iPhone 12 Pro killer feature confirmed — and Galaxy Note 20 should be nervous

(Image credit: Jonas Daehnert)

One of the biggest questions we have heading into the iPhone 12 launch is how the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro phones will be different. And now a new leak has seemingly confirmed one of the top features for the iPhone 12 Pro.

Ross Young, founder and CEO of Display Supply chain Consultants, posted a list on Twitter of phones launching in 2020 that he anticipates will feature 120Hz displays. This includes the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 and Galaxy Note 20 Plus/Ultra but also the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max. 

As initially reported by GSMArena, this is an important development because we have seen rumors that Apple was wavering on whether to add a 120Hz display to the iPhone 12 Pro lineup. According to leaker Max Weinbach back in May, Apple would not adopt 120Hz "unless it is perfect" and that engineers were unhappy with it due to color calibration issues.

So to see the iPhone 12 Pro and iPone 12 Pro on this list is certainly a positive development. Apple already offers a ProMotion display on the iPad Pro that scales up to 120Hz depending on the content that's on screen.

In this latest Twitter thread, Young said he expects "Apple's pro's to have it and to at least switch between 60 and 120Hz." That's good, but it won't match the LTPO technology that will apparently power the Galaxy Note 20 Plus/Ultra. This will reportedly allow Samsung's flagship to scale from 1Hz to 120Hz, which would presumably save power.

Regardless, the apparent confirmation of ProMotion 120Hz screens on the iPhone 12 Pro will help Apple tick that box in the minds of phone shoppers that care about specs and should give it enough ammunition to battle the Galaxy Note 20 Plus/Ultra. Also note that Young's list doesn't include the regular Galaxy Note 20, so the best 120Hz display could be reserved for the pricier flagship phablet.

The GSM Arena report also echoes other iPhone 12 Pro rumors we've heard previously. For instance, the 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro Max will reportedly be thinner than the iPhone 11 Pro Max at 7.4 mm vs 8.1 mm. And because the iPhone 12 Pro is expected to use a stacked motherboard, Apple should be able to squeeze in bigger batteries this time around.

Other iPhone 12 Pro rumors point to Apple's more premium phones offering three rear cameras plus a LiDAR sensor for enhanced performance in iPhone AR apps and photography workflows. The regular iPhone 12 handsets are expected to offer just two rear shooters and lack a telephoto zoom. 

In addition, the iPhone 12 Pro should pack in more RAM and support both mmWave and sub-6GHz 5G. The regular iPhone 12 will likely support only the latter 5G flavor. None of the new iPhone 12 phones are expected to come with EarPods in the box, so you'll likely see Apple push the AirPods and AirPods Pro even more this fall.  

As for the Galaxy Note 20 Plus/Ultra, it has a lot more going for it than its own 120Hz display, based on the rumors. This includes a 108MP camera, a dedicated camera sensor for auto focus, an improved S Pen and a bigger battery.

Mark Spoonauer

Mark Spoonauer is the global editor in chief of Tom's Guide and has covered technology for over 20 years. In addition to overseeing the direction of Tom's Guide, Mark specializes in covering all things mobile, having reviewed dozens of smartphones and other gadgets. He has spoken at key industry events and appears regularly on TV to discuss the latest trends, including Cheddar, Fox Business and other outlets. Mark was previously editor in chief of Laptop Mag, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc. Follow him on Twitter at @mspoonauer.