We’re a long, long way out from the likely September launch of the iPhone 13 range, but we’re already quite confident about one feature the range will offer, namely a screen with a 120Hz refresh rate.
Or rather, the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max will probably have such a display, as it has already been repeatedly rumored, most recently by The Elec, which claims that Samsung will be the sole supplier of screens for these models.
The site claims that these two models will use LTPO (low-temperature polycrystalline oxide) OLED screens that can run at up to 120Hz, while the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini will have LTPS (low-temperature polycrystalline silicon) OLED panels, much like the iPhone 12 range does.
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It’s worth noting that LTPO isn’t required for a 120Hz refresh rate, but the tech is more power efficient, and allows for an adaptive refresh rate without extra hardware. So while The Elec doesn’t mention what refresh rate the two cheaper models will have, it’s likely to be 60Hz, like all current iPhones.
The move to a higher refresh rate can make interactions feel smoother, but it’s harsher on the battery, hence a display that’s more power efficient is advantageous.
From two to four
The Elec adds that all four iPhone 14 models (or whatever the 2022 range is called) will apparently have an LTPO OLED screen, but that Apple won’t be purely reliant on Samsung for the panels by then, with LG apparently supplying some.
While we’d still take the rumored upgrade to 120Hz with a pinch of salt – especially as a number of the leaks pointing in that direction have come from just one source – it certainly looks like one of the more likely iPhone 13 range upgrades we're hearing of.
It’s been a long time coming too, as the Samsung Galaxy S20, OnePlus 8T, and a number of other Android phones already have 120Hz screens. It’s an upgrade that can make a notable difference, but with LTPO panels reportedly taking around two weeks longer to produce than LTPS ones – and likely costing more too – there’s a worry that the iPhone 13 Pro could be even more expensive than the iPhone 12 Pro.
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James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to 3G.co.uk, 4G.co.uk and 5G.co.uk and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.