I went from a Galaxy S8+ as my daily driver to a Pixel 4 XL and the choice was not an easy one especially knowing the Galaxy S20 was right around the corner. However, a part of me loves the device its the best version of Android I have ever had. From its minimalistic design and easy to use controls it’s truly the best Android experience.
While I have my gripes with the device such as it’s display not being 90 Hz all the time there is always a way when someone tries hard enough. This is where this tutorial comes in I am going to teach you how to force 90 Hz refresh rate on your Pixel 4 XL. I am going to say this right now, you’re battery life will suffer, a lot and if you’re using the non XL version of this device I am just going to suggest you skip this tutorial now.
How To Force 90 Hz Refresh Rate
This setting is hidden within the Android Developer options so we are first going to need to enable these options. To enable the developer options first perform the following.
- Go to your settings menu and then click on about.
- Scroll all the way down until you locate the build number item. After you locate this simply tap the build number 7 times (or more but anymore than 7 and nothing happens). After you do this you will now technically be in developer mode.
Now that you’re in developer mode it’s honestly as easy as going to the option and enabling it!
- Go to settings -> system -> advanced -> developer options.
- Make sure that the develop options is turned on.
- Select force 90 Hz refresh rate.
Now that you have 90 Hz Refresh Rate always enabled there are some important details to keep in mind. Your battery life as we mentioned is going to suffer but more importantly certain types of content notably that of which doesn’t support a 90 Hz refresh rate will override this and playback at 60 Hz. Google mentioned to the Verge the following:
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.Google Employee To The Verge
Even though at times the device feels half finished and the hardware is severly lacking the experience itself is overall great. If Google could just get the hardware right then the Pixel line could honestly become the “iPhone of Android”.