Some users have discovered that when the display’s brightness drops below 75%, the refresh rate drops to 60Hz, meaning that it isn’t always maintained at 90Hz. We’re not sure if this was intentional, but it seems that Google has picked up on the fact that not many people are thrilled by it and will be issuing an update soon.
In a statement made to The Verge, Google defended their earlier decision by saying it had to do with preserving battery life. “We designed Smooth Display so that users could enjoy the benefits of 90Hz for improved UI interactions and content consumption, while also preserving battery when higher refresh rates are not critical by lowering back down to 60Hz.”
However, they also later added that in an upcoming update, they will be introducing more scenarios that will allow the phone to maintain its 90Hz refresh rate. “We have previously planned updates that we’ll roll out in the coming weeks that include enabling 90hz in more brightness conditions.” No word on when that will be, but in the meantime, if you’d like to enable the 90Hz refresh rate permanently, you can do so through the phone’s developer options.