The iPhone 15 is coming this fall, and its display is one feature in line to get several updates.
Apple's been slowly stuffing more and more features into the screens of its iPhones, including most recently an always-on display and a notch-replacing Dynamic Island. It sounds as if more enhancements will be coming to the screens' brightness, bezels and associated features, although some of the best ones won't be available on cheaper iPhones.
iPhone 15 display: Display size, type and resolution
For all the possible changes the iPhone 15 could make to its displays, size shouldn't be one of them. The rumors are quite clear that we'll again see two sizes: the 6.1-inch vanilla and Pro model, and the 6.7-inch Plus and Pro Max model.
These screens should be all of the OLED variety too, just like the previous three generations of iPhone, since Apple's next-gen microLED tech isn't ready just yet. They'll likely be the same resolutions too, which would be 1170 x 2532 for the iPhone 15, 1284 x 2778 for the iPhone 15 Plus, 1179 x 2556 for the iPhone 15 Pro and 1290 x 2796 for the iPhone 15 Pro Max.
The display, looking at design leaks, should still be flat like all iPhones have been since the iPhone 12 series. However the edges of the phone could be getting a bit more curved, making the phone a little comfier to hold.
iPhone 15 display: Refresh rate and always-on display
Apple introduced its "ProMotion" 120Hz refresh rate to the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max in 2021, and the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max inherited it last year. While we've been hoping Apple will increase the refresh rate of the standard and Plus iPhone 15s, it's still expected that 120Hz will remain exclusive to the Pro models, with 60Hz once again for the standard ones.
The iPhone 14 Pro brought with it Apple's first always-on display for iPhones, allowing certain elements of the lock screen to remain visible at all times. It seems a safe bet to say we will see this again on the iPhone 15 Pro, but because this is a feature that requires a variable refresh rate, it would also mean no always-on display for the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus.
Some sources are predicted that there will be no 120Hz displays on basic iPhones until 2025, which would be many many years after most Android phones had adopted this refresh rate or a higher one.
iPhone 15 display: Bezels
The borders around the iPhone 15's screens are expected to get thinner, with the iPhone 15 Pro models expected to get particularly slim 1.55mm bezels, slimmer than any other smartphone currently on sale.
This could mean either slightly more display in the same-size phone, or a slightly smaller overall frame while maintaining the display size. Either way, it sounds like quite an impressive achievement.
iPhone 15 display: Brightness
The iPhone 14, particularly the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max, are already home to some of the brightest displays on any smartphone. But the iPhone 15 series could be making them brighter still, possibly up to 2,500 nits on the iPhone 15 Pro Max.
Despite the extra brightness the iPhone 15 series may offer, the display may still run more efficiently, thanks to a new driver chip. That'll be important for making the most of the potential brightness without draining the battery too quickly.
iPhone 15 display: Dynamic Island
New to the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max last year was the Dynamic Island, a replacement for Apple's classic Face ID notch. In theory, this is coming to all iPhone 15 models, not just the Pro editions like last year. That means a little bit of extra display space at the top of the screen, and size-changing widgets for certain apps that expand and shrink on demand.
We've not heard anything about changes to the Dynamic Island's behavior or abilities yet. iOS 17 doesn't contain any changes for it either, so unless new rumors emerge between now and fall, we'll have to wait until the launch event to see if anything else is different with the Dynamic Island beyond which phones offer it.
iPhone 15 display: External display support
For most users, the iPhone's built-in display is more than enough. But for users who want the most space possible, the iPhone 15 Pro could answer your wishes by offering support for external displays.
The whole iPhone 15 series is tipped for USB-C ports, but the Pro models will apparently also offer Thunderbolt 3 compatibility, which will enable the phone to output to a connected monitor or TV. That sounds great for the times when your phone screen just isn't big enough to show off your latest snaps or you want to watch a video in a greater resolution but can't use a casting or AirPlay option.