A recent revelation has sparked a wave of discussions and debates in the tech community about the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max display refresh rate, which seems stuck at 80Hz.

iPhone 15 Pro display refresh rate is stuck at 80Hz

A post by Ice Universe, a well-known source for smartphone leaks and insights, caused quite a stir as it uncovered an intriguing aspect of the iPhone 15 Pro’s display behavior.

iPhone 15 Pro display refresh rate stuck at 80Hz

The iPhone’s screen refresh rate primarily operates at 80Hz in most cases. It only reaching 120Hz when specific apps actively demand the higher refresh rate, surprising several users.

This revelation challenged the assumption that Apple’s latest flagship models consistently run at 120Hz, raising questions about the device’s true performance capabilities.

Experiments conducted in other iPhones as well

This is not the first time this has happened, as this is a common in iPhones that come with ProMotion.

To provide visual evidence of this phenomenon, a YouTuber conducted a simple experiment. They navigated through the iPhone 13 Pro Max’s settings menu, and the device’s frame rate dropped noticeably.

Phone 13 Pro display refresh rate stuck at 80Hz
Source (Click/ tap to view)

However, when they switched to watching a video on YouTube, the display consistently maintained a 60fps.

This experiment demonstrated that the iPhone’s ProMotion adjusts its frame rate according to the demands of particular apps.

Another user conducted a side-by-side comparison between an Android device equipped with a 120Hz screen and the iPhone 14 Pro Max.

iPhone ProMotion
Source (Click/ tap to view)

The user immediately noticed a stark difference in scrolling performance. The Android phone delivered a buttery-smooth experience, while the iPhone felt jittery and inconsistent, seemingly running at a lower refresh rate of 80-90Hz.

This issue isn’t limited to one app as users reported that even the system UI on the iPhone felt less smooth than expected.

Is iPhone 15 Pro display refresh rate stuck at 80Hz a bug then?

Before jumping to conclusions and assuming this is a bug with the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max, it’s essential to understand that Apple’s approach to refresh rates is different from some Android counterparts.

Every iPhone equipped with ProMotion caps the refresh rate at 80Hz for most tasks. So, this could be a strategic optimization done by Apple.

What is the reason for the 80Hz cap?

The reasoning behind this optimization lies in Apple’s commitment to delivering a seamless user experience while being conscious of power consumption.

Consequently, by limiting the refresh rate to 80Hz in most scenarios, Apple strikes a balance between fluidity and efficiency.

To provide some context, Apple’s ProMotion displays offer a range of refresh rates and timings, including 120Hz (8ms), 80Hz (12ms), 60Hz (16ms), and so on, all the way down to 10Hz (100ms).

120Hz (8ms)
80Hz (12ms)
60Hz (16ms)
48Hz (20ms)
40Hz (25ms)
30Hz (33ms)
24Hz (41ms)
20Hz (50ms)
16Hz (62ms)
15Hz (66ms)
12Hz (83ms)
10Hz (100ms)

Everyday tasks like scrolling through system apps or using standard third-party applications do not require the full 120Hz refresh rate. So, the device defaults to 80Hz to conserve energy.

However, when an app explicitly demands a 120Hz refresh rate, the iPhone 13 Pro, iPhone 13 Pro Max and later models are more than capable of delivering it without any hiccups.

This dynamic approach to refresh rates allows the device to adapt to different use cases. Additionally, it provides an optimal experience while extending battery life when high refresh rates aren’t necessary.

Note: We have more such stories on dedicated Apple section, so be sure to follow them as well.

Featured image: iPhone 15 Pro

PiunikaWeb started as purely an investigative tech journalism website with main focus on ‘breaking’ or ‘exclusive’ news. In no time, our stories got picked up by the likes of Forbes, Foxnews, Gizmodo, TechCrunch, Engadget, The Verge, Macrumors, and many others. Want to know more about us? Head here.

Karanjot Sidhu
1024 Posts

A computer science engineer who loves tech and won't stop talking about it. Here at Piunikaweb, I mostly cover Google Pixel deals and how-tos, though you may find me covering Pixel news as well sometimes. Apart from being a nerd, i love gaming and watching movies in my free time.

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