Does 120Hz Drain Battery Phone?

does 120Hz drain battery phone

The latest smartphones boast stunning displays with high refresh rates, often reaching 120Hz. This technology delivers a noticeably smoother and more responsive experience compared to the traditional 60Hz. But there’s a trade-off: many users wonder if this visual bliss comes at the cost of a faster battery drain.

We will highlight the impact of 120Hz refresh rates on phone battery life, exploring how it affects power consumption and what options users have to manage this trade-off. Let’s see if the buttery-smooth scrolling justifies the potential battery hit. 

Understanding Refresh Rate

Imagine your phone’s screen as a flipbook. Each page in the flipbook represents an image, and the faster you flip through the pages, the smoother the animation appears. The refresh rate refers to how many times the phone’s display refreshes the image on the screen per second. So, a 60Hz refresh rate means the image updates 60 times a second, while a 120Hz refresh rate doubles that to 120 refreshes per second.

The 120Hz Battery Drain

does 120Hz drain battery phone
Switching from 60Hz to 120Hz can lead to a battery life reduction of anywhere between 15% to 30%

There’s no denying it: refreshing the screen more frequently consumes more power. Studies have shown that switching from 60Hz to 120Hz can lead to a battery life reduction of anywhere between 15% to 30%, depending on usage patterns. Think of it like driving your car with a heavier foot on the gas pedal – it’ll get you there faster (smoother experience), but you’ll burn through fuel quicker (battery drain).

Mitigating the Drain: The Rise of Variable Refresh Rate (VRR)

Thankfully, phone manufacturers are getting smarter about managing battery life with 120Hz displays. Enter Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) technology. VRR dynamically adjusts the refresh rate based on the content you’re viewing. For instance, if you’re reading a static text document, the refresh rate can drop down to 60Hz, saving battery. But when you switch to a fast-paced game or a video with rapid motion, the refresh rate can jump back up to 120Hz to maintain that silky smooth experience.

The User in Control

Now, let’s talk about you, the user! While 120Hz undeniably delivers a smoother and more responsive experience, especially noticeable in gaming and fast scrolling, it’s not always necessary. The good news is that many phones with 120Hz displays allow you to control the refresh rate settings. This empowers you to strike the perfect balance between visual enjoyment and battery life.

Here’s a breakdown of some scenarios to consider

  • Prioritizing Battery Life: If you’re on a long trip with limited access to charging, switching to 60Hz can significantly extend your phone’s life.
  • Gaming and Fast Scrolling: For those intense gaming sessions or navigating through endless social media feeds, 120Hz will enhance your experience with its superior responsiveness.
  • Finding the Middle Ground: Many phones offer options like “Adaptive” or “Auto” refresh rate settings. These settings use AI to intelligently adjust the refresh rate based on your usage patterns, offering a good compromise between smoothness and battery life.

Final Thoughts

The bottom line is that 120Hz displays offer a delightful user experience, but they do consume more power. The good news is that Variable Refresh Rate technology helps manage the battery drain, and most importantly, you have the power to control the refresh rate settings. Experiment with different options and find the sweet spot that best suits your needs. Remember, a smooth phone experience is great, but a dead phone is no fun at all!


Q. Is 120Hz worth the battery drain?
A. It depends on your priorities. If smoothness is paramount, then 120Hz might be worth it. But if battery life is a major concern, you might be happy sticking with 60Hz.

Q. How much battery life does 120Hz use?
A. The impact varies depending on usage and phone model, but estimates suggest a 15% to 30% decrease compared to 60Hz.

Q. Can I damage my phone by using 120Hz all the time?
A. No, using 120Hz won’t damage your phone. However, it might drain the battery faster.

Q. Do all phones with 120Hz displays offer user control over refresh rate settings?
A. No, not all phones with 120Hz displays offer user control over the refresh rate. It’s becoming increasingly common, but some manufacturers might lock the refresh rate at 120Hz or offer limited options. It’s always best to check your phone’s settings or consult the user manual to see if you have control over the refresh rate.

Q. Will future phones be able to offer 120Hz refresh rates without sacrificing battery life?
A. The good news is that technology is constantly evolving. Chipset manufacturers are developing more efficient processors that can handle 120Hz refresh rates with less power consumption. Additionally, advancements in display technology, like LTPO (Low-Temperature Polycrystalline Oxide) displays, can further reduce battery drain by dynamically adjusting the refresh rate based on on-screen content. So, the future looks bright for enjoying the benefits of 120Hz without worrying about a dead phone.