October 6, 2016
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google pixel and pixel xl first look hands on aa-12

As you probably already know, buying one of Google’s new Pixel devices through Verizon may not give you the bare bones experience you’re after. For starters, you won’t be able to unlock the Verizon Pixel or Pixel XL’s bootloader, and both devices will also sport some of that great Verizon bloatware (although you might be able to uninstall it).

Still, one of the bigger questions everyone has been asking about these Verizon devices is how exactly they’ll receive updates. Verizon has a very, very, very bad reputation for rolling out timely updates to Android devices, so naturally Pixel buyers have an excuse to be a little apprehensive about these phones. The folks at 9to5Google reached out for clarification, and here’s what a Verizon rep said:

Monthly security updates will come from Google (for all models), and system updates will be managed by Verizon for Verizon models, and Google for unlocked models bought from Google Store.

The good news is that Google will continue to push out monthly security updates to Pixel devices sold through Verizon. When it comes to system updates (future versions of Android), unfortunately Verizon will be in charge of rolling out updates to the devices it’s sold. Of course, Google will still make the Android updates, but Verizon will need to do some tweaking before setting them live.

So what do you do? Even if you’re a Verizon customer or plan on switching to Verizon, buy your Pixel from the Google Store. You can still finance it, and the unlocked version works on Verizon.

Jimmy Westenberg
Lover of all things Android, Star Wars, dogs, coffee and music.
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