SamMobile has affiliate and sponsored partnerships. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra does 120Hz a lot better than the S20 series


Last updated: August 17th, 2020 at 19:03 UTC+02:00

The Galaxy S20 series and the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra are equipped with 120Hz displays but the way they go about achieving this high refresh rate is very different. All these devices employ Super AMOLED display technology but the newer Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is said to be making use of an LTPO backplane that enables a variable refresh rate and boasts higher energy efficiency. In practice, we’re learning that the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra simply handles 120Hz with much more elegance compared to its older siblings.

Whether it’s the Galaxy S20, the Galaxy S20+, or the Galaxy S20 Ultra, many of you are aware that the phone will automatically switch from 120Hz to 60Hz whenever its battery level drops to 5%. Likewise, the flagships will drop to 60Hz if the hardware reaches a certain temperature, and we can assume that these automatic triggers have been implemented to prevent battery drain and/or overheating. Although similar, the same doesn’t quite apply to the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra and its 120Hz mode.

The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra runs 120Hz at higher temperatures too

It turns out that Samsung is making use of those aforementioned LTPO energy efficiency improvements in practical ways, and once you set the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra to run at 120Hz, the phone won’t automatically switch back to 60Hz even after its battery reaches a certain level. The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra will instead run at the selected refresh rate until the user specifies otherwise, or until the phone reaches a certain temperature.

Indeed, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra has a temperature failsafe in place much like the Galaxy S20 series does, just in case things get too hot and a lower refresh rate would help ease the heat. Even so, it appears that the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra can handle 120Hz at slightly higher temperatures compared to the Galaxy S20 lineup, or at least next to the Galaxy S20 Ultra.

We tested the 120Hz display mode on both the Galaxy S20 Ultra and the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra side-by-side to determine how hot they can get before dropping back to 60Hz. The results: the former model automatically switches from 120Hz to 60Hz seemingly at random once it reaches 40 degrees Celsius. Meanwhile, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra hasn’t switched back to 60Hz in our testing until it reached 43 degrees Celsius or higher.

All in all, it looks like 120Hz is less of an issue at higher temperatures for the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. Mind you, if there is indeed an improvement that’s been reflected in our limited testing, it’s only of a few degrees Celsius. But it is better than nothing especially now that your phone won’t switch back to 60Hz once it reaches a low battery level either.

Phone Galaxy Note 20 UltraGalaxy S20 Ultra
Load 6 comments

You might also like

Galaxy S20 series is getting September 2022 security update in parts of Europe

After the Galaxy S21 and the Galaxy S22, Samsung has released the September 2022 security update to the Galaxy S20 series. Both LTE and 5G variants of the phones are getting the new security update. European countries are the first to get access to this update. The latest software update for the LTE variants of […]

  • By Asif Iqbal Shaik
  • 2 weeks ago

Galaxy Note 20 series gets access to September 2022 security update

Although Samsung is a bit late this month, the company is quickly rolling out the September 2022 security update to multiple smartphones. Earlier today, the company released it to the Galaxy A52s 5G, Galaxy S20 FE 5G, and the Galaxy S21 series. Now, the update has been released to the Galaxy Note 20 series in […]

  • By Asif Iqbal Shaik
  • 3 weeks ago

Best Samsung Phones in September 2022 – Picked by experts

Given the sheer number of devices that it releases every year, finding the best Samsung phones can often prove to be a challenge for most customers. It doesn’t matter if you want a flagship or a budget device. Samsung offers plenty of options for all price ranges. To make it easier for you to find […]

  • By Adnan Farooqui
  • 3 weeks ago

Carrier-locked Galaxy S20 owners in the US can now download the new security update

More than a month ago, the Galaxy S20 series started getting the August 2022 security update. It was only for the international variants of the phone, though. Now, the US carrier-locked models of the Galaxy S20 series have started getting the August security patch. The carrier-locked versions of the Galaxy S20, Galaxy S20+, and the […]

  • By Asif Iqbal Shaik
  • 3 weeks ago

Expert RAW will soon get Note 20 Ultra support and more pro-grade tools

Samsung’s mobile photography app for professionals, Expert RAW, is about to get a couple of important updates over the next several weeks. The company confirmed through the official Community Forums that more pro-grade features are coming to Expert RAW in October. Furthermore, the Community Manager also revealed a new release timeframe for Galaxy Note 20 […]

  • By Mihai Matei
  • 4 weeks ago

August 2022 security update widely rolling out to the Galaxy Note 20 series

Samsung is rolling out the August 2022 security update to the Galaxy Note 20 series worldwide. The carrier-locked and unlocked versions of the smartphones have already received the update. Now, the update is rolling out to the devices in other parts of the world. The latest software update for the Galaxy Note 20 and the […]

  • By Asif Iqbal Shaik
  • 1 month ago