One of the many Google Pixel 4 signing features, beyond the Soli / Motion Sense chip and astrophotography capabilities, is the inclusion of a 90Hz display or "smooth display", as seen in OnePlus 7T and some gaming phones. However, early adopters found that the Pixel 4's 90-pixel display reduced to the standard 60Hz at lower brightness levels.
Reviewers across the internet came across Google Pixel 4 after the latest event made by Google, and last week the experience they shared was at least controversial. Some have nothing but praise for the 90Hz refresh rate, while others have found the Pixel 4's adaptive Smooth Display option to be turned on and off at first glance at random. This week, the Pixel 4 has fallen into the hands of people around the world, and developers are already beginning to try to better understand their new phone.
It seems that an editor has landed on one of the triggers for when exactly the Pixel Smooth Display 4 decides not to use its 90Hz refresh rate. In their testing, independently confirmed by XDA Mishal Rahman the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL will go up to 60Hz when your screen brightness level is set to 75% or more, little . At about the same brightness level, the Pixel 4 switches to a different display calibration setting .
Other factors also seem to be involved, though, one person reported that their Pixel 4 remained at 90Hz while at low brightness but very high ambient light levels. This hints at the possibility of Smooth Display being partially coupled with the Pixel 4's Ambient EQ feature. the display does and does not use the 90Hz refresh rate. What is also unknown so far is why Google uses this metric in the first place.
For now, the best way to ensure that you use a maximum of 90Hz on the Pixel 4 display, regardless of your brightness or ambient light levels, is to enable the "90Hz Forced Refresh" setting in the Developer Options menu. Just keep in mind that this will almost certainly have a huge impact on your battery life, which is already one of the major complaints of the smaller Pixel 4.
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