Samsung has quietly changed display specs for the Galaxy S22 and S22 Plus less than two weeks before the launch of the new flagship lineup. When the S22 series was first revealed during February’s Galaxy Unpacked 2022, Samsung’s marketing boasted that the phones’ screens would have variable refresh rates to optimize battery life dipping as low as 1Hz per second. This detail has been backtracked as the display information in the most recent press releases states that the refresh rate now ranges from 48Hz to 120Hz.
Variable refresh rates are a pretty big deal as they can greatly lengthen the battery life of a device by dropping the rate when displaying things such as ebooks, pictures, or web content. For phones, a device where every minute of charge counts, the Galaxy S22’s reduced range could make a big difference for some users.
The refresh rate of a screen determines how many times per second the screen updates its information which can be demanding of battery life if the rate is kept high for extended periods of time. Now that performance on the higher end seems to have become standard across manufacturers, screens with refresh rates that can go low as well have started becoming more desirable because of the aforementioned battery preservation.
It seems as if the S22 and S22 Plus are able to reach the advertised 1Hz minimum in demos but not with any commercial products, as first noticed on Twitter by Ross Young, CEO of Display Supply Chain Consultants. If a 1Hz refresh rate is possible on the current hardware but not attainable for a software reason, it could eventually be utilized in a future update, but for right now, prospective S22 series owners will have to settle for 48Hz.
The new range of Samsung’s variable refresh rates comes starkly contrasted with the refresh rates on the newest Apple devices. The iPhone 13 Pro, the iPhone 13 Pro Max, and the iPad Pro hit the 120Hz mark the same as the Galaxy S22 and S22 Plus, but are able to dip far below 48Hz to reach 24Hz or 10Hz depending on the device. While the differences between Samsung’s variable refresh rates and Apple’s may not greatly impact the everyday phone owner, those who frequently use their phones for technically demanding work will likely notice the downgrade in terms of battery life if comparing the two.
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