iPhone XS 120Hz Touch Sample Rate Explained: Not the Same as the Razer Phone’s 120Hz Refresh Rate but the Start of Something Better

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Sep 13
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After last night’s launch event, many people assumed that the display panel used in the iPhone Xs, iPhone XS Max and the iPhone XR offers a 120Hz refresh rate. While a regular user may not think much of it, a screen with a faster refresh rate improves touch accuracy and makes everything look smoother when you are watching a movie or playing a game. With the exception of the gaming-centric Razer Phone, no smartphone on the market offers this feature right now, unless you talk about tablets, which we will get to in a while. For now, let us explain to you what the iPhone XS 120Hz touch sample rate actually means.

120Hz Refresh Rate vs 120Hz Touch Sample Rate: Clearing the Confusion Regarding the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and the iPhone XR Display

The confusion arose when Apple uttered the 120Hz figure which led some people to jump to conclusions without keeping the difference between touch sample rate and touch delivery rate in mind. The iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and the iPhone XR all have the 120-hertz touch sample rate, but in reality, they are running at the 60Hz refresh rate. Hertz, as most of you already know, refers to the intervals at which the screen registers an input. At 60Hz, the screen tracks movement every 16.6 milliseconds, but with a 120Hz display, that time is cut by half to 8.3 milliseconds.

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When the touch sample rate and the refresh rate are both running at 60Hz, both tracking and refresh intervals end at the same time, which means the rendering of the animation begins one interval later. However, with the touch sample rate being at 120Hz coupled with the refresh rate being at 60Hz on the new iPhones, animations on these devices will start quicker and look smoother, but it is not the same thing as having a 120Hz refresh rate.

Some LG OLED TVs feature a refresh rate of 120Hz and they cost a pretty penny so imagine the price tag these iPhones might have touched had they shipped with an actual display with a 120Hz refresh rate. Yes, we agree that Apple could have incorporated a 120Hz refresh rate panel on the iPhone XR, but that would defeat the purpose of providing customers with a cheaper iPhone as the device would sport a much higher price than $749.

Now if you’re wondering about which devices have Apple launched that actually boast a 120Hz refresh rate, those are the latest iPad Pro models. Last year’s iPhone X was the first iPhone to have the same 120-hertz tracking rate. The 120Hz refresh rate is available on all the second-generation iPad Pro models which feature a 12.9-inch and 10.5-inch IPS backlit LED screen.

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Apart from this, Apple has not launched a mobile phone bearing such high a refresh rate, but let us wait what the tech giant has in store for us in the future. Do you have any other questions regarding this topic or would you like to add something to it? Tell us your thoughts down in the comments.

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