Unlimited Google Photos Backup Returns For T-Mobile Only

Just over a year ago, Google and T-Mobile (in the US) announced they were working together on Pixel, RCS and YouTube TV. Google One is also part of the partnership, and T-Mobile customers will soon be able to pay $15 a month for unlimited Google Photos backup.

Update 4/26: As previously reported, Google One’s new “2TB + Unlimited Google Photos” plan is now available for T-Mobile customers. Sign up or upgrade here after logging into your operator account.


Original 4/12: Right now, T-Mobile customers can choose between a 500GB Google One Storage Plan (another exclusive tier announced in October) for $5/month or the standard 2TB for $10.

They will soon have access to a 2TB option, which can be used for Gmail and Google Drive, which adds “unlimited Google Photos” backup for images and videos.

The ability to “store unlimited full-resolution photos and videos” is reserved for the “primary account holder only”, but the 2TB can be shared with up to five additional people.

Meanwhile, you’ll get other Google One perks like phone backup/restore, Google Photos advanced editing tools, Google One VPN (Android/iOS), and access to extended trials for YouTube Premium, Stadia , etc.

The original Pixel from 2016 offered “unlimited storage forever.” With the Pixel 2 and 3, Google began implementing a three-year end date for the Perk. This was later limited to compressed – but still unlimited – quality starting with the Pixel 3a in May 2019. In November 2020, with the Pixel 4a 5G and 5, Google ended the unlimited benefit entirely for future Pixel phones.

This comes as Google Photos in June 2021 ended unlimited backup at this reduced quality. All new photo and video uploads count towards the 15GB of free storage included with every Google Account. The company cited “increasing demand for storage” as being responsible for the change, and encouraged people to upgrade to Google One for additional storage and other benefits.

The new Google One tier “2TB+ Unlimited Google Photos” will be available on April 26 for T-Mobile customers. Google had nothing to share today about extending unlimited Google Photos access to this tier.

9to5Google’s take

Behind the scenes, T-Mobile is likely subsidizing the new storage tier in some way as part of a larger partnership. As such, internally, the price of this new perk is most likely not just an extra $5 for Google.

Following last year’s storage change, many people are frankly surprised that Google is even bringing back unlimited backup. In the grand scheme, an additional $5 is quite reasonable, although switching carriers increases the barrier to adoption.

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