Best Budget High Refresh Rate Smartphones of 2021

There are now budget high refresh rate phones in the market for individuals looking for smoother scrolling and better effects and animations on their smartphones without breaking the bank. And in line with established patterns, there are people looking for the cheapest high refresh rate phones. 

60Hz has been the smartphone industry standard refresh rate for years. Recently, smartphone manufacturers began to implement higher refresh rate screens – 90Hz and 120Hz being the most common, though there are even higher refresh rates available. These first appeared on expensive, premium, high-end smartphones. But now, high refresh rate displays have showed up in full force in the budget smartphone segment.

cheapest phones with 120hz refresh rate and Best Budget 90 Hz Refresh Rate smartphones

What is screen refresh rate and how does it work? A 60Hz display refreshes images on the screen 60 times a second. Taking that principle forward, it follows that a 90Hz display refreshes images 90 times a second, while a 120Hz refresh rate screen refreshes images 120 times a second. You can apply that to any refresh rate that is quoted for any smartphone.

Of course, a high refresh rate display has an impact on battery life, because more resources go into providing the improved visual experience. As such, smartphone makers have to find ways to balance between high refresh rate and battery life.

Budget 90Hz Refresh Rate Smartphones

Here is a quick list of some budget high refresh rate phones with 90Hz screens that are available in the market.

  1. Infinix Zero 8 (90Hz screen): $250
  2. Infinix Zero 8i (90Hz screen): $207
  3. TECNO Camon 16 Premier (90Hz screen): $270
  4. OPPO Reno5 (90Hz screen): $360
  5. Motorola Moto G30 (90Hz screen): $220
  6. Samsung Galaxy A52 (90Hz screen): from $310
  7. Samsung Galaxy A72 (90Hz screen): from $530
  8. Samsung Galaxy A32 (90Hz screen): from $290
  9. Xiaomi Redmi Note10 Pro (120Hz screen): from $297
  10. TECNO Spark 7P (90Hz screen): $155
  11. Realme Narzo:
  12. Lenovo K13 Pro:
  13. OPPO A53s:
  14. OPPO A11s:
  15. OPPO A33 (2020)
  16. Motorola Moto G 5G Plus
  17. Realme Narzo 20 Pro:
  18. TECNO Camon 18i: €150
  19. TECNO Camon 17: 13,999 Indian Rupees
  20. Motorola Moto E30:
  21. Motorola Moto E40: $155 in the United states. €119 in Europe. £165 in the UK.
  22. Nokia G21: $399.
  23. Poco M4 Pro 5G: €188

The above budget 90Hz refresh rate smartphones is not an exhaustive list of available devices in that category in the market right now, but those are some of the most high profile in North America, Europe, Middle East, and Africa.

The cheapest phones with 120Hz refresh rate

Listed below are the cheapest phones with 120Hz refresh rate. Understandably, the list is much shorter than the list for 90Hz devices.

  • Realme Narzo 30 Pro 5G – €200
  • Xiaomi Poco X2: $250. €200
  • Pocofone POCO X3 NFC: from $230

The question now is, Which are the best? We hand-pick a few recommendations for you to consider.

The best budget high refresh rate smartphones

Samsung Galaxy A52 (the 4G variant) is easily our top pick for the best budget high refresh rate phone. It has a 90Hz Super AMOLED display with Gorilla Glass protection. Even more, it has IP67 dust and water-proof rating.

Samsung Galaxy A52 specifications
Samsung Galaxy A52

Under the hood is a decent Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G chipset. It runs OneUI 3.1 based on Android 11, and has a 64MP quad-camera at the back, a 32MP front camera, 4500mAh battery, and 25W fast charging. The 6/128 GB variant is available for about $310, depending on whether you are in the US or Canada. In the UK, it sells for £420.

OPPO Reno5 has a 6.4-inch 90Hz AMOLED display with Gorilla Glass 3 protection on a gorgeous and stunning body, capable Snapdragon 720G chipset, 8 GB RAM, 128 GB ROM, 4310mAh battery, and 50W fast charging. It is available for $360.

It is one of the costliest on our list of best 90/120 Hz refresh rate, but it also offers much better performance than most of the others. This makes it one of the best budget 90/120 Hz refresh rate phones around. See our OPPO Reno5 review.

oppo Reno5 smartphone in hand
OPPO Reno5 is one of the top budget 90/120 Hz refresh rate phones around.

TECNO Camon 16 Premier sports a 6.9″ 90Hz refresh rate IPS LCD. Under the bonnet, it is powered by a MediaTek Helio G90 chipset, coupled with 8 GB RAM and 128 GB ROM. Battery capacity is 4500mAh battery and there is 33W fast charging to go with it. It sells for $270.

The last and the most affordable of our recommendations is the Samsung Galaxy A32. It sports a 6.4″ Super AMOLED 90Hz display, and is powered by a Helio G80 chipset. Battery capacity is 5000mAh, and it has 15W fast charging available for topping that up. The 4/128 GB option is available for about $290, while the 6 GB RAM + 128 GB ROM variant of the A32 sells for about $250.

Just after we began celebrating Samsung A32 as the most affordable budget 90/120 Hz refresh rate phone of 2021, TECNO Mobile announced the even more pocket-friendly Spark 7P. It is arguable that it is the best, but it is certainly the most pocket-friendly and the best value for money on this list.

TECNO Spark 7P green

For $100 less than you spend on the Galaxy A32, you can have the TECNO Spark 7P instead and get a 90Hz refresh rate, Helio G70 chipset, 4 GB RAM, 64 GB ROM, and a 5000 mAh battery.

The above are our recommendations. There are many more budget 90/120 Hz refresh rate smartphones in the market that you can explore. A little Google or Bing search can yield wonders and help you find a surprise treasure.

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