iPhone 14 Pro Always-On Display: How it Works, What It Looks Like, Impact on Battery Life, and More

The iPhone 14 Pro and ‌iPhone 14‌ Pro Max feature an always-on display for the first time on iPhone, which lets users glance at their phone to see key information, including the time, their wallpaper, and iOS 16 Lock Screen widgets and Live Activities.

iPhone 14 Pro Dynamic Island 1
Since the ‌iPhone 14‌ Pro is the first ‌iPhone‌ to include an always-on display, there are several unknowns about how the feature will work, what it will look like, whether it will be customizable, and how it will impact battery life. We answer those questions and more below about the new feature of Apple's highest-end ‌iPhone‌.

How Does it Work?

iphone 14 pro display overview 2
To enable the always-on display, the ‌iPhone 14‌ Pro and ‌iPhone 14‌ Pro Max feature a more advanced OLED panel with a more variable refresh rate. Whereas the previous-generation iPhone 13 Pro has a variable refresh rate of between 10Hz and 120Hz, the new OLED panel in the ‌‌iPhone 14‌ Pro‌ can go as low as 1Hz to enable a new Low Power mode, which preserves battery life with the always-on display.

What Does It Look Like?

iphone 14 pro always on display
The always-on display on the ‌iPhone 14‌ Pro is heavily inspired by the iOS 16 Lock Screen. When the always-on display is activated, iOS intelligently darkens the wallpaper and shows the time, widgets, and, if any are active, Live Activities. Other visual elements of the Lock Screen, including information in the status bar and the flashlight and camera shortcuts, are not shown.

Can You Customize the Always-On Display?

Given that the new ‌iPhone 14‌ Pro and ‌iPhone 14‌ Pro Max have not shipped to customers yet, we don't know what customization features Apple will provide for the always-on display. It remains likely, however, that the always-on display will not be directly customizable but will instead adapt to your customized ‌iOS 16‌ Lock Screen.

Will Older iPhones Get the Always-On Display?

No. The always-on display on the ‌iPhone 14‌ Pro and ‌iPhone 14‌ Pro Max is enabled thanks to the more advanced display hardware. As a result, it won't be coming to older iPhones, including last year's ‌iPhone 13‌ Pro and ‌iPhone 13‌ Pro Max. Last year's ‌iPhone‌, however, will benefit from the redesigned iOS 16 Lock Screen from which the ‌iPhone 14‌ Pro's always-on display design stems.

Will It Impact My Battery Life?

Apple says that thanks to the new display technology, the ‌iPhone 14‌ Pro and ‌iPhone 14‌ Pro Max are power efficient. The new display is paired with the A16 Bionic chip with a new Display Engine to run the always-on display, which will help control and manage power efficiency.

In terms of actual battery life promises, Apple says the ‌iPhone 14‌ Pro‌ Max lasts for up to 29 hours when watching videos (up from 28 hours on the previous ‌iPhone 13‌ Pro Max), up to 25 hours for streaming video (no improvement), and up to 95 hours for audio playback (no improvement).

It's also possible that the ‌iPhone 14‌ Pro and ‌iPhone 14‌ Pro Max feature physically larger batteries to compensate for the possible increased energy consumption caused by the always-on display, but we'll have to wait for a teardown to know for sure.

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Top Rated Comments

FasterQuieter Avatar
25 months ago
Not to be a misery guts, but I’ll be turning that off as soon as I get the phone.
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Saturn1217 Avatar
25 months ago
Anyone else wish/hope you can have a version with just the clock and widgets but no wallpaper?

Always on display is supposed to be minimally distracting. So you can have it on in a dark room without feeling like your phone screen is on. That’s how it’s worked on every Android phone I’ve ever tried. I’m don’t like the look of this AoD that is just a dimmer version of your regular Lock Screen. That is kind of missing the point.

Oh well. Not a major concern (I’d probably just leave it off) but I personally find it a curious design decision that reeks of doing something different just to be different when android has figured out the right way to do this over many iterations.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ps3zocker Avatar
25 months ago

What about burn in? Also that 2000nits for outdoor use, how long does it take to dim it down due to overheating?
The rumors before indicated that they'll do pixel shifting to avoid this. Most likely it will be the same as on the Apple Watch, which did not suffer from burn in from what I experienced.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
th1nk Avatar
25 months ago

Yeah, on my Watch 7, I have to toggle on the little theater masks icon at night. I like sleeping with the watch on, but not the always-on display. Maybe the new phones will get that icon in the lock screen for quick toggling.
Set up a bedtime sleep schedule and the apple watch will automatically switch off at night.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
e1me5 Avatar
25 months ago
What about burn in? Also that 2000nits for outdoor use, how long does it take to dim it down due to overheating?
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
icanhazapple Avatar
25 months ago

Not to be a misery guts, but I’ll be turning that off as soon as I get the phone.
Likewise.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)