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Fast Charge: The last Pixel 2 update proves Google is the ‘value for money’ king

The constant cycle of upgrades and newer tech has forced many a smartphone user to abandon their handset in favour of the latest model, but with the final update for the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, Google has offered a level of smartphone longevity that can’t be beaten on the Android scene.

Earlier this week, Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL users received the definitive final update for their handsets, with one last patch from Google to fix some bugs and bolster software security before being left to gracefully retire.

Admittedly, if you’re not among the crowd of people still touting a Pixel 2 then the benefits of this final patch won’t be obvious, but it’s quite a feat to see an Android phone that’s over three years old (and three generation out of date) still receiving recognition from its manufacturer.

Related: Pixel 5 review

This level of attention to legacy devices has traditionally been afforded to the iOS crowd. For example, the latest iPhone software – iOS 14 – was made available for the iPhone 6S upwards. The iPhone 6S came out in 2015, and you’d be hard pushed to see that same level of support for any other phone that came out in the same year, which is exactly why Google’s bid to change this is huge news, not just for Android users but also for the environment.

It’s no secret that the constant cycle of upgrades, and the amount of power that goes into making these new phones, is bad news for climate change. It’s because of that reality that Apple’s done away with bundling power bricks with the iPhone 12 range (much to the ire of the general public), but any moves away from the current business model should be supported, particularly as it provides even better value for money to consumers.

To be fair to the competition, Samsung has started to make similar waves in this area, offering software updates and security for at least three years in its latest handsets. This is great news for Android users, but it would be even better to see this taken to the same lengths that the Apple crowd have become comfortably used to for the last couple of years.

Related: Pixel 4a 5G review

It’s also worth pointing out that in the same week, Google also offered some substantial quality of life updates for newer Pixel phones (from the Pixel 3 onwards to be exact). The highlight feature of these updates is ‘Adaptive Sound’, which uses a phone’s mic to better understand the acoustics of a room and tweak the speaker’s audio accordingly.

Between improvements like these and Google seemingly doing away with the Android trend of abandoning aging tech, there’s a solid case to be made that buying a Pixel in 2020 is one of the best smartphone investments you can make.

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