DigiTimes: 5G Era to Usher in Wide Adoption of Higher Refresh Rate Smartphone Displays

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Back in July, we reported on a rumor that Apple is considering using a switchable 60Hz/120Hz refresh rate screen on its 2020 iPhones, allowing for a smoother on-screen experience. DigiTimes now reports that industry observers believe many 5G-era smartphones are likely to use upgraded displays capable of up to 120Hz refresh rates, reigniting speculation that next year's iPhones could use Apple's ProMotion display tech.


However, DigiTimes notes that whether Apple will adopt displays with a 120Hz refresh rate "remains to be seen."
The arrival of 5G is ushering in hardware upgrades to support related applications and services. It is expected more 5G smartphones will come with displays offering high refresh rates that can enhance user experience. It remains to be seen whether Apple will launch its first 5G iPhone in 2020, or will adopt displays with 120Hz refresh rate...
The DigiTimes article bases its prediction on the penetration rate of over 120Hz panels in the gaming notebook segment. Observers note that this has surpassed 30 percent and is still growing, which is prompting panel makers to step into the sector and develop panels with refresh rates ranging from 120Hz to 240Hz.

The gaming-oriented Razer Phone 2 has such a panel with a fast refresh rate, while Asustek's ROG Phone II, which launched in the second half of 2019, also boasts one. DigiTimes also notes that the Google's Pixel 4 comes with a 90Hz display and Sharp's recently released Aquos R3 features a 6.2-inch IGZO 120Hz display, while several Chinese brands are expected to roll out models with higher refresh rates in 2020.

Apple is considering a switchable 60Hz/120Hz refresh rate screen on the iPhone in 2020, and is discussing with Samsung and LG. pic.twitter.com/4aoU303umu - Ice universe (@UniverseIce) July 21, 2019

Having a similar display on a new iPhone without sacrificing battery life would obviously be a big draw. Apple already uses variable refresh rate technology in its iPad Pro models, and markets the tech under the moniker "ProMotion," which it says dynamically adjusts the display to the movement of content for fluid scrolling, greater responsiveness, and smoother motion. It does all this on the fly, which means it also conserves battery life.

Of course, Apple's iPad Pro models use LCD panels rather than OLED, and rumors have suggested Apple will complete its transition to an all-OLED iPhone lineup in 2020 with new 5.4-inch, 6.1-inch, and 6.7-inch devices.

If Apple is indeed in discussion with Samsung and LG to bring a ProMotion-style screen to a new breed of OLED iPhones, as one leaker claimed earlier this year, then it would raise next year's smartphone performance bar even higher.

Article Link: DigiTimes: 5G Era to Usher in Wide Adoption of Higher Refresh Rate Smartphone Displays
 
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Sasparilla

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Will be interesting to see if this pans out, although I don't care about the tech (looks more like overflow from Android's endless spec sheet one upmenship their vendors try to differentiate themselves with).
 

Jim Lahey

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I was always under the impression that OLED doesn't actually have a refresh rate in the typical sense, and that pixels are simply on until they're told to change colour or not be on. Not sure if this accurate, though. Obviously the frame rate of the video output could still be 120fps.
 

alpi123

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Will be interesting to see if this pans out, although I don't care about the tech (looks more like overflow from Android's endless spec sheet one upmenship their vendors try to differentiate themselves with).
Apple actually already have 120Hz on their iPad Pros and it's MUCH better than 60Hz. Artists benefit from this the most, as it also allows for much lower delay rate when using the Apple Pencil. You can see slow-mo comparisons and the Apple Pencil has got the fastest response time among all tablets and styluses. It will be terrific if Apple included that kind of refresh rate on their next iPhones, I'm very excited.
 

MandiMac

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I'd love having an even better ProMotion display that can go from 1 to 120 Hz. That would be even more battery saving, and if you look at a lot of static content like Reddit or other text-heavy sites, users should see the most gains. I like that thought, like it is on iPad Pro for now.
 
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naturalstar

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With the introduction of Apple Arcade, this move makes sense. Just remains to be seen if 2020 will be the year ProMotion reaches the iPhone. Looks like it will depend on how the talks with LG and Samsung go.
 

m0sher

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120hz displays will consume a good amount of battery power.

There goes a day and a half on one charge of awesome battery life on the 11 Pro Max.
 
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one more

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Just fix the iPhone Pro/Max pricing Apple, and everyone will be much happier.
How will it affect the refresh rate? With folks blinking faster out of a sheer joy? 😋
- - Post merged: - -

120hz displays will consume a good amount of battery power.
Not if it is not constant. Imagine a modulated refresh rate that can switch between 60-120 depending on the task at hand. Could be neat!
 
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Return Zero

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I was always under the impression that OLED doesn't actually have a refresh rate in the typical sense, and that pixels are simply on until they're told to change colour or not be on. Not sure if this accurate, though. Obviously the frame rate of the video output could still be 120fps.
It's different than LCD in handling panel refresh, yes, but it still has a max refresh rate. Think of a scrolling motion that lasts one second. How many times can a pixel be given new instructions within that second? In that sense it's the exact same with OLED as LCD... i.e. the motion smoothing effect is largely the same.
 
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LukasValine

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I was always under the impression that OLED doesn't actually have a refresh rate in the typical sense, and that pixels are simply on until they're told to change colour or not be on. Not sure if this accurate, though. Obviously the frame rate of the video output could still be 120fps.
Yeah that’s not at all how it works. OLED displays need to refresh the same as every other display.
 

_Refurbished_

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Love this. Motion is a huge oversight in specs. This is especially important for Apple's LCD displays.

I can't begin to tell you how much better my OLED iPhone handles motion compared to my gf's new LCD 11 when comparing them side-by-side. It's the most striking difference (to me) between the two displays.

If Apple keeps using LCD displays and increases to 90hz or 120 hz, the LCDs will look pretty damn good. OLEDs will look divine.
 
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ridddder55

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Nobody mentions how much radiation 5G puts out, why the crews installing the antennas must wear hazmat suits, and what does this mean to those in the big cities who will be absorbing all this radiation. I was at a halloween party over the weekend, and a friend who works in IT for a larger local company was opening my eyes to it. He wasn't onboard with 5G, he told me to google it, and he is right the danger is scary.


I found this website, while good it is written like spam, so if you want to do your own research, go ahead. My focus here isn't to sell something, but to make people aware of the dangers.
 
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fmcshan

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I’m nervous about how this ProMotion 120Hz refresh rate is going to affect the battery. I’m getting great battery life on my iPhone 11 Pro Max, but I feel like this the battery life is going to decrease as it did when Apple went from the Apple Watch Series 4 to Series 5.
 

shpankey

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5g next year. Optional 120hz the year after. That's how Apple rolls. Always some big new thing left out for an extra year. 😞

If not, and we get both, with all the other usual upgrades, plus the next major design change, next years phone is setting up to be a generational phenom. Having it as a selectable option is genius! Having it have an auto option, even more so.

Glad I held out again. Next year is shaping up to be a helluva phone.
 
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recoil80

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I’m nervous about how this ProMotion 120Hz refresh rate is going to affect the battery. I’m getting great battery life on my iPhone 11 Pro Max, but I feel like this the battery life is going to decrease as it did when Apple went from the Apple Watch Series 4 to Series 5.
It is unlikely they'll release a new iPhone with worse battery life than the previous model. My guess is they'll keep the same battery life instead of enhancing it because 5G and ProMotion.

I wonder if they'll finally switch to OLED for the entire lineup having ProMotion only on the Pro models
 

shpankey

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Battery life will only be affected if you turn on 120hz fulltime. If you want battery life, leave it off. Or use the auto option for the benefits of both. Sort of like display brightness is now.

Not to mention another year of battery improvements, larger, more efficient, etc. and battery saving witchcraft in software.