Alongside the full reveal of the Google Pixel 6 and the Google Pixel 6 Pro, Google quietly took the covers off Pixel Pass, a new way to get a Pixel phone and a suite of premium services from the search giant, all for a monthly fee.
For a flat price starting at $45 a month for U.S. customers, you can get a brand new Pixel 6 phone with access to Google One, YouTube Premium and YouTube Music Premium, as well as Google Play Pass and Preferred Care.
- See our hands-on Google Pixel 6 review and Google Pixel 6 Pro review
- These are the best phones now
- Plus: Google Pixel 6 eraser mode is amazing — here’s how it works
Fork out $55 per month and you can swap the Pixel 6 for the Pixel 6 Pro. And after a few years you’ll have the option to upgrade to a new Pixel phone.
What is Pixel Pass?
In a nutshell, Pixel Pass is a subscription bundle that offers access to Google One, YouTube Premium and YouTube Music Premium, Google Play Pass and Preferred Care; you also get a new Pixel handset for good measure.
Doing this is one way to avoid needing to buy a Pixel phone separately and signing up to a clutch of Google services individually and then keeping track of subscription cost and renewal dates. You can liken it to a carrier contract, since after two years there'll be an option to upgrade to whatever the latest Google Pixel phone is.
Do bear in mind that SIM deals aren’t included here. So you’ll need to factor that in as an additional monthly cost, but you’d need to do that if you bought a Pixel phone outright.
Let’s break down what you get with the new Pixel Pass. First off, there’s the choice between the Google Pixel 6 and the Pixel 6 Pro. Both of these phones come with flagship specs and a custom AI-based Tensor chip, and could be contenders for the best Android phones; but we need to test them first.
Google Pixel Pass: What's included
- A Google Pixel 6 or Pixel 6 Pro phone. The overall price starts at $45 per month for the Pixel 6 Pixel Pass plan, and it goes up to $55 per month for the Pixel 6 Pro.
- Google One is a premium service that offers access to cloud storage to build upon the 15GB Google provides users for free. Storage starts at 100GB for a monthly cost of $2 or $20 for the year, and goes up to 2TB at a cost of $10 a month or $100 annually.
- YouTube Premium offers ad-free YouTube viewing for a price of $11.99. YouTube Music Premium provides music streaming and is part of the YouTube Premium subscription.
- Google Play Pass is a little like Apple Arcade, as it offers access to a raft of Android games and apps for a monthly fee of $4.99 or $29 for the year, all without adverts or in-app purchases.
- Google Preferred Care offers two years of accidental-damage coverage and one year of mechanical-breakdown coverage, which is effective after the one-year manufacturer's warranty expires. Prices vary, but for the Pixel 6 it costs $7 per month or $149 for two years of coverage, and the Pixel 6 Pro is $9 per month or $199 all in.
Is Pixel Pass worth it?
To answer that question we need to do some math and make some assumptions. Let’s say you sign up to all these services separately over a two-year period and take the cheapest option. The 24-month cost of the services alone will cost at least $534.
Add in a $599 Pixel 6 and that comes to a total of $1,133 over two years. At $899, buying the Pixel 6 Pro on top of these subscription services adds up to $1,433 over two years.
With Pixel Pass, the two-year cost of the Pixel 6 comes in at $1,080, while the Pixel 6 Pro hits $1,320 over 24 months.
If you want one of the new Pixel phones and the suite of above services then Pixel Pass is the way to go as you’ll save some $150 — not the biggest savings but a nice chunk of change over time.
If you’re not interested in these services, though, then you may be better off seeking out carrier deals that are already surfacing as part of the Pixel 6 pre-order process. Or you could wait and see if the Google Pixel 6 pops up in Black Friday deals or other sales, as often the Pixel phones can be found a bit cheaper several months after their release.