Another year, another new round of iPhones – Apple has announced the iPhone 13, among other hardware line-up iterations. While the upgrades seem pretty minimal this time around, there’s one feature on the iPhone 13 that could prove to be a big deal for mobile gamers.
Until now, iPhones have hosted a 60hz panel. That means they can only display a maximum number of 60 frames per second. 60fps is fine – it’s the frame rate that most console games run at these days. But for games to feel truly buttery smooth, 120fps is the new target to hit. The new iPhone 13 Pro models feature 120hz adaptive refresh rate screens, allowing for games to run at double the previous framerate.
While the new screen is capable of displaying such high refresh rates, it remains to be seen as to whether the iPhone will actually run games at a higher FPS. It might be that developers are required to modify some apps to take advantage of the new screen. It also depends on whether Apple’s new A15 Bionic chip is capable of running apps that quickly. However, with a 5-core GPU, I’m sure it’ll have no issue.
What about battery life on the iPhone 13?
One problem that can occur with a high refresh rate screen is that the battery drains much more quickly. To get around this issue, the screen will adapt its refresh rate on the fly so that it’s never refreshing more than it needs to. For example, when displaying a static image, the screen will lower down to as low as 10hz. However, when playing games at 120fps for extensive periods of time, we’ll have to wait and see how this affects the iPhone’s battery life.
Sadly, these 120hz screens are only available on the Pro version of the iPhone 13. That means if you’re looking to get your hands on one, the starting price is £949 for the Pro and £1,049 for the bigger Pro Max. Ouch.
While it’s fantastic to see a high refresh rate screen finally come to the iPhone, it’s nothing entirely new. PC gamers have been enjoying high-refresh rate gaming for decades now, and new-gen consoles are starting to offer high-refresh rate modes, particularly on the Xbox Series X. Some Android devices, like the Samsung Galaxy line-up, have also offered adaptive refresh rate screens for a number of years now.
Nevertheless, Apple has finally made the jump. Here’s hoping that they can do the same with USB C soon and ditch the fragile lightning connector. Do it, Apple. I dare you.
Will you be picking up an iPhone 13 Pro for gaming? Let us know across our social channels.
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