Google Photos Is Bringing Unlimited Storage Back, But There's A Big Catch

Remember when Google Photos offered free and unlimited storage to users who backed up their photos to the cloud at slightly lower-than-original-quality settings? This handy feature was among the top reasons Google Photos emerged as a popular photo backup tool. However, like all good things in life, this party abruptly ended in June 2021 when Google decided to end the unlimited free storage option. As of 2022, the only people who continue to enjoy access to free unlimited storage on Google Photos are folks who use older Pixel smartphones (Pixel 5 and its predecessors). Unlimited Google Photos storage is not available for Pixel 6 devices either — even as a paid option — and as of now, there are no plans to bring the feature to future Pixel smartphones.

This is precisely why we were surprised when T-Mobile recently announced that it is collaborating with Google to come up with a special tier of Google One. As a part of this package, T-Mobile subscribers will not only receive 2TB of cloud storage — but will also get the much sought-after unlimited Google Photos storage option back. In addition, as part of this tier, images and videos backed up to Google Photos will not count against the 2TB of Google One storage.

What's the catch?

Unlike previously, where the option for unlimited backup was free, T-Mobile users will need to shell out $15 a month for the privilege. Note that this includes the 2TB of separate Google One storage as well. Given that Google doesn't offer unlimited Google Photos storage even with its paid Google One plans, this actually sounds like a great deal. Another key difference this time around is that this plan offers users the option to back up their photos at full resolution. This wasn't the case with the older free backup option, where you had to back the images and videos up at lower quality settings to take advantage of free storage.

According to Phandroid, this plan is expected to go live starting April 26, 2022, following which new and existing T-Mobile customers can sign up for the offer at any T-Mobile retail service location. In addition to the $15 plan, T-Mobile also gives the option to opt for a cheaper $5 plan that offers 500GB storage and another plan for $10 that offers 2TB storage — without the unlimited Google Photos benefit. These Google One plans are available to all T-Mobile postpaid users. Once activated, the benefits will apply to both Android and iOS devices. T-Mobile also lets users try these Google One features for free for a period of one month, after which they can commit to a longer duration.