One of the benefits of owning a Nexus device is that your updates will come straight from Google themselves, thus ensuring that there are no hurdles like waiting on OEMs or carrier approval. But since the Nexus lineup is pretty much dead, so is that concept, or at least in part.
It seems that not only will the Pixel phones sold through Verizon come with a locked bootloader, but it has also been confirmed that the Verizon will be handling the system updates for the Pixel phones sold through the carrier. This means that whenever a new Android update is released, Pixel owners will have to wait for Verizon, not Google, to push it out to their phones.
“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.” Now to be fair, this is a first for both Google and Verizon so for all we know, Verizon could be prompt with how they handle the system updates, but given how carriers and OEMs have handled Android updates in the past, it is easy to see why many are a bit skeptical about this.
We’re not sure how Verizon managed to secure themselves this deal, but it seems that it is only limited to Verizon for now so if you’d rather not have the carrier manage your updates, you should probably purchase the phone elsewhere.