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You told us: You don't compromise quality with Google Photos backups

Original quality was the big winner, while Express was the big loser here.
By
May 31, 2022
google photos app icon logo google pixel 5 1
Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

Google Photos switched from free high-quality backups to 15GB of free storage last year, making for a massive change after years of offering unlimited free storage.

Now that this change has been around for a while, we wanted to know what quality setting our readers are using for backups. We posted a poll last week and here’s what you told us.

Which quality setting do you use for Google Photos backups?

Results

We got 3,100 votes on this one, giving us a great sample size to work with. The winning pick? Well, ~62% of respondents said they backed up their photos and videos at the original quality. Heading to the comments, it seems like some users simply feel that 15GB of storage is more than enough for original quality backups.

Meanwhile, ~36% of polled readers opted for the Storage Saver option, which compresses photos and videos. Interestingly enough, a few readers noted that their Pixels still offer unlimited storage at the Storage Saver setting. Another reader also said they didn’t notice a difference between photos backed up at original quality and images backed up with this setting.

Related: The best Google Photos alternatives in 2022

Finally, just ~2% of respondents said they used the Express option for Google Photos backups. It’s understandable given that this quality setting is only available in a few markets (e.g. India). Furthermore, the Express option might take compression a little too far for some people, squeezing photos down to 3MP and videos down to 480p.

Comments

  • Alfian Reztu Cahyadi: “Naahh… I’m still using old pixel 2 xl as backup phone, so I can enjoy free unlimited high-quality photo backup, without worrying how much space on cloud storage do I have left…”
  • Joe Black: “I pay for it + sometimes abuse it via OG Pixel … so original quality FTW. But it’s fairly pricey compared to let’s say M$ alternatives, when you consider only Cloud.”
  • SpasilliumNexus: “Paying for Google One, while using a Pixel XL with Syncthing to automatically transfer photos from my Pixel 6 Pro to it, in which Google Photos backs them up in original quality, unlimited.”
  • disqus_o6qZ6auh3D: “I have a Pixel 4a, but I save tons of photos that others shared to my library, so I don’t really have unlimited storage. Kinda wish I had Express for that reason.”
  • Bonaventura: “Storage saver is really good quality, there is very little difference between original and storage saver. I mainly watch my photos on my phone, rarely make a video about a subject, but storage saver quality is ok for that too. So I don’t waste my money on extra storage.”
  • Lex1020: “I’m using a Pixel 5 so I still get unlimited High Quality so I’ll be using that until I get a new phone. Afterward, I’ll probably be using original quality.”
  • Peter T: “I’m still only using about 5GB of the 15GB allowance, so I’m happy to stick with original quality unless it gets much nearer to the limit!”
  • 🇦🇺Marshall: “Even paying for the lowest Google One tier allows for a squillion original quality backups, on top of automated device backups, so it’s all good.”