One of the key selling points of Google’s Pixel smartphone (and Nexus phones before them) is that, unlike most Android devices, they come with a guarantee of two years of major operating system updates and three years of monthly security updates.
Sometimes you get lucky and Google keeps supporting them for a little longer than promised. The original Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones launched in October, 2016 and weren’t expected to get Android 10. But they did.
Then Google rolled out a November security update for the Pixel 2, 3, and 4 series phones… and skipped the first-gen Pixels. Much digital ink was spilled memorializing the original Pixel reaching the end of life.
It turns out the phones aren’t quite out of updates… they’re just almost out of updates.
According to The Verge, Google has one more update planned — the company will release a December update that includes security updates and/or bug fixes for the phone. And then that’ll be it.
That said, there’s always the DIY option. If you’re willing to unlock the bootloader of your phone you’ll lose a little bit of security that comes with keeping it locked, but you’ll also be able to load custom ROMs that incorporate the latest bug fixes and features, among other things.
And that leads to another benefit of buying Pixel-branded phones. They tend to be popular with hackers and independent developers, which means there’s a pretty active community of folks building custom ROMs and other software tweaks for phones like the original Pixels.