Android 15 home screen

(Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Android already has an accessibility feature called “extra dim” that allows your phone’s display to get dimmer than usual. 
  • Now, with Android 15, Google appears to be working on an “even dimmer” option that might make it easier to use your phone at lower brightness levels than are usually possible.
  • While the “extra dim” feature needs to be set each time you want to use it, the new “even dimmer” feature might affect Android’s inbuilt Adaptive brightness setting. 

Android 15 might give you more control over your phone’s minimum brightness, as Android Authority spotted in the Android 15 Beta 1 code. A new setting is referenced in code strings called “even dimmer,” and this is related to your phone’s brightness settings. Android already has an option called “extra dim” which needs to be manually enabled each time you want to use it. 

Unfortunately, the best Android phones don’t give you full control over your smartphone’s brightness level. You can set preferences like Adaptive brightness or adjust the actual brightness slider; however, phones are still bound by minimum and maximum brightness settings set by the manufacturer. In many cases, these minimums don’t match the actual lowest brightness level your phone’s display panel is capable of. 

This could change with the newly discovered setting. According to the report, the option will be located below the Adaptive brightness toggle on the Display page of the Android 15 settings app. This setting isn’t actually visible in the current version of the Android 15 beta, though, so the functionality of “even dimmer” isn’t certain yet. In the code strings, Google says the feature will “allow the device to go dimmer than usual.”

An alternate explanation Android Authority found in the Android Open Source Project flag related to “even dimmer” says that it will be used “for extending the brightness below [the] traditional range.”

Android 15 brightness slider in action

(Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)

Based on the way the feature is described, the folks at Android Authority think that “even dimmer” might be functionally different than “extra dim.” While the “extra dim” option is a manual setting that needs to be intentionally used every time you need a really dim phone display, the “even dimmer” choice could affect the Adaptive brightness settings. In practice, this means users could set and forget this toggle in the Android 15 settings app. 

The AOSP description seems to support this theory, as the phrase “extending the range” of your phone’s brightness suggests that the brightness levels are still variable.

However, this is all just speculation, so we’ll have to wait for future beta releases of Android 15 that may include this feature in a working capacity. If it does indeed appear in the final Android 15 release, “even dimmer” would make your Android phone easier on the eyes in dark lighting situations, although depending on how it works, it could be a headache for people with PWM sensitivity.

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Brady is a tech journalist covering news at Android Central. He has spent the last two years reporting and commenting on all things related to consumer technology for various publications. Brady graduated from St. John’s University in 2023 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. When he isn’t experimenting with the latest tech, you can find Brady running or watching sports.

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