Google’s Pixel 4 was met with some backlash when users started to figure out the phone’s display hardly seemed to stick to 90 Hz – one of the phone’s headline features. Soon after the first reports emerged, Google said it would issue an improvement for the feature. That update is rolling out now with the November security patch.
As spotted by 9to5Google, the November patch release notes indicate there have been “Smooth Display improvements” for the Pixel 4 and 4 XL. The company doesn’t provide any details beyond that.
As a recap, it turns out the Pixel 4 would reduce the refresh rate back to 60Hz whenever the display brightness dropped below 75 percent for some reason. However, sometimes it would maintain the refresh rate if the ambient lighting is bright enough. Either way, it was jarring to framerate-sensitive users who expected the device to stick to 90Hz basically all the time like the OnePlus 7 Pro and 7T family.
The update will, presumably, allow the Pixel 4’s display to stick to 90Hz under far more conditions.
The update also apparently includes “camera quality improvements” for the new Pixels, as well additional support for Xbox controller mapping for the Pixel 2 and beyond.
The company isn’t explaining how exactly it’s improved Smooth Display and the camera, but we’ll report back once we’ve spent some time on the November patch. It’s rolling out to users now, but if you’re in a hurry and have the technical know-how, you can flash it manually too. And if you don’t want to be at the mercy of Google’s new refresh rate algorithm, you can check out our guide on how to force the display to stick to 90Hz here.
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