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OnePlus aims for max smoothness via chip capable of 30fps to 120fps upgrade


Similar technology is often found in higher-tier TVs.

What you need to know

  • OnePlus’ next flagship is slated to feature a 120Hz Fluid Display.
  • To improve its users’ overall experience, the company is planning on integrating Motion Estimation, Motion Compensation (MEMC) technology into its phones.
  • The tech, usually found in TVs, allows for 30fps content to be upscaled to the 120fps for a smoother viewing experience.

Much like the shift from Full HD to 4K content, while the industry at large is racing to adopt higher refresh rate displays, there actually isn’t a lot of content out there that can take full advantage of the superior tech. 90 or even 120Hz displays are becoming all the rage among modern smartphones, but most of the movies you’ll watch are still distributed with frame rates of only 24 or 30 frames per second.


As a result, while phones like the Pixel 4 tout buttery smooth transitions in apps and a generally more pleasant UI experience, when it comes to content consumption, they’re more or less the same as a smartphone with a regular old 60Hz display. With its upcoming OnePlus 8, however, OnePlus wants to circumvent this problem with the use of Motion Estimation, Motion Compensation (MEMC) technology.

Commonly found on high-end TVs, MEMC allows a device to simply input additional frames between those already provided in a video file to artificially up its frame rate. As a result, the OnePlus 8 (or a future OnePlus phone) could upscale 30fps content to take full advantage of the ‘Fluid Display.’ As CEO Pete Lau explains, the Chinese giant has even developed a custom chip for this purpose:

If you’ve seen high-quality TVs, you’re no stranger to MEMC. We’ve created a custom MEMC chip that can push ordinary 30fps video up to 120, so any video gets the full advantage of our 120Hz Fluid Display. pic.twitter.com/YPD3fw5uOn

— Pete Lau (@PeteLau) January 16, 2020

Lau’s tweet also includes a side-by-side comparison of video content with and without MEMC. There’s clearly a difference in smoothness, much like his previous tweet touting how much better scrolling will be on the OnePlus 8.

OnePlus isn’t the only company with a high refresh rate display. Samsung’s Galaxy S20 series are all expected to feature WQHD+ screens with a 120Hz refresh rate, while nubia’s Red Magic 3 is set to up the ante even more with a 144Hz monster. So, while OnePlus certainly won’t have the fast screen in 2020, its phone may still prove to be a better value than its competitors’, thanks to a more thoughtful design — a marquee feature of OnePlus phones in general.

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