The Google Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL can reach a peak brightness of 444 nits, according to DisplayMate. While this is pretty low compared to flagships like the Galaxy Note 10 (1,308 nits) or the iPhone 11 Pro Max (1,290 nits), Google’s phones have one of the lowest screen reflectance on a smartphone display, making them decently legible in sunlight.
However, if you still think the screen of your Pixel 4 is not very bright under direct sunlight, then you can turn on the phone’s hidden High Brightness Mode.
What’s the trick?
According to XDA Developers, both the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL let you turn up the peak brightness to 610 nits. However, you cannot just toggle a setting to make it happen. XDA found the fix after rooting the phone and entering a shell command. The publication notes that the Pixel 4 phones can only reach 610 nits while playing an HDR video. Even so, the brightness elevating mode reportedly increases screen visibility in sunlight.
XDA also reports that the High Brightness Mode only comes on when the screen is at maximum UI brightness levels. You can’t use the mode with Adaptive Brightness enabled when you’re outside.
In our testing of the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL, we didn’t have any major issues regarding legibility in sunlight. “The displays were vibrant and sharp and serviceably bright in direct sunlight,” we noted in our review.
In fact, the Pixel 4 XL is the best all-round smartphone display we’ve tested.
Nevertheless, if you do have a problem with the Pixel 4’s brightness, you could implement the above mentioned trick. Just know that it could have a drastic impact on the battery life of your phone. The Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL are not very power-efficient devices and the 90Hz screen guzzles enough juice anyways.
XDA notes that the High Brightness Mode goes off when you turn off the display of the phone. So at least you’re not totally killing your Pixel 4’s battery by having it on throughout the day.