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OnePlus Shows Off Its Upcoming Buttery-Smooth 120 Hz Display

A blue OnePlus 7 Pro phone leaned against a smart speaker.
The OnePlus 7 Pro has a 90 Hz display. Cameron Summerson / Review Geek

If you care about having a smooth and buttery scrolling experience, Pete Lau (the CEO of OnePlus) has a tweet for you. It shows off the company’s upcoming 120 Hz displays, comparing it to an older phone with a 60 Hz display. The difference is remarkable—if the company can follow through, that is.

You may remember the smartphone camera resolution wars of…well practically yesterday. Smartphone manufacturers are always looking for a new shiny sounding statistic to tout as the latest, greatest, and best thing since 3G speeds.

The latest battle is over screen refresh rates. The higher the number, the smoother a screen scrolls and moves through content. OnePlus already had a clear winner with the 7T and the 7 Pro, each sporting displays that features 90 Hz screens. They even beat out the Google Pixel 4, since that phone only uses 90 Hz refresh in specific scenarios.

But OnePlus says its next phones will feature 120 Hz displays, double what the average phone currently offers. And a Pet Lau’s recent tweet claims to demonstrate the difference.

To be clear, this is a simulated video. You aren’t looking at a recording of actual screens. That’s necessary because the average person won’t be looking at the video on a display that supports 120 Hz refresh rates.

So to get an idea of how accurate the demonstration was, I pulled my old Galaxy S8 phone and put it in a twitter scrolling contest with my OnePlus 7T.

That unscientific test suggests the video is at least very close to the truth, if not perhaps slightly exaggerated. I could see a significant difference between my two phones, and the Galaxy S8 felt stuttery. It wasn’t something I ever noticed when the phone was my daily driver, but I do now.

Comparing my OnePlus 7T to the 120 Hz video, though, was a bit disappointing. The leap isn’t that great. If you’re moving from a 60 Hz display to a 120 Hz display, the difference will likely be night and day. But since newer 90 Hz screens are a closer technology, it’s more of a night and evening difference—certainly noticeable, but not as clear cut.

All that said, since this is a simulated demonstration video, we’ll hold final judgment until we can get our hands on the real thing.

Josh Hendrickson Josh Hendrickson
Josh Hendrickson is the Editor in Chief of Review Geek and is responsible for the site's content direction. He has worked in IT for nearly a decade, including four years spent repairing and servicing computers for Microsoft. He’s also a smart home enthusiast who built his own smart mirror with just a frame, some electronics, a Raspberry Pi, and open-source code. Read Full Bio »