What is the high refresh rate? frame rate? (phones, televisions, and monitors)

many of Favorite TVs Today’s monitors boast higher refresh rates that promise smoother on-screen action and a clearer picture. Last iPhone 13 Pro models It can reach a refresh rate of 120Hz, as can many phones running Google’s Android OS.

High refresh rates are also talked about a lot in games, where quick reactions and instant on-screen updates can mean the difference between victory and failure.

What is the refresh rate?

All the content displayed on your screen is made up of static frames (images) that appear sequentially at a very fast speed. The refresh rate is measured in Hertz (Hz), and it defines how many times a frame can change. A refresh rate of 120 Hz allows a new frame to be displayed up to 120 times every second. A 60Hz screen can only refresh the screen 60 times per second. And you can guess how often a 90Hz screen can be refreshed.

What about the frame rate?

It is important to note that the potential benefit of a higher screen refresh rate is limited to the frame rate of everything that is displayed on the screen. With video clips or video game graphics, this is expressed as frames per second (fps). Movies usually run at 24 fps because it’s theatrical standard, while many games can run at up to 120 fps.

Touch response rate?

Just to confuse you even more, manufacturers sometimes list the touch response rate (or touch sample rate) of touch screens, which is also measured in Hertz. This number relates to the number of times the touch screen wipes a touch of your finger. The higher the touch response rate, the faster it responds to touch.

How does the refresh rate affect your phone

A higher refresh rate allows the phone’s screen to keep up with gaming action and reduce motion blur on video, but it can also make navigating around the interface more responsive than on a lower refresh rate screen. Games look less choppy during frantic motion, fast-paced sports action videos look smoother, and any shake while scrolling on a long web page is reduced. To get the full benefit of a high refresh rate, you also need a high frame rate, and ideally, the two coincide.

Google via Simon Hill

Often the cost is battery life. Refreshing the image on a display more times per second requires more battery power. Processing power is also needed to run graphics at a higher frame rate. Processors have improved significantly, but battery life is still limited on smartphones. For this reason, most phones with high refresh rates do not run at the highest rate all the time. This includes some of the New iPhone Pro 13 Models, which features an “adaptive” refresh rate of 120Hz, which develops at specific times, when you are most likely to notice the difference.

The highest refresh rates came first for gaming-focused smartphones razer phone, but manufacturers like Samsung, OnePlus, and Google have since adopted it in flagship devices like Galaxy S21 series and the Pixel 5.

Razer Phone 2 focuses on gaming and has a fast refresh rate.


What about TVs and monitors?

The benefits of a high refresh rate for a TV or monitor are very similar to that of a smartphone. The action on the screen should look smoother, and the image can appear clearer. Here too, the frame rate of the content is important. There are times when the frame rate does not match the refresh rate, and this can make TV shows and movies look worse.

Explanation of the “soap opera effect”

Some TVs and monitors are better than others at dealing with the differences between frame rate and refresh rate. Many of them simply lower their refresh rate to match the frame rate, but fixed refresh rate displays have to find other ways to deal with this discrepancy.

When a movie is playing at 24 frames per second, for example, but the refresh rate is higher, the TV may insert extra frames to fill in the gaps. This can be relatively straightforward when the refresh rate is divisible by the frame rate, since a TV can display multiples of the same frame. A 120Hz refresh rate can display 24 frames per second content, for example, displaying each frame five times. But with 60Hz refresh rate and 24fps footage, you end up showing an uneven number of frames, which can cause a shaky and annoying effect to some viewers.

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