iPhone 14 Pro tipped to offer the long-overdue always-on feature

iPhone 14 Pro could offer the long-overdue always-on feature
A display that refresh at 90Hz or 120Hz have become something of a standard feature on flagship smartphones. Last year's iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max were Apple's first smartphones to feature 120Hz screens, and a fresh rumor indicates that the forthcoming iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max will offer a better implementation of the tech which may enable the always-on display functionality.

The Razer Phone 1 kickstarted the trend of high refresh rate displays and it was popularized by Samsung. Before that, most smartphones used to come with a 60Hz refresh rate. The refresh rate is the number of times the screen refreshes every second. A 120Hz screen refreshes twice as fast as a 60Hz display, which makes moving content look faster and smoother. 

The trade-off is that a higher refresh rate drains the screen faster, and to deal with that, manufacturers like Apple and Samsung make use of the low-temperature polycrystalline oxide (LTPO) technology which enables a dynamic refresh rate that changes depending on the content being displayed. That makes sense because a high refresh rate is not needed when the display is showing static content like text.

Apple calls its high refresh rate tech ProMotion and its iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max are only capable of ramping down the refresh rate to 10Hz. In contrast, the likes of the Galaxy S22 Ultra are capable of cranking down the refresh rate to 1Hz, which not only preserves battery life but also helps with the always-on functionality. The iPhone 13 was briefly expected to have an always-on display but that did not materialize.

Apple Watch Series 5 and later already have the always-on feature, which lets them show the time and other glanceable information at all times. Display industry insider Ross Young says that he expects the feature to come to the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max this year.

This will potentially allow you to view the date, time, and notifications without having to unlock the phone. 

As was the case last year, only the 6.1-inches iPhone 14 Pro and 6.7-inches iPhone 14 Pro Max will likely have a ProMotion screen, while the 6.1-inches iPhone 14 and 6.7-inches iPhone 14 Max will come with a 60Hz display. The Pro models are also rumored to feature an i cutout instead of a notch for the front camera and Face ID tech.

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The Pro models are also highly likely to feature a new main camera and a more powerful chip, and this could help them become the best phones of 2022.

The standard variants will likely stick with the same A15 Bionic chip that powers the current lineup. All the phones are expected to have an improved selfie camera and satellite connectivity feature. 

Apple was previously expected to announce the iPhone 14 line in September, but with a report saying that it's behind schedule because of the lockdowns in China, it's hard to say if the company will be able to stick its original launch plan.

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