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Android 11 will finally handle refresh rates properly

Android 11 has just been released via developer preview, bringing with it a host of new features for phone geeks to get excited about. Nestled among the API and security updates is something that could really overhaul your phone experience: native support for variable refresh rates.

Previously, manufacturers and app developers had to build in their own solutions for refresh rates, but this new update should mean that the system will be doing most of the leg work instead. Games, apps and devices can now set their preferred frame rates on an individual basis and the new system will alter the display refresh rate accordingly.

Related: Best Android phones 2020

Given that we’ve recently seen a flood of new phones released with high refresh rates – both the Oppo Find X2 and the Galaxy S20 offer rates up to 120Hz – it makes sense that Android has upped its game when it comes to this feature.

Writing on the Android Developer blog, Dave Burke, VP of Engineering, said: “Most Android devices refresh the display at 60Hz refresh rate, but some devices support multiple refresh rates, such as 90Hz as well as 60Hz, with runtime switching. On these devices, the system uses the app’s preferred frame rate to choose the best refresh rate for the app.”

Unfortunately, Android 11 isn’t even out in beta at this stage, but is only being shown to developers who own certain Pixel phones. If you’re curious about the new features, you can look into getting the Developer Preview here – but the baseline builds that are being rolled out are really only suitable for developers.

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Other new features in the latest preview include better functionality around 5G, upgrades for foldable displays, and improvements to the call screening functionality. You can read our full breakdown of the new updates here.

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