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Android 10 Source Code Reveals Much Smoother 90Hz Refresh Rate for Google Pixel 4

Sep 6, 2019 03:43 EDT
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With Google’s latest and greatest software update officially available, a little digging in the Android 10 source code reveals something more interesting about the Pixel 4. Currently, the only mainstream flagship (not counting gaming devices) with a 90Hz refresh is the OnePlus 7 Pro, and after reading this news, you guys are probably wondering why more manufacturers aren’t making the extra effort to incorporate high refresh rate displays on their devices. If the latest leak turns out to be true, Google will only be the second manufacturer to roll out a mainstream flagship with a 90Hz panel.

XDA Developers’ Mishaal Rahman spent some time searching the Android 10 source code to find something noteworthy, and sure enough, here it is. While examining changes made to Android’s SurfaceFlinger, he spotted several commits related to screen refresh rates. One of them shows the implementation of an overlay to reveal when the device is running a refresh rate of 60Hz or 90Hz. Since the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL have shipped with 60Hz refresh rates, it can only mean the upcoming Pixel 4 will tout a 90Hz refresh rate.

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Additional digging in the Android 10 source code reveals that Google intends to expose the refresh rate overlay as a Developer Option in its latest update. XDA Developers reports that the overlay might be shown underneath the clock in the status bar with the terms ‘60Hz’ and ‘90Hz’. These terms might change depending on the application being run. Also, the Pixel 4’s settings might allow users to toggle the high refresh rate option for a more fluid navigation experience but at the cost of battery life.

Previously, it was reported by a source that both Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL will ship with a 90Hz ‘Smooth Display’ and that’s without having to dig around the Android 10 source code. Other specifications included in the report was the inclusion of 6GB RAM, with the Pixel 4 getting treated to a rather small 2800mAh battery, while the bigger brother possibly sporting a 3700mAh cell.

For users that want to run their device with the 90Hz refresh rate enabled all the time, you’re better off getting the Pixel 4 XL because you’ll experience better battery endurance even with the setting enabled. A tipster earlier revealed that both models could be announced in October of this year, meaning there’s around a month remaining for these devices to come into the spotlight, after which we’ll definitely learn more about them.

News Source: XDA Developers

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