During its Made by Google hardware keynote, Google revealed several improvements, including the new Tensor G2 system-on-a-chip and an improved rear camera setup. However, one important detail was ignored: you will only receive three major OS updates for Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro.
Despite the fact that both phones have five years of security updates, Google is only promising three years of major OS updates for the recently released Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro.
In a statement, Google said: “We build Pixel phones to get better over time with software and feature updates. Like Pixel 6, 6 Pro, and 6a, Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro will provide at least 5 years of security upgrades from the date the phones first become available on the Google Store in the U.S. and at least 3 years of OS updates.”
The Google Pixel 7 lineup ships with Android 13, so three years of updates would indicate that Google plans to keep the new phones updated all the way up to Android 16. After that, security updates will continue for another two years. Three years of updates are standard for phone makers like OnePlus, but it’s not uncommon to see other companies offering only two years or even one year in some cheaper phones.
This is the same policy as the Pixel 6 series, and it’s basically what Google has offered for its phones since the first Pixel was released in 2016. But it’s no longer required. Samsung, for example, is providing four years of major updates and five years of security patches for its Galaxy S22 phones, outdoing Google by one year.
Of course, Apple provides at least five years of iOS updates for its iPhones, and they frequently receive more — some iPhones have been supported for up to seven years (Most notably iPhones is the iPhone 6s – release with iOS 9 and ended with iOS 15.1 & iPhone SE 2016 – release with iOS 9.3.2 and ended with iOS 15.7).
Not only did Google not mention this during the event, but it also looks like it went out of its way to hide it and mislead users.
While explaining Pixel feature drops during the event, Google said that both phones would receive “5 years of updates,” without mentioning or acknowledging that two of those five years would be for security patches only. The company also avoided mentioning it in the Pixel 7 lineup’s spec sheet.