We're about a week away from Google Photos turning off its most popular and unique selling point. Almost every user will soon lose out on unlimited backups and will either need to use up their existing cloud storage space or pay up for extra. As we approach this big change, there are a few smaller changes to look out for.
This story was originally published and last updated .
Free backups to Google Photos have been one of the nicest perks of the Pixel line-up, but the benefits have certainly dwindled with time. The original Pixel got unlimited original quality backups, the Pixel 2 and 3 dropped that to three years, and everything from the 3a to the 5 has only had free high quality (i.e. slightly compressed) backups. We're here to talk about the Pixel 2, though, as the three-year timespan has nearly elapsed and that perk is expiring today.
AT&T went to great lengths to resist changing its misleading 5G icon, but it needs no encouragement when it comes to changing up cellular plan options. Over the weekend, the company rolled out updates to its unlimited plans — and it looks like customers with multiple lines could save some significant cash.
T-Mobile is a bit strange in that it has two prepaid branches: T-Mobile prepaid and the newly-renamed Metro by T-Mobile. Alongside its name change, Metro introduced two new plans with unlimited LTE at $50 and $60. T-Mobile has just added a new prepaid $50/month unlimited LTE plan of its own, though it doesn't seem quite as appealing as Metro's.
Two years ago, T-Mobile announced it would only have one cellular plan moving forward - the 'ONE' plan. That didn't last long, as the ONE Plus plan became available a few months later, along with a slew of add-on packages. Now the carrier is throwing another option into the mix, called 'T-Mobile Essentials.'
I think we can all agree at this point that the term "unlimited" has become utterly meaningless in the context of phone plans. Most unlimited plans include at least a few odd limits, but Sprint's latest offerings are really impressive in how many limits they apply to "unlimited" service. The old Unlimited Freedom plan will soon be replaced by Unlimited Basic and Unlimited Plus.
Verizon announced not a second, but its third "unlimited" smartphone plan yesterday, and it goes to show just how meaningless the term has become in the US wireless industry. Verizon's new "above" unlimited plan (the tiers are "go," "beyond," and "above" for those of you playing aspirational-marketing-nonsense-vocabulary at home) is basically America's Most Red Carrier deciding it can cash in on heavy data users to the tune of an extra ten bucks, making it $95 a month.
The "above" plan raises the unlimited (but obviously not unlimited) data cap to 75GB from 22GB, the mobile hotspot allowance to 20GB from 15GB, and tosses in five "TravelPass" roaming days per month.
U.S. Cellular has never been one of the country's major carriers, but for many areas (especially rural regions), it's one of the top choices. The company's previous $70/month unlimited plan was in line with unlimited plans from the big four carriers, but now U.S. Cellular is undercutting the competition.
Back in August, Verizon split its unlimited data plan into three separate plans - Go Unlimited, Beyond Unlimited, and Business Unlimited. All three plans have limitations on video streaming, tethering, and international usage. But starting on January 25, Go Unlimited will include limited service to Mexico and Canada.
Project Fi was a great deal when it was first introduced, minus the fact that the only compatible phone was the Nexus 6. Now that carriers are re-introducing 'unlimited' plans, Project Fi's $10/GB pricing tier isn't quite as appealing as it once was. Fi has now introduced its own version of an unlimited plan, called 'Bill Protection.'