Google Pixel 2: Which storage size should you buy?

Google's Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are both great phones ready to deliver an excellent Android experience. When it comes to figuring out which storage size is the right one for you, though, there are a few questions to ask yourself. What will you be storing on your phone? How long will you be using your new phone?

You've got two options for the storage on your new Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL, and we're here to help you pick the right one!

Two options: 64GB and 128GB

Whether you've been eyeing up the Pixel 2 or the Pixel 2 XL, you've got the same options for storage size on your phone. You'll be able to choose between a 64GB model or a 128GB model. While both of these are solid options, there are definitely some differences.

While 64GB is the smaller of the two options, it definitely isn't a size that is going to fill up in a few short weeks. It'll give you plenty of space to store your apps, photos, videos, and schedules without having to worry about anything. Of course, the 128GB option gives you access to nearly twice as much space for everything that you store on your phone.

It is important to keep in mind one of the big perks of having a Pixel 2 is that sweet, sweet, photo storage with Google Photos. Unlike with most phones, Pixel owners get to upload an unlimited number of full-resolution photos — at least until December 2020. This means that considering how much space your photos are going to take up on your phone is less of an issue since you can back all of them up automatically.

Choose wisely

The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL maintain a few controversial design decisions from the last Pixels, namely a lack of microSD expansion. This means that once you have purchased a phone you're locked into the size that you pick up.

Features like unlimited photo storage can help, but knowing what kind of space you'll be needing in the future. If you're one of those folks who tend to update their phone every year when a shiny new device is announced, then the 64GB model should be solid. However, if you prefer to stretch out the life of your phone for as long as possible, then picking up the 128GB storage size is the better option in the long-term.

It's also worth keeping in mind that even the 64GB model will only have around 54GB free out of the box, since Android itself takes up a fair amount of space.

Which size are you considering?

Both the 64GB and the 128GB models of the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL deliver tons of storage space. This means room for everything that you need to get through your busy day, and then some.

In the end, this is a personal decision that nobody else can make for you. Does storage size make a big difference when you are considering a phone? Let us know about it in the comments below!

November 20, 2017: We've updated this post with all the info you need to make a decision about the storage size for your Pixel 2!

Jen Karner

Jen is a staff writer who spends her time researching the products you didn't know you needed. She's also a fantasy novelist and has a serious Civ VI addiction. You can follow her on Twitter.

  • 128 for me, even though I may not need it all.
  • same here.
  • Trading in my 128gb Pixel 5" for the 2XL 64gb. Even with my selected music/movies I didn't hit the half way mark.
  • Me, too. Getting the 128GB Pixel was a waste of a hundred bucks for me. Honestly, the only change in my behavior I'd have to make to get by with a 32GB phone would be paying a little attention to how big the BeyondPod folder has gotten.
  • Same here, trading my Pixel XL 128 GB for the Pixel 2 XL 64 GB. Didn't use the extra 64 GB at all on my XL. I always had about 75+GB free of space at all times.
  • I got the Blue 512gb Pixel 2 XL
  • 128gb, must have for traveling without WiFi
  • I got the pixel 2xl with 64gb my nexus 6p is the same size and I have a hard time filling 64gb so I'll be fine with the 64gb pixel 2
  • I do not see how one can live with 128 GB of non expandable storage. I will never buy a phone without expandable storage. Music, movies, and pictures in high quality take space.
  • And I don't understand how people can fill up 128 GB on a Pixel. I never have more than 1 or 2 movies downloaded to a phone at any time. I stream all my music, or if I'm going to be without WiFi for long periods of time, I'll pin a couple albums or playlist and call it a day. The Pixel backs up all your pictures and videos at original quality for free. I understand that I'm a little more diligent about my digital management than most people, but do people really find it necessary to drag ALL of their digital junk around with them at all times? I mean, over 80% of Americans live in major cities and are probably within walking distance of free WiFi. What am I missing here? I never once came close to filling up my 32 GB Note 5.
  • I use to travel for business a lot. I do not have all my music on my phone, but I have a lot at lossless compression. I have a nice pair of headphones and enjoy listening to music. Hotels usually have horrible Wifi. Took family to Disney land took a bunch of movies and pictures. I just don't like having to manage it. I have movies and TV shows on my phone. I like choice. I also have 29TB on my main desktop at home.
  • You initially say "I do not see how one can live with 128 GB of non expandable storage." then you say you travel for business a lot, have a lot of lossless compression, and have 29TB's on your desktop PC. Hey guess what, EVERYONE doesn't have your life situation. If that surprises you, then that's a you problem.
  • I use HDhomerun for TV and Emby on my computer. I rip my music and movies in the best resolution possible. I like to have the best possible quality and like to have choice. I do not like to stream. I also don't like bluetooth headphones, reduced quality and always having to charge them.
  • Having a lot of storage on your phone totally makes sense for your niche use case. I just think that for the vast majority of people, they will never come close to filling up even 32 GB of storage.
  • Have kids and be the person the family whose job is to have all the pics... You will see very quickly
  • We're talking about the Pixel phones here. They have free, unlimited storage at full resolution for pictures and video.
  • Does unlimited storage come with unlimited data for when you want to upload and redownload 4k videos and 12 megapixel images or a stable high speed internet connection?
  • Wow! Excellent deduction. But the anger?
  • If you're listening to lossless music on a phone that's pointless without a dedicated dac.
  • I use my phone as a thumb drive... such as putting tons of .ISO files on mine that contain Microsoft software I get with my MSDN subscriptioned need for software development. And Android Studio and android SDK files.
  • Why use a phone as a thumb drive? I guess because you can??? -- just like google can charge an extra $100 for 64GB storage upgrade -- because it can. Glad there are many options with android.
  • Thank God for the 7.5 billion Americans on this planet.
  • We are talking about a phone that is primarily being released and marketed in America. Heck, it only even available in what, seven countries? I'm trying to compare (lowercase) apples to apples here.
  • I don't keep movies on my phone, so the most space-consuming of your essentials isn't a factor at all to me (of all the video watching devices I own, the phone is the least suitable, so I'll always use one of the others in preference). Pictures don't take up anything like as much space as video, and I have real cameras too, so it's not like all of my pictures are on or from the phone. And of course there is the unlimitedish Google photos storage for those for whom this is an issue. Music, sure, but I can keep a few 10s of GB at a time on the phone without problems, and again have other options if I need to carry more. So 128GB without expansion seems perfectly doable to me.
  • You should step outside your own life more, then.
  • I got the XL 64. I change Android phones VERY often. I will probably keep the Pixel for a while, but certainly not more than 1 year. (It'll be lucky to make 6 months before something else catches my eye! ;) )
  • We have a problem haha. I see you as often as myself with a different a phone haha
  • 128GB is a requirement for my next phone. I keep my phones for a long time so part of it is future proofing. Every store I shop at has its own app these days to get the bargains. Also, I love having lots of apps that do different things. I don't have much music or video but a bit plus a few podcasts and some pictures. I currently live with 32GB because I haven't been been able to upgrade but I have to delete apps that I want or not load them. The only phones on my radar now are Pixel 2 XL, LG V30+, UTC11, OnePlus 5 all in 128GB versions. Others like Samsung S8 were non starters without it. I was really surprised they didn't do a 128gb version of the Note 8 in the US.
  • I purchased the 64GB XL 2 model, but admiringly have had some regret in not purchasing the 128GB model. I plan on having the phone for two years, so I like to keep it future proofed (as much as possible). However, I chose the 64GB model because that's what I've had with my Nexus 6P for the last two years, and I still haven't hit the mark yet. I'm getting close though (about 8 GBs away).... I figure I probably won't have issues, but with media files becoming larger, who knows... I do have an egregious amount of songs downloaded, and one movie (for airplane travel),.. so there's some level of comfort there.
  • I tend to think 64GB is more than enough, especially with the unlimited storage of pictures in the cloud. I currently use a 32GB LG G4 with around 120 apps, plenty of music and about 15 movies on board. I have trouble seeing where double the space would let me down.
  • Depends on the provider for me. If I were to get the Pixel with Project Fi, for example, I'd want the larger Pixel so I can download most my Spotify music instead of streaming (and Netflix when appropriate), since every bit of data count.. If I were to get it with Verizon, I'd be fine with 64GB, because the data plan has enough to where I wouldn't need to download most of my music.
  • I ordered 128GB. If I decide that I can't hack the dongle life and move all of my music bar a few ringtones to another device that will be more than I need, but I'd rather that than be constantly curating the space as I am with my current phone.
  • Went for the 64GB Panda. I currently have a 128GB Pixel XL and I have it at 43GB with my music stored on it. Most of my apps are just icon packs. 32GB was always a no for a base storage, but 64GB is a good choice for my needs.
  • I have lots of King Crimson box sets that I have burned and stored on phone. Music takes up half of my 128gb 6P and there are more box sets on the way.
  • Pixel 2 64gb. My 6P 64 has often had 20-30 free. has never been full.
  • I'm on a 32GB Pixel right now. I, after a year or so on the phone have 9GB free. I think I'll be just fine with 64GB. I have 64GB Panda on the way. Even being more careless I foresee me in another year with 30ish GB free.
  • I'll take the 64GB pixel 2 XL with expandable storage a headphone jack and wireless charging...
  • Pixel 2 XL Panda 128 GB for me :D.
  • Have zero need for more than 64GB. Hell, on every phone I've had, I haven't even used 32GB
  • Seeing as I download all my Spotify playlists and load videos for long days and road trips I want as much storage as I can get So if I decide on the xl it's going to be the 128
  • Pixel 2 XL 128 - coming soon. Having 32 on my 7 Edge - I usually put 20 to 30 on the external card. So 128 will fit me just right.
  • I have a 64 gb S8 right now....and don't even use half of it. 64gb black panther Pixel XL 2 on the way.
  • Awesome! 🐱
  • I refuse to pay corporations more profit money when it's not justified. 90% of storage space pricing is simply profit while it costs the manufacturer nickles on the dollar to go from 16-32-64-128-256.
    It is probably a matter of cents to go from 16gb to 32gb in the old days.
    So charging about 100ish to go 2x the storage space would mean at least 90 dollars of that space is profit.
    Multiply that by 100,000 devices, the emmc company or whomever gets the profits has just made almost cool mill ripping off people. Hope that more people could change the industry with their wallets, so there would be a standard of 128gb or more as the default instead of having to charge for additional.
  • Trading in my 128 GB Pixel XL for a 64 GB Pixel 2 XL. The unlimited* photo and video backup marks a huge difference, so I won't need the extra storage. Also, I wanted to save that extra $100.
  • Did anybody know that you can buy a 64 gig USB C flash drive for $44?? It has USB C on one end and USB A on the other.
  • That's a great option for "offshoring" your data such as loads of high quality movies for travel offline because as much as we are online a lot not everyone has access to the Internet 24/7 365 days a year I can attest to that from my business travel.
  • If I had the 64gb option last year, I would have kept my Pixel XL one more year. I'm very close to using 32gb now and I have to actively delete photos and remove downloaded playlists. I don't want that anxiety.
  • So I wonder if Android is like Apple where tests were done that the read/write speed from a 32,128,256 jumped leaps and bounds. I imagine that a 128 is much faster then a 64. I pre-ordered an XL2 128 for that and higher resale value
  • 64 Gigabytes for not normally fill up my 32 Gigabytes on my current XL, with my TB of Google drive and Google photos. I wish Google had a 250 Gigabyte Google Drive Option. Maybe I should just buy a Terabyte "my drive", been paying 9.99 aonth for what feels like at least two years.
  • I take a TON of photos and videos on my phone as my wife is an actress and is always having me do quick photo shoots for her. The Pixel XL has been excellent for this yet I have found having 128 GB was a bit much as right now I have 93 GB of free space and that's with music and movies on my phone. I travel a lot as well and I honestly choose to just put movies on my iPad Pro and laptop rather than drain my phone battery (which I use as a hotspot a lot).
    I'm seriously thinking that for the Pixel line with the unlimited photo/video storage that 64GB is plenty. I would have about 20GB of free space on my phone right now if it was only 64GB and I would still have trouble filling that up.
  • I ordered the 64 GB. My 6P has 50% space left and it is 64 GB.
  • only need an otg cable and all the extra storage (thumbs) you want. maybe a home run FTP server that you can sync with at your leisure. ive been good with 32, and that is with all of my cloud accounts synced to every android device 13 out of 29 available. so, i went with 64 as the only one ill need.
  • 64GB. I have a 64GB iPhone 8 and have 53GB open. Use google photos and stream music. Have a 30GB One Drive. Zero need for more than 64GB
  • « owners get to upload an unlimited number of full-resolution photos — at least until December 2020 » That’s a great strategy! Making everyone claps at that incredible storage so when they will get enough users relying on it in afew years they will make them pay! People will have a ton of photo so they won’t think twice before paying... That’s a thing people need to consider before giving chop to google
  • Since the late 70's, my rule of thumb for purchasing personal computers was buy the fastest processor and largest memory size I could afford. A smartphone is just a computer that makes phone calls, so the same rule applies. The difference is that now I can get 128GB instead of 48K.
  • I think 64 was too low for me when I had the 6P. I record alot of video and create video with music so I benefit with larger storage
  • 64gb here I never filled up my 64gb nexus 6p
  • I am using a Nexus 6p, which has 64gB. I like to keep photos on the Nexus 6p rather than in the cloud. I currently have about 25 gB of photos and about 25 gB of apps. I have been having to delete numerous photos (they are also on the cloud) and uninstall apps that are not used often. Needless to say, I would consider only the 128gB version. If I were buying a new phone, I would want 128gB and I would also want an expansion SD slot, since I would keep it for at least 2 years and would expect my storage requirements to increase. In addition to the photos, I have been digitizing CDs and LPs, and I don't know how much space I will eventually require. I will not buy a phone without an expansion slot.
  • 128gb here. I have a big music library. Went with the 128gb due to no sd card slot. I hope to keep this phone for 3 years. Came from a Note 3 just over a week ago.
  • It's a personal's not a lot of money to to go 128 but if you're not going over 64 it's a waste
  • Went from iPhone 6plus 128 to Pixel 2XL 64. Didn't need as much storage with unlimited photo storage. After three iPhone models, the Pixel 2XL is the best phone I've ever had.
  • No micro s/d expansion along with a very average display from LG. They should have stuck with HTC and an LCD display the most important part of a phone! A very poor choice by Google! The launch of the original XL was much better!
  • I'm a Project Fi customer. I had a 128GB Nexus 6P. I had hundreds of YouTube videos downloaded onto the phone for offline viewing. Still, I never came anywhere close to using even 64GB of that 128GB. The phone just bricked, so spending the money on 128GB was a waste for that phone. Future proofing is my biggest concern though. I might be downloading higher quality video with the Pixel 2 XL? DayDream games and videos might eat up more space? It's a difference of 4-5 dollars/month for me for the 64 vs. 128. It needs to last me for 2 years. Anyone been using a Pixel 2 XL for a while now downloading videos for offline viewing, including VR videos, and games able to give me an idea how much space they're using with all the apps and os fully updated (e.g. Beta)?