Google

The Pixel 7 lineup is now available for pre-order. Google showed off several improvements during its Made by Google hardware event, like the new Tensor G2 system-on-a-chip and an improved rear camera setup. But you forgot to mention one important detail: You will only get three major OS updates.

Although both phones have 5 years of security updates, Google is only committing to three years of major OS updates for the newly released Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro. In a statement to geek how to do itGoogle told us the following:

We build Pixel phones to get better over time with software and feature updates. Like the Pixel 6, 6 Pro, and 6a, the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro will provide at least 5 years of security updates from the date the phones first become available on the Google Store in the US and at least 3 years of operating system updates.

The Google Pixel 7 lineup ships with Android 13, so three years of updates would mean Google is committed to updating new phones to Android 16. Security updates will keep coming for two more years after that. Three years of updates is standard for phone makers like OnePlus, and it’s not uncommon to see other companies (like Motorola) offering just two years, or on some cheaper phones, even just one year.

This is exactly the same policy as the Pixel 6 series, and it’s more or less what Google has provided for its phones since the first Pixel launched in 2016. But it’s not enough anymore. Samsung, for its part, offers its Galaxy S22 phones four years of major updates and five years of security patches, beating Google for another year. And of course, Apple provides its iPhones with at least five years of iOS updates, and often even gets more than that: Some iPhones have been supported for up to seven years.

google slideshow image that says "Pixel Feature Drops: 5 years of updates".
Google

Google not only failed to mention this during the event, but apparently went the extra mile to hide it and mislead users. Google touted that both phones would get “5 years of updates” while discussing Pixel feature drops during the event, failing to mention or acknowledge that two of those five years would be just for security patches. The company also avoided mentioning it in the spec sheet for the Pixel 7 lineup.

If Google wants to position the Pixel line as the Android equivalent to the iPhone, it really needs to go the extra mile on this, especially seeing how the phones use Google’s own silicon. There are no excuses.