Google guarantees 7 years of full updates for its Pixel 8 devices
Google unveiled the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro during its Made by Google event this week. Leaks revealed much about the two devices that Google announced during the event.
The main changes compared to the Pixel 7 series is an improved display, a new chip, the Google Tensor G3, improved camera, and lots of software updates and Pixel-exclusive features. Google increased the price by $100 for the devices, but the better hardware may justify the price increase.
Probably the biggest surprise of the entire event was Google's announcement of extended support for both Pixel devices. Google revealed that it will support the Google Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro with seven years of full system updates. In other words: both Pixel devices are supported until 2030 by Google.
This is not another x years of system updates and then another y years of security updates kind of deal. Full system updates means that the devices will get the full deal. Whenever Google publishes a new Android version, these devices will get the update. Assuming that Google will publish one each year and the last one before October 2030, this would mean that the Pixels could be upgraded from Android 14 all the way to Android Android 21.
One might say that this move has been overdue, especially when support is compared to that of Apple's ecosystem. Up until now, Google separated support into mainstream and extended support. The Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro devices, for instance, receive full operating system updates until October 2025 only. Google is switching to security updates until October 2027 then for these devices. Considering that the Pixel 7 series was announced in October 2022, it meant just three years of full operating system updates.
Not much for a company that controls the Android operating system, designs the phones and has started to put its own chips on the devices as well. The leap from 3+2 years of support to 7 full years is huge and it puts Google at the very top of device support. Other Android device manufacturers may make announcements in this regard in the near future as well by increasing support ranges for some of their devices.
Many Android manufacturers offer two years of system updates and two years of security updates for their devices. There are some notable exceptions. Samsung offers five years of updates for its devices, of which the first four are system updates.
One question that still needs to be answered is how replaceable the Pixel 8 battery is. Batteries get worse over time and Pixel 8 owners might need to replace the battery at one time in the future, depending on use.
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