Samsung Display today announced that the recently unveiled Galaxy Note20 Ultra is the Korean smartphone giant's first device to feature an OLED panel with a variable refresh rate (VRR). Samsung is calling this technology as "Adaptive Frequency." The adoption of VRR will lead to a dramatic reduction in power consumption as the display will be able to automatically adjust its refresh rate depending on the content being displayed.
Samsung Display says that compared to existing smartphone display panels, the Adaptive Frequency AMOLED panel used on the Galaxy Note20 Ultra will consume up to 22% lower power. The Galaxy Note20 Ultra features a 6.9-inch QHD+ Dynamic AMOLED display with a refresh rate of 120Hz. Thanks to Adaptive Frequency, the display will automatically switch to 120Hz while playing compatible games, 30Hz for general tasks like writing an email or reading a text, 10Hz while viewing still images and social media, and 60Hz while viewing movies.
Samsung Display notes that when viewing photos, it was able to reduce the power consumption by as much as 60% by using a low refresh rate of just 10Hz. The company has been able to bring variable refresh rate to its AMOLED panel by using a new backplane technology.
“High-definition video streaming and gaming are expanding their capabilities in line with 5G commercialization, creating a widespread need for display panel technologies that can enable greater power savings,” said Ho-Jung Lee, Vice President of the mobile display product planning team for Samsung Display.
While plenty of Android smartphones have been launched this year with 90Hz or 120Hz refresh rate, they do not feature variable refresh rate. This means that their display runs at a constant refresh rate even when not required thereby leading to an increase in power consumption and ultimately shorter battery life for smartphones. Going forward, Samsung will likely start making use of its Adaptive Frequency AMOLED panels in its upcoming premium and flagship devices as well.