Skip to main content

Pixel and Pixel XL will stop getting on-device tech support in 2019

When something goes wrong with your phone, you want to be able to call (or more usually chat) with someone that can help you fix it. Google currently offers on-device tech support that lets you call Google Support right from the Settings app if your Pixel gives you trouble, and those calls are going to go unanswered starting in October 2019. That date is, not coincidentally, also when the Pixel is going to stop receiving Android security updates.

The Pixel will also no longer be guaranteed Android version updates after October 2018, two years after it was announced. Putting expiration dates on a product is always a bit of a buzzkill, but I'm happy that Google has given us the dates, and I'm very happy with the dates they've given us.

Most phones are lucky to see Android version updates a year and a half after their release, and the Pixel will see at least two years of them. Most phones don't receive many if any monthly security updates on their phones and the Pixel will see three years of them. Getting support for a two-year-old phone is unheard of, but you'll still be able to call Google and get help with your Pixel for most of 2019, for a phone that came out in 2016. That's pretty incredible.

Google has also updated the end-of-life dates for the last of the Nexus line). The Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P will not see an Android version update beyond Android O this fall, and they will stop receiving security updates September 2018, along with phone support at that same time.

Ara Wagoner was a staff writer at Android Central. She themes phones and pokes YouTube Music with a stick. When she's not writing about cases, Chromebooks, or customization, she's wandering around Walt Disney World. If you see her without headphones, RUN. You can follow her on Twitter at @arawagco.

50 Comments
  • How can you be happy with this low level of support? Sure, it's better than the other Android manufacturers but it's absolutely nothing in comparison to Apple. The iPhone 5 will have had support from 2012-2017, with iOS 6-10, and the iPhone 5S (2013) will at least be supported until 2018, if not longer.
  • I am going to have to agree. They are charging on a part with what Apple charges for an iPhone. One would expect service and support commensurate with that level of cost.
  • Tell that to Samsung customers, even less support and higher prices than Google.
  • I can be happy with it because I don't keep phones for more than two years, this is a non issue for me personally. Also I don't like iOS, so it is pretty much a no brainer for me, personally. If someone wants to keep their phone for five years then yeah the iPhone is clearly the best choice but I have a feeling I am not alone.
  • I'm right there with you. I don't think I've ever had a phone for any longer than a year.
  • And the iOS updates on older phones are neutered versions in many cases. New features get left out on older devices because the hardware can't run them.
  • Or they begin to limp along. Older iPhones are terrible to use.
  • Plus their updates are bs compared to Android
  • You cannot be serious! The updates are in line with what the hardware is able to handle. What is so special about android updates? What is 7.0 at.... 10% market saturation? iOS 10 is at 86%. So someone buying an iPhone 7 today and a Pixel for the same amount will be able to sell the iPhone for about 80% of what they paid for it and the Pixel will sell for less than 40% because it's not longer supported or has security updates. Something android desperately needs! Don't be disingenuous. Google dropping support for a flagship device in 3 years is just SAD.
  • Funny thing is i haven't used it once yet. And by the time the support is over i should be on my new Pixel 3 or 4
  • Same here, not once. Never had an issue
  • It's terrible. After a rough run with Motorola Google wowed me with the Nexus 6p. I was an avid fan of the device and the support that Google gave it. Then, the Pixel came out. The same day that my Nexus was given software updates to put it on par with the Pixel (Nougat 7.1.1) the device we t from flawless to unusable. Google and Huawei have both pushed the blame on one another and I was forced to buy a new phone (Galaxy S8+) while waiting for Huawei to honor their warranty. It's been 3 months. I honestly think that Google broke the Nexus on purpose with Nougat to force an upgrade to the pixel.
  • If you honestly think that Google would ruin one phone to sell another you are nuts. Brand Loyalty is a huge factor in sales. Besides, would not ALL 6P's now be "unusable"? Or did Google only sabotage some? Mine is still eminently "usable".
  • I never said that Google is intentionally doing this. My remark was regarding their customer support. As odd as it may seem, my 6P upgraded to 7.1 and entered the "Google Bootloop". I am far from the only person to experience this issue. Just look on Reddit or even the forums on this site. Google refused to take responsibility and referred me to Huawei. Huawei sent me a referbished device (after a month of having my phone). The new device had a beta of 7.1.2. everything was fine until the May security patch at which point immediately after the update my phone stopped receiving wifi signals and the Bluetooth constantly cycled on and off. 2 factory resets did not help and I am still awaiting another device. Huawei claims that the 2 radios are working and that it's a software issue, Google claims hardware. I don't feel that Google is doing this on purpose, but I think that they are thinking with only the pixel in mind and releasing buggy software on older devices. The point to my original comment was just to explain how murky this could get when they stop supporting the Pixel and move on to the next device.
  • Quote: "I honestly think they broke the Nexus on purpose". You SAID that you HONESTLY believe it.
  • Yea, I'm starting to think that way. There isn't any proof other than the thousands of devices with issues and the fact that they send you directly to Huawei.
  • What's your website for the foil hat you're wearing?
  • Amazon.com
  • If you're buying a Pixel, I'm going to gamble you don't need much support.
  • Their support is not better than othe tech companies. My Galaxy Note 4 was released in 2014, the phone stopped receiving OS updates in September 2016 and is going to stop getting security updates by September this year. Google provides exactly the same type of software support as the other OEM's do for their flagship phones.
  • Nice Hamilton quote for the tagline.
  • Who's ready for the Tony's tomorrow? This girl!
  • If google wants other manufacturers to support their customers better with updates, it needs to go much beyond than this (which hopefully will push others to meet halfway).
  • That's silly. Google set its bar and other manufacturers can follow if they want. It doesn't matter if it's 4 years of updates or 2 years. That won't influence Samsung, HTC, LG, etc. in the least.
  • I use my old phones for browsing the internet, listening to music, reading forums etc. Two years of updates plus a further year of security updates is not good enough for a device costing as much as a Pixel.
  • Agreed
  • I disagree, two years of OS updates and three years of security updates from launch is more than good enough for me. I do have an issue with how much the phone costs one year later. With half of the OS updates finished the price should change accordingly.
  • Yeah, as a big Google fan it's frustratingly difficult to "love" my Pixel knowing it doesn't get longer support like the iPhone. We hear about driver support from the chip manufacturer but with Google's resources they should, in my opinion, secure contractual agreement to truly compete with Apple. My two cents, financially limited by inflation. 😉
  • Apple doesn't really 'Support' their phones more that 2 years. They only continue to push software updates that slow the device down to nudge you into updating. You know that iOS 11 that Apple just announced? IPhone 5, 5c, and iPad 4 won't get it, and iPhone 5SE and iPad Air 1 will become practically unusable like the iPhone 5 was.
  • iPhone SE (not 5SE) will not become unusable being that it has the same chip as the 6s. I am running a 5s on iOS 11 developer and it's as fast as it was on every previous version of iOS that has been on it. Love how y'all are bashing Apple for Googles f'd up decision.
  • You do realise the iPhone 5 was released in September 2012? Also it it running the old 32 bit SOC and Apple is moving everything to 64 bit.
    My daughter still uses her iPhone 5 for Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram etc even though she has had two new iPhones since.
  • The iPhone 5SE is a iPhone 6s in the body of an iPhone 5, it will not become no where near unusable. It's a little beast of a phone. Furthermore, Apple is moving to an all 64 bit processor devices, so obviously the 2012 iPhone 5's, and 2013 iPhone 5C's wont receive it.
  • I truly believe that a 5 year support plan would be the most desirable. Hopefully the new chip designs and the software alterations will support that - and Google will voluntarily make that move to a longer support cycle. Google's services I do believe handily beat the other eco systems... now... Apples support system (admittedly not an Apple user) appears to be the mainstay for the desired lifecycle. Oddly the thought of Samsung competing directly with Apple - is - questionable - hardware, maybe - software and support, not even close. Knowledgeable people will eventually make their choice upon their needs - whether it is technology​ related or financially​ chosen. The best eco setup - should support both.
  • My problem with this time frame is that they still sell the phone. Somebody buying a phone today will not get updates or support through an expected 2 year usage for most users. I am actively looking for a new phone and was considering this phone ... until today. One of the reasons to buy a Pixel is to get the new android updates. Now you won't get them at the end of the useable life of the phone.
  • I was going to say, go buy that iPhone if it matters that much too you, or who owns a phone more than 2 years, or other supporting statements, but their still selling the device is a significant point. I feel like Google should support the phone for some period after they quit selling it, not some period after it was announced. That doesn't mean after anyone still sells it, just Google. If you buy the thing brand new from their site, you should be able to expect them to support it for some reasonable period from when you bought it from them. Still other than Apple, they are doing pretty well in the support area.
  • I feel that the whole 2 years of OS upgrades and 3 years of security patches have been getting a little long in the tooth when our devices are capable of extended support. I'd be happy if they extended it to mimic the iPhone's level of software support, but that's probably just wishful thinking on my part.
  • Maybe they will. Maybe if enough people are heard they might extend it to 3/4.
  • Hopefully if and when Google makes their own custom SOC, they can do this. Apple controls everything from the software and hardware, Google only half of that piece of the pie.
  • Security updates are based on:
    Pixel phones get security updates for at least 3 years from when the device first became available on the Google Store, or at least 18 months from when the Google Store last sold the device, whichever is longer. After that, we can't guarantee more updates. Find all the details here.
    https://support.google.com/pixelphone/answer/4457705?hl=en
  • I currently prefer Android over iOS. No matter how someone may try to rationalize it, a company should be commended for providing whatever updates and improvements they can get the older hardware to support. That shows customers paying a premium for the devices commitment and added value. If Apple can do it, Goggle can also do it if they are trying to emulate Apple's level of service.
  • "Getting support for a two-year-old phone is unheard of" ... in the Android world
  • As long as i get my updates. Dont care Bout phone support
  • iOS older devices run like trash after 2+ yrs of software updates... Just sayin I don't keep any phone past the next iteration anyway so it's a non issue for me.
  • Content? How can I be content if I know my iPhone 6 still getting support from Apple? A
    Google made the phone and charge premium price for it. They should keep updating the pixel line until their horsepower couldn't handle the new os
  • So that I may understand this.
    If I spend $700.00 plus for a new Pixel Device in three years I kind of own a paperweight?
    So the real cost is $250.00 (est) loss per year plus mobile fees.
  • No, the Pixel Device will still be very usable after it stops getting updates. Perhaps you have very functional paperweights?
  • My daily driver is a iPhone until Android can offer better updates. Still little curious to see next Pixel line this year.
  • This is shocking service. For a phone that costs this much, I would have expected more. Don't let your love for Google give them a pass.
  • What a bunch of whiners. Nearly three years of support is more than enough. Most people upgrade their phone in two years or even less. I am impressed that Google is offering this. Sure people keep their phones longer than that. But honestly, they are not the majority.
    Regardless, you want 5 year software support that forces your phone to be obsolete as iPhone run terribly slow with future updates. But at least you can still own an iPhone. So either enjoy the fact that an Android manufacturer is doing something better than others or get an iPhone. Whining that it's not enough just makes you seem super entitled.
  • Sorry Ara. I completely wholeheartedly disagree. I love my Pixel despite its shortcomings. It's the best Android phone I've ever had. But 3 years of security updates? Just sad. Yup, like everyone else I'm comparing this to apple. Because this is a phone that has the same benefit virtually as an iPhone. Google controls the hardware. So they should be able to march iPhone and at LEAST provide security updates for 5 years. It was $650 to start! How can they do that and live with themselves? I like android so much more than iOS but it's not good for the environment or humanity for everyone to constantly be getting new devices with precious materials from war torn and conflict laden places. I think it's so great that people who have old iPhones are still able to use them and they run fine. Maybe not great, but decent for 5 years old. And they're secure. I used to not care "I can afford a flagship every year out of pocket so why do I care?" But seeing how poor phone recycling programs are and how we're just ending up putting these things in the dump with all of their toxic materials, it's not good. I'd hope you, someone who may have more contacts and more sway than the regular person (even if slightly) would champion this and bring it up to Google.