The Galaxy S20 series packs a secret 96Hz display mode that can be activated with a bit of fiddling. In other words, it turns out Samsung does offer some middle ground in regards to resolution and screen refresh rate.
The lack of a hybrid solution between 120Hz and WQHD+ (3,200 x 1,440) has been among main user complaints directed at the Galaxy S20 lineup. After all, nearly all of the product range’s 120Hz rivals also offer a 90Hz mode. It now came to light Samsung developed an equivalent solution, even though the solution hasn’t been launched yet.
How to set your Galaxy S20 display to a 96Hz refresh rate
Changing the “Settings.System.min_refresh_rate” and “Settings.System.peak_refresh_rate” integers to “96” via shell commands activates the option.
If you’re familiar with those, that’s all the crucial info you need. If you aren’t, no worries; we won’t be delving into the world of keyboard-to-OS commands here but simply point you to an easier method.
That would be an open-source app called S20RefreshRateControl available on GitHub via the link below. Developer SatySatsZB put it together shortly after the existence of the Galaxy S20’s secret 96Hz mode was revealed.
Both options also allow you to set the display of your Galaxy S20-series handset to 48Hz. Few will want to do that given how the choppier experience doesn’t deliver significant battery life improvements, though. The 96Hz mode, on the other hand, appears to provide a better balance of smoothness and battery longevity.
Unfortunately, this setting remains limited to FHD+ resolutions, much like the 120Hz one.
Why is Samsung keeping these settings hidden?
It’s unclear whether the company is still tweaking the 96Hz mode or has abandoned it. Both scenarios would explain the fact this setting remains hidden to users a month after the Galaxy S20 series launched.
It’s almost a given that Samsung’s trying to get the alternative display mode working with WQHD+ resolutions, assuming it hasn’t given up on it. That’s because the company’s already pursuing an even more ambitious goal of 120Hz/1440p support. It may also be improving its stability, though initial reports suggest consistency isn’t an issue.
Higher refresh rates equate to smoother end-user experiences on virtually any display type, including mobile panels. As such, they’re particularly advantageous to gamers. The Galaxy S20 is Samsung’s first handset lineup supporting this feature, and more are likely to follow soon.
The product range as a whole hasn’t had the greatest of starts, however. In fact, its sales are reportedly even worse than expected, cutting-edge display tech notwithstanding.