No 120 Hz screen on iPhone 12: Apple's missed opportunity to steal 2020

This article may contain personal views and opinion from the author.
No 120 Hz screen on iPhone 12: Apple's missed opportunity to steal 2020
Just a couple months back, things seemed fairly certain that the new iPhone 12 series was going to come with a sweet, fancy, super-smooth 120 Hz ProMotion display.

Well, with each following rumor, it was like the beloved 120 Hz was drifting further and further away. First, it was a hard-to-source display controller, then it was that Apple couldn't get the 120 Hz to work "just right". And with the iPhone 12 phones already in mass production, it looks like it's extremely unlikely that we'll get high refresh rate displays on this year's iPhones.

A bummer!


Let's be honest, even by typical bad year standards, 2020 is a surprisingly lousy one. This fact has obviously affected every area of society, including the smartphone industry. Despite a few high-profile launches this year, nothing really stuck out as a beacon of positive achievement. Apple had the opportunity to be that bright tone in an otherwise gloomy ballad, but it probably won't.

The iPhone 12 series seems to have it all: a lovely, fresh design, reminiscent of the iPhone 4, breakthrough performance, great cameras and, yes, 5G. But while I'm almost certain Apple will try to make 5G the centerpiece of the iPhone 12, I'm just not convinced this is great or needed enough to get people truly hyped up. At least not at this stage of 5G development.

But a truly awesome feature that too many phone users are yet to be exposed to is a high refresh rate display. It's one of those things that you need to see with your own eyes in order to appreciate it. And I know that OnePlus and some other companies and now Samsung have it, but the reality is that at this point, Apple needs to adopt the feature for it to become truly mainstream.

A 120 Hz display on the iPhone 12 phones would have made them complete, truly next-gen devices with no weak spots. That would have been a home run for Apple. The iPhone 12 family is shaping up to be a pretty strong line-up, with a total of 4 models, spanning a wide range of sizes, all with the beautiful new design and no-compromise processors, cameras and displays (in terms of image quality). But a high-refresh rate would have elevated the user experience to the next level; it would have been the cherry on the cake, and made the iPhone 12 that much easier to buy.

Now they want us to eat the cake without the cherry. It'll still be a fine cake, but it won't be the same.

Related phones

iPhone 12 mini
  • Display 5.4 inches 2340 x 1080 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP (Dual camera) 12 MP front
  • Hardware Apple A14 Bionic RAM
  • Storage 64GB, not expandable
  • Battery 2227 mAh
  • OS iOS 14.x
iPhone 12
  • Display 6.1 inches 2532 x 1170 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP (Dual camera) 12 MP front
  • Hardware Apple A14 Bionic RAM
  • Storage 64GB, not expandable
  • Battery 2815 mAh
  • OS iOS 14.x
iPhone 12 Pro
  • Display 6.1 inches 2532 x 1170 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP (Triple camera) 12 MP front
  • Hardware Apple A14 Bionic 6GB RAM
  • Storage 128GB, not expandable
  • Battery 2815 mAh
  • OS iOS 14.x
iPhone 12 Pro Max
  • Display 6.7 inches 2778 x 1284 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP (Triple camera) 12 MP front
  • Hardware Apple A14 Bionic 6GB RAM
  • Storage 128GB, not expandable
  • Battery 3687 mAh
  • OS iOS 14.x

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