06 November 2019
Google Pixel 4 is one of the phones with a 90Hz display for smoother navigation and experience. But unlike others, the Pixel 4 display switches between 60Hz and 90Hz refresh rate settings. The reason behind this was unknown but now Google has come up with a statement and luckily, Pixel 4 users will get a fix soon.
The variation was first spotted by a Reddit user and reported by XDA Developers’ Editor-in-Chief Mishaal Rahman. It’s reported that Google Pixel 4 changes the refresh rate between 60Hz and 90Hz based on the screen brightness. The refresh rate increases to the 90Hz when the screen brightness hit 75% or higher and comes down to 60Hz when screen brightness dips below the 75% brightness.
However, while addressing and confirming that the switch does happen, Google spokesperson’s statement also reveals the switching isn’t just based on the brightness, there are several other conditions that matter as well.
Below is the statement,
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.
So, it’s evident from the official statement that Google has purposefully added this setting but now the fix is coming soon via a software update. The statement also reflects that a software update to address this setting was already in plans but unfortunately it came to notice.
The reason behind this switch is unknown but it looks like Google was testing it with an aim to offer better experience as it says, “we constantly assess whether these parameters lead to the best overall user experience.”