What is Apple ProMotion display? Pros and Cons!


Apple’s ProMotion display technology has been a game-changer in the realm of display technologies. It offers a host of benefits but also comes with a few drawbacks. Let’s delve into the details.

Key Takeaways

  1. Smoother Experience: ProMotion’s 120Hz refresh rate makes animations and scrolling much smoother and more responsive.
  2. Battery Efficiency: It dynamically adjusts the refresh rate to save battery when viewing static content and increases it for smoother performance during dynamic activities.
  3. Limited Availability: Only available on high-end Apple devices and may lead to quicker battery drain with intensive use.

What is Pro-Motion?

mobile phone display

ProMotion is what Apple calls their special screen that updates 120 times per second. Now, what does that mean?

Well, every screen, whether it’s on your phone, tablet, or TV, refreshes itself. This means it updates the picture you see a certain number of times every second. Most regular screens, like those on older iPhones and iPads, do this 60 times a second. We call this 60Hz.

But Apple’s ProMotion screens are different. They refresh 120 times a second. This makes everything look much smoother.

And here’s the cool part: these ProMotion screens are smart. They don’t always refresh at 120Hz. They can change how many times they refresh per second depending on what you’re doing.

If you’re just reading a static page, it might lower the refresh rate to save battery. But if you’re watching an action-packed video or scrolling quickly through an app, it cranks it back up to 120Hz to give you that super smooth experience.

More details about Refresh Rate at Wikipedia

Pros of Pro-Motion Display

1. Smooth Motion and Responsiveness

The biggest perk of having a higher refresh rate on your screen is that everything looks smoother. Whether you’re scrolling through social media, surfing the web, or reading an e-book, it all feels more fluid and responsive.

2. Improved Apple Pencil Experience

When you draw or write with an Apple Pencil on these screens, there’s less delay before you see your lines or strokes appear. On the latest models, this delay, or latency (if you are fancy), is just 20 milliseconds.

This means that when you draw or write, it feels almost like you’re using a real pen or pencil on paper. The digital ink appears so quickly that it mimics the natural flow of your hand movements.

3. Battery Efficiency

These screens adjust their refresh rates based on what you’re up to. Let’s say you’re staring at a still photo on your iPhone. The screen will lower its refresh rate because the photo isn’t changing, which saves battery.

But as soon as you swipe to move to the next photo or do something that needs more speed, it cranks the refresh rate back up for that smooth look.

Cons of Pro-Motion Display

1. Limited Device Availability

As of writing this article, ProMotion displays are only found in the top-tier models of iPad and iPhone. So, if you’re eyeing the regular iPhone 15, you won’t get a ProMotion screen with it.

ProMotion screens are like the VIP section of displays—they offer that extra smoothness and responsiveness, but they’re currently reserved for the higher-end devices.

2. Potential Battery Drain

ProMotion screens adjust how often they refresh based on what you’re doing. This means if you’re looking at something static, like a photo, it lowers the refresh rate to save battery.

However, when you switch to something that needs that extra smoothness, like scrolling through a busy webpage or playing a fast-paced game, it ramps up the refresh rate for a better experience.

And if you’re constantly using apps that constantly demand a high refresh rate you might notice your battery draining faster. That’s because the screen is working harder to keep up with all the changes.

3. Marginal Benefit in Everyday Use

The key advantage of ProMotion is its ability to refresh the screen faster, which makes actions like drawing with an Apple Pencil feel incredibly responsive and natural.

However, in everyday tasks such as browsing the web or using apps that don’t require rapid screen updates, the difference may not be as pronounced.

Moreover, the effectiveness of ProMotion can also be influenced by other factors, such as the pixel response time of the display. For instance, on devices like MacBook Pros, where the display’s pixel response might not keep pace with ProMotion’s capabilities, users may not fully experience its benefits.


Apple’s ProMotion technology offers a smoother and more responsive user experience, especially in drawing applications.

However, its benefits in everyday use may be less noticeable, and it could potentially lead to faster battery drain in certain scenarios. Despite these drawbacks, ProMotion represents a significant step forward in display technology.

Note: Any verdict given by us on any of the companies, or specs of a device is subjective. Our preferences can be different from yours, so be sure to conduct your own research to make a decision that is good for you.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can ProMotion displays reduce eye strain?
Yes, ProMotion displays can help reduce eye strain. The smoother animations and transitions at 120Hz can make it easier on the eyes compared to the traditional 60Hz displays, especially during extended periods of use. The adaptive refresh rate also minimizes flickering, which can further contribute to a more comfortable viewing experience.
Does ProMotion affect the performance of older apps?
Older apps designed without ProMotion in mind can still benefit from the technology. While they may not utilize the 120Hz refresh rate fully, the overall system’s responsiveness and the smoothness of animations can enhance the user experience even in apps that were not specifically optimized for ProMotion.
How does ProMotion affect video playback quality?
ProMotion enhances video playback by matching the refresh rate of the display to the frame rate of the video content. This synchronization reduces judder and motion artifacts, providing a smooth viewing experience with smoother motion and improved clarity.

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