This is why you shouldn't buy your new Pixel phone directly through Verizon

This is why you shouldn't buy your new Pixel phone directly through Verizon
If there's ever been a phone to create for a rift in the Android community, it's the new Pixel and Pixel XL from Google. Although the Google Store has already completely sold out of the 128GB XL, a lot of you out there have voiced your opinion that you won't be purchasing Google's latest handset. No matter what your opinion is on Google's first official smartphone, you really can't deny that there's some pretty interesting things going on with the handset. Between the tight integration with the Google Assistant, fancy new launcher with Android 7.1, unlimited storage for full-resolution photos/video, and so much more, there's a lot of new to be had with the Pixel handsets.

At the Made by Google event that took place last Tuesday, the company announced that Verizon would be the exclusive carrier for the new Pixel phones in the United States. Verizon doesn't have the best history at all when it comes to Google's now deceased Nexus line, so there's good reason as to why there's a bit of concern surrounding Google's decision to allow Verizon to be the only carrier to offer the Pixel and Pixel XL for the entire country. We recently got word that Verizon-branded Pixel phones would come with considerably less bloatware than any other Verizon smartphone to date, but there's still one door open that's yet to be addressed - the software updates.

The fine folks over at 9to5Google recently reached out to Verizon to get an official word from the company in regards to how software updates will be handled with Pixel and Pixel XL phones that are purchased directly through the carrier, and this is the response that they got -

With this statement, we're left with a little bit of good news, and a rather large amount of bad news. The good news is that Google will be in charge of the monthly security updates, so the integrity and safety of your Verizon Pixel phone will be handled through Google itself. However, since Verizon will be in charge of the actual system updates, Pixel phones that are bought directly through Verizon will more than likely take longer to receive firmware updates as they're released. Why is this though? Once Google has new firmware that they've made publicly available, Verizon will have to first get their hands on it, make any tweaks that they see fit, and then release it to Verizon-branded Pixel phones.

If you remember anything at all about the Galaxy Nexus from 2011, you'll know that Verizon's handling of software updates for that phone was completely and utterly atrocious. We're praying to the high Heavens that this won't be the case with the Pixel phones, but if you aren't a risk taker, do yourself a favor and just purchase the Google Pixel or Pixel XL directly through the Google Store. Even though it's unlocked, the phone will still work perfectly fine on Verizon's network. You can either purchase the phone outright or use the financing options that Google has available, so there really isn't any reason to buy the phone directly through Verizon. 

What are your thoughts on Verizon handling software updates for the Pixel phones? Do you think things will go without a hitch? Or do you think we'll be looking at another Galaxy Nexus?

Related phones

  • Display 5.0" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 12.3 MP / 8 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 821, Quad-core, 2150 MHz
  • Storage 128 GB
  • Battery 2770 mAh(26h talk time)
Pixel XL
  • Display 5.5" 1440 x 2560 pixels
  • Camera 12.3 MP / 8 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 821, Quad-core, 2150 MHz
  • Storage 128 GB
  • Battery 3450 mAh(32h talk time)




Posts: 1461; Member since: Mar 09, 2010

I am not buying this since I passed it up for the explosive Note 7. However, If I were to buy it I would not leave my current carrier to buy it from Verizon. Google seems hell bent on over looking it's greatest supporter....the Consumer. I loved the OG Nexus 5/6, and I also am trying the Google Fi. If I wanted this I would just buy it from Google to bypass the exclusive BS from Verizon. Google seems to think that The carriers are it's biggest ally when in fact it is us the consumer

2. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

This telling me that Google is another OEM like Samsung, Sony, HTC or Huawei. There no guarantee that Google itself would give you the system update when they want to sell you another new pixel phone. I beginning to think Oracle Java lawsuit is the only driving factor that would force the urgency of Android 7 rollout. Very surprise at the turn of events. But i think we had it coming low competition means a higher price tag for consumers always.

3. sgtdisturbed47

Posts: 970; Member since: Feb 02, 2012

Let's face it, only Apple can seem to control their own updates when it's on Verizon. Not sure why Google allows the carrier to intervene on updates and add their own junk. Apple doesn't allow it, neither should anyone else.

9. Napalm_3nema

Posts: 2236; Member since: Jun 14, 2013

It's about power. Apple started on one carrier in the U.S., and that carrier allowed them to do what they wanted. By the time Apple's exclusive deal with AT&T was up, the iPhone was the best-selling smartphone model in the world. That meant Apple got to dictate terms. Google doesn't have this luxury. While they have Android, they actually have very little control over the OS and they are a bit player in actual smartphone hardware. It seems easy to say "Google should force X or Y," but they have little smartphone brand awareness and no leverage. The carriers will never cede that kind of power to an OEM again, in my opinion.

19. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

At its current arrangement getting an iPhone from carrier make more sense than a Google pixel. However, if i am buying from retail Google pixel still present a better price features prospect.

10. Awalker

Posts: 1986; Member since: Aug 15, 2013

Apple and Google are in different positions. Apple would walk away if Verizon demanded their apps be installed on the iPhone and that they wanted a say in the update process. Google, on the other hand can't just walk away. Google needs the largest carrier if they hope to have any chance of success in the market.

20. NexusX

Posts: 613; Member since: May 16, 2013

Because iPhone sells itself. A pixel phone would probably sit in the corner forever if the Verizon reps doesn't push it on the average consumer

4. barrykar

Posts: 8; Member since: Mar 31, 2011

I have question if I go to Best Buy and buy it for my Verizon account are they unlocked???

18. Awalker

Posts: 1986; Member since: Aug 15, 2013

No, Best Buy is selling the Verizon version which is locked. Your best bet is to buy it from the Google Store and throw your Verizon sim in the phone.

21. xocomaox

Posts: 202; Member since: Dec 14, 2015

Technically all the Verizon 4G LTE phones are unlocked. This is a law in the US as well as Verizon's own policy. The stipulation here is what it has to first be activated with a Verizon SIM. Once activated, it can freely move about the carriers.

6. Nine1Sickness

Posts: 896; Member since: Jan 30, 2011

Google Droid Pixel XL Bloatware Edition.

7. iC-118

Posts: 260; Member since: Sep 29, 2016

Ugly fugly edition. God I hate this phone. Where's the New Neus?

8. lyndon420

Posts: 6883; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

Nice to see Google implementing installment plans.

11. jeroome86

Posts: 2314; Member since: Apr 12, 2012

F youuuuuuuuuuuu Verizon. How did Google screw the pooch so bad. Bet the updates will come slower then the Nexus phones. Never again Verizon. You corrupt evil overrated carrier.

12. Barney_stinson

Posts: 672; Member since: May 30, 2016

But why you are buying pixel man!!!!???

13. Scott93274

Posts: 6040; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

I can has cheeseburger?

15. kiko007

Posts: 7521; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

Does he has nuggets?

14. IronTech

Posts: 153; Member since: May 27, 2016

Because it doesn't run iOS.

16. Sakeem

Posts: 865; Member since: Sep 05, 2012

Well that settles it for me. I won't be buying Pixel through Verizon.

17. emmawilliam834

Posts: 241; Member since: Feb 09, 2016

The biggest news is that Google Assistant, which is sort of like a souped-up version of Siri for Android, will remain exclusive to the Pixel and Pixel XL, in the near future at least.

22. niteiknight

Posts: 77; Member since: Aug 02, 2012

This is all so disappointing. There's no good reason for ceding control of software updates to Verizon, just very anti-consumer all around. Like I still hope that it does well, but now I hope it does well in spite of Verizon and not because of it. I feel bad for anyone who gets the Verizon variant.

23. tedkord

Posts: 17479; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

If you are on Verizon, beware buying the pixel from Google. There's a good chance that Verizon won't allow a phone not sourced from them on their Network. They're very hostile to non Verizon phones.

25. jskinvest

Posts: 7; Member since: Mar 19, 2016

Most of the Pixels will be bought through Verizon. Even Google's commercials say exclusively through Verizon. I cannot imagine that the phones sold through Verizon will have any meaningful delays in software updates. This is Google's flagship phone and I am confident that they will work closely with Verizon to provide speedy updates. The galaxy nexus debacle was a long time ago and not relevant. Just my thought (or hope).

26. roldefol

Posts: 4745; Member since: Jan 28, 2011

There's only one reason I would buy the phone from Verizon, and that's trade-in. They're offering $200 for my three year old Droid if I buy the Pixel. And given that the Pixel is overpriced at Google, that actually makes a difference.

27. ePoch270

Posts: 193; Member since: Sep 26, 2013

If I buy it straight from the play store, can I take it into Verizon and have it activated? I know with the GNex there were different versions and you couldn't use the unlocked model on Verizon, since it had no CDMA modem? Is that no longer the case, is it identical internal hardware wise?

28. roldefol

Posts: 4745; Member since: Jan 28, 2011

If it's anything like the unlocked Nexus 5X/6P last year, it should be that simple. I didn't need to worry about activation, since I already had an active Verizon nano-SIM. I literally just removed the SIM from my Droid, stuck it in my Nexus, and was ready to roll.

29. ePoch270

Posts: 193; Member since: Sep 26, 2013

Cool. Thanks alot

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