The Google Pixel 4 was released recently and one of the main selling points for the device was its 90Hz display, which offered a smooth user interface and support for high refresh rate content consumption. However, to save battery life on Pixel 4 and the Pixel 4 XL, Google decided to limit the 90Hz display to certain situations where the high refresh rate is required. The display switched to 60Hz otherwise.
It was found that the display switched to 60Hz whenever the brightness was turned down to below 77%. The folks at XDA developers found a way to get around this block by doing some changes in the developer options. However, the solution significantly reduced the battery life of the already power-hungry Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL. Google responded to the claims by stating that an update is planned to fix these problems on the Pixel 4 devices.
November Update for the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL
The November update for the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL was the promised update which was supposed to make more use of the 90Hz display in more brightness levels than before without impacting the battery life.
The update brought the threshold battery level for the Pixel 4 down to 42% to disable 90Hz. The Pixel 4 XL, however, got full 90 Hz support in all brightness levels due to its bigger battery size.
Due to the updates, the Pixel 4 XL will now have 90Hz performance in all brightness conditions whereas Pixel 4 will have 90Hz in more conditions than before. You can also force 90Hzall the time if you want but that will take a toll on battery life.
Gamma Table Bug in Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL
The new update also highlights some issues with the 90Hz display. Since the display works at 90Hz quite often, there are more chances of the Gamma Table bug occurring. The problem is that when the device is unlocked, the Gamma Table gets loaded incorrectly and thus the color accuracy of the image gets ruined. Due to this bug, the display gets increased contrast and a magenta tint.
Mishaal Rahman, the editor in chief of the XDA developers forum posted an image on Twitter that demonstrates the problem. He also confirmed that the issue is more prominent when the brightness of the device is lowered.
"Only on the Pixel 4 XL when it's running at 90Hz and you turn off and on the display, it applies the wrong gamma table and the display looks ridiculously contrasty and very magenta-shifted." – Dylan Raga
Left: 60Hz / Right: 90Hz
Anyone else see this? pic.twitter.com/4de1HNf8A8
— Mishaal Rahman (@MishaalRahman) November 5, 2019