iPhone 14 Pros could borrow always-on display capabilities from Apple Watch

Apple’s iPhone 14 Pro models could utilize always-on screens to display useful information on your lock screen without draining battery life significantly.

Image from Apple's YouTube video showing ProMotion technology in action, with a hand holding an iPhone 13 Pro and scrolling through a list and the title "120Hz adaptive refresh rate" overlaid on top
Image credit: Apple
  • A display analyst has put out speculation that Apple’s upcoming iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max models might feature upgrade ProMotion technology capable of dropping the screen refresh rate down to just 1Hz.
  • A 1Hz screen would enable those Pro-branded iPhone 14 models to display static images in a power-sipping way, similar to the Apple Watch.
  • Imagine having the current date, time and battery charge level always visible whether the device is locked or idle, but without a major power drain.

iPhone 14 Pro could have always-on displays capabilities

The current iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max are Apple’s first iPhones with ProMotion variable refresh rates between 10Hz and 120Hz. The refresh rate changes depending on what’s shown on the screen. Watch a movie and the refresh rate may drop to 24Hz, for instance. But if you scroll through something fast or play an action game, for example, the refresh rate could jump to 120Hz. High refresh rates are better for our eyes and result in smooth animations, but consume more power.

The upcoming iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max models could use low-temperature polycrystalline oxide (LTPO) display panels capable of lowering the refresh rate to just 1Hz. The information comes via Display Supply Chain Consultants analyst Ross Young on Twitter. Asked whether he could confirm that the iPhone 14 Pros will support a 1Hz refresh rate, he responded by saying “Can’t confirm, but expecting it.” Read: How to restrict ProMotion to 60 fps to save battery life

If true, then it means that the iPhone 14 Pros would redraw the entire screen just once every second. That’s only useful for displaying static content on the screen. In theory, an always-on display would permit the iPhone 14 Pros to display static information on the lock screen such as the current date, time and battery charge levels—without draining the battery significantly.

Just don’t take this report for granted because Ross wouldn’t confirm the rumor. The fact that he’s “expecting” the iPhone 14 Pros to gain always-on display capabilities means he is speculating on it, so keep that in mind. Read: 40+ iPhone battery tips