iPhone 16 & 16 Pro: 5 Major Display Rumors You Should Know

iphone 16
iPhone 15 | X

Your smartphone’s screen is what you spend the majority of your time staring at; thus, phone manufacturers have a strong motivation to improve the panels included with new phones. Expect the iPhone 16 to follow similarly when it launches later this year, with each of the four new models receiving considerable display enhancements.

As previously reported, displays have become an important way for phone manufacturers to differentiate their handsets, which explains the desire to add brighter screens with quick refresh rates to the finest smartphones. Certainly, last year’s iPhone 15 releases did not pass up the opportunity for a display improvement, with the normal iPhone receiving a brighter panel and Apple reducing the bezels around the iPhone 15 Pro displays.

Expect more upgrades with the iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Pro versions this fall. We’ve been watching speculations about all the improvements to the forthcoming phones, and screens appear to be a key focus. Here are the most rumored display enhancements for the iPhone 16, as well as what those changes could entail for those considering upgrading to those phones.

New Screen Sizes Revealed for iPhone 16 Pro Models

This could be the most significant display upgrade to this fall’s iPhones, in a literal sense. According to initial speculations, the displays on the iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max will be larger than those on the iPhone 12 Pro models introduced in 2020.

According to the screen size rumor, the iPhone 16 Pro will have a 6.3-inch display, up from 6.1 inches on the iPhone 15 Pro. Similarly, the iPhone 16 Pro Max would have a 6.9-inch display rather than the 6.7-inch screen on the iPhone 15 Pro Max.

Since the first reports about larger iPhone 16 Pro displays, there has been increasing evidence that Apple will make this modification. We’ve seen models of the iPhone 16 series with the revised screen sizes, as well as iPhone 16 Pro renders.

Adjusting the iPhone 16 Pro display size would further distinguish the Pro models from the iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Plus, which are expected to retain their 6.1- and 6.7-inch screens. Making the Pro models stand out has been a key component of Apple’s smartphone strategy in previous years, so this would be consistent with that approach.

From a practical standpoint, the enlarged display would give iPhone 16 Pro users extra screen area to work with. It would also allow more area for a tetrarism telephoto lens, which is one of the camera improvements rumored for the iPhone 16 Pro.

Brighter Display

As previously stated, the iPhone 15’s display now has a peak HDR brightness of 1,600 nits, while its maximum outdoor brightness has increased to 2,000 nits. Rumors claim the Pro versions will experience a similar boost this fall.

A leaker on Weibo forecasts a 20% increase in brightness on the iPhone 16 Pro (and likely the iPhone 16 Pro Max). The brightness improvement appears to apply to regular use, or SDR content, with the iPhone 16 Pro maintaining the 1,600-nit maximum for HDR content found on existing iPhones.

It’s unclear whether the brightness boost will also apply to the regular iPhone 16, though Apple will undoubtedly have plenty of reason to use a brighter panel if possible. The Galaxy S24 versions announced by Samsung earlier this year promise a maximum brightness of 2,600 nits, while the OnePlus 12 promises to reach 4,500 nits under certain settings. (This didn’t happen in our testing, but the 1,115 nits we measured in SDR were plenty bright.) Even the midrange Pixel 8a display could match the maximum brightness of Google’s top devices.

In other words, all of Apple’s main competitors are making their phone screens brighter. It will be interesting to see if Apple does the same.

Boosting Display Power Efficiency in the New iPhone 16

Brightness is only half of the battle with display specifications. You also want a panel that does not deplete your phone’s battery. And it appears that Apple hopes to make headway in that area with the iPhone 16.

Last year, rumors circulated that Samsung Display, which provides many of the panels used in Apple’s phones, intended to replace blue fluorescent technology with blue phosphorescence technology on a new OLED material set. The change would improve power efficiency on the display, theoretically allowing phones equipped with that screen to last longer on a charge.

For this report to have an impact on the iPhone 16, a few logical steps must occur: first, Samsung Display will provide the panels for this year’s iPhones, and second, this more energy-efficient OLED panel will be ready in time for the iPhone 16.

Still, with battery life being a top priority for so many phone makers, you’d expect Apple to take advantage of the opportunity to incorporate components that can enhance the already excellent durability of its iPhone models.

iPhone 16: Thinner Bezels for a Sleeker Look

Of all the alleged improvements made to the iPhone 16’s display, this one seems the least plausible, but we’ll include it anyway. Display manufacturers are turning to a new technology called Border Reduction Structure, which alters the cabling and electronics to make the bottom bezel of a phone display thinner. On devices with symmetrical bezels, such as the iPhone, this will result in thinner bezels across the entire display.

Of all the alleged improvements to the iPhone 16’s displays, this appears to be the least plausible, but we’ll include it anyway. Display manufacturers are turning to a new technology called Border Reduction Structure, which alters wiring and gadgets to make the bottom bezel of phone displays thinner. On devices with symmetrical bezels, such as the iPhone, this would result in thinner bezels overall.

So, what is the issue here? The BRS technique complicates screen manufacturing; thus, vendors are reportedly struggling to produce enough panels for Apple’s iPhone 16 debut. As a result, we’d be astonished if this occurred, but delighted if it did.

No Refresh Rate Changes Expected for iPhone 16

While we’re giving bad news, let’s talk about an iPhone 16 display upgrade that won’t happen. While the iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max models will continue to have displays with 120Hz adaptive refresh rates and support for always-on displays, it appears that Apple has no plans to increase the refresh rate on the iPhone 16 or iPhone 16 Plus. Those phones are expected to maintain a stable 90-Hz refresh rate.

As a result, if you choose the iPhone 16 or iPhone 16 Plus, you will not benefit from smoother scrolling or more immersive visuals. Furthermore, the lack of always-on display support prevents you from taking full advantage of the standby feature. When you charge your phone horizontally, Standby converts it into a smart display; however, phones without an always-on display enter sleep mode in 20 seconds or fewer.

iPhones with 60Hz displays use low-temperature polycrystalline silicon (LTPS) panels. To support quicker refresh rates, they must switch to the low-temperature polycrystalline oxide (LTPO) panels utilized in Apple’s ProMotion displays. That changeover isn’t planned until 2025, with the iPhone 17.


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