Google Pixel 7a dropping refresh rate from 90Hz to 60Hz, even when it’s not supposed to

Highlights
  • Google Pixel 7a reportedly drops to 60Hz from 90Hz when it’s not supposed to.
  • This was raised by a user who said the Pixel 7a automatically drops to 60Hz when outdoors.
  • It happens even when the phone isn’t hot, which seems to be a flaw. 

Google launched the Pixel 7a smartphone in India last month, its affordable offering from its flagship Pixel series. The phone doesn’t lack in terms of specifications since you get the same Tensor G2 chipset, one of the best cameras, and a 90Hz display. The Pixel 7a, is however, facing display issues according to complaints raised by some users. 

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Google Pixel 7a refresh rate issue

According to a Redditor pawlikx_iron (via Android Police), the Pixel 7a’s screen automatically switches to 60Hz from 90Hz when outdoors. This happens even when the temperature outside isn’t hot, and it goes back to 90Hz when the user is under the shade. The Pixel 7a’s display has a refresh rate up to 90Hz, which switches to 60Hz depending on the phone’s usage and power management. 

If the temperature outside is hot, then it would make sense for the Pixel 7a to automatically drop the refresh rate to 60Hz. This is because a higher refresh rate leads to more battery consumption. But this wasn’t the case for this Pixel 7a user. It isn’t clear yet why this happens but it could be due to outdoor brightness affecting the phone’s display. 

This might also not affect many users, except for those who are deeply concerned about the scrolling experience on their Pixel 7a. And for such users who wish to have this, then they can make some adjustments. This is by setting 90Hz as the default refresh rate setting for the Pixel 7a from the Developer options, and turn on ‘Force peak refresh rate’.

You will have to first enable Developer options by going to Settings > About phone > Build number. Then tap on Build number till you see the message that says, “You are now a developer!” You can then change certain settings available under Developer options.