iPhone 15 display could still be 60Hz — this is ridiculous

iphone 15 fan render
(Image credit: 4RMD)

We feared the iPhone 15 would inherit the iPhone 14's display, and that may indeed be real as leaker yeux1122 of Korean social network Naver says Apple won't use its LTPO-enhanced 120Hz ProMotion displays on the basic iPhone 15

With the ProMotion panels saved once again for the iPhone 15 Pro models, this likely means 60Hz displays again for the standard iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus, and no always-on display option either. If that is true, then Apple's once more doing its customers a disservice.

Apple is notorious for being slow to update parts of its phones, but the way it's holding out on updating its basic iPhone displays is absurd. In 2023, even cheap phones from other brands are offering at least 90Hz refresh rates for their phones, like the $599 Google Pixel 7. The iPhone 14 starts at $799, and presumably the iPhone 15 will have the same starting price. 

The only possible excuse Apple could use is that a higher refresh rate impacts battery life, but even that doesn't hold water. Take a look at our battery testing results for the Galaxy S23 and OnePlus 11 Pro, and you can see they easily beat the basic iPhones, both at 60Hz and in their full adaptive 120Hz modes.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Battery life (60Hz)Battery life (120Hz)
iPhone 14 9:28 n/a
iPhone 14 Plus11:57n/a
Samsung Galaxy S2311:2010:27
Samsung Galaxy S23 PlusNot tested11:24
OnePlus 1112:4813:10

A silver lining for iPhone 15 displays

While this 60Hz rumor spells bad news for the iPhone 15, there are more positive things we've heard about the new iPhones' screens. For instance, the display driver chip could be more efficient, while the top iPhone 14 Pro Max model could be getting an even higher max brightness rating. The display may also curve slightly, like older iPhone models, making it fit better in your hand.

In terms of functionality, the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus should also offer the Dynamic Island feature, which means that you'll be able to see alerts and Live Activities at the top of the display. And if the Dynamic Island is on all four new iPhones, perhaps more developers will embrace it. 

Nevertheless, sticking with a 60Hz display in 2023 seems like a dumb move if in fact this latest leak is real. To stay up to speed on all the latest rumors and leaks, check our our regularly updated iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max hubs. 

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Richard Priday
Assistant Phones Editor

Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.