What Does A 120Hz Refresh Rate Do On A Smartphone?

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Source: Smartprix.com

Have you ever wondered what a 120Hz refresh rate actually does on a smartphone? If you’re a tech enthusiast or avid mobile user, you’ve likely come across this specification in the specs list of high-end smartphones. But what exactly does it mean, and why is it important?

A 120Hz refresh rate refers to the number of times the screen refreshes or updates its image per second. In simple terms, it determines how smooth and fluid the display appears. While most smartphones typically have a 60Hz refresh rate, the leap to 120Hz offers a significant improvement in terms of visual experience and responsiveness.

In this article, we’ll delve into the benefits of a 120Hz refresh rate on a smartphone, and explore why it’s becoming a sought-after feature in the world of mobile devices. So, grab your smartphone, sit back, and let’s discover how this higher refresh rate can transform your mobile experience.

Inside This Article

  1. Benefits of a 120Hz refresh rate on a smartphone
  2. Drawbacks of a 120Hz Refresh Rate on a Smartphone
  3. Impact of a 120Hz refresh rate on gaming and multimedia experience
  4. Conclusion
  5. FAQs

Benefits of a 120Hz refresh rate on a smartphone

A 120Hz refresh rate on a smartphone offers several benefits that enhance the overall user experience. Here are some key advantages:

  1. Smooth and fluid visuals: One of the primary advantages of a 120Hz refresh rate is the noticeably smooth and fluid visuals it provides. With double the refresh rate of a standard 60Hz display, a 120Hz display is capable of refreshing the screen 120 times per second. This results in more responsive and seamless scrolling, smoother transitions, and reduced motion blur.

  2. Enhanced gaming experience: Mobile gaming enthusiasts can benefit greatly from a 120Hz refresh rate. The increased refresh rate allows for faster on-screen updates, resulting in more responsive touch controls and reduced input lag. This enhances the overall gaming experience, making gameplay feel more immersive and realistic.

  3. Improved touch responsiveness: With a 120Hz refresh rate, touch interactions on a smartphone become more responsive and accurate. The higher refresh rate ensures that the screen registers touch inputs quickly and accurately, providing a more tactile and precise touch experience.

  4. Reduced eye strain: A higher refresh rate can help reduce eye strain, especially during extended periods of smartphone usage. The smoother scrolling and motion can be easier on the eyes, leading to less fatigue and discomfort, particularly for activities like reading long articles or browsing social media feeds.

  5. Enhanced video playback: Watching videos on a smartphone with a 120Hz refresh rate is a treat for the eyes. The increased refresh rate allows for smoother playback, eliminating any jerkiness or stuttering that may occur on lower refresh rate displays. This ensures a more immersive and enjoyable viewing experience, whether you’re watching movies, TV shows, or online videos.

  6. Future-proofing: Opting for a smartphone with a 120Hz refresh rate is a smart choice for future-proofing. As more and more content and apps are optimized for higher refresh rate displays, having a smartphone with a 120Hz refresh rate ensures compatibility with the latest advancements in technology.

Overall, a 120Hz refresh rate on a smartphone provides users with smoother visuals, enhanced gaming experiences, improved touch responsiveness, reduced eye strain, and superior video playback. It offers a glimpse into the future of display technology and enhances the overall user experience for various activities on a mobile device.

Drawbacks of a 120Hz Refresh Rate on a Smartphone

While a 120Hz refresh rate on a smartphone brings numerous benefits to the table, it is important to consider its drawbacks as well. Here are some potential drawbacks to keep in mind:

1. Increased power consumption: One of the main drawbacks of a higher refresh rate is increased power consumption. The faster refresh rate requires more power to update the display more frequently. This can result in reduced battery life, meaning you may need to charge your phone more frequently.

2. Impact on battery life: As mentioned earlier, the higher refresh rate can have a significant impact on the battery life of your smartphone. If you are someone who heavily relies on your phone throughout the day, the shorter battery life may become a concern. You might have to make a trade-off between a smoother display experience and longer battery life.

3. Compatibility issues: While most modern smartphones are equipped with 120Hz displays, not all apps and games are optimized to take full advantage of this technology. Some apps may still be designed for lower refresh rates, leading to potential compatibility issues and visual glitches. As a result, you may not always experience the full benefits of a 120Hz refresh rate across all applications.

4. Increased cost: Smartphones with higher refresh rate displays often come with a higher price tag compared to those with lower refresh rates. If you are on a tight budget, opting for a phone with a 120Hz display may not be the most cost-effective option. It’s important to evaluate whether the benefits of a higher refresh rate justify the additional cost for your specific needs.

5. Limitations in content availability: While the popularity of 120Hz refresh rate displays is steadily growing, the availability of content specifically optimized for this higher refresh rate remains limited. This means that you may not always be able to fully take advantage of the smoother display experience in all apps, videos, or games you encounter.

Despite these drawbacks, the overall experience of using a smartphone with a 120Hz refresh rate display can still be highly satisfying. It ultimately comes down to personal preference and your specific usage patterns.

Impact of a 120Hz refresh rate on gaming and multimedia experience

A higher refresh rate of 120Hz on a smartphone can greatly enhance the gaming and multimedia experience. Let’s explore the impact it has on these activities:

1. Smoother gameplay: The higher refresh rate of 120Hz ensures that the graphics on your smartphone screen appear much smoother and fluid during gameplay. This reduces motion blur and lag, resulting in a more immersive and responsive gaming experience.

2. Faster response time: With a 120Hz refresh rate, the screen of your smartphone updates 120 times per second, which means faster response times to touch inputs. This is particularly beneficial for games that require quick reflexes, allowing you to react swiftly and accurately to in-game events.

3. Reduced input latency: A higher refresh rate can significantly decrease input latency, which is the delay between your touch input and the corresponding action on the screen. This reduction in latency makes the gaming experience more enjoyable, as actions feel more instantaneous and in sync with your inputs.

4. Improved visual clarity: A 120Hz refresh rate ensures smoother scrolling and transitions, making text, images, and videos appear sharper and more defined. This clarity enhances the overall viewing experience, making multimedia content more engaging and visually pleasing.

5. Enhanced VR and AR experiences: Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) applications heavily rely on smooth and responsive visuals to provide a truly immersive experience. A higher refresh rate like 120Hz allows for smoother head tracking, reducing motion sickness and enhancing the realism of VR/AR content.

6. Better video playback: When watching videos, a higher refresh rate ensures smoother frame transitions and reduces the stuttering effect. This makes watching high-definition videos on your smartphone a more enjoyable experience, with more fluid motion and fewer distractions.

7. Longer battery life considerations: It is important to note that while a higher refresh rate can greatly enhance the gaming and multimedia experience, it may have an impact on the battery life of your smartphone. The increased screen refresh rate requires more power, so it’s important to consider your usage and adjust the refresh rate settings accordingly.


In conclusion, a 120Hz refresh rate on a smartphone offers significant benefits in terms of visual smoothness and responsiveness. It allows for smoother scrolling, seamless animations, and reduced motion blur. With a higher refresh rate, interactions on your smartphone become more fluid and immersive, enhancing the overall user experience.

Having a device with a 120Hz refresh rate is particularly advantageous for gamers, as it provides a more responsive gaming experience with reduced input lag. Additionally, it benefits content consumption, making videos, movies, and pictures appear more lifelike and detailed.

As more smartphone manufacturers embrace the 120Hz refresh rate technology, we can expect to see an increase in the availability and affordability of devices with this feature. So, if you value smoothness, responsiveness, and visual fidelity, opting for a smartphone with a 120Hz refresh rate is a worthwhile investment.


FAQ 1: What is a 120Hz refresh rate on a smartphone?

The refresh rate refers to how many times a display updates its content per second. A 120Hz refresh rate means that the display updates the content 120 times per second. This results in smoother and more fluid animations, transitions, and scrolling on the smartphone screen. It provides a visually pleasing experience, especially when playing games and watching videos.

FAQ 2: How does a 120Hz refresh rate affect the battery life of a smartphone?

A higher refresh rate requires the display to work harder, which can consume more battery power. In the case of a 120Hz refresh rate, the battery life of a smartphone can be slightly affected compared to a device with a lower refresh rate. However, advancements in smartphone technology and optimizations in software have significantly minimized the impact on battery life. Manufacturers have implemented features like adaptive refresh rates, which adjust the refresh rate based on the content being displayed, to save battery power.

FAQ 3: Are there any benefits of a 120Hz refresh rate for non-gamers?

Yes, even if you’re not a gamer, a higher refresh rate can still enhance your overall smartphone experience. The smooth and fluid scrolling when browsing through webpages, social media feeds, or other apps can make the interaction feel more immersive. It also reduces the motion blur, making text and visuals appear sharper, improving readability and clarity. So, whether you’re gaming or not, a 120Hz refresh rate can elevate your smartphone usage.

FAQ 4: Does a smartphone with a 120Hz refresh rate require specific hardware?

Yes, to support a 120Hz refresh rate, a smartphone requires certain hardware components. The most critical component is the display panel itself. It needs to be capable of refreshing at a rate of 120 times per second. Additionally, the smartphone’s processor and graphics processing unit (GPU) must be powerful enough to handle the increased workload that comes with higher refresh rates. Therefore, not all smartphones have a 120Hz refresh rate, and it’s typically found in more premium and recently released devices.

FAQ 5: Can I adjust the refresh rate on a smartphone with a 120Hz display?

Many smartphones with a 120Hz refresh rate offer the option to adjust the refresh rate. Some devices allow you to switch between different refresh rate options, such as 60Hz, 90Hz, and 120Hz, depending on your personal preference and usage requirements. Lowering the refresh rate can help conserve battery life. However, it’s worth noting that not all devices have this flexibility, so it’s essential to check the specifications and settings of your specific smartphone model.