Google Pixel and Pixel XL will this time be available through Verizon Wireless, the leading mobile carrier in the U.S. While this might sound interesting, there are some huge gaps in this deal – gaps that should only be obvious once the handsets are here.
For starters, Verizon Wireless is known for its sluggish nature when it comes to rolling out software updates as well as support for its devices. With a Verizon-branded Google Pixel and Pixel XL, we may be facing the same old-age story of software updates rolling out weeks or even months after Google unveils the same to its Nexus and well, Pixel lineup.
Google has also confirmed that it will not be handling software updates for the Verizon Wireless model, something that means there could always be delays in receiving the updates, somehow. On the other hand, the carrier claims that the Google Pixel and Pixel XL will have no preinstalled Verizon apps, instead, users will only come across Play Store apps that include a bunch from Google and three from Verizon – VZ Messages, Go90, and My Verizon.
Without too much dilly-dallying, here is a look at the 5 important things you should know before you buy a Google Pixel or Pixel Xl phone from Verizon.
You get more buying options on Verizon Wireless
When you buy a Google Pixel or Pixel XL from Verizon Wireless, you get the same hardware as well as pricing for the phones. You have the option to pay for it outright or opt for a financing program. In addition, both platforms are throwing a free Daydream View VR headset for those who pre-order any of the two phones.
However, it only gets better when you are buying from Verizon Wireless as there is also room to trade in your old phone. This, depending on the condition of the handset, will get you credit of up to $300. Still, there is always the option of selling the old phone on your own and get whatever you may.
If any of these two deals are nothing close to what you want, there is another at Best Buy where when you buy a Pixel or Pixel XL and activate it on Verizon, you get a $100 gift card alongside a 2015 Chromecast for free.
The Google Store Version also works with Verizon Wireless
There have been numerous ads claiming that the Google Pixel and Pixel XL are “exclusive” to Verizon. Well, this is not the case, rather, it is only Verizon Wireless that is offering the handset in the U.S. As for the rest of the carriers, you can simply go for the Google Store version. This latter version is also compatible with Verizon Wireless, meaning that even if you want to use the carrier, you can still get the phone outside of its stores.
Verizon versions come with more preloaded apps
All this time, Google phones have always been known for their pure Android experience they offer. What this means is that you don’t get to deal with lots of apps and services that OEMs preinstall on devices – most of which are already part of the Android ecosystem or have no use for the user.
If you get a Google Pixel or Pixel XL from Verizon Wireless, you will get a few extra apps as compared to what the Google Store version comes with. According to the carrier, there won’t be any preloaded Verizon apps. However, it has three of its own apps listed under Preloaded Play Store apps, which tends to mean that these apps should be removable. These include Verizon Messages, My Verizon, and Go90.
Uncertainties on timely software updates
As noted earlier, Verizon Wireless tends to lag behind when it comes to rolling out software updates. This could be a major problem when it comes to the Google Pixel and Pixel XL handsets bought from the carrier. Even though the company claims that it is committed to seeing the locked units receive Android updates at the same time as the unlocked units, it is one thing to say and completely another thing to do.
While it is not certain how this will turn out, getting a Pixel or Pixel XL through Verizon is a bit of a risk, for you may get updates on time or end up with the usual delays that sometimes take months.
No unlockable bootloaders on Verizon variants
If you are the type who enjoys playing around with the software experience on your phone, you may want to stay off the Verizon-sold Google Pixel and Pixel XL.
A bootloader that can be unlocked will let you install custom ROMs and remove preloaded apps, including Google’s own apps that include the recent Allo and Duo. If you dream of doing this, get a Google Pixel or Pixel XL from the Google Store.