When the Pixel came out last year, it was a clear departure from the Nexus program. With a Google logo stamped on the back, the phones weren’t just crafted around the purest vision for Android, they gave us hope that we would finally have a phone that received years of updates.
Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Google has updated the Check & update your Android version page of the Nexus support section to include the Pixel and Pixel XL, and the obsolete dates are the same as the Nexus devices that came before. For version updates, Google says, “Pixel phones get Android version updates for at least 2 years from when the device first became available on the Google Store. After 2 years, we can’t guarantee additional updates.” Security updates are a little longer, lasting for “at least 3 years from when the device first became available on the Google Store, or at least 18 months from when the Google Store last sold the device, whichever is longer.”
Mentioned in this article
Greenbot rating$769.00MSRP $769.00Viewon Google
More than just another Nexus, the Pixel has what it takes to compete with other high-priced premium phones. Read Greenbot’s full review
While the “at least” qualifier leaves some wiggle room, it’s unlikely that the Pixel will receive the Android Q update or that Google will pay any attention to it after October 2019. Google uses the same “not guaranteed” qualifier on the two- and three-year Nexus phone limits, and right on schedule, Google stopped sending updates to the Nexus 6 and 9, which was released in November 2014, earlier this year.
Pixel pessimism: Two years of updates might sound good if you just bought a Galaxy S8 or an LG G6, but this is a bummer for Pixel owners. Google really had a chance to change the game here for Android users, but it’s opting to stick with the same disappointing upgrade schedule for seemingly no reason. The iPhone 5 was released in 2012 with iOS 6. You can still put the latest version iOS 10.3 on it, and it’s only because of the iPhone 5’s 32-bit processor that it won’t receive iOS 11. Google could have done the same thing and rewarded Pixel purchasers with years and years of updates, but instead it’s leaving them out in the cold.