Google is refusing to update recent Pixel smartphones with C-band 5G, despite the fact the hardware can support it.
The current generation of Google smartphone is the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro. Nonetheless, the Pixel 5a is still a very popular device, especially since Google still sells it unlocked for $449. Unfortunately, Google has said it will not activate C-band 5G on the Pixel 5a, 5, or 4a 5G, according to The Verge. All three devices have the hardware to support C-band, with the 5 even having FCC approval, and just need a software update for activation.
The news is especially unfortunate since both Verizon and AT&T are investing heavily in C-band spectrum, considered the ideal option to provide the best combination of speed, range, and building penetration.
Leaving recent Pixels out of the C-band upgrade is a low blow to the company’s customers, especially those that purchased brand-new 5a devices barely six months ago. Google already struggles to match Apple’s reputation for supporting iPhones six and seven years after release. Refusing to activate a critical feature a mere six months later, however, is a new low.