Galaxy Note 20 Ultra Adaptive Frequency screen can drop to 10Hz to save power

Many high-end phones these days boast having 120Hz screens or even just 90Hz but there's one thing that they don't say and that users take for granted. These phones can only switch between two to three refresh rates ranging from the usual 60Hz to the fastest 120Hz. Samsung, however, believes it can do better and has developed a new Adaptive Frequency screen that can go a lot lower, helping the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G and future 5G phones more battery in the long run.

Supporting 90 to 120 Hz refresh rates has become the new fad in smartphones, offering not only fluid graphics and smooth scrolling of pages but also the semblance of responsive user interfaces. Most of these screens automatically switch between 60Hz and higher refresh rates or let users decide which one to use, given some restrictions.

Samsung's new variable refresh rate screen can do that but it can also go lower all the way down to 10Hz. You might wonder why anyone would want to have a screen that is slower than or just as slow as an e-ink ebook reader. The point Samsung is trying to make is that users and platform makers at least have the option to use the best refresh rate that will use as little power as needed depending on the current use case.

While games and videos will run best in 60Hz or higher, reading emails might be fine with 30Hz, at least if you're not scrolling a lot. Viewing still images or even looking at Facebook or Twitter might not need more than 10Hz, though Samsung promises its new backplane technology minimizes flickering even at that slow refresh rate.

All in all, Samsung claims battery savings of up to 22%, which is a big deal considering how power-hungry 5G phones will be. This Adaptive Frequency is one of the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G's secret powers and it might soon be available to other Samsung Display customers.