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The Pixel 2’s unlimited photo storage isn’t exactly unlimited

Pixel 2 Features

The Pixel 2 comes with a cloud promotion nobody else can match: Google is offering all Pixel 2 buyers unlimited photo storage of maximum-quality photos and videos taken on the device.

However, it’s not exactly unlimited. It turns out there is a limit of on the storage, but it’s how long, not how much.

Any Google Photos user gets unlimited storage with a twist. Photos and videos are saved at original resolution only until you hit the limit on that free 15GB of cloud storage that comes with every Google account. Moving forward, all images and videos are shrunk down to “high quality,” which means 16-megapixel photos and Full HD videos are the limits.

Over on the Pixel 2 side, you get a better deal. The unlimited offer lets you upload originals to Google’s cloud, so you don’t have to worry about losing quality. However, that deal is valid until 2020. So the faster you buy a Pixel 2 phone, the more pictures and videos you’ll be able to save at full resolution.

After 2020, your Pixel 2 photo cloud storage will revert to what’s happening on non-Pixel phones:

“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 told CNET that after 2020, you won’t be able to upload originals any longer, and you’ll save high-quality versions of photos and clips instead. But Google won’t downgrade the quality of the images you save until 2020, meaning that whatever you’ve got in the cloud stays there unless you remove it.

The fact that Google’s unlimited deal has a fine print that mentions limits isn’t surprising. There’s nothing really free on this earth, and all unlimited deals have limits. But that doesn’t make Google’s Pixel 2 camera offer any less impressive

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he closely follows the events in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises. Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.