The Apple iPhone 14 Pro all-weather display function is explained in detail

For Android phone users, the always-on display is not a new feature, but Apple did not launch this "all-weather display" feature until the iPhone 14, but it does have some different, or arguably better. The off-screen display shows that this technology has been around for a long time. Back in 2009, Nokia introduced this feature on its N86 8MP phone. Subsequently, this technology has been widely used on Android phones. Companies such as Google, Huawei, Xiaomi, etc. have all launched mobile phones that support the screen display.

True screen display

The always-on display allows the phone to display basic information, such as date, time, and notifications, even when the phone is locked and placed on a table. Typically, the phone display doesn't stay on all the time, only showing the most important parts. For example, on a Google Pixel phone, you might see a black screen with only the clock and some app icons lit. This feature is especially useful because you don't need to tap or pick up your phone to see important information.

Apple is changing that model. It does it a little differently, and maybe better: Instead of keeping most of the screen off, Apple's always-on display technology is always on, just dimmed a lot.

The new version of iOS 16, due next week, will add widgets and other complications to the lock screen. With always-on display technology, all these widgets and complications can be seen on the iPhone 14's screen, even when the phone is not in use. Compared to Android, the biggest difference in Apple's screen display technology is that the iPhone will continue to display your lock screen wallpaper, colors, and everything, just significantly dimmed, but the entire screen will really be "always on" .

New technology is more energy efficient

So why did Apple wait so long to add this feature? At least one reason is that it's waiting for a technology that will allow its always-on display to perform better than the competition.

First, Apple will have to wait until the iPhone uses an OLED screen. On an OLED screen, only the pixels that are lit require power (LCDs need a backlight), and they can all be lit to varying degrees. This is what OLED displays of all sizes have in common, whether it's a phone, smartwatch or TV, making OLED screens more energy efficient than other types of display devices. The always-on display takes advantage of this unique feature, which puts much less pressure on the battery than in the "full-bright" state.

OLED screens are just a base. Although every iPhone 14 is equipped with an OLED screen, only the iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max are equipped with the necessary additional hardware to support the always-on display technology. Greg Joswiak, Apple's marketing director, said the Pro models' always-on display is enabled by "a range of new technologies that make the display incredibly power efficient," including multiple co-processors in its chipset.

Dynamic refresh rate

The screen on the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max can dynamically adjust the screen refresh rate, from a power-hungry 120 Hz all the way down to a low-power 1 Hz, meaning it only refreshes once per second.

Technically, the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max utilize a low-temperature polycrystalline oxide (LTPO) screen to dynamically adjust the refresh rate. It also allows "the display to intelligently dim the entire lock screen," according to Joswick. Similar technology can also be found on the Apple Watch Series 5 and newer (excluding the Apple Watch SE), as well as some Android phones, such as Samsung's Galaxy S22 Ultra. It's a fairly new technology for phones, and it's not found on all devices.

To support an always-on display, the phone does not necessarily need to use an LTPO screen. Mainstream Android phones have had LTPO screens nearly a decade ago, like the Moto X in 2013, and even Nokia's Lumia 925 Windows phone has had limited editions, but one thing these old and new models have in common is that they all Don't offer a rich screen experience like the iPhone 14 Pro.

It's unclear how much Apple's always-on display will affect battery life, but Apple Watch Series 5 reviews show that its previous LTPO screen and low-power display driver brought excellent battery performance. What's more, the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra review also shows that it can use LTPO technology to be more power efficient in the always-on display mode, although the phone's overall battery life expectations are not ideal.

Compared to a few years ago, the iPhone 14 Pro models are a bigger leap than the base iPhone. While users were expecting a better camera and a few other exclusive features, the always-on display was an obvious and useful change for those who saw it in person.

Foreign media believe that although Android phones have long introduced screen display technology, they still need to work hard to catch up and make their screen information more colorful.

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