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How to turn on the samsung galaxy s20’s 120hz display

Justin Duino
How to turn on the samsung galaxy s20’s 120hz displayJustin Duino
Managing Editor

Justin Duino is the Managing Editor at How-To Geek. He has spent the last decade writing about Android, smartphones, and other mobile technology. In addition to his written work, he has also been a regular guest commentator on CBS News and BBC World News and Radio to discuss current events in the technology industry. Read more.

How to turn on the samsung galaxy s20’s 120hz display

Justin Duino

Your Samsung Galaxy Galaxy S20, S20+, or S20 Ultra has a stunning display that’s capable of running at 120Hz. Out of the box, the handset is set to WQHD+ (3,200 x 1,440), which can only run at 60Hz and uses the most battery life. If you want to change your screen resolution, you can set it to HD+ (1,600 x 720) or FHD+ (2,400 x 1,080).

Start by jumping into the Settings menu when you’re ready to change your device’s screen resolution. The easiest way to do this is by swiping down from the top of the display to open the notification shade. From there, tap the Gear icon next to the Power button.

How to turn on the samsung galaxy s20’s 120hz display

Alternatively, swipe up from the handset’s home screen to open the app drawer. Either use the search box at the top of the display or scroll between panels to launch the “Settings” app.

Next, select the “Display” option.

How to turn on the samsung galaxy s20’s 120hz display

Scroll to the bottom of the list and then tap on the “Screen Resolution” button. Your Galaxy S20’s current screen resolution will be displayed under the item’s heading text.

How to turn on the samsung galaxy s20’s 120hz display

Finally, select your desired screen resolution. Again, your choices are HD+ (1,600 x 720), FHD+ (2,400 x 1,080), and WQHD+ (3,200 x 1,440). After you make your selection, tap on the “Apply” button to save your changes.

How to turn on the samsung galaxy s20’s 120hz display

Changing the screen resolution on your Samsung Galaxy S20, S20+, or S20 Ultra is that simple. Remember that you can only take advantage of the smartphone’s 120Hz display when it’s set to FHD+. We recommend sticking to the middle setting as it will uses less battery life than WQHD+.

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How to turn on the samsung galaxy s20’s 120hz display Justin Duino
Justin Duino is the Managing Editor at How-To Geek. He has spent the last decade writing about Android, smartphones, and other mobile technology. In addition to his written work, he has also been a regular guest commentator on CBS News and BBC World News and Radio to discuss current events in the technology industry.
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How to turn on the samsung galaxy s20’s 120hz display

In this guide, you will learn how to turn on or enable the 120Hz display refresh rate on the Samsung Galaxy S20, S20 Plus, and S20 Ultra. These three giants are Samsung’s latest flagship smartphones with a number of improvements like powerful cameras and faster processor and there are quite a few unknown features that we must know and one of the features on the Galaxy S20 is 120Hz refresh rate screen. However, by default the display refresh rate is 60Hz on all the Samsung Galaxy S20, S20 Plus and S20 Ultra.

Meanwhile, as soon as you turn on your brand new Galaxy S20, S20 Plus and S20 Ultra, you’re not getting all 120Hz, you’re just getting 60Hz instead. While the device still defaults to resolution FHD+ instead of resolution WQHD+.

However, this feature is not just on the Galaxy S20 Ultra but all the regular S20 and the Galaxy S20 Plus also feature 120Hz displays and which is 60Hz by default. Meanwhile, you can’t run and use 120Hz and WQHD+ (3200 × 1400) at the same time. When you enable a 120Hz display refresh rate, your Galaxy S20 or S20 Ultra’s screen resolution will be automatically downgraded to HD+ ( 1600 × 720).

How to Enable the 120Hz Display on Galaxy S20, S20+ & S20 Ultra

The good thing about this feature is that not only you can activate it on your Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra but you can also enable it on your Galaxy S20 and S20 Plus as well. Fortunately, turning on the 120Hz refresh rate when you need to, and turning it off when you’re finished, is pretty simple. Here’s how to adjust the refresh rate for the Samsung Galaxy S20 series.

Step 1. Go the Settings app on your home screen.

Step 2. Tap Display.

How to turn on the samsung galaxy s20’s 120hz display

Step 3. Tap Motion smoothness.

How to turn on the samsung galaxy s20’s 120hz display

Step 4. Here, you have got two options; High Refresh Rate (120Hz) for smoother scrolling and (60Hz) for better battery life. Tap 120Hz.

How to turn on the samsung galaxy s20’s 120hz display

120Hz Display on Galaxy S20

Step 5. After selecting 120Hz then tap Apply.

How to turn on the samsung galaxy s20’s 120hz display

When you pick 120Hz as your refresh rate, the resolution of your Galaxy S20 will be downscaled automatically. But in the Screen Resolution menu, you can select between HD+ and FHD+. However, if you select WQHD+ will disable the 120Hz refresh rate. When you see a heavy battery drain and feel like the phone runs out of power before the end of the day, however, you can always turn back to the standard 60Hz mode.

The option to switch 120Hz of the refresh rate on can be greyed out in motion Smoothness settings if you have set your Galaxy S20’s resolution to WQHD+. Adjusting the resolution to FHD+ will address the issue.

Phones That Have 120Hz Refresh Rate Displays

Right now, when it comes to 120Hz refresh rate phones, there are just a few options you can see below:

  • Samsung Galaxy S20 Series
  • OnePlus 8 & OnePlus 8 Pro
  • ASUS ROG Phone 2
  • Razer Phone 2
  • OPPO Find X2
  • iPad Pro Models

Conclusion

That’s it. This feature was about how to enable the 120Hz display refresh rate on Samsung Galaxy S20, S20+ and S20 Ultra. Well, 120Hz refresh rate can be battery drainer and that’s up to you. However, it’s recommended not to turn on the 120Hz refresh rate every time. You can enable it while playing some heavy games or reading for a lengthy period of time. Otherwise, keep it to 60Hz.

How to turn on the samsung galaxy s20’s 120hz display

In this guide, you will learn how to change refresh rate to 120Hz on Samsung Galaxy S20. Galaxy S20 is a flagship smartphone and it comes with many tops of the line specs and features. It features the powerful processor, triple camera setup, AMOLED display as well as 8 GB of RAM. Galaxy S20 also comes with the 120Hz Display panel which provides a smooth gaming experience. By default, S20’s display is set to 60Hz Refresh rate but you can change it to the 120Hz to smooth the overall experience. If you want to enable it on your S20 then keep reading because we will show you how to do it.

Is 120Hz enough for gaming?

The trend of having the 120Hz in smartphones started in 2019 and now we see many smartphones with the 120Hz refresh rate. When it comes to gaming, having the 120Hz refresh is surely worth it as it smoothes the gaming experience. The conventional smartphone panels come with the 60Hz refresh rate and the 120Hz panels are twice as fast as the conventional ones.

If you use your Galaxy S20 for gaming then you can surely use the 120Hz refresh rate. Even if you use it for normal web browsing, 120Hz offers smooth animation which is very addictive. Once you get addicted to the smooth scrolling of the 120Hz panel then 60Hz panel would never be enough for you. If you are ready to enjoy this smooth gaming experience then you can check our next section where we will share the whole process.

How to Change Refresh Rate to 120Hz on Samsung Galaxy S20

In this section, we will share the step by step process on how to change the refresh rate to 120Hz on your Galaxy S20.

  1. Swipe down from the top of the screen and tap the gear-shaped icon on the top right corner to access the settings. Alternatively, you can access it by tapping the settings icon in the apps menu.
  2. Navigate to the Display section and tap it.
  3. Find the Motion Smoothness section and tap it.
  4. Here you will get the two options, select the High Refresh Rate (120Hz) option. That’s it.

How to turn on the samsung galaxy s20’s 120hz display

Does a High Refresh rate affect battery life?

Yes, when you enable the 120Hz refresh rate on your Galaxy S20 then the battery life will be affected. It is not affected on that level but you will surely feel the difference. In our opinion, switching to a 120Hz refresh rate is worth it and you will enjoy the smoother scrolling and more realistic animations.

Conclusion

That’s how you can change the refresh rate to 120Hz on Samsung S20. If you have any questions, please let us know in the comment section below. Also, if you want to uncap the full potential of your S20 and want to take great photos then you can use the various camera modes. You can check our guide on “How to change camera modes on the Galaxy S20” where we have discussed the complete process in detail.

How to turn on the samsung galaxy s20’s 120hz display

While many smartphones these days top out at a 60Hz refresh rate for animations on screen, the Samsung Galaxy S20 series is different. All members of the S20 family can double that 120Hz for a super smooth view of videos, games, or whatever else you’re looking at.

Unfortunately, there’s just one catch to ramping up the refresh rate on Samsung’s flagships: you’ll sacrifice some resolution in the process. Although all three S20 models pack 1440p resolutions, you’ll have to give up all those pixels and downscale to 1080p or 720p to run these phones at 120Hz mode. That’s because using the faster refresh rate consumes much more power, and Samsung’s only way of mitigating that is by toning down resolution.

When we tested the Galaxy S20 Ultra’s battery with a 120Hz refresh rate turned on, the phone ran out of battery after 9 hours, 13 minutes. That’s nearly 3 hours less than the result we got from the Galaxy S20 Ultra when running at the default 60Hz refresh rate. (In fact, the S20 Ultra offers some of the best phone battery life when you keep the faster refresh rate turned off.)

Our advice? Turn to the 120Hz refresh rate when it’s time to game — some titles, like Forza Street, have been updated to take advantage of the faster refresh rate — or when you’re going to sit down for a lengthy reading session on your smartphone.

Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to turn on the 120Hz refresh rate when you need it, and turn it off when you’re done. Here’s how to adjust the refresh rate on any Galaxy S20 model.

1. Head to Settings and enter the Display section to get started.

2. Select Motion Smoothness from the Display settings menu.

3. Set your refresh rate. You’ve got two options: High Refresh Rate (120Hz) for smoother scrolling or Standard Refresh Rate (60Hz) for better battery life.

4. If you pick 120Hz as your refresh rate, your Galaxy S20’s resolution will be automatically downscaled. But you can adjust it yourself in the Resolution section of Display settings. Pick between HD+ (1600×720), FHD+ (2400×1080) and WQHD+ (3200×1440). Selecting the latter option will disable the 120Hz refresh rate if you have that turned one.

One note about resolution: if you’ve set your Galaxy S20’s resolution to WQHD+, the option to turn on the 120Hz refresh rate may be grayed out in the Motion Smoothness settings. Adjusting the resolution to FHD+ will fix that problem.

One of the coolest bits about the new Samsung Galaxy S20 series is the 120Hz refresh rate of their displays. However at launch you will have to choose between 120Hz and QHD rendering as the mode was only available up to FullHD resolution. According to a new development, Samsung will bring the [email protected] mode via a firmware update.

The phones will also automatically switch between 60 and 120Hz depending on the app running to maximize battery life.

How to turn on the samsung galaxy s20’s 120hz display

The rumor comes from a screenshot of an S20 device running on a new firmware version which shows the new Dynamic screen refresh rate option. According to speculations, the refresh rate will drop to 60Hz when the battery temperature passes 42°C (107.6°F) or the battery charge drops down to 5%. In addition, the phone will tone down the refresh rate in apps like Google Maps and the stock camera. The main reason is to conserve battery where the 120Hz won’t have great impact on the user experience.

How to turn on the samsung galaxy s20’s 120hz display

While still not the solution some users were hoping for, the new Dynamic mode looks like a step in the right direction in giving consumers the ability to take advantage of their devices’ true capabilities. There is still no word on when this update is coming but we’ll make sure to follow up once there are more details.

The next generation of Dynamic AMOLED is Dynamic AMOLED 2X, found on the Infinity-O Display on Galaxy S20, S20+, and S20 Ultra. Part of this new display technology is an upgrade to 120Hz, which levels up your phone experience with smoother scrolling and faster touch response.

60Hz can create a visual break in pictures and text when scrolling, especially through image-focused social media feeds. With 120Hz, the scroll looks seamless. You’ll also notice a difference when gaming, because the scenery will be smoother — and with a more precise, quicker touch response.

The Infinity-O Display is set to 60Hz by default, but it’s easy to get the responsive, smooth 120Hz display by changing it in Settings.

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How to turn on the samsung galaxy s20’s 120hz display

The 120Hz display refresh rate is one of the prominent new features of Galaxy S20.

This Galaxy S20 guide explains the role of the display refresh rate on Galaxy S20, how to change the refresh rate on Galaxy S20, the limitations of the 120Hz refresh rate on Galaxy S20. Some questions you may have on this feature are also addressed.

The display refresh rate feature on three Galaxy S20 phones are identical. So, S20 in this refers to Galaxy S20, S20+, and S20 Ultra.

What are the 60Hz and 120Hz display refresh rate on Galaxy S20?

The display refresh rate measures the number of times per second the display can redraw the whole screen. So, the unit of the refresh rate is Hertz (Hz, 1/s).

For most smartphones, the display refresh rate is 60Hz. And it is good enough for most users.

Most videos have a frame rate of 24

30 fps (frames per second). Loosely, you can think one frame means one static image on the screen.

So, as long as the refresh rate is higher than the fps of the video, we say the display can handle the video. You can watch the video on such a display.

In reality, the 60Hz display refresh rate allows you to watch the video smoothly.

But some users, mainly gamers, may prefer a higher refresh rate to enjoy more realistic gaming experiences.

The hardware and the software on Galaxy S20 are capable of generating graphic output at very high speed, far higher than 60fps even at the full WQHD resolution.

So, some games can benefit from the high fps if the display can handle the output smoothly.

Galaxy S20 answers such demands with the 120Hz refresh rate display.

As mentioned, the 120Hz refresh rate is not for everyone. You will see the difference if:

  • You are playing 60fps (or higher) videos.
  • You are playing a few games that can handle/generate output at a rate higher than 60fps. Most games do NOT benefit from a high frame rate.

Anyway, as a new feature of Galaxy S20, the 120Hz refresh rate display (motion smoothness) may improve your experiences with a few games and videos.

How to set the Galaxy S20 display refresh rate?

By default, the Galaxy S20 display refresh rate is et at 60Hz. You can change it to 120Hz in the motion smoothness settings.

Please note, the 120Hz refresh rate is not supported when you set the screen resolution as WQHD+ (3200*1440). The default screen resolution on Galaxy S20 is FHD+ (2400*1080).

You may follow the following steps to set the display refresh rate on Galaxy S20.

Step 1: Open Galaxy S20 Settings

You can access Galaxy S20 Settings in various ways, including:

  • Tap the Settings app icon on the Galaxy S20 Home screen.
  • Tap the Settings app icon on the Galaxy S20 Apps screen.
  • Tap the gear icon in Galaxy S20 quick settings panel or notification panel.

You can even use voice command to launch Settings.

Step 2: Access Display Settings

In Galaxy S20 Settings page, as shown in the screenshot below, tap Display to access Galaxy S20 display settings.

How to turn on the samsung galaxy s20’s 120hz display How to turn on the samsung galaxy s20’s 120hz display

Step 3: Set display refresh rate in motion smoothness

In the display settings page, tap Motion smoothness, as shown above, to set the Galaxy S20 display refresh rate.

As shown below, on the Motion smoothness settings page, you can find the demonstration and some basic information on the difference be between 60Hz and 120Hz refresh rats.

If you want to set the display refresh rate to 120Hz, you need to tap High refresh rate (120Hz), then tap Apply, a shown below.

If the High refresh rate (120Hz) is greyed out, very likely, your screen resolution was set as WQHD+. You need to change it to FHD+ or HD+ to use the 120Hz refresh rate.

Besides, if you turn on power saving (medium power saving), the refresh rate will also be limited to 60Hz.

How to turn on the samsung galaxy s20’s 120hz display

Step 4: Test it out

You can now try some games or 60fps videos to see the difference.

Limitations of the 120Hz display refresh rate on Galaxy S20?

There are two major limitations of the 120Hz display refresh rate on Galaxy S20:

  1. It is not available when the screen resolution is set as WQHD+ (1440p).
  2. It will revert to 60Hz if you turn on medium power saving. Once you turn off the power saving mode, the refresh rate should revert back to 120Hz.

Do you need the 120Hz display refresh rate on Galaxy S20?

For more than 99% of Galaxy S20 owners, it is not necessary to set the refresh rate to 120Hz. You will not see any differences between using 60Hz and 120Hz refresh rate.

Only if you play some action games, or play high frame rate videos, you may benefit from the 120Hz refresh rate.

The side effect of using the120Hz display refresh rate is the additional battery drain. It is not noticeable, although not significant.

Can I set the refresh rate between 60 and 120Hz?

No, you can only choose 60Hz or 120Hz for the refresh rate.

Samsung does not allow you to set the refresh rate to anything else (for example 90Hz as in some phones) on Galaxy S20.

Do you have any questions on Galaxy S20 display refresh rate on Galaxy S20, S20+, and S20 Ultra?

If you have any questions on using 120Hz display refresh rate on Galaxy S20, S20+, S20 Ultra, please let us know in the comment box below.

The community will help you get the answer.

If you have any questions on Galaxy S20, you may check other Galaxy S20 guides:

Just got the Galaxy S20? Here are some tricks to help you get even more out of your smartphone.

How to turn on the samsung galaxy s20’s 120hz display

Samsung Galaxy S20, S20 Plus and S20 Ultra: We’ve uncovered several tricks power-users will want to know.

Whether you are using the Galaxy S20, S20 Plus or S20 Ultra, there’s never a bad time to learn about some hidden tips and tricks to get most out of the new Samsung smartphone. All three phones are incredibly powerful devices but you can do so much more! Here are some tricks and tips not even Pro users will know about.

Change the side button to a power button

You may have noticed that whenever you long-press the side button on the Galaxy S20, Samsung’s Bixby voice assistant opens by default. Thankfully, Samsung has added the option to remap the side key to a power button. To change the side button to a power button, simply go to the Settings app>Advanced features > Side key and select Power off-menu for the Press and hold option.

How to turn on the samsung galaxy s20’s 120hz display

It’s easy to remap the Galaxy S20’s side button to the power key.

Auto-rotate the Galaxy S20 One UI home screen in landscape mode

Samsung Galaxy S20 lineup offers a feature that allows your home screen, apps tray and settings in landscape. Keep in mind the feature is off by default, but you can always turn on in settings > home screen settings > rotate to landscape mode. That’s it.

How to turn on the samsung galaxy s20’s 120hz displayThe Galaxy S20 easily lets you turn your phone’s home screen into landscape mode.

Switch to 120Hz refresh rate

One of the big features of the Galaxy S20 lineup its 120Hz refresh rate of the display. However, by default, the Galaxy S20 is set to 60Hz. To change it to120Hz, to go Setting and select Display> Motion Smoothness > High refresh rate. The thing to note here is that the 120Hz option only available at Full HD+ resolution.

How to turn on the samsung galaxy s20’s 120hz displayWith the Galaxy S20, you’re getting a 120Hz display that refreshes 120 times per second, making it fast, fluid, and buttery smooth.

Enable Dolby Atmos

Not many people know that the Galaxy S20 phones have Dolby Atmos on board, but not everyone can turn it on and configure it. Well, it’s easy to enable and control Dolby Atmos on your Galaxy S20 device. Go to the Settings app,> sounds and vibration > sound quality and effects. Once you enable Dolby Atmos, you now need to configure it. Within the Dolby Atmos section, you have the option for auto, movie, music or voice. Choose your preferred one and save it.

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How to turn on the samsung galaxy s20’s 120hz display

There are plenty of new features in the Galaxy S20 to get excited about—the new cameras, the larger screens, the 5G modem—but the best has to be the high-refresh display. Samsung fans have watched from the sidelines as Google, OnePlus, and Razer all released phones with 90Hz or 120Hz screens. Even worse, those phones have actually used Samsung displays. But the S20 levels the playing field, bringing a 120Hz high-refresh display to Galaxyland for buttery smooth scrolling and crisp animations.

Samsung isn’t limiting the high refresh rate to the uber-expensive S20 Ultra either. Samsung offers its 120Hz display—which oddly doesn’t have a cute marketing name like the Pixel 4’s Smooth Display or the OnePlus 7T’s Liquid Display—on every version of the S20. And you don’t need to raise your brightness level to ensure it works properly. On paper, it seems like the best of both worlds: a glorious 1440p Infinity display and the fastest refresh rate around.

However, pixel purists looking to get their scroll on might be bummed when they turn on their new S20 for the first time. That’s because you can’t use the 120Hz setting at full resolution. At all. Not even if you agree to a battery hit.

How to turn on the samsung galaxy s20’s 120hz display

Christopher Hebert/iDG

The Galaxy S20 has an awesome display with a 120Hz refresh rate—but you’ll need to keep it at 1080p to use it.

For starters, the 120Hz screen is off by default. So you’ll need to visit the display settings to turn it on. While it’s somewhat strange that Samsung would keep one of its best new features hidden, it’s not a total surprise. For years, Samsung has been shipping its Galaxy phones at a default Full HD 1080p resolution rather than full-res Quad HD 1440p in an effort to squeeze the most battery life out of them. Samsung devotees have known for years that they need to hit the display settings and switch the resolution to WQHD for the best possible text and image rendering.

However, when they go to switch on the 120Hz screen, S20 users are going to be in for a bit of a rude awakening: You can’t have it both ways. If you’ve already turned on the 120Hz screen and go to flip the display to Quad HD resolution, you’re going to get a message: High refresh rate isn’t supported in WQHD+. Your screen will change to a standard 60Hz refresh rate.

That means you have to make a difficult choice: either high resolution or high refresh rate. The same is true for the S20 Ultra, with its 5,000mAh battery and $1,400 price tag. For either performance or battery reasons, Samsung is tying the 120Hz option to Full HD, and that’s that.

It’s worth noting that the Pixel 4 XL and OnePlus 7T serve up their 90Hz refresh rate at 1440p. While the Razer Phone offers 120Hz refresh at 1440p, it uses an IGZO LCD rather than OLED.

Samsung could have been the first smartphone to deliver a Quad HD+ 120Hz refresh OLED display. But barring a software update, we’ll need to wait until the S30 for that.