From what I know, flat shaded polygons use the face normal for lighting calculations for every pixel that makes up said face. Likewise, smoothshaded polygons do per-pixel normal calculations. However, in the case of any face of a standard cube, the perpixel normals and the face normals point in the exact same direction, since the face is perfectly flat, with all the vertices lying in the same plane
By logic, a flat-shaded cube should look no different from a smooth-shaded cube. That being said however, there are differences as one can view in the viewport, for reasons I can not quite understand
A flat-shaded cube:
The same cube but smooth-shaded:
Material for reference:
The difference is quite staggering. The reflection is so much more detailed on the smooth-shaded one. But why? Most of their normals are more or less the same, and afaik their UV maps could not have been affected in any way
What exactly causes the differences in their reflections of the environment?