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Galaxy S20 will auto switch to 60 Hz refresh rate in some situations

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Last updated: February 18th, 2020 at 10:22 UTC+02:00

A display with a high refresh rate is one of the best features of Samsung’s new flagship, the Galaxy S20. The Galaxy S20, Galaxy S20+, and Galaxy S20 Ultra have AMOLED displays with 120 Hz refresh rate, the highest possible on smartphone displays right now. However, some folks have been critical of the fact that the 120 Hz refresh rate cannot be used at the maximum screen resolution.

Samsung isn’t saying why it made the choice to allow the high refresh rate only at up to Full HD+ screen resolution. We’re assuming it has to do with the fact that pushing high refresh rates at high resolutions can be quite taxing on a device’s GPU and affect battery life. And we have now learned that even at Full HD+, the Galaxy S20 won’t always stick to 120 Hz refresh rate and will automatically switch to 60 Hz in certain situations.

High battery temps, some apps will bring refresh rate down to 60 Hz

These situations are mostly related to the battery, as expected: The Galaxy S20, S20+, and S20 Ultra will switch to 60 Hz refresh rate whenever the battery temperature goes above 42°C and when the battery level drops down to 5% or lower. The switch to 60 Hz will also happen when certain apps are launched, such as the camera or Google Maps. Such apps eat up a lot of battery power in general, so it’s not surprising that Samsung is making sure that the smooth and quick 120 Hz refresh rate won’t be active when those apps are being used.

Will Samsung ever offer customers the option to use both 120 Hz refresh rate and maximum screen resolution (WQHD+), perhaps by adding it via a software update? It’s certainly something plenty of people have been demanding ever since the Galaxy S20 series went official, but whether or not the Korean giant will listen and add such an option is not something we can say right now. However, we have reached out to Samsung for a comment and will let you know as soon as we hear back.

Phone Galaxy S20Galaxy S20 PlusGalaxy S20 Ultra
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