Best budget phones with 120 Hz display is a joy to use especially for games. Games with high frame rates is a commonplace now. It was just a year or two before flagship phones featured a 120 Hz display. Today, that technology has crawled into budget phones. You can get awesome-looking phones in the budget for not a huge price tag. In that regard, we are going to see some best budget phones with a 120 Hz display. Let’s go.
What is a 120 Hz display?
We all know that HZ is a unit to measure frequency. Frequency is the number of vibrations per second. But why frequency is used in display Hz? Because both are related. Screen refresh rate is measured using the term Hz or Hertz. It means, how many times the display refreshes per second. In a 60 Hz display, the screen refreshes 60 times every second. In a 120 Hz display, the screen refreshes with new information 120 times a second. Higher is better but there are only diminishing returns after 144 Hz. Generally, 120 Hz display is much smoother compared to 60 Hz. Hence, the 120 Hz displays are taking the stage compared to 60 Hz displays.
Best budget phones with 120 Hz display
Redmi Note 11 Pro – The best budget phone with 120 Hz display
Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 Pro is currently one of the best budget phone with a 120 Hz display today. It is packed with much more features other than the high refresh rate display. The display, to begin with, is fantastic and is of great quality. It is an AMOLED display. It will always do 120 Hz as it doesn’t have LTPO display. It has a normal typical brightness of 700 nits and its is nice even on a bright sunny day. It goes to a peak of up to 1200 nits. This is insanely very bright. Due to this, it natively supports HDR 10 playback. It is very nice to watch in it, especially with full brightness. Like the Redmi Note 10 Pro, there is this ‘O’-shaped cut on the top of the screen which is for the camera.
Like the Note 10 Pro, the screen size is 6.67 inches or 107.4 sq cm. But the screen display to body ratio is 86.0%. The display comes with a screen aspect ratio of 20:9. Hence the black bar when watching scope movies is very minimal. The screen resolution is the usual 2400 x 1080p. The Pixel per density or PPI for this phone is 395. It is indeed very sharp. The entire display is guarded by the corning gorilla glass 5.
It supports 5g with is nice to have for future proof. But the regular Note 11 Pro is just 4G. This phone has features which are simply unbeatable in this price range. It weighs 202 grams. It is still a lightweight phone despite a huge battery in there. More about the battery later.
The build quality is good. The actual frame is made of plastic. The front and back side of the phone is protected by the corning gorilla glass 5.
Like the Redmi Note 10 Pro, it has dust and splash protection. It is of IP53 grade. It can also take dual sims along with an sd card on a single tray.
The phone is on Android 11 OS with MIUI 13 as the skin for the UI. You will get a Snapdragon Qualcomm 695 5G processor in this Phone. The actual chip is SM6375. It is an 6 nm process-made processor. Hence, it consumes less battery than the Note 10 Pro. The CPU is an octa-core processor. The specification is 2×2.2 GHz Kryo 660 Gold & 6×1.7 GHz Kryo 660 Silver. The GPU on duty is Adreno 619. You can easily play graphis rich games with this phone. There isn’t any lag in the interface. The phone is butter smooth.
It comes in four variants. The one with 4 GB of RAM with an internal storage of 128 GB 6 Gb of RAM, 64 GB internal storage, and the one with 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB storage, and the third one with 8 GB of RAM and 128 Gb of storage. The phone uses UFS 2.2 storage. It is very fast in read and write speeds for the price. The phone also has a dedicated microSDXC slot in the form of sim tray.
You will get a 108 MP main camera with flash. The secondary camera is with an 8 mp wide-angle lens. There is a 2 mp macro photo sensor. It is a triple camera setup. The camera quality is good for the price. It can also take HDR shots and panoramas.
The front camera is a good 16 mp camera. The selfies came out good for the price.
The phone can take decently good videos. The main camera can take 1080p@30 fps video. It cannot take a 60 fps or 4k videos despite with a large sensor. The selfie camera can also take 1080p videos at 30 fps.
The phone has stereo speakers. They are decently loud. Fortunately, there is also a headphone jack. It does a good 24 bit 192-kilo hertz Hi-Res audio.
This phone has yesteryear’s Bluetooth 5.1. It consumes low energy and has a good range. The fingerprint scanner is mounted onto the power button. It works great. The phone uses a modern USB type c interface.
The phone houses a non-removable Lithium Polimer battery of 5000 mah. It supports Quick charge 3+. It has a 67 watt charging capability. That means 50% in 15 min, 100% in 42 min.
Even with a high refresh display, the battery life is still excellent. The phone comes in three good colours Graphite Gray, Polar White, and Atlantic Blue. In many possible ways, it is one of the best budget phones with 120 Hz in the market.
Redmi Note 12 5G
Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 5G is currently the best budget phone with a 120 Hz display and 5G. It has so much more than the high refresh rate display. The display itself is cool and is of very good quality. It is an AMOLED display. It does 120 Hz constant. The display has 4096 levels of brightness. It has a peak brightness of up to 1200 nits. This is insanely bright. Therefore, it supports HDR playback. It is a treat to watch in it. There is an ‘O’-shaped cut out on the top of the screen for the camera.
The screen has nice features like SGS eye care, Sunlight Mode, and Reading Mode.
The screen size is 6.67 inches or 107.4 sq cm. The screen display-to-body ratio is 85.6%. The display comes in an aspect ratio of 20:9. This shows a very minimal black bar when watching scope movies. The screen resolution is 2400 x 1080p. The Pixel per density or PPI is 395. It is very sharp. The display is guarded by a corning gorilla glass 3 for better protection. It is a step down from previous models having corning gorilla glass 5.
It supports 5g which is a great improvement. It also counts on the features which are simply unbeatable in this price range. It weighs around 188 grams. It is lightweight despite the huge battery in there. More on this later.
The build quality is good although the frame is made of plastic. The front and back are protected by corning gorilla glass 3. What a relief!
It has dust and splash protection of IP53 grade. It can take in dual sims and an sd card on a single tray.
The phone is running on Android 12 with MIUI 13 as an add-on top skin for the UI. You will get a Qualcomm Snapdragon 4 Gen 1 processor in this phone. It is a 6nm process-made processor. Being a 6nm processor, the performance will be good with better battery life compared to the previous phone. The CPU is an octa-core type. The specification is 2X Cortex-A78 @ 2.0GHz ; 6X Cortex-A55 @ 1.8GHz. The GPU on duty is Adreno 619. You can play graphics-intensive games with this phone. There isn’t a lag in the interface of any sort. The UI is butter smooth.
It comes in a few variants. One has 4 GB of RAM and the other has 6 GB of RAM. 128GB of storage is standard. The system uses UFS 2.2 storage. It is very fast of its kind. The phone has a dedicated microSDXC slot.
You will get a 64 MP main camera with flash. There is a secondary camera with an 8 mp wide-angle lens. There is a 5 mp macro sensor and a 2 mp depth sensor. It is a quad camera setup. The camera quality is above average and will make you smile for the price paid. It can take HDR shots and panorama.
The front camera is a 13 mp camera with a wide lens. The selfies are great for the price although the megapixel count is a step down from previous phones.
The phone can take good videos. The main camera has recording capability as follows. 1080p@30 fps. The selfie camera can take 1080P videos at 30 fps and 720p at 30 fps. The rear camera can take slow motion videos at 120 fps.
The phone has stereo speakers and the sound output is good. Thankfully, there is a headphone jack too. It does 24 bit 192-kilohertz Hi-Res audio.
This phone has Bluetooth 5.1 which is low energy and has good range. There is a fingerprint scanner mounted right onto the power button. It just works. The phone uses a USB type c interface.
The phone has a non-removable Lithium Polimer battery of 5000 mah. It has Fast charging of 33W, It can do 59% in 30 minutes. With a high refresh in place, the battery life is excellent. The phone comes in three colors Frosted Green, Matte Black, and mystique Blue. Surprisingly, the phone comes with a built-in IR blaster. All in all, it is the best budget phone with 120 Hz in the market.
OnePlus Nord CE 2 Lite 5G
OnePlus has always been in the game of high-performance and affordable mobile phones. In that lineage, OnePlus Nord CE 2 Lite 5G is one of the best budget phones with a 120 Hz display under Rs 20,000.
The phone is one of the lightest on this list. It stands at 195 g. You can easily carry it in your pocket. It has a plastic frame and a plastic back. But they are sturdy enough, and the build quality is nice.
It supports dual sim at the same time. The front display is an IPS LCD, and it does 120 HZ. The display is very fluid and works well. The phone is on the larger side at 6.59 inches. The display has a 20:9 aspect ratio and a pixel density of 401. The screen resolution is 1080 x 2412 pixels. The display is very sharp and works fluidly.
The phone runs on Android 12 and is upgradable to Android 13. and The UI is Oxygen OS 13. The processor used here is Qualcomm SM6375 Snapdragon 695 5G. It is a 6 nm octa-core processor. The graphics are handled by Adreno 619, which is very capable.
The phone has a dedicated slot for a microSDXC card. The internal storage is UFS 2.2. The phone comes in three variants.
- 128GB 6GB RAM
- 128 GB 8GB RAM
The phone comes in two colors.
- Black Dusk
- Blue Tide
The phone has decent cameras. The main front camera is a 64 MP, f/1.7 camera. There is a 2 MP macro camera and a 2 MP depth sensor. The ultra-wide is sorely missed. There is support for HDR and panorama. There is an inbuilt LED flash as well.
The front camera is a 16 mp f/2.0 selfie camera which is great.
As far as video goes, the rear camera can do 1080p@30 while the front can also do 1080p@30fps. Fortunately, there is a 3.5 mm jack available. The Bluetooth is a v5.2, and it supports A2DP, LE and most importantly aptX HD. Now you can stream high quality Hires files over bluetooth for higher sound quality. The phone also has USB Type-C 2.0, USB On-The-Go. The fingerprint scanner is mounted on the side and it is very convenient.
The battery life is great. The phone has a non-removable Li-Po 5000 mAh battery. The phone also supports fast charging at 33 watts. This is one of the cheapest premium phones with a 120 Hz display in the market.
Samsung galaxy M33 5G
Samsung makes some of the finest phones in the market. Samsung Galaxy M33 5G is one from that esteemed company. The main pros of this mobile are that apart from a decent processor, it has a 120 Hz refresh rate screen and 5G.
The phone is quite lightweight. It is only 215 grams. You can carry it in your pocket without much heft. Wish it is even lighter.
It uses an LCD screen. With this display, you get decent viewing angles. The screen is quite large at 6.6 inches, which is great. It is more than enough for day to day usage. The screen has a sharp display. It has a native resolution of 1080 x 2408 pixels. The screen has an aspect ratio of 20:9. These make the display to have a pixel density of ~400 PPI. It is one of the best budget phones with a 120 Hz display in the market. The display comes with gorilla glass 5 protection.
The whole system runs on Android 12 which is great. Samsung has a custom One UI 4.1 running on top of Android 12. It uses an Exynos 1280 chip which supports 5g. It is made with a 5 nm process. Hence, the chip will be efficient as well. It is an octa-core processor. It uses Mali-G68 for all graphics duties. The graphics are handled well and Mali-G68 is quite capable.
It uses a dedicated sim port and for SD cards, it has a separate microSDXC slot as well. It supports two sims at the same time. The phone comes in 2 variants
- 128GB 6GB RAM variant and
- 128GB 8GB RAM
Like all other budget Samsung phones, this phone also comes with a good set of cameras. The main camera is a 50 MP, f/1.8 camera. The secondary camera is a 5 MP, f/2.2, 123˚ ultra-wide camera. There is also a 2 MP macro lens available. The photos came out pretty good. You will also get LED flash, HDR function, and panorama function.
The main camera can take 4K@30fps or 1080p@30fps. Unfortunately, the Slow motion shot is missed.
The selfie camera is 8 MP, f/2.2 and it takes good selfies. This camera is also equipped with a video capability of 1080p @ 30fps.
The phone has Temporal noise reduction which uses a software algorithm to reduce the noises in the picture. Also, it has an object eraser with which one can erase unwanted objects in the pictures.
Another good news is that it still retains a 3.5mm headphone jack.
The phone has wifi direct, Bluetooth v5.1 NFC, etc which are a good addition. The fingerprint reader is side-mounted and it just works. it uses USB type C 2.0 for USB data transfers. Sadly, It misses on wifi 6 and its associated features
The phone has great battery life. It uses a 6000 mAh Lithium-ion battery. It easily lasts all day long on typical usage and even more. It comes with a 25 Watt fast charging.
As far as security goes, it has a Knox setup. It safeguards the phone from security breaches the moment it is turned on. It also has face unlock which works great. Unfortunately, Samsung supports just 2 years for software updates.
The phone is available in 3 colors. They are,
Vivo iQOO Z6 5G
iQOO is yet another company like Redmi. It is from VIVO. Vivo iQOO Z6 5G is one of the latest budget phones to have a 120 Hz display. The pro of this phone is that it has 5G built-in.
The phone has an IPS LCD clocked at 120Hz. It is not as good as the AMOLED counterpart. Still LCD is nice to have. Most budget phones have LCD anyway.
The screen size is 6.58 inches accounting for an 83.9% screen-to-body ratio.
The phone has a resolution of 1080 x 2408 pixels and therefore a pixel density of 401 PPI. The display is very sharp to look at it and has good picture quality. 401 PPI is more than enough for this phone.
The phone is moderately weighed about 185 grams. It has a hybrid dual sim slot.
The phone has an Android 12 OS and runs on Funtouch 12. It uses a Qualcomm SM6375 Snapdragon 695 5G chip. It is an Octa-core processor. The GPU is Adreno 619.
It has microSDXC and you can expand the storage using an sd card. It comes in three variants and they are 128GB 4GB RAM, 128GB 6GB RAM, and 128GB 8GB RAM.
This phone has a triple camera setup. The main camera is a 50 MP f/1.8 sensor. The second camera is a 2 MP Macro shooter. There is a 2 MP depth camera. This helps with the bokeh effect and autofocus. Unfortunately, there is no telephoto or wide camera. It has LED flash, HDR, and panorama. It can take video under the resolution 1080p@30. It has no OIS but gyro-EIS.
The front camera is a 16 MP, f/2.0 sensor. It can take 1080p@30fps video and has gyro-EIS.
There is a 3.5 jack for audio. It has a nice audio DAC inside. It has Bluetooth 5.1 There is a Fingerprint reader on the side power button. The phone has a 5000 mAh battery but the supplied charger is 18 watts. Hence, it is one of the best budget phones with 120Hz display
Mi 10i 5G
It is one of the best phones in the market with a 120 Hz display. It is a 5g phone and has features you expect in a flagship killer phone. Unfortunately, the display is LCD and not AMOLED.
This phone has more to justify the price. The phone is moderately weighty at 215 grams. Glasses are covering the front and back. Both are corning gorilla glass 5. It adds up for fall protection.
The phone has dual sim support and has a Hybrid Dual SIM tray.
As mentioned earlier, the display is not AMOLED but IPS LCD. But, the quality of the display is really good. Just that it cannot produce inky blacks. It supports 120 Hz and variable refresh rates. It does HDR 10 for movies. The maximum brightness it can go is 450 nits. That’s okay for HDR movies.
The screen size is 6.67 inches. The resolution is 1080 x 2400 pixels and therefore gives an aspect ratio of 20:9 ratio. The display has a 395 PPI density.
The phone runs on Android 10 and MIUI 12. Both perform smoothly. The device is powered by Qualcomm SM7225 Snapdragon 750G 5G. It is an 8 nm process chip. The CPU has outa cores. This outa core has 2 high power cores and 6 low power cores. Hence it will be frugal on battery and at the same time, perform too. You will get Adreno 619 as GPU.
The phone comes in two variants. They are 128GB 6GB RAM model and 128GB 8GB RAM model. Both the phones use UFS 2.2 technology for storage.
The phone has two stereo speakers and thankfully, it also comes with a headphone jack. The DAC in the phone support 24-bit/192kHz audio. It also has a built-in FM radio. Additionally, it has an infrared port to control other home appliances.
The phone uses a non-removable Li-Po 4820 mAh battery. The phone supports Fast charging 33W and the claimed speed is that it can fully recharge the phone in 58 minutes.
The phone uses a 108 MP, f/1.8 sensor for the main camera. The quality is decent. It also has an ultra-wide 8 MP, f/2.2, 120˚ camera. The quality is great for the price. There is also a 2 MP macro camera and a 2 MB depth-sensing camera. Jointly, they can produce a good picture.
It has a Dual-LED dual-tone flash. It can take HDR pictures and panoramas. It doesn’t have optical image stabilization but Gyroscope-powered EIS. It supports the following video resolutions:
4K@30fps, 1080p@30/60/120fps, slow-motion 720p@960fps,
The selfie camera is good as well. It is a 16 MP, f/2.5 sensor and can take good selfies. The selfie cam can record the video resolutions of 1080p@30fps, 720p@120fps.
IQOO Z5 5G
IQOO Z5 is a phone from Vivo company. This phone is one of the lightest phones around. It weighs about 193 grams.
It has a 120 Hz screen. Unfortunately, it is not OLED but IPS LCD. The 120 Hz display is very smooth though. It also supports HDR 10. The screen is about 6.67 inches in dimension. The aspect ratio of this phone is 20:9. The phone has a resolution of 1080 x 2408 pixels and therefore has a PPI density of 395. The screen-to-body ratio is ~85%.
The display can go as bright as 650 nits. It also supports watching HDR 10 videos.
Thankfully, it has a 240 Hz of touch sampling rate so that the device is extremely responsive.
The phone runs on Android 11 as the operating system and has a UI of Funtouch 12. Both the os and GUI are smooth.
It uses a 5g snapdragon chip. To be precise, it is a Qualcomm SM7325 Snapdragon 778G 5G. The chip is fabricated using a 6nm process. Hence, for the price, the performance is excellent. It is an Octa-core processor and therefore, it has low-efficiency performance cores and high-efficiency battery-saving cores. It uses Adreno 642L as GPU. It is enough for most of the games.
The card slot is microSDXC and comes with a hybrid slot. The phone comes in several variants. They are 128GB 6GB RAM, 128GB 8GB RAM, 256GB 8GB RAM, and 256GB 12GB RAM variants. The phone uses UFS 3.1 for storage.
The phone has a 3.5 mm jack and it is very helpful for listening to music. The Bluetooth version is 5.1 and it supports the protocols like A2DP, LE, aptX HD, etc. Unfortunately, there’s no NFC.
The battery life is very good. It uses a Li-Po 5000 mAh battery. It is enough for a phone to stay alive for a day. Thankfully, it supports 44 watts of fast charging. It can clock to 50 % within 26 minutes according to the advertisement. It can charge so fast so that the small battery can be overlooked.
The phone comes in 3 colours, viz. Arctic Dawn, Mystic Space, Aurora.
The main camera it uses is a 64 MP, f/1.8. It produces decent pictures. There is also an 8 MP ultra-wide camera. A 2 MP sensor is there for macro shots. It can also take HDR pictures. The video formats it can take are 4K@30/60fps, 1080p@30/60fps. Video stabilisation is from gyro-EIS.
The front selfie camera is a 16 MP, f/2.0 which is great for selfies. It can also take HDR and has a video recording potential of 1080P@30fps. For the price, it is one of the best cheap phones with a 120 Hz display.
The phones listed above have a 120 Hz display in budget. Each has its own Pros and Cons. To me, AMOLED is important as a 120 Hz screen and there shouldn’t be a compromise on the performance. Hence my choice is Redmi Note 11 Pro. It checks all the boxes. It has a solid battery, 5g, etc. Hence the choice.
Thanks for reading.
Aju Vignesh Sathiaraj Padma is a mechanical and audio engineer. He is a person who loves technology and things. He is also an audiophile and loves to listen to music on quality audio gear. He is an avid writer and loves to blog.
He is the founder and author of www.digitfield.com, and he is an expert in copywriting. You can find him either lurking in various forums or listening to classical music.
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