Would a 60Hz display be acceptable on the iPhone 15?

Rumours suggest Apple could hold back its base model again – but is that okay for users, or should we be voting with our wallets?

iPhone 15 smartphone
(Image credit: 4RMD)

If you're a long time fan of Apple phones, you'll know that snagging a top-spec, 120Hz refresh rate is reserved for only the best iPhones. You'll need to shell out for either an iPhone 14 Pro or an iPhone 14 Pro Max in the current range, to take advantage of the better display.

Many had hoped that the next generation of iPhones would change that. After all, 120Hz is pretty much the standard for Android phones in 2023 – even the dirt-cheap Realme 10 Pro features an adaptive 120Hz panel. 

Plus, with rumours that the standard variants of the iPhone 15 would take on some Pro features – like the camera – many hoped that the 60Hz panels would be resigned to the annals of history. Don't write it off just yet, though.

According to The Galox, a Twitter leaker with a reasonable history of accuracy, 60Hz panels are set to remain on the standard variants for at least another year. The post goes on to say, "iPhone 15 will be an iPhone 14 with a better chip, a hole instead of a notch, and the 48MP camera of the 14 Pro."

All of this begs the question – is a 60Hz display really acceptable on a premium phone in 2023? In my opinion, the answer is a resounding no.

Sure, I understand why it might make sense for Apple. The kind of user who doesn't really care about the refresh rate of the display as long as it looks good, is likely to be the same kind of user who will buy a standard variant iPhone over the Pro models. 

If you do care about it though, you're faced with an unenviable choice – pay more for the Pro, or accept less for the standard. That's nothing new, of course, but it is something that feels outdated.

If we were talking about a cheap phone, from a smaller company, it would be a different story. There's nothing fundamentally wrong with a 60Hz refresh rate. But when you're looking at an iPhone that will be in the vicinity of $1,000 it just feels like a cop out. For me, and I'm sure many more, it could be the straw that breaks the camels back. 

Sam Cross
Staff Writer

Online news writer at T3.com, Sam has five years of experience in online and print journalism, with work featured in publications like Metro and Last Word on Sports. After years writing about music and football, Sam now turns his hand to bringing you news about new phones, smart home products, smart watches, laptops and TVs. Sam is a longtime fan and user of Apple products, including iPhones, MacBooks and Apple Watches.He’s also T3’s resident football expert, bringing you everything you need to know about the big games, including how to watch them. In his spare time, Sam is a keen guitarist, watch lover and (very) amateur golfer.