Google Pixel 2 Owners Get Unlimited Full-Res Storage Only Until 2020
When Google announced the Pixel 2 smartphone this week with the world’s highest rated smartphone camera, the company also free and unlimited photo and video storage for Pixel 2 owners through Google Photos. But it turns out there’s some fine print: you only get to upload unlimited full-res images through 2020.
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.
Google Photos already offers free and unlimited storage to anyone right now… as long as you’re willing to have your photos downsized to 16 megapixels and your videos adjusted to 1080p HD. If you choose to upload in full-resolution, the files will count toward your 15GB free storage limit across all Google services.
If you buy a Google Pixel 2, you get to go around these resolution limits and store an unlimited number of photos and videos in their original resolution regardless of how large the files are. But you’ll only get that perk for about three years.
When 2021 rolls around, your Pixel 2 photos will start being downsized to 16MP, just like with photos uploaded by anyone else. The original resolution photos uploaded up to that point won’t be downsized, though — the change will only affect everything uploaded from 2021 onward.
“After 2020, there is no change to the photos you took before 2020 and you will always have access to those in original quality,” a Google spokesperson tells Engadget. “This is new for this year. We know that people tend to change their phone every 2-3 years so for Pixel 2, we are offering storage in line with that.”
The XL has a 12.2MP shooter on the back and 8MP the front, which both offer quality shots.
While not having the dual camera seen with the iPhone or Galaxy Note 8, Google has managed to create the same bokeh effect using an algorithm — now that’s clever. Working on both the front and rear cameras, the Pixel 2 XL offers detailed, sharp and bright pictures, although there is some blurring around the edges of the subject on some images.
While on par with other smartphones in terms of picture quality, Google’s Pixel does offer an exciting and unique feature known as ‘Pixel Lens’. The feature allows you to scan an item, then using Google’s image database, it will attempt to identify the object and show relevant search results and information.
The Pixel XL 2 has an IP67 rating, which means it is fully protected from dust and capable of being submerged under one metre of water for up to half an hour.
Because of the aluminium unibody design, the device isn’t capable of the wireless charging both Apple and Samsung support, although I tend to find that feature slow and opt for the alternative in most cases anyway.
The device has an Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processors, 4GB of RAM and offers either 64GB or 128GB of storage — sadly there is no option to expand via microSD like with other Androids.
Google has opted for Android Oreo 8.0, without adding any skins or alterations like seen on competing devices.
The XL includes always-on display, which shows the time, date and app icons for those with pending notifications.
While these are pretty standard, Google allows you to switch on the “Now Playing” feature, which will listen to music playing and display the song title on the bottom of the lock-screen, also saving it a database you can access at a later date.
It might sound like a creepy feature, but Google has tried to alleviate some of the obvious privacy concerns by saying the music recognition only occurs locally on the phone.
Google’s smarts also can be seen with the “Photos” feature, which silently edits and creates custom albums from your pictures to make you life easier.
For example, Google Photos will allow you to search for “dog” and see every picture you have containing a K9 in a matter of seconds in instead of having to search through the entire gallery.
Since launch, the Pixel 2 XL has been plagued with a number of display problems including dull colours, a blue tint when the display is viewed at an angle and screen burn.
Similar to the audio issue with 4K video, Google has said it will fix these minor issues ahead of the next software update.
The company also recently began offering a two-year warranty on Pixel 2 devices.
All in all, the Pixel 2 XL is sensational phone that looks sexy and performs even better.
Minor issues aside, I would have no issues recommending the device to someone looking for an upgrade.
Samsung’s S8 and Note 8 are still the best phones on the market in my eyes, but the Pixel XL comes in a very close second.