OnePlus continues its crusade for ‘smooth’ with the announcement that their next phone will utilise an innovative new display panel from Samsung, like Samsung’s own imminent S20 series.
Oppo‘s most popular brand, OnePlus, debuted the first high-refresh 1440p mobile phone display, which was also the first high-refresh smartphone targeted at standard consumers (versus the ‘gamer’ phones from Razer and Asus ROG) in 2019 with the OnePlus 7 Pro and its 90hz 1440p AMOLED panel; a smash hit which lit the spreading fire of high-refresh fever in the mobile industry, soon to be furthered on Samsung’s own Galaxy S20-series.
Well now OnePlus wants to push farther with a new 1440p 120hz 10-bit HDR-enabled AMOLED panel which will soon debut on their OnePlus 8 Pro, even if they may be slightly beaten to the punch by Samsung when said S20-series debuts likely the same panel in a month.
To put those nebulous features into perspective, almost all phones, TVs, and computers utilise 60hz 8-bit panels, meaning the display’s image updates 60 times per second, and can display 2^8 (256) shades of Red, Blue, and Green each for a combined 16.8 million different colours. These figures are enough for general usage, but can clearly be discerned with issues like smearing of moving UI elements and colour ‘banding’ (where the edges of each shade of colour are distinct).
Well, high-refresh displays are any which update their image more than 60 times per second, with the OnePlus 7 Pro refreshing 90 times per second, and this new panel (and a few existing, but lower-resolution ones) updating twice the base speed with 120 times per second. This drastically removes unintentional blur and provides a much smoother experience, and will be the first mobile phone to sport such a high refresh rate at a QHD 1440p resolution (versus 1080p).
Also, this new panel will sample the touch capacitor (sensor) 240 times per second, meaning the phone will respond extremely quickly (within 4 milliseconds) to user touch inputs.
This new panel is also 10-bit, meaning it can display 2^10 (1024) shades of each of Red, Blue, and Green for a combined 1.07 billion colours; such a gargantuan amount that individual colours are indistinguishable to human eyes. Though this does not have any drastic effect on the experience, it does just slightly improve it. OnePlus has also claimed a JCND (Just Noticeable Colour Difference) of only 0.8, meaning the display’s produced colours differ visually from the data it is sent by so little as to be imperceptible; essentially perfect colours.
Lastly, HDR stands for ‘High Dynamic Range’ and qualifies the display both for a certain level of brightness, as well as the ability to display large differences in scene brightness; a technology we’ve already seen implemented to varying qualities in many other phones already. ‘AMOLED’ means each pixel produces its own light rather than being backlit; many phones are AMOLED already, this trait just means you aren’t losing any quality with this new panel versus if it were IPS, for example.
This new panel from Samsung, set to feature in OnePlus’ next flagship smartphone, will likely debut on Samsung’s own Galaxy S20-series of phones next month, and will undoubtedly set the new bar for display technology.