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Pixel Fold tipped to get a 120Hz screen

Google’s upcoming foldable phone – widely assumed to be branded the Pixel Fold when official – will have a 7.57-inch 120Hz LTPO screen built by Samsung according to industry insider Ross Young.

“All 2021 foldables using panels from Samsung Display will be 120Hz and LTPO,” Young tweeted. He then went on to outline all the phones that this includes: Samsung’s own Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 3, as well as handsets from Oppo, Vivo, Xiaomi and, notably, Google.

All the handsets mentioned were highlighted in a recent report listing a number of foldables coming later this year, or early 2022. The fact that they all seem to share the same 120Hz and LTPO capability isn’t necessarily surprising given they’re all manufactured by Samsung, but it certainly is a positive.

Upping a screen’s refresh rate to 120Hz leads to smoother day-to-day use, and opens the door to higher frame rates in mobile games – even if, for now, that advantage is largely theoretical, as most are capped at 60fps. 

LPTO – or low-temperature Polycrystalline oxide to use its full and somewhat unwieldy name – is a technology that allows panels to dynamically change the refresh rate without the need for additional hardware. It means that a handset can switch from a smooth and slick 120Hz when running games to 1fps when displaying something mostly static – the time on a lockscreen, say. While practically you won’t notice the difference, your battery certainly will.

Judging by the dimensions, all of the handsets mentioned by Young and in the earlier report seem to be adopting the same book-like form factor of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold family, rather than mimicking the flip phone style of the Galaxy Z Flip 3 or Motorola Razr

Each one is set to face stiff competition from Samsung, which is reportedly aiming to make 2021 the year when foldables go mainstream. The company is apparently planning on making both the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 3 around 20% cheaper when they launch later this year, almost certainly at an Unpacked event on August 11.

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