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Apple’s ProMotion display technology is now a year old, having debuted on the iPhone 12. But does the iPhone 13 have a 120Hz screen?


Screens with high refresh rates are all the rage these days. Android phones, even cheaper ones, have been shipping with 120Hz screens for over 18 months now. Apple – as usual – was late to the party.

Apple began using 120Hz displays on its iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max, the cheaper iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 did not get access to this feature, however – Apple dubbed 120Hz a “pro” feature.

Does The iPhone 13 Have 120Hz Screen?

You’d think given that 120Hz screens on phones are now commonplace that Apple would include it on its new iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Mini models.

But the bad news is that this just isn’t the case: Apple’s iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Mini DO NOT have 120Hz displays. Instead, they use the same 60Hz refresh rate as the iPhone 11 and iPhone 12.

Apple’s iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max feature Apple’s latest Super Retina XDR with ProMotion which has a variable refresh rate from 10Hz to 120Hz. Apple’s iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Mini use 60Hz which, obviously, isn’t anywhere near as good.

Why didn’t Apple update the iPhone 13’s display? No one knows. Apple just refuses to bring certain features from its Pro models down to the cheaper models. This is its #1 trick for getting people to buy the more expensive models. If you want the best, pay the rest basically.

As you can see below, the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max are where all the big changes are – although all models now have significantly better battery life.

iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone Pro Max Updates List

  • All of Apple’s iPhone 13 Pro models feature new 120Hz Super Retina XDR screens with improved brightness (up to 1000nits).
  • The iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max are available in the following colors: graphite, gold, silver, and a new light blue.
  • All three cameras have been updated inside the iPhone 13 Pro lineup; you have better low light performance, thanks to larger sensors, a wider aperture for the ultra-wide lens, and 3x zoom for the telephoto lens. Night Mode is now supported on all three lenses too.
  • The 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max now feature a new macro lens that’ll let you shoot objects from just 2cm away. All of Apple’s Pro models now feature sensor-shift optical image stabilization.
  • The Pro models also get Cinematic mode but will also benefit from Apple’s new ProRes technology. You can film in 4K up to 30fps with the iPhone 13 Pro models and, with ProRes, a higher quality video format, you can then edit in more detail after footage has been filmed.
  • All iPhone 13 Pro models get an extra tier of storage, 1TB – this is likely down to its use of ProRes.
  • Apple has improved the iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro’s battery life; the iPhone 13 Pro will last 1.5 hours longer than the iPhone 12 Pro, and the iPhone 13 Pro Max will last 2.5 hours longer than the iPhone 12 Pro Max.

Check out our detailed iPhone 13 Pro Max Buyer’s Guide – it covers everything you need to know before you pull the trigger on one.

All iPhone 14 Models To Feature 120Hz Displays

I know we heard a similar rumor about Apple’s LiDAR sensor ahead of the iPhone 13’s launch, but this particular rumor has some actual basis in how Apple approaches updates to its screen tech.

According to leaked information, the iPhone 14 will be the first time since the iPhone X that Apple completely redesigns its iPhone. And one of the big new features of the iPhone 14 will be that ALL models will feature 120Hz ProMotion displays.

This is what happened with OLED panels on iPhone. When the iPhone 11 launched, it had an LCD display. But when the iPhone 12 range launched, they all switched over to OLED. This is likely what will happen in 2022 with 120Hz screens on the iPhone 14. What was once a “pro” feature becomes an “everyman” feature.

As for other iPhone 14-related updates, word on the street suggests Apple is planning on doing away with the notch altogether.

Also, check out Does The iPhone 13 Have MagSafe? And check out Which iPhone 13 Should I Get?