During its unveiling of the Pixel 3a at its I/O Developer’s Conference Tuesday, Google highlighted several of the $399 phone’s best features: Night Sight, Call Screen, and of course, the price. But one of them had me scratching my head: Free unlimited storage in high quality with Google Photos. It was spotlighted on the main stage and also earns a spot on the Pixel 3a overview page. But make sure you read the fine print.
It might sound good, but note the promise is for storage of high quality, and not original quality. In fact, every person with a Google account who downloads the Photos phone app gets high-quality storage—even iPhones. The upshot is the 3a doesn’t share the same Photos policy as the more expensive Pixel 3. Just check out this Google Photos support page if you don’t believe me. As Google states, high-quality backups are a benefit of singing up for a Google Account and downloading the Google Photos app: