In 2017, Apple introduced the ProMotion display on its iPad Pro. ProMotion refers to high refresh rate adaptive display technology, which Apple has continuously developed and improved over the years.
Today, select MacBook Pro models and even higher-end iPhones have ProMotion displays. This article will help you understand what Apple’s ProMotion display is and how it can benefit you.
In a nutshell, ProMotion is Apple’s fancy way of dialing in a 120Hz high refresh rate display on its devices. This means that instead of the traditional 60Hz refresh rate, ProMotion displays refresh 120 times per second, resulting in a significantly smoother viewing experience.
Apple first announced ProMotion technology in 2017 with the launch of the second-generation 10.5-inch iPad Pro, but it wasn’t the first tech company to do so. In fact, just a few months before the iPad launch, Razer announced the Razer Phone, the first smartphone with a 120Hz display.
Since 2017, many Android smartphones started to feature 120Hz panels, but iPhone users only got to experience it last year with the launch of iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max.
Your smartphone’s display pane is not static, so the pixels need to be updated with the latest content to display anything. For example, if you display text, it must update very quickly to immediately display any changes.
The number of times the screen is refreshed is called the refresh rate and is measured in Hertz (Hz).
Traditionally, most displays refresh 60 times per second, which means they are 60Hz displays. A 60Hz refresh rate is sufficient for most users, and lag or stutter is not noticeable at all. . But, on a 120Hz screen, the refresh rate literally doubles, meaning your screen will update each pixel 120 times per second.
The only trade-off that comes with a 120Hz display is that it consumes more battery power to refresh twice as fast. However, Apple’s ProMotion display technology is adaptive, meaning it can dynamically adjust the refresh rate based on the content on the screen.
For example, when you’re reading something on your iPhone 13 Pro, the screen doesn’t need to refresh as much. Therefore, the system will automatically reduce the refresh rate to approximately 10Hz (depending on the device), which will prevent the ProMotion display function from consuming a lot of battery power.
Similarly, while playing compatible games, the screen will ramp back up to 120Hz for a smoother viewing experience.
Since ProMotion displays update twice as fast as regular displays, the entire user experience becomes more responsive and seamless. So every time you scroll through TikTok, open an app, make gestures, watch animations, or basically do anything, you’ll feel significantly more fluid.
The ProMotion screen will also give you an edge in games. The faster refresh rate means the game will feel more responsive, and in turn can improve your reaction times to respond quickly.
Plus, since the ProMotion display is adaptive, it can actually conserve battery life, which is one of the reasons the iPhone 13 Pro Max offers class-leading battery performance. This is because you won’t be gaming on your iPhone all the time, nor will you need the full 120Hz refresh rate. So its ability to tone down the refresh rate will improve battery times significantly.
On top of that, the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max can refresh at up to 1Hz, which is even better than the minimum 10Hz refresh rate on the iPhone 13 Pro series. And this allowed Apple to introduce the always-on display on the iPhone 14 Pro, which we hate.
Now, you may be wondering if you can even tell the difference between a 60Hz and a 120Hz screen. Well, if you place an iPhone 12 Pro next to an iPhone 13 Pro and then swipe across the home screen, you’ll likely notice the difference in fluidity and responsiveness almost immediately.
Since devices with ProMotion require a 120Hz display panel, the feature is not available on all Apple devices. In fact, you can only use ProMotion on the following Apple devices:
- iPad Pro (2017 or later)
- MacBook Pro (14-inch and 16-inch models with M1 Pro and M1 Max chips)
- iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max
- iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max
Apple’s ProMotion displays have a 120Hz refresh rate, which means they’ll refresh twice as fast per second. These screens are significantly smoother, resulting in more fluid and responsive gestures and animations.
Everything you do on your device feels smoother, especially if you’re used to 60Hz displays. ProMotion displays can also tone down a lower refresh rate to conserve battery life. However, if you think the 120Hz display is still draining your iPhone’s battery, you can lock the refresh rate to 60Hz.