Google Ends Free Unlimited Photos Storage With Pixel 5a

Google Pixel 5a AM AH 7

Google has reportedly confirmed that its Pixel 5a with 5G won’t have unlimited storage in Google Photos. Specifically, that applies both to “Original quality” and “Storage saver” quality photos in the cloud-storage app. While not necessarily surprising, this is the first Pixel-branded handset to ship without free space for images.

This has been coming and it’s no surprise that it starts with this phone

Now, unlimited storage was previously something Google offered. And not just for Pixel-branded handsets. But it’s also a feature that has been waiting to go away for quite some time. The company announced last year, in fact, that it would be ending support.

The end of support started with non-Pixel handsets just a few short months ago. With Pixel handsets such as the Google Pixel 4a retaining unlimited storage for space-saving image uploads. Since it was previously known that even Pixel smartphones would lose the feature, it should come as no surprise that starts with the latest model.


Loss of unlimited storage in Photos will likely be particularly painful for buyers of the Pixel 5a with 5G, however. Among other attributes touted for the newly-announced handset, the cameras are a top feature. The phone includes support for Night Sight, Live HDR+, Cinematic Pan, and Portrait Light modes. But this year Google ramped up support for in-camera features with the addition of an ultra-wide lens. And an associated Ultrawide mode.

So this year’s model ships with both a 12-megapixel primary snapper and a 16-megapixel sensor for high-detail sweeping shots. Those will now be taking up more space in Google Photos, for those who use the service.

There’s only one way to get more photo storage if you’re running low on Pixel 5a with 5G

All of that means that Google Photos users who buy the new smartphone will need to pay for more storage if they want to stay with the service. Especially if they’re already running out of space, for those who don’t want to try out other apps instead. Google presently offers several tiers of service with the 200GB, 1TB, and 2TB plans available. Those start at $2.99 per month and range up to nearly $20 per month, which may well be worth it if the cameras turn out to be as good as claimed.