Future Galaxy S20 update may enable 120Hz refresh rate at QHD+ resolution
High refresh rate displays are all rage nowadays. The feature that was once limited to gaming-oriented phones has been steadily trickling down to more mainstream devices lately. From the top-of-the-line flagship to the affordable mid-range, it’s quickly becoming commonplace. One of the latest phones to launch with a high refresh display is Samsung’s Galaxy S20 lineup which features a 120Hz panel across the range. But one drawback with a higher refresh rate is the increase in battery draw. In the case of the Galaxy S20 series, it also packs a QHD+ resolution display which combined with the high display refresh rate could potentially result in even higher battery consumption. To avoid excessive power consumption, Samsung chose to restrict the 120Hz high refresh rate to 1080p resolution only, and make it unavailable at QHD+.
This could be a bummer for those wanting to experience the smoothness of 120Hz refresh rate in crisp QHD+ resolution. But it appears Samsung may address this concern in a future update. According to our own Max Weinbach, Samsung is currently in the process of optimizing software to enable a 120Hz refresh rate at QHD+ resolution and could release it to the Galaxy S20 series in the coming months if everything goes as intended.
Samsung is working on optimizing software for WQHD+ 120hz on the S20 series and should release it in the next 1-3 months if all goes well.
— Max Weinbach (@MaxWinebach) February 18, 2020
Separately, Ice Universe has shared a screenshot of an in-development firmware build which suggests Samsung could allow users to select the 120Hz refresh rate at the maximum screen resolution. Samsung may be allowing this in response to strong user feedback. They may or may not have solved the underlying power consumption issues, though. Given how large the batteries are on the S20 series, though, we doubt users will have many problems.
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 FHD
let's expect Samsung to implement such a solution as soon as possible. pic.twitter.com/mLtFUwH0WZ
— Ice universe (@UniverseIce) February 18, 2020
Power consumption wouldn’t have been a concern if Samsung had used LTPO (low-temperature polycrystalline oxide) display technology which dynamically controls the refresh rate based on the user interaction. However, as per Ross Young from DSCC, the technology is still in its infancy and won’t be available for smartphones until later this year. The only devices on the market that uses LTPO are the Apple Watch Series 5 and Samsung’s Galaxy Watch Active 2.