Pixel 2 owners will be able to store on Google Photos, but only until 2020

Verizon Google Pixel 2 Selling

Google’s promise of unlimited storage for the newly launched Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL isn’t so free and open after all. You’d be able to upload files to the Photos app in their original quality and resolution so long as you use a Pixel phone. If you get a Pixel 2, though, that’s only true until 2020.

Part of Pixel 2’s fine print has revealed that by 2021, the app will only upload your files in “hiqh-quality” resolution. For Google, “high quality” means 16-megapixel photos and 1080p videos. If you upload anything bigger than those, the app will automatically downgrade them.

That’s true, but there’s a catch. Not every photo will be as high-resolution as you might want.

For background, Google Photos lets all non-Pixel phone owners upload photos in full, “original” resolution for free. That is, until you hit the 15GB storage limit across Photos, Gmail and Google Drive. You could alternatively choose to upload as many photos and videos as you want at “high quality,” with no storage limitations.

If you were expecting to be able to upload files in their original resolution forever, then that would definitely be disappointing to hear. Being able to upload unlimited images and photos in high resolution isn’t that bad, however — it’s what anybody else who doesn’t use a Pixel gets.

Google Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XLThat said, you’ll still have over three years to upload all the photos and videos you want to keep in their full glory. Google won’t retroactively compress your files after 2020, so make sure your device gets backed up regularly before 2021.

“With Pixel 2 you get free, unlimited original-quality storage for photos and videos uploaded through the end of 2020, and free, unlimited high-quality storage for photos uploaded afterwards. After 2020, there is no change to the photos you took before 2020 and you will always have access to those in original quality.

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.”

Google is banking on the Pixel 2’s camera quality, and perk of free storage to help it stand out from dual-camera phones like the iPhone X and Galaxy Note 8. In fact, Google thinks its single 12-megapixel is better than those dual-camera phones.

The Pixel 2 also scored even higher than the original according to photography testers DxOMark, which awarded it a score of 98.

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