The original Pixel and Pixel XL still offer unlimited original-quality photo backups for the lifetime of the devices, Google confirmed earlier this week in a statement provided to Android Police. The Mountain View, California-based tech giant caused some confusion when it detailed the imaging capabilities of the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, mentioning that both will offer unlimited backup storage but with some provisions. Unlimited original-quality photo and video backups only apply to files uploaded until January 15th, 2021 for the new devices, after which your backups will either count toward your Google Drive storage cap or be uploaded in what Google refers to as a "high-quality" variant of the original files. The previously uploaded photographs and videos won't be downgraded or deleted from Google's servers but any backups created through Google Photos after the aforementioned date won't be saved in their original quality or will count toward your cap.
No such limitations were mentioned in the context of the Pixel and Pixel XL when the Alphabet-owned company announced its first Pixel-series devices in late 2016, with the internet giant now confirming that owners of its previous Android flagships have nothing to worry about. As long as you have your 2016 Pixel flagship on you, any photos and videos taken with it can be uploaded to Google Drive and will be preserved forever in their original quality, the firm said. It's presently unclear what prompted Google to change its backup offer between the Pixel and Pixel 2 lineups, though its original deal was possibly a way for the company to reward its most loyal customers who opted to purchase the first generation of its smartphones. Both offers are also tied to their respective devices and not to any particular Google Account, meaning that you should be able to resell your Pixel or Pixel 2 together with its cloud storage benefits.
The Pixel 2 is set to start shipping to customers next week, with the Pixel 2 XL releasing next month. Much like it was the case with the original series, the new devices are boasting their imaging capabilities as one of their main selling points that the unlimited cloud storage offering is meant to complement, as previously suggested by Google.