How to change the resolution and refresh rate on Android

In recent months, the big phone brands such as Google, Razer Phone and OnePlus have started using 90Hz screens, and even 120Hz . This makes everything look much smoother and faster than the usual 60 hertz screens, where the screen “only” updates 60 times per second. However, we also find a side effect, and that is that the high refresh rates, together with screens with an increasingly higher resolution, make the battery consumption much greater. What can you do about it?

In this sense, the most obvious answer is to reduce the resolution of our 2K or QHD screen (or whatever) and minimize the refresh rate to a much more reasonable figure for the autonomy of our terminal.

Related Reading: Top 10 Battery Saving Tricks on Android

How to modify screen resolution on Android

The truth is that it is curious that someone wants to reduce the image quality of the screen of their premium phone or tablet, but as we mentioned, it is a whole oxygen balloon for the battery of the device. To carry out this action we only have to make a small adjustment:

  • We enter the Android “ Settings” menu .
  • Click on ” Screen -> Screen resolution“.
  • We choose the desired screen resolution. The lower the resolution, the less defined the elements displayed on the screen will be.

The location of these settings may vary from one terminal to another, although it should be noted that this option is not available in all terminals, being a functionality that depends entirely on the manufacturer.

Method # 2: Activate Developer Options

If our mobile does not allow reducing the resolution from the screen settings, we will have to do it in another way. In this case it is necessary that we activate the “options for developers”, a menu that is normally hidden. To make it visible, go to ” Settings -> Phone information ” and press 7 times in a row on the build number .

Next, if we navigate to ” Settings -> System ” we will see that there is a new menu called ” Options for developers “. We go in and down until we find the ” Smallest width ” field . The smaller its value (dp), the larger the items will be displayed on the screen.

This change does not affect battery saving so much, since we are not changing the resolution as such, but modifying the virtual pixels (dpi), without taking into account the actual pixel density that the screen has (you can see more detailed information about the meaning of this term in this other post published by In any case, if we want the icons and the Android interface to look bigger, this is a way to achieve it without too many complications.

Method # 3: Do you have root permissions?

If our device is rooted, we can also change the screen resolution using a dedicated app, such as Easy DPI Changer or Screen Shift . In both cases, once the app is installed, we only have to enter the desired resolution for the change to be applied.


Easy DPI Changer [Root]

Developer: chornerman

Price: Free


Screen Shift

Developer: Aravind Sagar

Price: Free

Two tools that are among the best among root applications for Android .

How to reduce the screen refresh rate

Adjusting the speed with which the screen is updated is another of those factors that can help us reduce the high battery consumption of the AMOLED, IGZO and IPS panels of 90Hz and 120Hz.

If we have a mobile of these characteristics and we want to reduce its refresh rate, we must follow these steps:

  • We enter ” Settings -> Screen“.
  • We open the “Advanced” drop-down.
  • Activate the ” Smooth Display” tab . With this configuration the mobile will pivot between 60Hz and 90Hz depending on the needs of the moment.

This is how the refresh rate is regulated in the Pixel 4, and although each brand or manufacturer has its own way of managing this feature, we will normally find it within the system’s screen settings. In the case of the Pixel 4, the Smooth Display works as a battery saver, activating 90Hz only when we are scrolling through a list or playing an intensive game.

How to see the refresh rate in real time in Android 11

If we have a mobile phone with Android 11 we can configure our device to display the refresh rate on the screen in real time. This will help us to know if the configuration change has worked, but also to check the real refresh rate of the screen during its normal use in the execution of apps and games.

  • First, activate the Android developer options. To do this, go to “Settings -> Phone information” and press 7 times in a row on the build number. If everything went well, you will see a message stating that « Now the developer options are activated! «.
  • Now go to “Settings -> Options for developers” and activate the option ” Show update frequency“.
  • You will see how the refresh rate value is now displayed in the upper left area of ​​the screen.

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