 42°C, when the battery level drops below 5%, or when certain apps are launched, such as Google Maps or the camera.
That said, the site seems to be saying that this already happens, even if you select the 120Hz mode. So if both sources are right then Samsung is seemingly splitting this out into a more clearly labeled mode, and alternatively allowing users to select 120Hz all the time – regardless of battery or resolution.
Assuming this software update really is on the way we’d expect it will land fairly soon, but don’t be surprised if using 120Hz paired with QHD+ has a noticeable impact on battery life, so you might still have a decision to make.
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