No idea what all the fuss is about? Here’s a little refresher course on all things refresh rate.

It’s all well and good reading about the refresh rate of new mobiles, but sometimes you don’t just want to take the expert’s word for it, you want to understand exactly what all the techy terms mean.

We see it all the time with Samsung and Apple as they claim their mobiles have the best refresh rates on the market, and of course, any statement with the word ‘best’ in it must be good news, right?

We thought we’d answer some of the most pressing question that you may have about all things refresh rate.

What does refresh rate actually mean?

So, a good place to start would be by answering what refresh rate means, and it’s a lot simpler than you would think. In order for a display to create the illusion that there’s moving images on your screen, it must refresh lots of times.

Of course, what you’re really seeing is a sequence of still shots that are played one after another, but at warp speed. Therefore, the higher the refresh rate, the more fluid the screen movements will be!

You’ll have noticed that when a brand talks about their mobile’s refresh rate, they use a number. For example, the new Samsung Galaxy S21 boasts a 120Hz refresh rate, meaning it can refresh at a rate of 120 times per second – a lot of refreshes there!

Someone holding the S21 Ultra.
All three of the new Samsung devices boast a stunning 120Hz refresh rate.

What difference will the refresh rate make to my mobile?

It’s not just a myth that phone companies use to sell their mobiles, a higher refresh rate really does improve the overall mobile experience. If your online dating profile has the term ‘gamer’ in it or your social media bio, you’ll want to tune in now.

If you opt for a mobile with say a 120Hz refresh rate, its user interface and software will have been optimised to match – we can see this with the Samsung Galaxy S21. Because both the display and software are in sync, you get to experience everything much quicker and more responsive.

Someone playing a game on a Samsung phone.
The higher the refresh rate, the better the gaming!

This is bliss for gamers who won’t have to deal with any buffering or lag. The only issue then is that you’ve got no excuse if you do lose, it won’t be the phones fault!

We’re going to carry on singing Samsung’s praises here, but they also have a feature called Adaptive frame-rate which reduces and increases the refresh rate based on the content.

If you’re reading a page that’s static, it’ll slow it down. If you’re challenging Dungeon Master 7827 to a dual, it’ll speed things up – it’s all dependent on what you need.

Is a faster refresh rate always better?

The thing is you can’t always blame lag or buffer on the refresh rate. Lots of different things contribute to what makes your mobile go, including your connection. If your phone has a refresh rate of 120Hz but you’re trying to play a game on the Tube, you might still run into some problems.

If you’ve been on your phone for hours and hours, it might adjust its performance to help it cool down, again giving you some stutters in performance.

What’s the fastest refresh rate I can get?

There’s no doubt that most brands try to build the best and fastest features out there. On that note, there’s a mobile called the iQOO Neo 3 5G that was launched in China and boasts a 144Hz refresh rate.

Someone holding the iQOO Neo 3 5G.
The iQOO 3 5G boasts a 144Hz refresh rate.

In the UK, the highest and most common refresh rate you’ll want to go for is 120Hz, and luckily for you this is the new norm for mobile phones.

What’s the difference between refresh rate and touch response rate?

It’s super-easy to get confused about refresh rate when companies are throwing around other terms that basically sound the same. For example, you may see that a mobile has a 120Hz or 240Hz touch response rate.

This isn’t to be confused with refresh rate as it actually refers to the sensitivity and accuracy of the touchscreen. It basically means that your mobile will respond quicker to your fingers – still another great plus for gamers and for having a nosey on your socials.

Your new mobile may boast a 120Hz refresh rate and a 240Hz touch response rate, then you’re in the money.

Feeling refreshed.

It’s becoming really hard to choose a phone that’s right for you, especially in the ever-changing mobile world today. There’s constantly new releases with features that sound like something from a sci-fi movie, so it’s important to read up on exactly what these features mean.

If you need a little more help on which phone to buy next, our list of the top 10 mobiles our customers are currently loving, may be of use!