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OnePlus 9 Pro getting huge display upgrade — look out Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

OnePlus 9 Pro renders
(Image credit: Lets Go Digital/Concept Creator)

The OnePlus 9 Pro could get a welcome upgrade to its display according to the latest leak, thanks to the use of an LTPO panel. 

OnePlus' next Pro phone is going to use the same kind of variable refresh rate display that we've seen on the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra. That's great news for OnePlus since it should let it theoretically match Samsung's best new phone for battery life and screen smoothness.

LTPO (Low-Temperature Polycrystalline Oxide) is a type of backplane, the bottom layer of a smartphone display. Its design means that compared to traditional OLED screens it consumes less energy and can alter its refresh rate depending on what the phone's being used for at that moment, without the need for additional hardware. 

Some users may have expected OnePlus to use LTPO technology, given the company's heavy marketing around speed and smooth user experiences. That suspicion has been confirmed thanks to a tweet from leaker Max Jambor.

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Like the Galaxy S21 Ultra, the OnePlus 9 Pro will use a 120Hz maximum refresh rate. However, we don't know what minimum refresh rate OnePlus will use though. The S21 Ultra can drop to 10Hz, which gives us an idea of what's possible but we can't be sure without more information.

A reply from Jambor to a comment on his original tweet claims the OnePlus 9 Pro's display will have a QHD resolution. That's the same as the OnePlus 8 Pro from last year, as well as the S21 Ultra.

The other Samsung Galaxy S21 models also offer a variable refresh rate, albeit with a higher minimum refresh rate. Perhaps this is what we'll see on the basic OnePlus 9. The OnePlus 8 last year only had a 90Hz refresh rate display, with the upgraded OnePlus 8T upping that to 120Hz. Hopefully, we'll see a successor to the 8T rather than the original 8.

You'll find the OnePlus 8 Pro on our best Android phones and overall best phones lists. And that's where we'd expect the OnePlus 9 to go once it arrives (likely around April or May).

However, with some of the other changes rumored for the phone, such as the new Hasselblad-tuned cameras, a Snapdragon 888 chipset and the OnePlus 8T's 65W charging, we might see it climb the ranks and prove a dangerous challenger for Samsung's crown.

Richard Priday

Richard is a Tom's Guide staff writer based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, gaming, audio and whatever else people need advice on. He's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.