Faster displays have started to find their way into mobile devices, and this is starting to have ramifications for gaming as well. The new OnePlus 8 smartphone, for example, has a 90Hz screen. This makes browsing the internet and scrolling through content look extremely smooth. I like it so much that I would prioritize a high refresh-rate screen when looking for a new device. That’s especially true when I consider the effect it has on gaming.
OnePlus sent one of its latest handsets to GamesBeat for testing. It did so because it’s proud that the OnePlus 8 is the first smartphone that can run Fortnite at a consistent 90 frames per second. And after testing that, I can confirm that the experience lives up to the expectations.
The OnePlus 8 is available now starting at $700 on its website. You can get it for closer to $600 through online retailers like Newegg, though.
I’m focusing on Fortnite because it is still one of the biggest games in the world, and this is the first time it is running at a high framerate on mobile. Games like Vainglory, Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition, and more also support high-refresh rate screens, but they are known quantities.
To experience Epic’s battle royale shooter at 90fps on OnePlus 8, you have to select that in the options. While the smartphone has a powerful Snapdragon 865 with the Adreno 650, you can only get 90fps while on the “low” graphics setting. But this tradeoff ensures the game can hit and maintain the 90fps threshold.
The final effect is quite stunning. And it’s one that anyone accustomed to high-framerate gaming on PC will immediately recognize. Fortnite on the OnePlus 8 is smooth with very few significant drops below 90fps. This makes aiming easier, but it’s also just more pleasant to play overall. You do lose some of the fidelity with the reduced graphics, but it’s nothing I missed on the OnePlus 8’s 6.5-inch screen.
Is Fortnite at 90fps on the OnePlus 8 a reason to buy the phone? Not for me. Not on its own. But it’s definitely part of a compelling set of pros versus cons.
Beyond Fortnite, 90fps gaming is excellent on OnePlus 8
High-framerate gaming is not a feature that is exclusive to Fortnite. It’s something that is also an option when streaming games from a local PC.
I used the Moonlight app to beam games from my rig to the OnePlus 8. This works with the in-home streaming capabilities of Nvidia GPUs. Moonlight has the option to support higher framerates. I selected 90fps, which worked well over my fast home network.
And this is another great use of the OnePlus 8 and its display. If you’re playing a game that your PC can handle at 90 frames per second, then that’s going to come through on the screen. Pair that with a controller like the Razer Kishi, and you have something that ends up feeling like a Switch Pro.
The gaming experience paired with the smooth scrolling of the 90Hz screen is what sells me on the phone. The obvious downside is that a higher refresh rate uses more battery. But you are also not forced onto 90Hz. You can hop into the Android display settings and move that to 60 whenever you want. It’s also nice that it starts with 128GB of storage.