What you need to know
- Google is removing the unlimited original quality uploads to Google Photos for the Pixel 4 and 4 XL.
- There's unlimited backups at "high quality," just as every other Android phone today.
- You do get a 100GB Google One subscription for three months, but you'll have to pay to upload in original quality.
The Pixel 4 and 4 XL are now official, and there's a lot to like. Both phones come with interesting new features and a more modern design, and the best part is that Google has retained the $799/$899 pricing from the Pixel 3 series.
But that comes with a trade-off: the Pixel 4 and 4 XL won't offer unlimited original quality photo and video uploads to Google Photos. You'll instead get unlimited uploads in "high quality," which is the same as every other Android phone today. Google did the same with the Pixel 3a series earlier this year, but those phones debuted at under $500.
The Pixel 4 product page on the Google Store clearly mentions that photo uploads are limited to high quality:
Unlimited original quality photo and video uploads was one of the best features on earlier Pixels, and the fact that it's no longer available makes the Pixel 4 series less enticing. Google is instead pushing customers toward Google One plans — both phones come with a 100GB Google One subscription for three months, but that's small consolation.
Like last year, the base variant of the Pixel 4 and 4 XL comes with 64GB of storage. That wasn't an issue previously as you could just delete photos and videos that were backed up to Google Photos, but with original quality uploads no longer available, you'll have to factor that into your purchasing decision. The 128GB option costs $100 more, and that's what I'll be getting.
What's your take on the Pixel 4 series losing out on unlimited original quality uploads to Photos? Will you still be getting the phone? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Pixel 4 XL
The Pixel 4 XL has a standout camera, but you also get a 90Hz display, Snapdragon 855, 6GB of RAM, and wireless charging. Google had to make a few changes to retain the price point, and original quality uploads was one of them.
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Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, contributing to reviews, features, and buying guides. He also writes about storage servers, audio products, and the semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.