Just as shatterproof doesn’t exactly mean scratchproof, unlimited doesn’t mean forever either. At least, unlike ISPs, when Google says “unlimited”, it does mean “unlimited”. But, of course, there’s always a catch. Google promised would-be Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 owners unlimited “full resolution” cloud storage on Google Photos when it announced the new phones. It didn’t, naturally, mention on stage footnote #2, which basically says that such is true only until 2020.
Google has two storage options for Google Photos cloud storage. One is “full resolution”, which is the original resolution the photos or videos were taken in, no matter how large or how small. Then there’s “high-resolution”, which is 16-megapixel photos or 1080p videos. All Google Photos users have the option of 15 GB “combined” (with Photos, Gmail, and Google Drive) storage for full res photos and unlimited storage for high resolutions ones.
Pixel owners, of course, are a special breed. Since it introduced the phones last year, Google has dangled the offer of unlimited free full resolution storage to owners. However, now it’s putting a cap to that. The unlimited option is free only until 2020. After that deadline, Pixel owners will be treated the same ways as everyone else. Only high res images and videos will be unlimited.
It seems that 2020 is the magical year for the Pixel 2. That will also be the year when Google ends the new smartphone’s OS and security updates. And now that will also be when its unlimited Photos offer ends as well.
Google says that the change will only affect photos and videos uploaded after 2020, so it won’t go back and downsize existing uploads. Google is poising the Pixel 2 as the ultimate smartphone camera, a claim that is being backed by DxOMark’s high praises. Having unlimited cloud storage for those extremely high resolution photos, definitely helps the spiel.