How To Force Pixel 4 to Run at 90 Hz Refresh Rate

It has been weeks since the new Google flagship, the Pixel 4 series was officially released. The much anticipated smartphones, Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL have had their fair shares of veneration and criticism. There is no doubt, however, that the search giant is ready to become a top player in the smartphone market. The pair of phones come with many great features that enhance user experience. From the amazing cameras to the incredible software, there is everything an ardent smartphone lover will love about the phones.

One of the fantastic features of the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL smartphones that will enhance users experience is the silky smooth 90 Hz refresh rate for the display. The high refresh rate craze has hit the smartphone market with such force that it is not surprising the Google thought it necessary to adopt it in their latest flagship. With the display of your Pixel 4 or Pixel 4 XL running at 90 Hz refresh rate, everything on the screen will look and feel incredibly smooth. This will make for exceptional video play and gaming, among other important benefits.

If you already own one of the Google Pixel 4s, one of the first disappointments you will face is the fact that you will not experience the silky smooth display at all times. Unlike what is obtainable with other smartphones using the high refresh rate display, the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL doesn’t maintain the 90 Hz refresh rate at all times. You will always notice that once your phone brightness drops beyond 75 percent, the refresh rate of your display will automatically drop to 60 Hz. While this dynamic refresh rate is aimed at balancing out the extra battery drain associated with the high refresh rate, many users don’t like the idea.

If you are one of those users who desire constant high refresh rate, there is a good news. It is possible to force your Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL display to run at 90 HZ refresh rate at all times. Since Google have good reasons for the dynamic display, the setting hidden in the Android developer options to discourage most users from accessing it. Before we get into the details of how to force this setting, it is important to state the major reason Google made the display this way.

According to Goggle:

“We designed Smooth Display so that users could enjoy the benefits of 90 Hz for improved UI interactions and content consumption, while also preserving battery when higher refresh rates are not critical by lowering back to 60 Hz.

“In some conditions or situations, however, we set the refresh rate to 60 Hz. 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 90 Hz in more brightness conditions”.

It is clear that the major reason for dynamic display is to preserve battery life when it seems 90 Hz is not necessary. If you feel you need the high refresh rate at all times, you have to force it on your device. To do that, you will need to access the Android developer option and toggle the ‘Force 90 HZ refresh rate’.

Enable ‘Developer Mode’ on your Device

  • To enable developer Mode on your Pixel 4 or Pixel 4 XL, follow the steps below:
  • Open Setting
  • Select About Phone
  • Scroll down to the bottom of the page where you will find Build number and tap on it rapidly for about 5 times until the device prompts you to enter your PIN
  • Enter your device PIN and the device will enable Developer Mode

Toggle ‘Force 90 Hz refresh rate’

  • To do this, follow the steps below:
  • Go to Settings > System > Advanced > Developer options
  • Make sure Developer option is ‘On’
  • Scroll down to Debugging and then to Force 90 Hz refresh rate
  • Tap Force 90 Hz refresh rate and hit the toggle ‘On’ to enable it.

Note: It is important to reiterate here that forcing your device display to run at 90 Hz refresh rate at all times will drain your battery faster. It is recommended only if you know you will be close to a charger and power source always.

Google Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL are great phones by all standards. The 90 Hz high refresh rate is definitely one of the hallmark features of these phones. To help preserve battery life, Google has made this feature dynamic. If you don’t like the fact that the refresh rate will automatically go down to 60 Hz in certain conditions and situations, you can force it to run at 90 Hz at all times. Just know that it has its disadvantages too.