OnePlus initiated the trend of higher refresh rate displays last year with their 7 series phones and come 2020, it has become a norm for flagships to tout higher refresh rate screens in their advertising pitch. Samsung followed suit and recently released Galaxy S20 series phones with a display refresh rate of 120Hz. Coupled with the AMOLED display (3200×1440 WQHD+), the phones promise smooth picture quality, especially while watching multimedia content or playing games that support higher refresh rates of 90 Hz or 120 Hz.
As higher refresh rates can eat up on battery life, phone manufacturers provide an option to tone down the refresh rate to 90 Hz or 60 Hz for normal use. Galaxy S20 also has the option to step down the refresh rate to 60 Hz but sadly there is no option to set it to 90 Hz. Also, the 120 Hz option is limited to FHD+ (2400×1080) resolution and WQHD+ only works on 60 Hz selection.
So why didn’t Samsung give the midway option of 90 Hz? Well, that question is still unanswered and many users want to have this option as it is mild on the battery life and also promises better experience than the 60 Hz option. Thankfully there are hidden modes in the phone and you can tweak them right away.
According to XDA Developers, in the shell command “dumpsys display” to discover all the hidden options that can be selected. By toggling the value of Settings.System.peak_refresh_rate and Settings.System.min_refresh_rate to 96.0 the refresh rate can be changed. However, it won’t run on WQHD+ as there is no option in this setting.
For those of you who can’t get their head around this tweak by running shell commands, there’s a simple open source app by XDA Senior Member sathishtony. The app can be downloaded for free from XDA Labs, and it has quick settings to make the change between 96 Hz and 120Hz. To ensure the change is working fine, you can run a test on testufo.com.