The Pixel 4 won’t have free, unlimited full-res Google Photos storage

At its annual hardware showcase, Google showed off its much-leaked Pixel 4 series of smartphones. While the Pixel 4 offers a range of new features, Google is doing away with what was a key incentive for buying the previous three generations of Pixel devices — unlimited, full-res Google Photos storage.

The perk allowed Pixel owners to upload their pictures and videos in the original quality for free on Google Photos. That meant it didn’t count against your Google Drive storage irrespective of how many 4K videos you have in your gallery.

Google hasn’t bundled that deal on the Pixel 4 series, meaning users will have to settle for high-quality, compressed uploads unless they’re willing to invest in additional cloud storage — just like pretty much every other Android phone.

Google Pixel 4 and 4 XL Hands on
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

In lieu of that, Google is including a three-month trial of Google One on the Pixel 4 which comes with 100GB of cloud storage. It’s certainly not a fair trade-off and could end up being a significant deal-breaker especially for existing Pixel users looking to upgrade. Pixel 3 owners, in comparison, will be able to enjoy the Google Photos perk until January 31, 2022.

With the Pixel entering its fourth year, Google is most likely being more sensible and less aggressive with its promotions. It’s now hoping to convince Pixel 4 users to continue their Google One subscription which normally costs $2 a month for 100GB.

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More from the Google Pixel event

Apart from that, the Google Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL replace the traditional fingerprint sensor with a facial recognition system. There’s a radar chip embedded under the front bezel which enables users to control the phone and perform several actions like snooze the alarm by simply waving their hands over it. In addition, the Pixel 4 has more RAM than before and the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor.

The centerpiece to Google Pixel phones — the camera has also been upgraded. The Pixel 4 has two of them, a regular 12-megapixel snapper and another 16-megapixel telephoto lens. The phones house a new camera mode for astrophotography and capturing the night skies as well. Google says it has improved the Portrait Mode and it’s now more accurate at figuring out the edges around tricky subjects such as pets.

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