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iPhone 13 Pro gets Super Retina XDR display with ProMotion

The new iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max models feature screens with 120Hz refresh rates for more responsive touch controls.

Apple computers

Apple CEO Tim Cook introduced the latest iPhones Tuesday, including new Pro and Pro Max models with ProMotion support.

James Martin/CNET
This story is part of Apple Event, our full coverage of the latest news from Apple.

Apple ran through the newest features for its latest lineup of phones at its iPhone 13 launch event Tuesday. Among the headlines: New-and-improved Super Retina XDR displays for the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max, complete with ProMotion support allowing for refresh rates as high as 120Hz.

Originally rumored as part of last year's iPhone 12 lineup, the faster refresh rates make for more dynamic and responsive touch controls, Apple says. iOS improvements should also help the phones make intelligent use of those faster refresh-rate capabilities, like adapting the refresh rate to match your speed as you scroll, for instance.

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"The advanced custom architecture produces fast frame rates when you need them, and preserves battery life when you don't," explained Greg Joswiak, Apple senior VP of worldwide marketing. "The result is an incredibly responsive experience that is fast and fluid."

The improved display also supports up to 1,000 nits at peak brightness, up 25% over last year's models, the company claims.

For the second consecutive year, Apple's fall launch arrived as a virtual event due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Even so, the September showcase remains among Apple's most important events of the year. Apple typically uses the occasion to launch its newest flagships in the iPhone product line, a line that accounts for roughly half of the company's revenue and impacts a number of other popular products, including AirPods and the Apple Watch.

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