What is a touch-sampling rate?

If you’ve bought a phone recently, particularly gaming-focused devices, you may have seen the phrase ‘touch-sampling rate’. It’s an important specification in a world of touchscreens. Here’s our clear and concise explanation.

Touch screens are everywhere now and you may have found yourself frustrated at the speed at which a display responds to your taps and swipes. One reason that may be is a low touch-sampling rate.

Mobile gaming is where you’ll find touch-sampling rate mentioned the most, with our review of the Asus ROG Phone 7 Ultimate highlighting the need for its 720Hz rate. Our reviewer states the high touch-sampling rate is, “highly important for mobile games that rely on quick reactions”. If you’re wondering what it is and why it can be so pivotal, and we’re guessing so since you’re here, then read on for the low down on touch-sampling rate.

What is a touch-sampling rate?

Touch-sampling rate refers to how often a display is able to register a touch as an input. If a display has a 720Hz touch-sampling rate, then it means the panel is able to be responsive to your touch 720 times per second.

This is extremely important in mobile gaming, particularly first-person shooters, where quick reactions are essential, meaning that having a display more sensitive to your touch can prove to be a significant advantage. The screen will respond more swiftly to your swipes and taps, which will enable you to be far more accurate in-game.

What is a good touch-sampling rate?

A 240Hz touch-sampling rate is found on many phones, from flagships like the Samsung Galaxy S23 to cheaper devices like the Xiaomi 12 Lite and Samsung Galaxy A54 5G. With the ease at which you can find a decent touch-sampling rate, we’d recommend 240Hz for most people.

For gaming, you might want something speedier, and that’s where you’ll find the likes of the ROG Phone 7 Ultimate with its 720Hz rate. Another one of our best gaming phone picks, the Nubia RedMagic 7S Pro, stretches to a whopping 960Hz and is ‘extremely responsive to your inputs’, per our review. With these higher rates being the standard for mobile gaming, those after a device of this flavour should look upwards of 480Hz. For casual players, the 240Hz for standard mobile devices should do you just fine though.

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