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Google Pixel 6a Display Can Run at 90Hz, But May Not Actually Support Higher Refresh Rate: Report

Google Pixel 6a sports a 6.1-inch display that has a 60Hz refresh rate.

Google Pixel 6a Display Can Run at 90Hz, But May Not Actually Support Higher Refresh Rate: Report

Photo Credit: Google

Google Pixel 6a was launched at Google I/O this year

Highlights
  • Google Pixel 6a may have same display as Pixel 6
  • A new mod allowed the phone to run at 90Hz refresh rate
  • Google Pixel 6a 90Hz refresh rate may be disabled by software

Google Pixel 6a display may run at 90Hz refresh rate, as per a developer. The developer was able to run the display at 90Hz refresh rate by installing a modified display driver. The handset reportedly gets the same display as the Google Pixel 6, however, the refresh rate on both the smartphones is different. Google Pixel 6a's refresh rate is a standard 60Hz, which is a bit dated compared to the 120Hz refresh rate panels available on phones in this price range.

Developer Nathan (@TheLunarixus) shared an image on Twitter suggesting that he was able to unlock 90Hz refresh rate on the Google Pixel 6a. Since then, it has been widely reported that Google apparently capped the refresh rate at the 60Hz even when the Samsung display used in the phone supports up to 120Hz refresh rate and the Pixel 6a can actually run at 90Hz.

While initially it was not explained by Nathan how he did it, Mishal Rehman of Esper cloud platform for Android fleet management, was able to give some insights and details on the same. He said that he flashed his Pixel 6a with a modified display driver provided by Nathan and it “exposed a new 2400x1080@90Hz display mode.” The driver apparently unlocked a “Smooth display” option. He also highlighted that although Google hasn't confirmed it officially, but the Pixel 6 and 6a have very similar display panels.

Rehman noted that there are some caveats to installing the mod by listing a number of problems he faced after flashing his phone. These problems included a blank screen, mode switching isn't seamless, and very bad green tint because the display mode is not calibrated. He goes on to say that the modified driver is “likely not fake” and he has to force the phone's display to run at 90Hz. Rehman further says that Google Pixel 6a users should not get their hopes up because “there's no guarantee it'll be safe.” There is no clarity whether the Pixel 6a display actually supports 90Hz and is disabled by software, or is this just overclocking.

Nathan later clarified that the mod hasn't caused any damage to 100+ phones he ran on. He said that the mod is not pushing the panel to use more power to run 90Hz, but essentially adds a new frequency mode to the display driver. He notes that he will not claim that the mode causes zero damage.

Google Pixel 6a was launched back in May at Google I/O and its price in India was revealed last month. It comes with a 6.1-inch full-HD+ (1,080 x 2,400 pixels) OLED display, which is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3.


Is Pixel 6a the best camera phone under Rs. 50,000? We discuss this on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Spotify, Gaana, JioSaavn, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.
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  • REVIEW
  • KEY SPECS
  • NEWS
  • Design
  • Display
  • Software
  • Performance
  • Battery Life
  • Camera
  • Value for Money
  • Good
  • IP67-rated design
  • Impressive cameras for photos
  • Vibrant OLED display
  • Stock Android 13 software
  • Bad
  • Plastic back is prone to scratches
  • 60Hz display does not feel fluid
  • Cannot handle heavy gaming
  • Recorded video needs work
  • Relatively slow charging, no wireless charging
  • Battery life could be better
Display 6.10-inch
Processor Google Tensor
Front Camera 8-megapixel
Rear Camera 12.2-megapixel + 12-megapixel
RAM 6GB
Storage 128GB
Battery Capacity 4410mAh
OS Android 13
Resolution 1080x2400 pixels
Comments

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Sourabh Kulesh
Sourabh Kulesh is a Chief Sub Editor at Gadgets 360. He has worked in a national daily newspaper, a news agency, a magazine and now writing technology news online. He has knowledge on a wide gamut of topics related to cybersecurity, enterprise and consumer technology. Write to sourabhk@ndtv.com or get in touch on Twitter through his handle @KuleshSourabh. More
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