Skip to main content

OnePlus confirms its next phone will jump to a 120Hz screen

OnePlus confirms its next phone will jump to a 120Hz screen

/

The new spec war isn’t the number of pixels, it’s how fast they flash

Share this story

Speaking to us last week at CES, OnePlus CEO Pete Lau confirmed that the company’s next major phones — presumably the OnePlus 8 — will feature screens with a refresh rate of 120Hz. Lau is not one for subtlety, and claimed in a note to us sent later that it would be “the best smartphone display in 2020.” Having not seen it, we obviously can’t say if that claim is more than just bombast.

OnePlus says that it worked with Samsung to develop the OLED screen, and that in addition it has done work on top of Android to improve animations (especially the core OS gestures) so they’ll look smoother at 120Hz.

OnePlus also intends to use a custom MEMC (motion estimation / motion compensation) chip to insert extra frames into videos to bring them up to 120Hz. It wouldn’t be completely inaccurate to call it motion smoothing for video on smartphones, though again we’d have to see whether it causes a “soap opera effect” in person before we called that a bad idea. MEMC will be able to be toggled on and off in settings.

The image at the top of the post, sent to us by OnePlus, doesn’t convey a ton of information but does indicate where the MEMC hardware chip would sit. It also, astute viewers will note, appears to show a pop-up camera mechanism.

It sounds a little like motion smoothing for phones

Lastly, OnePlus claims its screen can hit 1000 nits peak brightness for HDR content, has a touch sampling rate of 240Hz, and supports 10-bit color. Add it all up and you have what is clearly the next front in the Android phone chest thumping battle: screen specs.

The OnePlus 8 (or whatever it will be called) won’t be the first phone to hit 120Hz. the ROG Phone 2 and Razer Phone 2 both did that last year. Nor will it be the only Android phone that has a higher-than-60Hz refresh rate to come out this year. Samsung’s Galaxy S series, for example, is expected to feature 120Hz refresh rates when announced on February 11th. The challenges facing all of those phones will include compensating for the higher battery cost of a high-refresh rate screen and convincing customers the extra cost it worth the improved smoothness.

Users should be able to switch between 60Hz and 120Hz, but it may not be a variable refresh rate as Google has tried (somewhat unsuccessfully) to do on the Pixel 4’s 90Hz screen. And while it may reduce the refresh rate in some cases when it’s not needed, it won’t be able match the refresh rate of, say, 24FPS video.

Lau believes that last part won’t be hard. “It’s something you can definitely tell” in the same way you could see 90Hz, he says, calling it a “further level” of smoothness, especially with scrolling and gestures. Lau also argues that the company has been focused on optimizing for power consumption. It’s already an issue with 90Hz screens, so it’s going to be even more of a concern with 120Hz.

OnePlus has promised to hold an event in Shenzhen, China today to show off more of this new screen technology. It seems as if companies announcing features of their phones before they announce their phones is just going to be the new normal now.

Today’s Storystream

Feed refreshed An hour ago The tablet didn’t call that play by itself

E
Twitter
Emma RothAn hour ago
Missing classic Mario?

One fan, who goes by the name Metroid Mike 64 on Twitter, just built a full-on 2D Mario game inside Super Mario Maker 2 complete with 40 levels and eight worlds.

Looking at the gameplay shared on Twitter is enough to make me want to break out my SNES, or at least buy Super Mario Maker 2 so I can play this epic retro revamp.


R
External Link
Russell BrandomAn hour ago
The US might still force TikTok into a data security deal with Oracle.

The New York Times says the White House is still working on TikTok’s Trump-era data security deal, which has been in a weird limbo for nearly two years now. The terms are basically the same: Oracle plays babysitter but the app doesn’t get banned. Maybe it will happen now, though?


R
Youtube
Richard LawlerTwo hours ago
Don’t miss this dive into Guillermo del Toro’s stop-motion Pinocchio flick.

Andrew Webster and Charles Pulliam-Moore covered Netflix’s Tudum reveals (yes, it’s going to keep using that brand name) over the weekend as the streamer showed off things that haven’t been canceled yet.

Beyond The Way of the Househusband season two news and timing information about two The Witcher projects, you should make time for this incredible behind-the-scenes video showing the process of making Pinocchio.


Asian America learns how to hit back

The desperate, confused, righteous campaign to stop Asian hate

Esther Wang12:00 PM UTC
R
External Link
Russell Brandom4:29 PM UTC
Edward Snowden has been granted Russian citizenship.

The NSA whistleblower has been living in Russia for the 9 years — first as a refugee, then on a series of temporary residency permits. He applied for Russian citizenship in November 2020, but has said he won’t renounce his status as a U.S. citizen.


E
External Link
Emma Roth4:13 PM UTC
Netflix’s gaming bet gets even bigger.

Even though fewer than one percent of Netflix subscribers have tried its mobile games, Netflix just opened up another studio in Finland after acquiring the Helsinki-based Next Games earlier this year.

The former vice president of Zynga Games, Marko Lastikka, will serve as the studio director. His track record includes working on SimCity BuildIt for EA and FarmVille 3.


A
External Link
Andrew J. Hawkins3:37 PM UTC
Vietnam’s EV aspirant is giving big Potemkin village vibes

Idle equipment, absent workers, deserted villages, an empty swimming pool. VinFast is Vietnam’s answer to Tesla, with the goal of making 1 million EVs in the next 5-6 years to sell to customers US, Canada and Europe. With these lofty goals, the company invited a bunch of social media influencers, as well as some auto journalists, on a “a four-day, multicity extravaganza” that seemed more weird than convincing, according to Bloomberg.


J
James Vincent3:17 PM UTC
Today, 39 years ago, the world didn’t end.

And it’s thanks to one man: Stanislav Petrov, a USSR military officer who, on September 26th, 1983, took the decision not to launch a retaliatory nuclear attack against the US. Petrov correctly guessed that satellite readings showing inbound nukes were faulty, and so likely saved the world from nuclear war. As journalist Tom Chivers put it on Twitter, “Happy Stanislav Petrov Day to those who celebrate!” Read more about Petrov’s life here.


Soviet Colonel who prevented 1983 nuclear response
Photo by Scott Peterson/Getty Images
J
The Verge
James Vincent3:03 PM UTC
Deepfakes were made for Disney.

You might have seen the news this weekend that the voice of James Earl Jones is being cloned using AI so his performance as Darth Vader in Star Wars can live on forever.

Reading the story, it struck me how perfect deepfakes are for Disney — a company that profits from original characters, fans' nostalgia, and an uncanny ability to twist copyright law to its liking. And now, with deepfakes, Disney’s most iconic performances will live on forever, ensuring the magic never dies.


E
External Link
Elizabeth Lopatto2:41 PM UTC
Hurricane Fiona ratcheted up tensions about crypto bros in Puerto Rico.

“An official emergency has been declared, which means in the tax program, your physical presence time is suspended,” a crypto investor posted on TikTok. “So I am headed out of the island.” Perhaps predictably, locals are furious.


R
The Verge
Richard Lawler2:09 PM UTC
Teen hacking suspect linked to GTA 6 leak and Uber security breach charged in London.

City of London police tweeted Saturday that the teenager arrested on suspicion of hacking has been charged with “two counts of breach of bail conditions and two counts of computer misuse.”

They haven’t confirmed any connection with the GTA 6 leak or Uber hack, but the details line up with those incidents, as well as a suspect arrested this spring for the Lapsus$ breaches.


R
The Verge
Richard Lawler1:00 PM UTC
Green light.

Good morning to everyone, except for the intern or whoever prevented us from seeing how Microsoft’s Surface held up to yet another violent NFL incident.

Today’s big event is the crash of a NASA spaceship this evening — on purpose. Mary Beth Griggs can explain.


D
David Pierce12:54 PM UTC
Thousands and thousands of reasons people love Android.

“Android fans, what are the primary reasons why you will never ever switch to an iPhone?” That question led to almost 30,000 comments so far, and was for a while the most popular thing on Reddit. It’s a totally fascinating peek into the platform wars, and I’ve spent way too much time reading through it. I also laughed hard at “I can turn my text bubbles to any color I like.”