If you are a Google Photos user, you are probably already aware and if you are not, I will give you a summary: as of June 2021, unlimited free storage ends. Since then, everything uploaded will take up space on Google OneErgo, it will be time to checkout as we upload more and more photos.
It is something that users such as a server, who have been using the service since 2015 (when it was launched), we rate as a low blow. After getting used to the good stuff, Google ruthlessly took it away from us. I have my life uploaded to Google Photos, literally my first photo is from January 5, 2001, and frankly, this google move sat me down regulinchi.
Since then I have been looking for different options to keep saving my photos. I have considered several alternatives, such as a NAS, but a few weeks ago I realized that I am an Amazon Prime user, and it turns out that Amazon Prime users have free unlimited storage on Amazon Photos. And if you are reading this it is because, finally, my photos have a new home.
From Google Photos to Amazon Photos
Let’s go by parts. Amazon Prime costs 36 euros per year or 3.99 euros per month, at least in Spain. It has a handful of perks, like access to Prime Video, free and overnight shipping on quite a few products, access to Music Prime, Prime Reading, Prime Gaming, and of course, Free unlimited storage on Amazon Photos, but not like Google Photos. Best.
Better why? Because the unlimited high-quality storage plan of Google Photos has certain consequences. The main one is compression, something that is not noticeable in the photos with the naked eye but is there. In Amazon Photos, however, the photo you upload is not compressed in any way. If you upload a 108 megapixel photo that weighs 50 MB, the photo that you will have stored in the service will be 108 megapixels and will weigh 50 MB. It also supports RAW files.
That means the photo is not lost, it does not go away, it does not compress. It’s the photo you took, period and ball. It also has a search engine based on facial recognition and EXIF data such as Google Photos, the ability to create and share albums, and something cool called “Family Album”, which allows you to invite up to five people to upload their photos to it, also without limit.
And it’s OK. It does not have the same app as Google Photos which, in my opinion, is second to none in terms of design, functionalities and options, but it is enough to upload photos to the service, manage albums and share content. It is not the best, but at least it works in conditions.
And yet it’s not perfect
After a couple of weeks using Amazon Photos, I have to say that I have had a very pleasant surprise. For private use I really like it. However, it does not have that social touch of albums shared with family and friends that Google Photos has for the simple reason that Google Photos comes pre-installed on Android phones and is, therefore, more accessible to everyone.
But the main problem is in the videos, and here I am honest: I am not a person who records videos. I don’t really care about videos. When I go on a trip or have a family event (or rather, when I went on a trip and had family events) I usually take photos. Many photos, but videos … few, and the ones I do are to share on WhatsApp and little else.
Photos you can store whatever you want, but videos … no
“Okay Jose, and why are you telling this?”, Because Amazon Photos doesn’t have unlimited video storage. What Amazon gives Prime users is 5 GB of storage on Amazon Drive, which is used to store videos. In other words, you can upload all the photos you want, but videos … no.
Personally, it doesn’t affect me too much because, as I said, I don’t usually record videos and the ones I record are usually for Xataka’s TikTok. But if you are users who record videos, Amazon Photos can get a little lame, at least if you do not intend to go through the checkout. For 9.99 euros per month you have 1 TB of storage (140 hours of video in FullHD, more or less), but it doesn’t make up for me.
If you like to record videos and do not want to sacrifice them, for the same price you have 2 TB of storage in Google One that will be shared between Google Photos, Google Drive and Gmail. If you are only looking to save photos and you are Amazon Prime users, then Amazon Photos is an alternative more than solvent to consider. In any case, there does not seem to be a perfect alternative and, somehow, it seems that sooner or later it will end up going through the box.
This article is part of a weekly section by Jose García dedicated to approaching technology from a more relaxed, personal and informal point of view that we publish in Xataka every Saturday.