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Unlimited original-quality Photos uploads for Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are only valid until Dec. 2020

One of the main draws with the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL is the unlimited photo and video storage on Google Photos. Whereas all other phones get unlimited high-quality uploads, Google offers unlimited storage for original-quality photos and 4K videos for all media uploaded through the Pixels. With the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, Google is guaranteeing unlimited photo and video uploads for the life of the devices, which translates to the end of 2020.

Tucked away at the bottom of the Pixel 2 product page (opens in new tab) is the following:

Free, unlimited original-quality storage for photos and videos taken with Pixel through the end of 2020, and free, unlimited high-quality storage for photos taken with Pixel afterwards.

The cut-off date varies slightly by region. In Canada and India, where the Pixels are debuting later this month, the date is listed as January 15, 2021, but you broadly get three years of unlimited uncompressed photo and video uploads before Google reverts to high-quality.

The photos and videos that you upload in that time will continue to remain in original quality, but following the 2020 deadline, you'll only get the standard high-quality upload option if you don't want your photos to get counted against your data quota. There isn't similar limitation for the first-gen Pixels, but we've reached out to the company just the same and will update the post once we know more.

Harish Jonnalagadda
Harish Jonnalagadda

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.

41 Comments
  • Google Photos is still the best deal no matter how you slice it. We deserve to pay for a product like that.
  • Agreed!
  • We pay... When we buy the phones. 😉
  • Truth
  • But others get it for free.
  • If by free you mean by providing our data, sure. But that isn't really free
  • We pay for the hardware and with our data.
  • I'd rather something more like Apple Photos, which isn't data mined. If I'm paying, the company should not be profiting or benefiting in any way from my data. That's effectively a double monument, IMO. I don't use Google services. Not worth being their tool. Enjoy that. It's amazing how sheepish people have become. They sell themselves for any unnecessary convenience. The digital promiscuity is normal your benefit. If the deal wasn't better for them than for you, the service wouldn't be "free."
  • Greed and more greed is all I keep seeing from these companies.
  • It's called running a business. Goal is to make money. Not complicated.
  • Greed? Really? C'mon.. I think Google is pretty fair to its users.
  • Same stunt being pulled by most Cloud storage providers tbh. They give you huge or unlimited storage to begin with then when you've got so much on there that you depend on it they move the goalposts and lower the storage limit or time limit leaving you no choice but to start paying for a subscription or upgrade the one you already have. Microsoft did much the same with OneDrive
  • I didn't know you were entitled to free storage. Companies do not have to give you anything.
  • Then they shouldn't say they are when they sell you a product. It's quite simple really
  • My thoughts exactly. Car manufacturer advertises 25MPG, then after 1 year they tell you out of the blue its only going to get 15MPG starting 2020. Bait and switch. Now, if it was 10$ a month for unlimited storage at the day of sale i would have probably found a phone with a Micro SD card slot, instead. Not that this truly bothers me cause I'll just back up my photos via computer and or print them.
  • Unlimited storage is a fallacy, like unlimited data was. It only exists until people have the means to use massive amounts of it, at which point the Companies offering it cannot realistically honor it for people who are (maybe) barely paying anything for it.
  • Also, if you don't pay for a product in-service, you usually are at the mercy kg the service provider. Paying is somewhat of an insurance in case they try to stiff you.
  • Yes exactly that. MS did it cutting from 10gb of storage to 4gb I think it was. It didn't affect me because I pay for the office 365 package. I have 1TB of storage with them. I will you had UNLIMITED TOTAL STORAGE when you bought the pixel. and after that it continues if you keep buying them. I would drop everything right now and move!
  • I think this will continue for all Pixels. And in 3 years, when you buy the new Pixel, you are now eligible for 3 more years essentially making it lifelong (if you keep buying Pixels).
  • Exactly!!
  • +1
  • Microsoft grandfathered existing users. Google is cutting them off. Existing users even got to keep their free 25GB accounts from when OneDrive was SkyDive, forever. Google is basically making it so that your entire workflow changes Jules's you pay them. Amazon bias a similar deal for fire devices. Don't think they put an expiration date on it.
  • Sounds like a non-issue to me. Majority of owners won't keep using their Pixel 2 past 2020. It says that photos already uploaded stay at original quality, and just new photos taken and uploaded after 2020 will not be full resolution. Most people will have upgraded to a new device by then. The secondary owners will be the ones affected.
  • Exactly. Everyone should just chill. No one is being cheated. I will have paid this phone off in 2 years and certainly be ready for something different or new by three. Corresponds with the OS updates.
  • So... you think I'll need 64 gb or 128 gb? currently have 64 gb on my nexus 6 now, and it's plenty. I don't think the cameras have changed mexapixels, so... i might be okay? I'm just deciding if I'll be taking a lot more pics and video w/ a new camera... that actually works well consistentLy!
  • Even if you do take more pics, storing them on device doesn't make sense, when you have unlimited cloud storage. I think 64 will be more than enough. It is currently with my S8....
  • 128, easy. Over the next 3 years, 4k video and players will become more ubiquitous and data will continue to be limited/more expensive/too slow for 4k. I have a 32GB phone now with plenty of space but 3 years is a long time and you'd rather have too much than too little. Alternatively, if you change your phone every year, I'd never upgrade the storage option as it makes more sense to juggle data for a month before you but a different phone.
  • Figures. They barely sell any phones, they gotta make up difference somewhere.
  • Imagine what cameras will be by 2020.
  • Or maybe in 2-3 years when you buy the next Pixel you will get 3 more years of unlimited storage! Everybody needs to relax. LOL
  • this is what im hoping for!
  • This is why I don't fully rely on cloud storage..
  • Well, to be honest, unless you take a lot of UHD video, the compressed files actually aren't too bad. Yes, it's lossy compression, but their algorithms actually aren't too shabby. It's not very destructive.
  • So when does the OG Pixel unlimited storage expire?
  • The unlimited storage doesn't expire. Just the ability to upload at original resolution without counting against your quota does. So the ones uploaded before the cut-off date will stay in original resolution without counting against your quota.
  • OK so when is the cut off date for the OG Pixel. at the time I purchased there was no "Expiration" date announced.
  • There's always a catch, isn't there. So in effect it's just a delayed payment system. You're paying to store your photos, but the bill won't arrive for 3 years, then, you don't know how much they will charge you.
  • Well, you can just stop using it then or pay whatever the fee is if you do want to continue. And most of the time in these time limited deals, they usually don't "hold your data hostage" or something. Usually, you just have to download them and store it somewhere else and after whatever time limit, they then maybe delete it. Or they say something like you can't upload anything else until you clear the storage. So really, it's like saying use this service/storage for free for 3 years then decide what you want to do: continue and pay or download/delete them off google drive.
  • For those here who thinks it's the best deal, obviously Google sheep, it's not the best deal. Take a look around. You can can get full resolution storage at a more competitive price elsewhere, and with better search filters. Or you can, for very little money, set up a personal cloud and store them all at original file size for the cost of a drive.
  • P. S. And nobody is spying on your location data in order to send you advertising...
  • Anyone know if this expiration date applies to the first Pixel as well, or just future Pixels? Originally it was promised that all photos uploaded from a Pixel would be in original quality and not count against storage quota forever.