One of the Samsung Galaxy S20’s headline features is the screen’s 120Hz refresh rate, but it’s flawed, in that it only works when you lower the S20’s QHD+ display resolution to Full HD. At QHD+, the refresh rate is locked to 60Hz. This is also the case on the Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus and Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra. But Samsung might be planning to change this.
That’s according to the tech tipster Max Weinbach, who accurately revealed pretty much everything about the S20 series ahead of Samsung’s launch event last week.
Related: Best smartphone
Weinbach doesn’t sound 100% sure about his latest leak, but if he is on the money again, it means that the 120Hz refresh rate will soon work at full resolution on the S20, S20 Plus and S20 Ultra.
That would give users the best of both worlds − maximum sharpness and a refresh rate that makes everything that appears on the screen look smoother, which in turn makes the phone look faster.
However, there will almost certainly be a downside too. Running the display at 120Hz and full resolution will take a toll on battery life. Exactly how significant a toll remains to be seen, but it will make a difference.
This is why we were disappointed that Samsung opted against making the S20’s screen refresh rate variable.
If it had a variable refresh rate, the phone would be able to intelligently lower the refresh rate or crank it up, depending on what’s happening on the screen.
Related: Best Android phones
A higher refresh rate, like 120Hz, is beneficial in certain use cases like streaming or gaming, but if you’re texting or reading it’s really not necessary.
But since the S20’s screen refresh rate is fixed, you have to stick with either 60Hz or 120Hz, or manually flip between the two.