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Um, why is the Google Pixel 6 $100 more on Verizon and AT&T?

Google Pixel 6 review
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Google officially lifted the veil off its new Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro smartphones today (Oct. 19). However, one detail that wasn't fully unveiled was the Pixel 6's price discrepancy. Google Pixel 6 preorders from the Google Store and T-Mobile start from $599.99 and $899.99 for the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, respectively. 

However, preorders at Verizon start at $699.99 for the base model. Meanwhile, AT&T is charging a heftier $739.99 and $939.99 for Google's flagships. Sure, there are plenty of aggressive deals that help lower the prices, but if you're wondering why there's such a dramatic price difference the answer is simple. 

There are multiple Pixel 6 models available for preorder, as explained by this Google chart. The GB7N6 is the basic model ($599) with no millimeter-wave 5G support. It only offers Sub-6GHz support. 

Meanwhile, the G9S9B offers mmWave support. This is the model sold by Verizon and AT&T, which explains why the Pixel 6 models for those carriers cost more than the models at Google and T-Mobile. (All Pixel 6 Pro models sold in the U.S. get mmWave support.)

Sub-6GHz vs. mm-wave 5G

The 5G standard is comprised of low-, mid- and high-band spectrums. As a result, 5G networks operate on different frequencies with Sub-6GHz and mmWave (20-60GHz) at the low and high ends of the spectrum.

Although mmWave 5G offers exponentially faster speeds than Sub-6GHz 5G, it's more limited in terms of range. That means a phone with mmWave 5G support will need to be located somewhat close to a 5G tower to truly enjoy those faster speeds. 

This may work in major metropolitan areas where there are multiple towers spread throughout the city, but it's less of a possibility in rural areas. Because of that, mmWave 5G rollout has been slow and it's available only in select cities.

Not sure which Pixel 6 is right for you? Make sure to check out our Google Pixel 6 review and Google Pixel 6 Pro review for our hands-on reviews of the new flagships. 

Louis Ramirez

As deals editor at Tom’s Guide, Louis is constantly looking for ways to avoid paying full price for the latest gadgets. With over 10 years of deals-hunting experience, Louis price checks against multiple retailers and searches high and low for the best deals to bring readers. A born-and-bred New Yorker, Louis is also an avid swimmer and marathoner. His work has appeared on Gizmodo, CNET, and Time Out New York.