Pixel 4’s latest update enables 90Hz more often and improves the camera.


From the beginning, one of the most talked about issues with the Pixel 4 was the inconsistent 90Hz Smooth Display with it only kicking in under very specific circumstances. From today you might be pleasantly surprised. Google has released a November update that forces Smooth Display in more scenarios. Based on early reports, the faster refresh rate is considerably more likely to appear and you won’t need a screen brightness of 75 percent or higher to see it in action. There is no definitive opinion on battery life at this point, it’s just too early to say, however it won’t be surprising if the Pixel’s staying power takes a hit with more forced 90Hz use. That said, users who were forcing 90Hz in developer settings reported an average 10% extra drain on the already small battery.

The same update also brings mystery “camera quality improvements” to Pixel 4 owners, potentially making the great camera even greater while those with older Pixel models also see improvements for Google Assistant, Xbox Bluetooth controller mapping and problems with getting stuck during the boot process. If you have a Pixel phone that still receives updates (Pixel 2 and newer), make sure you check for the latest updates and keep yourself and your device inline with Google’s software road map.

Below is a list of changes that are included in the November Pixel update. There of course is also a security patch included.

Category Improvements Devices
Assistant Improvements for Google Assistant Hotword Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL
Audio Improvements for bottom speaker audio quality Pixel 3
Stability Additional fixes for some devices stuck during boot Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL, Pixel 3a, Pixel 3a XL
Keyboards Additional support for Xbox BT controller mapping Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL, Pixel 3a, Pixel 3a XL, Pixel 4, Pixel 4 XL
Display/Graphics Smooth Display improvements Pixel 4, Pixel 4 XL
Camera Camera quality improvements Pixel 4, Pixel 4 XL


Darren Millar
30 something, ex-nightclub DJ. Currently loving technology. Smart home builder, Small Japanese car fan. Never owned an iPhone. Cat person.

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