Google’s Pixel 6a display runs at 90Hz, a mod to unlock

Google’s mid-range Pixel 6a comes with a 6.1-inch OLED display running at 60Hz, but there’s a way to unlock a 90Hz mode.

Twitter user TheLunarixus has built a mod to unlock the 90Hz mode on the Pixel 6a, and they’re functioning on a custom ROM to make it easy for any Pixel 6a owner to open the improved refresh rate.

What we don’t understand is whether the display panel supports 90Hz, or whether this is overclocking it to get to the quicker refresh rate.

The mod exists because considerable in the Android community witnessed that the Samsung display in the Pixel 6a shares some resemblances to the larger Pixel 6 display, and curiosity followed. Google allows 90Hz on its 6.4-inch Pixel 6 panel, but the two displays aren’t comparable.

Right now, the mod is very involved. For example, to get the 90Hz opportunity unlocked on the Pixel 6a, you have to permit debugging mode & OEM unlock in the settings, open the bootloader, and manually flash an Android 13 beta with some appraisals disabled, and zip a modified agent boot image.

If that all reached your head or you’ve never heard of XDA Developers, it’s probably most reasonable to wait on a custom ROM. The outcome of all these hacks unlocks the Smooth Display alternative and the ability to force the max refresh rate in the developer settings to 90Hz.

Others in the Android community have also tested this mod and confirmed it’s legit.

There are also some apprehensions about the long-term effects of the Pixel 6a display. Developer Kuba Wojciechowski forewarns that Samsung might not rate the Pixel 6a’s show up to 90Hz and that this is likely just overclocking. However, TheLunarixus says we won’t fully know until the mod is run on over 100 phones.

“We are not pushing the panel any more challenging in terms of power; all this mod consists of is adding a new frequency mode to the driver with timings from the Pixel 6’s s6e3fc3 driver with modified height and width values,” says TheLunarixus. “No voltages were modded here, and we use our gamma table.”

TheLunarixus says they’re “working on a custom ROM with the ROM side changes to make this fully stable and ready for the public.” We’ll keep an eye on our handset to see if there are any long-term effects of unlocking the 90Hz mode, and here’s hoping Google or Samsung Display remark on why the 90Hz option isn’t officially available on the Pixel 6a.

The Pixel 6a is the best deal available today, even with its 60Hz display. It truly delivers a flagship experience for just $450. But now, developer @TheLunarixus argues that the Pixel 6a can run at 90Hz with complicated software modifications.

Here’s the brief; according to @TheLunarixus, the Pixel 6a uses Samsung’s S6E3FC3 display panel. It is the identical panel Google employs in the standard Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, and it sustains a maximum 120Hz refresh rate.

The “S6E3FC3” is a display controller, not a display panel. Unfortunately, this controller was incorrectly identified as a display panel in a review by XDA Developers—it seems that @TheLunarixus either read XDA‘s review or misidentified the S6E3FC3 when looking through the Pixel 6a’s drivers.

One of two things may be happening here. If we’re lucky, the Pixel 6a’s display is made to run at a high refresh rate. A software modification, now in the works, could unlock a 90Hz refresh rate and push the budget device to a new level. But we don’t know which display the Pixel 6a uses. We only know its display controller can operate at a high refresh rate. This modification may overclock the Pixel 6 display, which could easily damage the phone’s display panel.

As of August 11th, @TheLunarixus’ Pixel 6a is working fine. The developer reports no ghosting, overheating, or other issues. Unfortunately, we seem to have a mystery on our hands, and all we can do is wait and see what happens.

You avoid this mod until we know more about the Pixel 6a’s display. But if you want to turn your $450 smartphone into a guinea pig, keep an eye on @TheLunarixus’ Twitter account. The developer plans to publish the modified Pixel 6a code once some minor bugs are “ironed out.”

Google pitched its first A-series device: the Google Pixel 3a. Since then, the business has launched a new model in the line every year, even launching the Pixel 4a and Pixel 4a 5G in 2020. Now, in 2022, we hold the Google Pixel 6a.

The Google Pixel 6a is not the budget shopper’s dream, as we noticed with the Google Pixel 3a and Pixel 4a. Instead, it is more relative to the Pixel 5a because it suggests many features for a price slightly lower than its parent device.

The Pixel 6a has a lower-quality display, a lower-quality camera system, less RAM, a smaller battery, and no choices regarding internal storage. It looks much like the Pixel 6, though, including the iconic camera bar across the back.

The primary problem is the cost of the Google Pixel 6, which is just $599. With $150 more, you get our favorite phone of 2021. You get better figure materials, a better display, a better camera, a bigger battery, and more. As far as we’re involved, $150 for all that is well worth it.

Philip Michaels gave the Pixel 6a the same score as we did, 4/5 stars. Like us, Philip lauded the performance and camera but expected better battery life and build materials.

Lisa Eadicicco at Cnet loved the performance and camera but criticized the display and value compared to the Pixel 6.

It spins out that even with the Pixel 6a being cheaper. The bulk would rather pay the extra $150 to get the standard Pixel 6.

Of course, over 41% of responders did express the Pixel 6a was on their list. However, it again shows that Google didn’t hit the price out of the park with the Pixel 6a as it did with previous A-series phones.

The camera in the Google Pixel 6a is the same one you’ll discover in the Google Pixel 5a. It is the “old” Pixel system that Google employed for years before it pitched the Pixel 6 series. Google used newer 50MP sensors combined with more amazing ultrawide sensors with the vanilla Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, and a powerful telephoto system.