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.
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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.