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Ability to ‘force’ 90Hz refresh rate returns with Android 11 Beta 3

Thanks to the Android 11 Beta 3 update you can now force your device to adopt the 90Hz refresh rate wherever possible on your Pixel 4 or 4 XL.

The option was removed unceremoniously in Android 11 Beta 2 but has now been restored under a new name. “Smooth Display” is now what you’ll need to be looking for within your device Developer options section — on Pixel 4 and 4 XL devices.

Some people have had issues with the 90Hz refresh rate on previous Android 11 Beta builds. Display flickering was the most notable problem, which can only lead us to believe that removing the option to force 90Hz – at least temporarily – resolved it.

If you have noticed frame drops from 90 to 60Hz, you’ll be pleased that you can now force the higher refresh rate at the advertised maximum. To be honest, since encountering the display flickering issues, I have stuck with 60Hz and I am enjoying the battery life bonuses.

So, if you’re looking to restore the option, you will want to search for “Smooth Display” and not “force 90Hz” as it was previously listed. There is also no explicit mention of 90Hz with the restored toggle. Instead, it states:

“Highest refresh rate for improved touch responsiveness & animation quality. Increase battery usage.”

This could be hinting at the addition of even higher refresh rate displays on future Google Pixel hardware. Given that we’re seeing more 120Hz panels around, it’s probably only a matter of time. Although with that said, we have yet to see any evidence that the upcoming Pixel 4a (5G) or Pixel 5 will come with such an option.

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Avatar for Damien Wilde Damien Wilde

Damien is a UK-based video producer for 9to5Google. Find him on Twitter @iamdamienwilde. Email

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