While Google will sell its Pixel and Pixel XL on the Google Store, the phones will also be sold by Verizon as Google’s exclusive US carrier partner. While the Pixels sold by Verizon will be the same as the ones sold by Google when it comes to hardware, things will be a bit different when it comes to software.
Google has confirmed that Verizon will handle the system updates for the Pixel and Pixel XL units that it sells. Meanwhile, Google will handle the security updates.
Here’s the full statement given to 9to5Google by a Google spokesperson:
"Monthly security updates will come from Google (for all models), and system updates will be managed by Verizon for Verizon models, and Google for unlocked models bought from Google Store."
That means that if you buy a Pixel or Pixel XL from Verizon, you will get security updates straight from Google, which is good since security is important. However, when it comes to system updates, which means Android OS updates, you’ll be waiting to get your updates from Verizon.
We’ll have to wait and see how Verizon does with its Pixel system updates, but the fear is that you could be waiting for updates on a Verizon Pixel longer than you would if you had a Google Pixel. When you’re buying a Pixel, one of the perks is speedy software updates, but that could change if a non-Google entity is responsible for your Pixel’s system updates.
Again, the Pixel phones haven’t even hit consumers’ hands yet, so we’ll just have to wait and see how Verizon handles the updates for its Pixel phones. But if you want to guarantee that you’ll get updates as fast as possible on your Pixel, you may want to look into buying from Google.