iPhone 13 leak reveals killer upgrade we've been waiting for

iPhone 12 Pro Max display
(Image credit: Future)

A new leak claims that the iPhone 13 will get an LTPO display with a 120Hz refresh rate, giving Apple's next smartphone a display to challenge the Samsung Galaxy S21

For the longest time it was rumored that the iPhone 12 would be getting an high refresh rate display, but Apple decided to stick with a 60Hz screen. But long-time Apple leaker Jon Prosser claimed that the iPhone 13 will finally get a refresh rate upgrade, as well as new screen tech.

LTPO displays allow for the refresh rates to be adjusted on the fly, scaling from 120Hz down to 1Hz, when a high refresh rate isn't needed to preserve battery life. The Apple Watch 6 uses LTPO tech, but it has yet to make it into iPhone or iPads. 

The iPad Pro has a 120Hz refresh rate that can be scaled down to suite what's being viewed on it, but it relies on extra hardware to do that; we see the same in smartphones like the OnePlus 8T

But LTPO panels don't require extra hardware and can save on space, meaning an iPhone 13 with such a screen could benefit from the high refresh rate and the battery-life boost LTPO tech can provide while also remaining thin and light. 

Apple was expected to bring LTPO displays to the iPhone 12. But it would appear those rumors could have been sparked by Cupertino gearing up its suppliers to have LTPO panels ready for a 2021 iPhone. 

The only real question is whether all iPhone 13 models will get LTPO or not. According to a leak from The Elec. only two models are expected to have LTPO displays; likely the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max. 

The reason for this could be down to Apple planning on keeping LTPO panels for its premium handsets in order to keep the price of the standard iPhone 13 and potentially the iPhone 13 mini down. With the coronavirus pandemic still in full swing, it might also be hard for Apple to get LTPO panels at suitable volumes to cover the whole iPhone 13 range. 

From the rumors so far, we're expecting the iPhone 13 to come with upgraded cameras, boosted specs, and potentially a portless design. And Apple is expected to bring the iPhone launch 13 back to its normal September smartphone reveal schedule. But we have a while to wait until that comes along, so if you need a smartphone right now, check out our best phones list.  

Tom Pritchard
UK Phones Editor

Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.