Google’s Pixel smartphones come with free storage for full-res photos and videos

Google just announced a new feature arriving in its just-unveiled Pixel smartphones that could make Apple iPhone owners jealous: unlimited storage for photos and videos…in full resolution. That’s something the company already provides via its Google Photos service as an option, but it requires that you use the storage in your Google Account. In other words, that means you were using storage that you’ll likely end up having to pay for, if you take a lot of photos and videos. On Pixel devices, you could save that money instead.

By default, Google Photos offers unlimited photo and video storage for free, but in “high quality” not “original” resolutions, so the upgrade to free storage in full resolution will be a big perk for new Pixel smartphone owners.

It’s also a better deal than Apple’s iCloud, which charges for storage beyond the first free, 5 GB. While iCloud isn’t as pricey as before – 50 GB is $0.99 (USD), for example – free storage is still better than the kind you have to keep paying for every year.

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In addition, the way the unlimited cloud storage feature has been implemented on Pixel devices will eliminate the concerns with running out of storage space on your phone, as it sends your media to the cloud automatically. Google even poked fun at Apple iPhone, showing a screenshot of the “storage full” message that many Apple device owners have grown to loathe.

This automatic upload feature is dubbed “Smart Storage” on the Pixel smartphones, and it’s what handles the background upload process. Google says it’s something you’ll only have to set up one time.

Unlimited photo and video storage will also come in handy on these devices because of the Pixel’s camera capabilities – the new phones can shoot in 4K, thanks to the 12-megapixel rear camera (with an f/2.0 lens). Plus, because your HDR+ photos and HD videos can be displayed on the TV via a Chromecast Ultra or by asking the new Google Home connected speaker, having them available in full resolution seems more appropriate, as well.