In November 2020, Google had announced a change in the policy of Google Photos Storage Limit. It had decided to stop offering unlimited storage at “high quality”. The change was to be effective from June 1st, 2021. For the end-user, the change meant shelling out money once the allotted storage of HQ photos and videos exceeded 15 gigs.
The change in Google Photos unlimited storage policy excluded all the High-quality photos, videos, and documents uploaded to the account before 1st June. After the deadline is over, all will be count against the allocated free unlimited photo storage limit of 15GB.
The Google Pixel owners had an edge over others. The day they purchased, they were promised free unlimited photo storage. For Google Pixel 1 users it has been unlimited original quality uploads for life. For Pixel 2 and Pixel 3 owners, the offers of unlimited original quality uploads for 2/3 years, unlimited high-quality uploads forever. For Pixel 4 and Pixel 5 users, it has been unlimited high-quality uploads forever.
The same has been confirmed by Google’s premium experiences guy while replying to a rumor clarification
The point to be noted here is that the offer of “google photos unlimited storage pixel” is available only for the current Pixel devices. The 15GB cap in Google Photos unlimited storage will be valid for the imminent launch of Pixel 5a and Google Pixel 6 rumored to launch in December 2021. It will be a huge bummer for future pixel phones that won’t sport this feature.
Raja also clarified that “HQ uploads from Pixels 2-5” will continue to be free till the lifecycle of these models.
The point to be noted here is that Google Photos unlimited free storage is not applicable for original quality from the original Pixel from 1st June. It means that have to switch my Pixel from “original quality” to HQ else it will eat the storage quota. Pixel owners will have to add a viable option to backup original quality videos and high-quality photos.
The option of free unlimited photo storage has been a defining feature of the Pixel line and one of the reasons to justify no sd card slot. Pixel owners feel cheated because Google had committed to storing original quality at the time the devices were sold. With this move, they feel the company is trying to make money from its own products.
Users have started thinking of Google Photos alternative and Amazon photos has come out to be a popular choice. Being Amazon prime member is beneficial as one is entitled to free unlimited photo storage.
Before wrapping up, Google Photos on average occupy 1-4MB approx. In other words, more than 300 photos will eat up 1 GB of space. Having Gmail and Drive storage, there will be a lot of space for your uploads. The current storage of Google Photos can be checked from here. But free storage of HQ photos is not a bad deal for Pixel owners.