For an average Joe (or Jane), the primary attraction towards the Google Pixel family is none other than the superior photography capabilities. They seldom bother about consistent software updates or cleanliness of stock Android, but hey! A small percentage of people actually do care of those parameters.

Google Pixel 3: The current flagship offering from Google

Unlike other camera giants, Google prefers to rely on single camera sensor and a lot of post processing using a dedicated image processor (Pixel Visual Core). Some Pixel phones do have a quirky history related to stability issues, but it is virtually impossible to beat them in the game of quick updates.

As you may already know, Google announced the stable version of Android two days ago and Pixel phone got the update on the launch day. The transition was not free from hiccups though, but I can’t blame the Mountain View company for these ‘obvious’ caveats.

The original Google Pixel (2016) also gott Android 10 update

Google also uploaded the updated firmware packages in their download portal for the sake of manual sideloading. Carrier branded Pixel phones also get the OTAs directly from Google servers, but they might be delayed for a while due to internal compatibility testing.

In fact, the exact phenomenon is now happening with Pixel 3 (XL) owners on T-Mobile. While the budget oriented Pixel 3a (XL) units have got the final Android 10 OTA without a hitch, the wireless carrier decided to mark the highly anticipated update as ‘under testing’.


Some users claimed that they successfully got the update as they enlisted under the beta channel earlier. We are still not sure whether manual flashing or SIM swapping technique to force the OTA would be a good choice or not, cause there might be some incompatibilities with the modem and the network.

So while updates DO come directly from Google, carriers still have to approve them. One of the points behind Pixel phones getting updates directly from Google was that it eliminated carriers famously taking their sweet times getting phones updated. If we must have T-Mobile’s approval, it eliminates one of the key benefits of coming directly from Google.


Google did release T-Mobile specific builds on older Pixel phones in past due to cellular connection issues, and they could do the same this time. If you already got the update on your Google Pixel 3/3 XL with T-Mobile SIM, then don’t worry – most probably you will get another hotfix soon.

Pixel 2/2 XL had T-Mobile specific updates in past

How is Android 10 performing on your Pixel 3/3 XL? Let us know by commenting below.

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Kingshuk De
896 Posts

I came from a mixed background of Statistics and Computer Science. My research domains included embedded computer systems, mobile computing and delay tolerant networks in post-disaster scenarios. Apart from tinkering with gadgets or building hackintosh, I like to hop on various subreddits and forums like MyDigitalLife and XDA.

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