Google's original Pixel smartphone has enjoyed an epic run when it comes to major operating system and security updates, but the end of the road is finally in sight. Starting with November's monthly rollout of Android security updates, the Pixel is being abandoned by Google.
The Pixel has been supported for a remarkably long time -- at least for an Android device -- since its original release back in October 2016. That's one of the benefits of going with Google's hardware in the Android ecosystem, and it's rare to find continual support for 3-year-old devices from its OEM partners. In fact, Google even allowed first-generation Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones to upgrade to the current Android 10 operating system.
But while Google's three-year support window for Pixel devices is strong compared to typical Android devices -- which is made possible due to the fact that it develops both the device hardware and Android software -- Apple in general supports its devices even longer. Apple also has the advantage of being in control of the entire software/hardware stack, and currently supports devices as old as the iPhone 6s, which was launched back in 2015. Apple has even shown mercy on iPhone 5 users, making available a critical update for the 7-year-old device.
For now, the Pixel 2/Pixel 2 XL, Pixel 3/Pixel 3 XL, and Pixel 4/Pixel 4 XL will be supported for at least another year. The Pixel 2, Pixel 3 and Pixel 4 families will lose their support after October 2020, October 2021, and October 2022 respectively. As for the odd duck Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL, they are supported through May 2022.
Google's newest flagship smartphone is the Pixel 4/Pixel 4 XL, which starts at $799 and adopts a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 SoC, 6GB RAM and either 64GB of 128GB of internal storage. The smartphones also make use of a number of cool new features like Face Unlock biometric security, Project Soli hardware for gesture controls, and further enhancements for its new dual-camera system on the rear.