The Google Pixel line of smartphones is a perennial member of our list of the best Android phones. These phones pack one of the best smartphone cameras, great software, and Google AI tricks into one package. There are also some awesome Pixel-exclusive features that Google adds to give the phones an advantage over the competition.
One of the biggest draws to the Pixel line is the long and timely updates. The support life for Pixel devices has changed as the lineup has, so let’s look at what the support life is for each device.
What Android updates are there?
Android updates come in two flavors: OS updates and security updates.
OS updates are updates to new versions of Android, usually denoted by a number. For example, certain Pixel phones received an update from Android 12 to Android 13 in August 2022. OS Updates come out about once a year and usually include numerous new or improved user-facing features and under-the-hood improvements.
Security updates, on the other hand, are usually more subtle. Security updates address the security of your device, whether it’s connecting to Wi-Fi, browsing the web, or downloading files. These updates improve existing security protocols and fix new vulnerabilities discovered since the last update. Security updates do not include new features and do not usually change the way your phone works. A new security update is usually available to currently supported Pixel phones each month.
Now that we’ve discussed the types of Android updates, let’s look at how long your Pixel phone will receive updates.
How long will my Google Pixel get updates?
Google has changed its policy around updates a few times since it launched the Pixel line. Google has never explicitly stated when it will stop updating its phones, but it gives a month that it guarantees support until. Google usually sticks to this timeline but has updated some devices for a little longer.
Let’s look at where each device is in its support life.
Google Pixel 7 and Google Pixel 7 Pro
The Google Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro built on the success of the Pixel 6 series and added a new Tensor chip and more refined hardware to make for Google’s best phone yet. The Pixel 7 series was released on October 13, 2022, with a promise of OS updates until at least October 2025 and security updates until at least October 2027.
Google Pixel 6a
The Google Pixel 6a came out on July 28, 2022, with Google’s first generation Tensor chip. With the first generation Tensor comes a promise of three years of OS updates and five years of security updates. The Pixel 6a will receive Android OS updates until at least July 2025 and security updates until at least July 2027.
Google Pixel 6 and Google Pixel 6 Pro
Google’s largest refresh to the Pixel line in years was released on October 28, 2021. These phones were the first to include Google’s first generation Tensor chip. With Tensor, like the 6a, Google promises three years of OS updates and five years of security updates. This means the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro will receive OS updates until at least October 2024 and security updates until at least October 2026.
Google Pixel 5a (5G)
Released on August 26, 2021, the Pixel 5a was the last phone to use Google’s old design language. The Pixel 5a was released with a promise of three years of OS and security updates. Therefore, the Pixel 5a will likely receive its last update in August 2024.
Google Pixel 4a (5G)
The Pixel 4a (5G) was announced alongside the Pixel 5 but released about a month later, on November 5, 2020. The 4a (5G) came with the then-standard three years of OS and security updates. The end of life for the Pixel 4a (5G) will be at least November 2023.
Google Pixel 5
Google’s 2020 flagship was the last to use the old design language and came out on October 15, 2020. This phone changed Google’s approach from a flagship contender to a more budget-focused phone, even though the price didn’t necessarily reflect that. Like many older Pixel phones, the Pixel 5 promised three years of security and OS updates. The Pixel 5 will receive its last update in October 2023 or later.
Google Pixel 4a
The Pixel 4a was Google’s second A-line phone and was released on August 20, 2020. It came with three years of OS and security updates like other Pixels at the time. The Pixel 4a will receive support until at least August 2023.
Google Pixel 4 and Google Pixel 4 XL
Google’s only phones that included Google’s Soli technology were released on October 24, 2019. These phones came with three years of security and OS updates at launch. The Pixel 4 series received its last update in October 2022 and received Android 13 before support was discontinued.
Google Pixel 3a and Google Pixel 3a XL
The first A-series phones from Google came out on May 7, 2019, and are no longer receiving updates.
Google Pixel 3 and Google Pixel 3 XL
The third series of flagships made by Google was released on October 9, 2018, and are no longer supported.
Google Pixel 2 and Google Pixel 2 XL
Perhaps the most beloved Pixel phones ever, the Pixel 2 and 2 XL were released on October 19, 2017, and no longer get updates.
Google Pixel 1 and Google Pixel 1 XL
Google graced us with its first Pixel on October 20, 2016, which received its last update long ago in 2019.
Keep your Pixel’s software up to date
The Pixel series of phones are beloved by many and get better and better with each generation. Google makes it a point to update their phones quickly, which, paired with a long support life, makes owning a Pixel a delightful experience. To make sure your phone takes advantage of its long update support, it’s helpful to know how to check for a software update.