Google Photos already offers tremendous value thanks to its unlimited backup feature, but it could get even better, at least if you’re a Nexus user.
Right now, Google Photos gives you to backup options. The free one gives you unlimited storage, but limits image size to 16MP. This is called “High quality” mode and it means that if you back up images that are larger than 16MP, they are downsized. Google’s smart algorithms also tweak the image quality to reduce the size of the file. In most cases, the result is a slightly smaller image that’s very close to the original.
The second option is “Original,” and it does what the name says. Your files are backed up without any alteration. But Original isn’t free and unlimited – images you upload in this mode count against your Drive storage quota.
In the future, Nexus users may not have to decide between original quality and unlimited storage. Android Police peered into the innards of the latest Google Photos update and found references to unlimited original size backup.
“Unlimited free storage for original quality photos & videos uploaded from your Nexus device,” says the feature copy. It’s not clear whether this will include only images taken with Nexus devices or images taken with other devices (like a DSLR camera) and copied over to the Nexus as well. Let’s just say that, if it’s the latter, professional photographers will have a strong incentive to buy a Nexus.
For users who rely on their phones for picture taking, the change may not seem that important. The resolution of current Nexus devices is smaller than 16MP anyway. But choosing Original has the benefit of preserving the fine details of the original shot, and some people care about that.
Free full size backup could be a permanent perk of owning a Nexus or just a temporary promo. We’ll find out if and when Google makes it official!