Refresh Rates in Smartphones

A common complaint amongst audible section of tech enthusiasts and its innovation in smartphones is dead. This basically implies that most phones essentially look and feelthe same. A quick glance at the smartphone market shows that there is ample evidence to support this point of view. Visually, you would find many smartphones with colorful gradient backs and notches on the screen. The situation isn’t any better in the functionality department. For instance, you would find so many phones jumping the quad camera train that it loses its uniqueness. In the midst of this monotony, the higher refresh rates of smartphone screens feels like a breath of fresh air.

What do we mean by refresh rate?

The standard smartphone comes with a 60 Hz refresh rate but this has started to change within a certain bracket. Before we touch upon the motivation for this change and identify those who initiated it, let’s understand what refresh rate entails. The refresh rate basically means the number of times the screen refreshes in a second. In other words, it is the maximum limit of frames per second that a screen can display.  This has certain ramifications in terms of the day to day user experience.

Higher refresh rates = Increased fluidity

The higher refresh rate in smartphones can make your daily usage a more pleasant experience. How you may ask? Well the higher refresh rates can increase the fluidity of the transitions in the user interface. It is easy to be dismissive of this claim if you are judging on the basis of video reviews only. To experience the benefits of switching to 90 Hz or 120 Hz refresh rate, one needs to use the phone personally as cameras generally struggle in capturing the improvement in the refresh rates.

90 Hz and 120 Hz options

A higher refresh rate is not a completely new concept in smartphones. It existed in the niche segment of gaming smartphones. Options like Asus ROG series and Razer phones have offered 90 Hz and 120 Hz refresh rates. It makes sense for them to possess higher refresh rates because the experience of fast paced gameplay is improved. However, now it is being realized that this higher refresh rate can be used to improve the general experience as well. That is why we see a select few smartphones like the OnePlus 7 and the upcoming Google Pixel 4 offering refresh rates of 90 Hz.

In light of the discussion, it is hoped that you now have a much better understanding of how refresh rate is a standout feature among smartphones. It is a good example of integrating an existing technology in smartphones. The creative use of both new and existing ideas can keep smartphones feeling fresh in the eyes of the consumer. That being said, one must realize that innovation is perpetual as every feature, even the refresh rate, will become common with the progression of technology. The positive approach is to learn from the experience and apply the general concept of producing phones with new and interesting features.

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