One of the biggest questions surrounding Google’s Pixel that we’ve noticed people asking about is how its Verizon exclusivity will affect it. Being the only carrier Google has partnered with, we would hope that the company had pulled some strings with Verizon to keep tight control over devices sold through the carrier. But this is Verizon we’re talking about…
Nomad case for Pixel 3
Just yesterday it was confirmed that any Pixel sold through Verizon would come with a locked bootloader. While that’s disappointing to people like you and me, it’s not a big deal at the end of the day. Likewise, Verizon is also pre-loading a few apps on the Pixel, although it does sound like you’ll be able to uninstall most of it.
Then comes the question of updates. Will Verizon be involved? I’ve seen several people ask that question, so I decided it was time to get some further clarification. A Google spokesperson had the following to say regarding the matter:
Monthly security updates will come from Google (for all models), and system updates will be managed by Verizon for Verizon models, and Google for unlocked models bought from Google Store.
So the good news here is that Google will still be pushing monthly security updates to all Pixel devices, Verizon models included. On the other hand, Verizon will be in charge of system updates, aka future versions of Android. Google will still make the updates, but Verizon will push them to devices it has sold.
The takeaway from this? Buy your Pixel from Google. The monthly financing options are the same, and that unlocked model still works on Verizon. If it wasn’t a no-brainer enough, there you go.