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Another Pixel 4 update coming after Google limits display refresh rate

Google is releasing a software fix for its Pixel 4 range, following complaints about the functionality of the ‘Smooth Display’, which offers a 90Hz refresh rate.

Some users discovered the feature is only active when the display brightness is set above 75%. If users are seeking to protect battery life with a lower brightness level, the refresh rate drops back below the max.

Google said this has been designed with the idea of maintaining battery life and it seems a sound strategy, given the company only equipped the Pixel 4 with a 2,800mAh battery.

Given that most users won’t require the top setting all the time, unless engaging in high-end mobile gaming experiences, Google says display is set to 60Hz by default. So this issue will only affect those Pixel 4 owners who’ve manually changed the display settings to 90Hz.

The drop down to 60Hz can already be avoided by amending the Developer Options, but Google is going to make that easier with a software update rolling out in the coming weeks.

The company isn’t giving users carte blanche when it comes to the top refresh rate though. The company simply said it will enable 90Hz in “more brightness conditions.” (via The Verge)

Related: Best phone 2019

Those opting to have the 90Hz setting enabled more often should probably keep themselves close to a power outlet, given our review. In passing judgement on the device, our own Alastair Stevenson said battery life was “way shorter than most competing handsets.”

He wrote: “The Pixel 4’s 2800mAh battery isn’t as big as I’d like, even considering the phone’s form factor. This is especially true given the phone screen’s high 90Hz max refresh rate, with regular use I found it offered around a day’s use off a single charge.

“Gaming performance put a huge drain on the Pixel 4’s battery, with the Smooth setting on and brightness locked to 150 nits the Pixel 4 lost an average of 25-30% of its charge per hour when running demanding games like PUBG and Asphalt 9.”

This isn’t the only update Pixel owners can expect in the near future. Google is also promising to update the Face Unlock feature to prevent the a phone being unlocked when the owner’s eyes are closed.

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