With the launch of the iPhone 13, Apple has finally brought its ProMotion display to its iPhones. It’s basically a fancier way of saying that the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max models now have a 120Hz refresh rate, similar to what many Android handset makers have been doing for a while now.
That being sad, we should tamper our expectations a bit. This is because as it turns out, third-party apps cannot take full advantage of the faster refresh rates. It has been discovered that for third-party apps, their animations are being capped at 60Hz, which is the same refresh rate as older iPhones and the cheaper iPhone 13 mini and iPhone 13 phones.
ProMotion kicks in when there is scrolling involved and when there are full screen transitions happening, but everywhere else, animations are capped at 60Hz. This means that you could be scrolling through an app and enjoying the smooth refresh rates, but then you tap on a different part of the app and those animations seem a little less fluid, resulting in a very jarring experience.
What’s odd is that apparently these restrictions do not apply to the iPad Pro which has had a 120Hz display since 2017. It has been suggested that this could be due to battery where Apple could be trying to make it more energy efficient, but hopefully this is something that they’ll be able to address in the future.