Apple Vision Pro Runs at a Lower Refresh Rate Than iPhone’s ProMotion

Apple Vision Pro

At the WWDC 2023 event, Apple finally unveiled the much-rumored mixed reality headset. Named Apple Vision Pro, the brand-new Apple product is still six months away from now. That means Apple has plenty of time to work on the hardware and make necessary changes.

No wonder why Apple did not bother going into the hardware details of Apple Vision Pro too much. Most importantly, we have little to no information about the screens. All that Apple revealed is that the headset will come with “dual displays that are more than 4K.”

However, a session on spatial computing at WWDC revealed the refresh rate of the current Vision Pro. And interestingly, it’s lower than iPhone’s ProMotion.

Apple Vision Pro Refresh Rate is Currently Capped at 96Hz

If you are unaware, ProMotion is an iPhone feature that Apple released with the iPhone 13 series. Ever since then, it has been exclusive to the Pro models. And with this feature, iPhone users can set their phone’s display at 120 Hz, enabling a super smooth experience.

On the other hand, the non-Pro iPhone models have their displays maxed out at 60Hz. Well, the $3500 Apple Vision Pro is in the middle. During the spatial computing session, the presenter in the video said that Vision Pro would run at “usually 90 frames per second.” (source)

Apple Vision Pro Display

That means that 4K microLED panels will have refresh rate support that’s lower than $999 iPhones. But the good news is that Apple Vision Pro supports variable refresh rates. So, when you watch movies or any motion-based content at 24 Hz, the refresh rate will dynamically increase to 96 Hz.

This extra 6 Hz refresh rate aims to lower the “jitter effect that would otherwise be necessary at the default refresh rate.” (source) But why would Apple add just six frames? Well, 90 Hz does not divide evenly 24, but 96 does. This will be pretty similar to how iPhone ProMotion displays dynamically handles the refresh rate depending on the content.

Will 90 Hz be Enough?

As discussed earlier, the Apple Vision Pro is in the middle of base iPhone models and the Pro models regarding refresh rate. And from real-life experience, I can say that the difference between 90 Hz and 120 Hz is not that significant. But the difference between 60 Hz and 90 Hz is huge. In fact, it is enough to make your brain accept the motion on screen as a real-life motion. (source)

Apple Vision Pro Announced

But again, Apple could tune the display a little bit more and squeeze some more Hz out of it. After all, Apple Vision Pro is still six months away. So, we may see a different display specification in the final release version.

How Does Apple Vision Pro’s Display Compare With the Competitors

You may wonder how the Apple Vision Pro’s Display compares to the other headsets. Well, Meta Quest 3 and Valve Index already have support for a 144Hz refresh rate. So, Apple is a little behind in terms of the refresh rate of the Vision Pro’s display.

But you need to consider that those devices do not offer the same resolution. And they do not have the same display tech as Apple Vision Pro. Moreover, a 144Hz refresh rate can cause motion sickness in such a setup. (source)

Apple Vision Pro Battery

Finally, Apple may have decided not to boost the refresh rate of Vision Pro too much to optimize battery life. After all, the Vision Pro can only offer 2 hours of run time with a single charge. (source) So, if Apple had increased the refresh rate, the battery life would have been much lower.

Other Specs of Apple Vision Pro

Interested to know more about the hardware of Vision Pro? Well, we’ve collected some information about the hardware from the official announcement page, which is described below –

Lenses, Sensors, and Cameras

Apple confirmed that there will be custom three-element lenses. These lenses will enable the headset to offer fine text at any given angle. Moreover, they will offer 4K video and HDR, enhancing the viewing experience.

Sensors and Cameras

Other than that, Apple also confirmed that the Vision Pro headset has 12 cameras. That includes two cameras that point at the real world, two downward-facing sensors to track your hands, two IR cameras, and one TrueDepth camera.

Eye Tracking

The headset comes with five sensors, including a lidar scanner and a ring of LEDs to track your eyes. Yes, you can control the Apple Vision Pro with your eyes. Also, the headset has six microphones to capture the sound around you and your voice.

Chipsets and Build Quality

To power all the things, Apple has packed two M2 chips inside the Vision Pro. And in case you didn’t know, Apple M2 chipsets are very powerful. There’s also a new R1 chip that deals with real-time sensor interaction.

Light Seal Apple Vision Pro

And as always, the build quality of the Apple Vision Pro is top-notch. Apple has utilized aerospace-grade aluminum materials for the housing, which makes it look sleek and reasonably lightweight. Also, there’s Light Seal that sits between your face and appears to be soft and comfortable.

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