You're not using your Pixel's full-bright flashlight

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Unlike other smartphones from companies like Apple and Samsung, Google doesn't let you control the brightness of the Pixel flashlight. While this may mean that the flashlight is a little brighter than you'd like in some situations, at least it's always as bright as possible, right? wrong.

It turns out that not only does Google limit the brightness of the Pixel flashlight to one level, but the brightness it's set to isn't even the LED's maximum brightness. It's not 90%, 80% or 70%. In fact, that's only 50% of its potential brightness - half . If you're having trouble finding things in the dark with your Pixel 7 or Pixel 8, this might be why.

Redditor Adnaks noticed the issue and posted about it on r/GooglePixel on Sunday. Luckily, they have a solution: If you use the right third-party flashlight app, you can manually adjust the intensity of the flashlight, including beyond 50%. Adnaks recommends Flashlight Tiramisu, a flashlight app that needs to be sideloaded onto the Pixel, but Android Police says other flashlight apps on the Play Store will also work.

Whichever app you choose, launch it and check the flashlight's intensity setting. If the flashlight is using the Pixel's default settings, it should be at 50% brightness, which is the same brightness the Pixel flashlight always has. If you need extra brightness to find what you're looking for in the dark, just turn up the intensity.

It's unclear why the Pixel in all phones doesn't let you adjust the brightness, or limits it to 50%. It could be that Google thinks it will damage the LED or the phone if the brightness is left at 100% for long periods of time, but since so many other devices don't have this limitation, this seems a bit silly. Apple has the opposite limitation, though: The iPhone flashlight can actually be brighter than iOS's lowest setting, but you need a shortcut to take advantage of it.