As someone who uses various Galaxy smartphones from a range of segments to review them and tell our readers if a device is worth their hard-earned money, the Galaxy S20 lineup has made my job a little less enjoyable this year. And, as the title suggests, it’s the 120Hz high refresh rate displays — which are fantastic despite some limitations — on the Galaxy S20, S20+ and S20 Ultra that are to blame.
For me, the high refresh rate displays are the biggest upgrade the Galaxy S20 series brings to Samsung’s premier flagship series. Yes, the Galaxy S20 Ultra’s zoom camera is pretty awesome as well. But it’s the fluid display on my S20 Ultra that elevates the experience over every Galaxy device I’ve owned before. I’m so spoiled now that every time I switch to a different phone and make it my daily driver to review it, I long to go back to the Galaxy S20 Ultra because of how much of a downgrade it feels to use a 60Hz display.
Part of the reason why I so love the 120Hz display is because I like my phones to be as fast as possible. Samsung’s flagship phones are fast in general, but the high refresh rate further increases that feeling of speed by making animations seem zippier. And, as a result, when you go back to a 60Hz display, it feels like things have slowed down. This is true for both flagship and non-flagship devices, but the latter naturally seem even slower, and those are the kind of phones I review more often (because flagship Galaxy phones only come out every six months).
This would be less of an issue for those who write on websites that cover all Android devices, because many manufacturers now have phones with high refresh rate displays. In Samsung’s galaxy (no pun intended), it’s just the Galaxy S20 that supports the feature at the moment, and although the upcoming Galaxy Note 20 and possibly the Galaxy Fold 2 will also have a 120Hz display, the overall choices for me as a reviewer of Galaxy devices will continue to be limited. Well, unless Samsung decides to bring high refresh rate screens to mid-range and budget phones, which is unlikely to happen any time soon – or at all.