iPad Pro What really is ProMotion, native panel refresh rate or motion processing?

mi7chy

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Is it suppose to be high refresh rate like gaming monitors or more like TV motion processing that can introduce input lag and affect gaming unless 'game mode' is enabled to disable it?

When I go to https://www.displayhz.com with Safari on the latest iPad Pro 3 11" it shows ~60Hz. What does yours show? And, how does one force 120Hz?
 

Shirasaki

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ProMotion, I would argue, is a fancy yet also confusing way to say “dynamically change screen refresh rate”. Apple use software to intelligently (or badly) change the screen refresh rate based on the content displayed on the screen. For example, in a intense shooter game, the screen refresh rate will be bumped to 120Hz to allow smoother motion. But, if you are reading a book or browsing webpage, the screen refresh rate will be lowered to 60Hz or even 30Hz to preserve battery power.
As for the user experience, me personally, I totally agree the narrative of “once you use the ProMotion display, you are not going to go back”. Now, when I scroll In the home screen on an iPad Air 3 or iPad mini 5, I can easily see the stutter and lag, while can barely see any when doing this on my iPad Pro 11” 2018.
 

Khedron

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ProMotion, I would argue, is a fancy yet also confusing way to say “dynamically change screen refresh rate”. Apple use software to intelligently (or badly) change the screen refresh rate based on the content displayed on the screen. For example, in a intense shooter game, the screen refresh rate will be bumped to 120Hz to allow smoother motion. But, if you are reading a book or browsing webpage, the screen refresh rate will be lowered to 60Hz or even 30Hz to preserve battery power.
As for the user experience, me personally, I totally agree the narrative of “once you use the ProMotion display, you are not going to go back”. Now, when I scroll In the home screen on an iPad Air 3 or iPad mini 5, I can easily see the stutter and lag, while can barely see any when doing this on my iPad Pro 11” 2018.
And matching the actual refresh rate of movies so the motion processing the OP talks about is eliminated completely

120Hz applied to movies like badly set up TVs do looks disgusting IMO
 

Dave-Z

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As for the user experience, me personally, I totally agree the narrative of “once you use the ProMotion display, you are not going to go back”
I seems like most people say that... I've used my iPad 12.9" display and for me ProMotion isn't that big a deal. Most of us are using 60 Hz displays everywhere else and few complain about that. The faster refresh rate is nice (I can absolutely see the difference), but at the end of the day I don't read while rapidly scrolling so it's easily a feature I could live without.
 

mi7chy

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ProMotion, I would argue, is a fancy yet also confusing way to say “dynamically change screen refresh rate”. Apple use software to intelligently (or badly) change the screen refresh rate based on the content displayed on the screen. For example, in a intense shooter game, the screen refresh rate will be bumped to 120Hz to allow smoother motion. But, if you are reading a book or browsing webpage, the screen refresh rate will be lowered to 60Hz or even 30Hz to preserve battery power.
That's different from how variable refresh rate normally works where it defaults to high refresh rate and only lowers it, for example, to match 24Hz/24p content to reduce judder artifact.

 
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mi7chy

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Interesting that two years later Safari which is probably one of the most often used apps still doesn't support this elusive 120Hz mode. The more I look into it sounds like ProMotion is more like TVs that advertise 120Hz but is actually 60Hz panel with motion processing but with side effect of introducing input lag.

https://www.rtings.com/tv/learn/fake-refresh-rates-samsung-clear-motion-rate-vs-sony-motionflow-vs-lg-trumotion
 

EugW

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That's different from how variable refresh rate normally works where it defaults to high refresh rate and only lowers it, for example, to match 24Hz/24p content to reduce judder artifact.
Using the norm for TVs doesn't make sense for iPads. One of the issues about higher refresh rate is that it requires more power. Decreasing the refresh rate when high refresh isn't needed will save power.

I'm not sure how exactly the algorithm works, but I'd be shocked if Safari used 120 Hz just for static reading. The main instance where 120 Hz would make sense in Safari is if you're actively scrolling. At other times it would make more sense to drop the refresh rate, to save power.

Interesting that two years later Safari which is probably one of the most often used apps still doesn't support this elusive 120Hz mode. The more I look into it sounds like ProMotion is more like TVs that advertise 120Hz but is actually 60Hz panel with motion processing but with side effect of introducing input lag.

https://www.rtings.com/tv/learn/fake-refresh-rates-samsung-clear-motion-rate-vs-sony-motionflow-vs-lg-trumotion
No, the iPad Pros are true 120 Hz panels.

Safari is considerably smoother in scrolling on my 120 Hz iPad Pro 10.5" than it is on my 60 Hz iPhone, 60 Hz iPads, or my 60 Hz Macs. I can live without ProMotion if necessary, but it's nonetheless a very obvious difference.
 
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aevan

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Interesting that two years later Safari which is probably one of the most often used apps still doesn't support this elusive 120Hz mode. The more I look into it sounds like ProMotion is more like TVs that advertise 120Hz but is actually 60Hz panel with motion processing but with side effect of introducing input lag.

https://www.rtings.com/tv/learn/fake-refresh-rates-samsung-clear-motion-rate-vs-sony-motionflow-vs-lg-trumotion
It’s not. You can clearly see the difference in scrolling between a 1st gen iPad Pro and 2nd/3rd gen. Also, the Pencil lag is lower, due to the refresh rate. This is not false advertising, it is an actual 120hz panel that can display content at 60Hz and 24Hz (and less), end it can even do it on parts of the screen. 24Hz movies look great, so do apps that take advantage of 120Hz (like Procreate). A lot of content, like most games, is 60Hz - due to performance limitations.
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Is it suppose to be high refresh rate like gaming monitors or more like TV motion processing that can introduce input lag and affect gaming unless 'game mode' is enabled to disable it?
It doesn’t introduce input lag because it’s a native 120Hz panel, not something achieved by motion processing.
 

Shirasaki

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May 16, 2015
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I seems like most people say that... I've used my iPad 12.9" display and for me ProMotion isn't that big a deal. Most of us are using 60 Hz displays everywhere else and few complain about that. The faster refresh rate is nice (I can absolutely see the difference), but at the end of the day I don't read while rapidly scrolling so it's easily a feature I could live without.
Indeed. It is nice to have but not so much as a “must have”. At this point, I hope it does not go away like force touch, which never took off.
 

Dave-Z

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Indeed. It is nice to have but not so much as a “must have”. At this point, I hope it does not go away like force touch, which never took off.
I like force touch as well but Apple never really did anything with it. Discoverability was pretty non-existent and developers never ran with it (probably as a result).
 

Shirasaki

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I like force touch as well but Apple never really did anything with it. Discoverability was pretty non-existent and developers never ran with it (probably as a result).
Part of the reason I think is Apple is overly confident in their ability to design an intuitive UI and ditch efforts on marketing it at all. Either way, I don’t see Apple store staff really advertise ProMotion either. They rather focus on Apple Pencil support and multitasking and such.
 

ZEEN0j

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It’s definitely a 120hz panel and not motion interpolation. Input lag is decreased when using a pencil going from a iPad to a iPad Pro. That wouldn’t happen if it was interpolation. The marketing name Promotion is the whole technology as previously mentioned where the hz is dynamic to save battery and to match content. For example a 24fps movie will be shown in 24hz which will remove judder.
 

muzzy996

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Must have vs nice to have is always a personal perspective thing right. Even those who don’t have an appreciation for the additional smoothness of the UI promotion brings aren’t oblivious to it; they can detect it visually just like the rest of us but just don’t mind the performance on regular iPads without it. For me I much prefer the smooth scrolling even if it’s just marginally better and I’m not really reading things while scrolling. The butteriness is perceivable and worth the cost for me.
 

aevan

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Indeed. It is nice to have but not so much as a “must have”. At this point, I hope it does not go away like force touch, which never took off.
It’s not going away - people like it, and it’s not something you need to discover to use, it’s just there, all the time. But more importantly, it’s a technology that improves other things, even if you don’t notice it. The variable refresh rate allows for better battery life, the 120Hz refresh allows for lower Pencil latency, etc.