Samsung’s latest budget phones ask: is refresh rate more important than resolution?

If you had to choose: would you choose a sharper screen on your smartphone, or a smoother-scrolling one? This year, budget phone buyers may be asking themselves that question: the OnePlus Nord N100, Moto G50, and the new Samsung Galaxy F12 and M12 all refresh their screens 90 times per second (which is good!) but with a lower-than-optimal screen resolution of 720p. That’s the same resolution as a Galaxy Nexus from 2011.

Compared to your average iPhone, that’s a paltry number of pixels. Since the iPhone 4 debuted in 2010, every Apple handset has offered at least 326 pixels per inch (PPI), enough so you can’t make out those individual pixels with the naked eye at typical viewing distances. (The marketing term is “retina display.”) Here,…

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