The Pixel 4's 90Hz refresh rate drops when the brightness level is below 75%


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The discovery was made by Redditors, who found that the Pixel 4s’ 90Hz Smooth Display drops to 60Hz, which is the standard for most smartphones, when the brightness is set below 75 percent.

Some other handsets, such as the OnePlus 7T and 7T Pro, also have 90Hz refresh rates, though these aren’t tied to the phones’ brightness levels. Google did say that it will automatically switch the refresh rate of the Pixel 4 “for some content.”

It seems that Google included this limitation to help improve the battery life of the Pixel 4, which has come in for some criticism. But droidlife writes that the automatic switching can be overridden by going into the Developer Options menu and enabling the Force 90Hz setting.

A brightness of 75 percent is more than most people will use in an indoor environment, so although you might be getting more battery life from your Pixel 4, you won’t be enjoying the Smooth Display feature.

Interestingly, one Twitter user discovered that if Ambient EQ is enabled and the ambient light is very bright, the 90Hz refresh will stay enabled even when the brightness is turned all the way down.

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Posts: 3,998   +2,007
Cool, but you have to unlock the dev options to do it. Also, if you want 90Hz but are playing in the dark, 75% brightness is not a good experience. Like, at all.

I found more on this:
Speaking of ambient light, this is where things get interesting. As Jeff Springer of Dopetechdaily observed, the 90Hz display refresh isn't turned off when the device is being used in high ambient light; even if the brightness is turned all the way down. As soon as ambient light levels go down, however, the refresh goes back to 60Hz.
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Mr Majestyk

Posts: 973   +878
Really crap update, pathetic storage options to force you to pay for their cloud storage, big downgrade in audio, 90Hz is per app and how many average users will know about developer mode, tiny battery on regular P4, no SD to again force you onto the cloud, no UWA lens, basically an overpriced camera with a few good tricks. And for the high price you get Google's crap build quality and only guaranteed 2 years of OS support unlike OnePlus where the hardware is much better at much lower prices, and it seems many many years of OS support.