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Google Pixel 4 update addressing the refresh rate is on its way

By Anton D. Nagy October 24, 2019, 8:00 am
Pixel 4

The Pixel 4 will improve over time, as Google is set to unleash updates to make it an even better phone. Some of these updates, however, are addressing features which are not working as expected (and by expected we mean by the community and users). After people were disappointed that Face Unlock works with your eyes closed, Google promised a fix for that in the near future. It will likely arrive in the coming months, The Verge notes.

Another update is on its way, this time, addressing the Smooth Display refresh rate debacle. One of the main selling points of the Pixel 4 is its high, 90Hz refresh rate. While the phone is definitely capable of running at that refresh rate, it intelligently scales back to 60Hz, depending on what you do, what you’re looking at, something other vendors are doing as well.


But apparently, 90Hz is completely turned off (the phone operating at 60Hz) for any level of brightness below 75 percent. If you’re indoors, that’s likely all the time. There’s a switch inside Developer Mode called “Force 90 Hz refresh rate” that can be flicked to force this refresh rate at all times. However, Google will roll out an update in the coming weeks to address this: “We have previously planned updates that we’ll roll out in the coming weeks that include enabling 90hz in more brightness conditions“.

You can find the full Google statement below:

We designed Smooth Display so that users could enjoy the benefits of 90Hz for improved UI interactions and content consumption, while also preserving battery when higher refresh rates are not critical by lowering back down to 60Hz.

In some conditions or situations, however, we set the refresh rate to 60Hz. Some of these situations include: when the user turns on battery saver, certain content such as video (as it’s largely shot at 24 or 30fps), and even various brightness or ambient conditions. We constantly assess whether these parameters lead to the best overall user experience. We have previously planned updates that we’ll roll out in the coming weeks that include enabling 90hz in more brightness conditions.


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