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Pixel phones to receive Android upgrades for at least 2 years

Google has confirmed that its new Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones will receive prompt updates to the latest version of Android until at least October 2018.

Published onOctober 20, 2016

google pixel xl initial review aa (41 of 48) back featured

Prompt and long running updates to the latest version of Android were a big selling point for the Nexus brand, and Google looks to be sticking to the same promises with its new Pixel range, as we had hoped. According to the official Android software support page, the new Pixel and Pixel XL will receive upgrades the latest version of Android for at least the next two years.

This means that there’s no guarantee of new Android version updates after October 2018 for these handsets, although it’s possible that Google will continue to push out new versions after this point if there’s good reason to. Either way, this is at least as good as what other Android OEMs are offering for their flagship smartphones these days, and matches what we’ve seen from older Nexus phones in terms of expected lifespan.

However, Google’s updates will also be much faster than other OEMs, as you would expect, with upgrades typically arriving on devices within 2 weeks. However, mobile carrier versions, see Verizon, may take longer, according to the support page. So that’s another one to add to the list of reasons not to pick up the Verizon model.

Pixel phones get Android version updates for at least 2 years from when the device became available on the Google Store. After 2 years, we can’t guarantee additional updates. – Google

On top of the latest versions of Android for two years, Google promises at least 3 years worth of security updates, running until October 2019. If the Pixel and Pixel XL prove popular enough to keep the handset on sale for more than 2 years, Google states that security patches will keep coming for 18 months after the last Google Store device is sold.

Google Pixel XL review: a Pixel's perspective
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With prices starting at $649, it’s reassuring to see that Google will be offering a few years worth of support for the Pixel range. Although perhaps you were expecting more from a smartphone that’s looking to take on Apple and its promises of long running upgrades?

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