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OnePlus confirms that the budget Nord N100 does, in fact, have a 90Hz display

OnePlus won't stand by the efficacy of the refresh rate across all apps, though.

Published onNovember 18, 2020

OnePlus logo 2
  • OnePlus previously announced the OnePlus Nord N100 and said it had a 60Hz display refresh rate.
  • However, our review unit has a 90Hz display. When questioned on this, OnePlus confirmed that it does actually have a 90Hz display.
  • The company would not stand by the efficacy of the higher refresh rate due to the low-end specs of the phone.

In September last year, OnePlus made a big to-do about how every single phone it launches will now have Fluid Display technology. “Fluid Display” is OnePlus’ promotional language for displays with higher refresh rates, specifically 90Hz and above.

However, the OnePlus Nord N100 — the first low-end budget phone ever from the company — launched with a 60Hz display refresh rate. This was confirmed to us at the time by an official OnePlus representative. This news was curious because the N100 is very clearly a rebranded OPPO A53, which has a 90Hz display. It also meant that OnePlus was breaking its previous promise.

Now, though, the tables have turned once again. Android Authority purchased a Nord N100 in the United Kingdom for review, and our retail unit has the option for a 90Hz refresh rate. When questioned on this, OnePlus retracted its previous confirmation and said this:

The N100 is equipped with a 90Hz display. Actual refresh rate depends on settings, applications used, and processing limitations.

OnePlus Nord N100: What’s going on here?

Why did OnePlus say this phone had a 60Hz display and then change its mind? The company didn’t elaborate on that for us, but we have a strong theory.

It’s plainly obvious that the OnePlus Nord N100 is a rebranded OPPO phone, which does have a 90Hz display refresh rate. OnePlus should have then been able to stand by its promise and say that Nord N100 has a high refresh rate display because the hardware is all there.

Related: OnePlus Nord N10 review: Nice, but kneecapped

However, the weak specs of the Nord N100 prevent that high refresh rate from being smooth and effective across all apps. The company admitted as much in its statement. OnePlus was then faced with a choice: promote the phone as a “Fluid Display” device and tarnish that branding when users complain about it, or promote the phone as having a standard display. If this theory is true, the company went with the latter option.

The bottom line here is that the OnePlus Nord N100 does have a 90Hz display refresh rate. If you turn it on, your refresh rates will be higher. However, it’s unproven how well that refresh rate will work across all apps and usage scenarios, so you might see problems from having it on all the time. You’ll need to choose which situation is more preferable.

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