Slack-Fight: 60Hz AMOLED vs high-refresh rate LCDs


Because Ben really liked the 120Hz panel of the S21 +, he takes the extreme side in this slack-fight. So he will defend 120hz panels on budget smartphones while I challenge them.

Anyway, here’s what happened between Ben and I on Slack on a warm and sunny February evening (at least in India)!

Round 1: Faster is (not) always better

Ben: Hey, Rahul! Have you heard of Xiaomi’s social media poll where they asked about the refresh rate of the new Redmi Note 10? Turns out 90% of fish finders prefer a slow AMOLED panel to a 120Hz LCD panel? Are they crazy? Who wants to watch slow postings in 2021 ?!

Rahul: Really, Ben? You’ve just called over 8,000 people crazy! If you check the now-deleted poll, you will see that over 10,000 people voted, of which only 12% voted in favor of a fast LCD panel. The last time I checked, companies make their products based on user feedback and take them very seriously. And the comments here are extremely clear – and in favor of a 60Hz AMOLED panel. Here’s an image from the poll (thanks my God for the screenshots!)

It is also time for you to open your mind to the obvious facts. The truth is, people who actually buy these cheap phones don’t mind having a “ slow ” AMOLED display on a high refresh rate LCD. There are many reasons. AMOLED panels are inherently better than LCD screens in almost every aspect.

And guess what? Xiaomi indeed uses an AMOLED on the Redmi Note 10 if the latest leaks are to be believed. Democracy FTW and more power to the people!

Ben: I think most of them have never seen the benefits of high refresh rates for themselves. This is something that cannot really be broadcast through YouTube or the media. These idle refresh rate comparisons don’t quite do the smoothness justice. Since I used my first 120Hz panel, all the other phones just seemed to be “slower”, the lists dragged around scrolling through them, the system animation crawled across the screen and so on. 60 Hertz just won’t cut it in 2021. Do you understand me? It’s old fashioned!

Rahul: Judicial a lot, eh? No one here is denying the benefits of high refresh rates. I love them myself. But remember that we are talking about budget handsets here, and most of the devices that will be presented with its riddle will be priced under € 300. And at that price, there will be trade-offs, and it’s now clear that the lack of high refresh rate panels doesn’t seem like a big compromise for consumers in this segment.

And this is also what I felt a good month before the publication of this survey.

Remember my Xiaomi Mi10i (Mi10T Lite) review where I questioned the use of a 120Hz LCD panel on this phone? If you read this review, you will know that I was upset with Xiaomi’s decision to favor a 120Hz LCD in favor of a standard 60Hz AMOLED because I didn’t really get to enjoy all the benefits of 120Hz because the experience with the software was choppy. I was also convinced that the choppy performance was in part due to the phone’s “ mid-range ” hardware struggling to drive the display at 120Hz.


The 120Hz display experience on the € 300 Mi10i was not a memorable one. It could easily do better with a 60Hz AMOLED panel instead. © Techo State

So please avoid me talking about all the benefits of high refresh rate on budget and affordable smartphones. I’ll be much happier with a slower AMOLED panel on my $ 300 or $ 250 phone that will not only give me better display quality, viewing angles, and brightness levels, but will also consume less battery.

Round 2: Budget phones need a high refresh rate too!

Ben: Although you mentioned the battery life. Because I agree that when it comes to smartphone screens, higher refresh rates kill battery, but I think that’s one of the reasons they really fit in. mid-range smartphones. First of all, most phones with 120Hz panels these days have an adaptive refresh rate, so the phone decides when to boost the frames per second. Plus, if you really need to use your phone for a longer period of time without charging it, you can always set it to 60Hz yourself. It’s like having more power in a car – most of the time. , you don’t need it, but when you do, it’s really handy!

And secondly, many mid-range phones have huge batteries. Take a look at the Realme 7i with its 6000mAh battery. Also, many users charge the phone overnight anyway, even using 120Hz all the time shouldn’t hurt much as these batteries are very coarse to let you use the phones for longer than that. ‘a day.

Rahul: Too bad neither consumers nor brands agree with you. Most new budget and mid-range smartphones seem to be ditching high-refresh LCDs more and more in favor of standard 60Hz AMOLEDs – and rightly so. Take the example of the Redmi Note 10 and the Realme X7 which will be launched soon (which I am currently testing).

Both phones, which will be popular among mid-range consumers, use 60Hz AMOLED panels instead of unnecessary high refresh rate LCDs – the latter’s benefits those consumers will never be able to enjoy. And while it’s true that affordable smartphones generally have bigger batteries, that doesn’t mean the people who buy these phones don’t care about saving battery power at all.

Also note that the money saved by buying an expensive high refresh rate LCD panel (which the user won’t be able to enjoy anyway) is instead used to give them some really useful features like faster charging speeds and , of course, better AMOLED. sign. Take the example of the Realme X7, which I currently use. This smartphone skips a 90 / 120Hz LCD screen and gets a standard 60Hz AMOLED panel. But it also supports flagship-level 50W charging speeds – a feature that is genuinely useful for consumers and will give them tangible benefits instead of a choppy 120Hz LCD panel that you can sometimes use at its peak. full capacity – this too with compromised experience.

Besides, what is the point of even having a feature that we cannot make the most of? So high refresh rate LCDs on budget phones don’t make sense – at least in the current scenario. But don’t worry, there is also a rumor that Xiaomi will not entirely disappoint the high refresh rate + LCD camp and that they will also have an LCD variant of the phone for those who cannot live without a 120Hz panel.

Round 3: Is there a happy medium?

Ben: Maybe AMOLED panels with 90Hz refresh rate will become the new “middle lane” in the future. This would of course be optimal. Fast charging is a whole different matter; we shouldn’t start on that (haha). But I also see a huge difference between the need for fast charging and the attention it gets. Either way, most people charge their phones overnight.

That’s why I always go for high refresh rates in phones. It’s a benefit that you see every time you use your phone. And AMOLED displays are by definition no better than LC displays. I would have loved to see the “best 120HZ LCD screen” Xiaomi mentioned, but if you want to play it safe, go for it!

Rahul: Well, surprisingly, I kind of agree with you. 90Hz AMOLED panels may soon become mainstream on mid-range phones, as the cost of high refresh rate AMOLED panels will continue to decline with increasing demand. But I’ve presented you with evidence before that indicates that all that high refresh rate experience on budget phones rarely matches their more expensive counterparts – thus negating the need for seemingly unnecessary functionality, at least until that point. that future mid-range SoCs truly become capable of driving. their.

Also, while agreeing with you that most people charge their phones overnight, fast charging will definitely be more useful in cases where you are in dire need of a charge and have little time to spare. to loose. In such scenarios, a short 30 minute charge will give you a battery of several days. Now, would you rather have that as an option, or would you rather “ enjoy ” the choppy and compromised experience of a high refresh rate LCD panel on your $ 250 smartphone while draining your battery?

Either way, let’s not continue this discussion, otherwise we might end up doing yet another Slack Fight – this time fast charging!

While Xiaomi users who took part in this poll voted overwhelmingly in favor of 60Hz AMOLED panels instead of a good quality LCD display, we would like to know what our Techo State audience thinks about this whole scenario. Would you rather enjoy the no-frills perks that a 60Hz LCD screen offers or do you want manufacturers to cram a high refresh rate panel even on their budget and mid-range phones? Let us know in the comments section below or by voting in the poll below.


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