One feature that’s been a constant with all of Google’s Pixel phones is the OLED screen. This week it’s been revealed that that nearly wasn’t the case with the Pixel 3, though.
During the latest episode of the Android Developers Backstage podcast, it was revealed that the Pixel 3 nearly got a 120Hz LCD screen rather than the 60Hz OLED it launched with (via XDA-Developers). According to Chet Hasse of the Android Developer Relations team, the Pixel 3 wasn’t supposed to have an OLED display for various reasons, and so Google considered putting a Sharp 120Hz LCD screen instead.
“So it was like, ‘Well, if we don’t have OLED, what do we do?’ and so one of the considerations was, ‘Well, maybe we do a 120Hz LCD,” Hasse said. Unfortunately, Hasse didn’t reveal why Google ultimately decided to use an OLED screen in the Pixel 3 over the 120Hz LCD.
High refresh rate displays are becoming a popular feature among Android phones lately after starting to pop up in gaming phones in recent years. Google offers a 90Hz display mode on the Pixel 4 and 4 XL, but some folks want them to go even farther and use a 120Hz screen like on the Razer Phone 2 and ASUS ROG Phone II.
It would’ve been a pretty big deal if the Pixel 3 used a 120Hz LCD screen in the Pixel 3, both because it would’ve been a change from the OLED panels Google had been using and because it would’ve been a Pixel phone with a 120Hz refresh rate. It also would’ve been kind of weird to see the Pixel 3 have a 120Hz LCD and a Pixel 3 XL with a regular OLED. That ultimately never happened, but now that Google has adopted a 90Hz refresh rate on the Pixel 4, perhaps Google will make the jump to a 120Hz panel with a future Pixel phone.