People who purchase the Android 7.1 Nougat-based Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones directly from the Google Store and then decide to use Verizon’s network will still be able to access two of the carrier’s big features.
According to what both Google and Verizon have told Android Police, unlocked Pixel phones from the Google Store will be able to utilize both Wi-Fi Calling and HD Voice features when they are using Verizon’s network. That also includes Pixel phones that are purchased via Google’s Project Fi service.
Verizon and Google have already confirmed that any Android system and security updates for the Pixel phones will be released simultaneously for both Verizon and unlocked Google Store owners of those products. The upshot of all of this is that Google Store buyers can get a fully unlocked Pixel phone, use it on Verizon and still get all of the carrier’s features. It will also still get quick updates from Google, but without the carrier’s unlockable bootloader.
If you decide to buy the Pixel phones from Verizon that also means three of the carrier’s bloatware apps will be pre-installed on those devices, although Verizon has also confirmed they can be deleted at any time, so there’s that.
So if you want to stick with Verizon but also want to be free of all the carrier’s bloatware out of the box, you really should get the Pixel phone from the Google Store. Are the Wi-Fi Calling and HD Voice features big enough to influence your decision to use the unlocked Pixel phones on Verizon’s network? Would you rather buy the unlocked Pixel phones to use on another carrier instead?