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Apple iPhone 13 Pro: power-saving mode restricts 120Hz screen

In favor of longer battery life, Power Saving Mode limits a handful of iPhone features and apps. New support documents now show that the refresh rate of the Apple iPhone 13 Pro will also be scaled back from 120 Hz to 60 Hz. iPhone users who use power-saving mode automatically (e.g. from 10 percent battery charge) or even use it permanently have always had to keep in mind various limitations.

These are noticeable in apps’ background updates, email retrieval, automatic downloads, and visual effects, among other things. It also pauses iCloud photo syncing, defaults to 30 seconds for smartphone auto-lock, and limits 5G connectivity other than video streaming.

New refresh rate and 5G network limitations

An update of the matching Support Documents and more details about the limitations of the power-saving mode, which mainly affects Apple devices with a ProMotion display, is now out. For example, the iPhone 13 Pro (Max) and various iPad Pro models have modern 120 Hz technology. If you want to save your battery with the power saving mode, you have to do without this benefit, as the refresh rate is limited to 60 Hz. The 5G limitations appear to be unique to the iPhone 12 series. 

The footnotes state that Apple completely deactivates the 5G network in power-saving mode, but again the exceptions apply for video streams and large downloads. It is also explicitly stated that the 5G standalone function will be deactivated.

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