It's the end of an era as the Pixel 3 gets its final update

Google Pixel 3 black and white
Google Pixel 3 black and white (Image credit: Android Central)

What you need to know

  • The February update to the Pixel 3 series is the first since Android 12 last October.
  • The Pixel 3's unlimited full-quality backups in Google Photos ended on February 1.
  • Officially, Google stopped support for the Pixel 3 in October 2021.

Google Pixel phones have been some of the best Android phones since they arrived on the scene, and that includes the Pixel 3. Even though it's been over three years since it was released, many have held onto it for the unlimited full-quality backups in Google Photos, but that ended last week. Today, the Pixel 3 takes another hit as it appears the February Pixel update is its last.

When the Pixel 3 received its update to Android 12 in October 2021, we thought that was the last one. But there were some rumblings that the phone could see one more software update in early 2022. Google did confirm to us that with the Pixel 3 lineup getting in on the February patch rolling out today — this is the final update.

Android 12 Logo

Source: Alex Dobie / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Alex Dobie / Android Central)

The Pixel 3 should benefit from any usable feature updates arriving with the software update and security improvements in the patch as well. Even though the new Pixel 6 shows how much Google has improved in its hardware design, camera quality, and software features since the Pixel 3, it doesn't mean that it won't be fondly remembered for what the device did for smartphone photography.

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Chris Wedel
Smart Home Writer
Chris Wedel is a fan of all things tech and gadgets. Living in rural Kansas with his wife and two young boys makes finding ways to get and stay online tricky. By utilizing his years of experience with the tech and mobile communications industries — success is assured. When not conquering connectivity challenges and testing new gadgets, he enjoys cruising a gravel road in his UTV with some good tunes.
  • I wish Google would support these devices longer. Perhaps not with full OS updated, but with security patches at least. Apple does good work keeping their phones out of landfills with longer support cycles. Heck, even Fairphone promised to support their devices for at least five years, with Fairphone 2 getting seven years of support!
  • Three years is pretty shameful stuff from Google, for their own hardware. This is still a great phone, particularly as its one of the few relatively modern handsets that doesn't require King Kong hands to hold. Five years should be the bare minimum for support, even then that's not being overly generous considering there's no technical reason the hardware couldn't stretch even further out.
  • Make sure you tell Qualcomm to support and update their chip drivers as well then. Updates aren't made available only because an OEM chooses to continue updates or not (though if it's less than standard support for those chips, then yes). If Qualcomm isn't going to be providing any other updates for their old chips, there's no reason for Google's Samsung, etc, to continue trying to update the drivers themselves.
  • The Pixel 6 series will also get 3 years of system upgrade support and 5 years of security update support even though Google designed its own chipset so that they would have more control on the updates. I was expecting longer period of support but it is what it is
  • It's nice to have one last update, but the security patch is still from October. Oh well, gonna load ArrowOS, LineageOS or Pixel Experience ROM on it anyways...
  • I got my 3xl 18 months ago, so i'm sad this will be the last update. That said I still remember my root and rom days. When I feel up to it i'll probably put Graphene OS on it. At least then it will be even more secure. If I get a new pixel it will probably be a Pixel 7 later this year. Want to see the improvements TENSOR.
  • it's supposed to be Pixel 3 XL's last update, nevertheless it seems to be an incomplete update or just a plain joke. The security setting still shows a red icon indicating something is missing (despite this "last update" is applied already). If Google's intention was to give this last breath to the Pixel 3 XL line, why not give it right, fully and completely done... ?
    By the way, if the Pixel 6 line had not a huge number of issues, hardware and software wise, I'd have already upgraded my trusty Pixel 3 XL...
  • If you want longer software commitment, get a Samsung.
    Based on a true story. 👍
  • Going to put Lineage on my 3 until someone releases a better phone that isn't bigger. I consider the Pixel 3 absolute max phone size, and the only thing on the 6 Pro that's interesting is the telephoto lens. Pixel 3 does everything I need and more, and just about any new phone that's that size either isn't an upgrade in performance or has a major compromise (waterproof rating, etc)
  • Since they Upgraded us on Android 12, I dont Unserstand why they dont Just give Updates at least untill the end of v12 Support. Someone could say it Is better to stay in v11 + 12 months of fixes than newer V12 without any fixes, right? Doesnt this makes a Minimum sence? Is this also related to the qualcomm chipset?