Pixel Go: How Google’s new Pixel 6 bundle provides up and if it might prevent cash

Pixel Pass bundles the Pixel 6 with Google's services starting at $45 a month

The Pixel Go enables you to purchase a brand new Pixel cellphone bundled with a wide range of companies.


James Martin/CNET

Google’s new Pixel Go, revealed as a part of Google’s Pixel 6 occasion Tuesday (alongside the corporate’s new Tensor chip), bundles the brand new Pixel 6 cellphone line with a wide range of Google’s personal companies. The subscription spreads out the price of the Pixel 6 or the Pixel 6 Professional over two years whereas additionally masking system safety, a 200GB Google One subscription with computerized photograph backup, YouTube Premium, YouTube Music Premium and Google Play Go.

Google additionally says that after two years, Pixel Go clients personal the cellphone and may then join a brand new Pixel Go plan to buy a brand new cellphone. The plans begin at $45 a month for 2 years when utilizing it to purchase a Pixel 6 or $55 a month for a similar time period for the Pixel 6 Professional. A further $5 per thirty days low cost comes when you additionally occur to make use of Google Fi as your cellphone service. Word that Pixel Go is just not at present obtainable within the UK or Australia.

Learn extra: Google Pixel 6 vs. 6 Professional vs. Pixel 5 vs. 5A: What are the variations?

This bundling technique is just like what Microsoft provides for its Xbox recreation consoles: The Xbox All Entry subscription covers the price of both the Xbox Collection X or Collection S whereas together with Xbox Recreation Go Final, with costs beginning at $25 a month over two years. In case you have been already going to subscribe to Recreation Go Final, that subscription truly saves a bit of money over going a la carte.


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Google touts Pixel Pass as a way to save up to $176 over two years if you use the service to get the Pixel 6 and $294 if going for the Pixel 6 Pro, but that’s incumbent on if the services provided are ones you would want to use anyway. For instance, if you prefer to use Spotify for your music and can tolerate advertisements on YouTube, a good chunk of the Pixel Pass’ value might not mean much for you. 

Let’s dig into each of the Pixel Pass’ services to see what you get, what you need to note about each benefit — and if that’s worth it in the end.

Yes, Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro are part of Pixel Pass

Standalone cost: $599 (£599, AU$999) for Pixel 6, $899 (£849, AU$1,299) for Pixel 6 Pro.

What you get: The cost of the Pixel 6 and the Pixel 6 Pro is baked into the cost of the Pixel Pass. Without Pixel Pass, the phones cost $599 for the Pixel 6 and $899 for the Pixel 6 Pro (you can also finance them starting at $24.96 per month for 24 months for the Pixel 6 and $37.46 per month on the same term for the Pixel 6 Pro). Since the phone is the most expensive portion of the overall bundle, it’s certainly worth including in the value calculation at its full price. 

This means the Pixel Pass adds about $20 per month for Pixel 6 owners or about $18 per month for Pixel 6 Pro owners, the value of which needs to be made up for with the corresponding services.

A perk of the Pixel Pass is that after paying $45 per month for the Pixel 6 or $55 per month for the Pixel 6 Pro, you fully own the phone and do not need to trade it in in order to renew your Pixel Pass towards a future device.

Important to note: This aforementioned ownership difference is a highlight, as other comparable services like the iPhone Upgrade Program or certain phone carrier programs treat the phone more like a lease in which you gain the right to trade in the phone but never actually own it. But those lease plans could be beneficial to phone enthusiasts who want to upgrade every year, without actually paying for the full price of their device.

With Pixel Pass, you buy the phone outright and you can keep it (or sell it) after two years whether you want to continue with Pixel Pass or not.

Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro smartphones

Google’s Pixel 6 phone (left) and the larger Pixel 6 Pro.


Stephen Shankland/CNET

YouTube Premium cuts the ads and boosts features

Standalone cost: $12 per month.

What you get: YouTube Premium and YouTube Music Premium fall under the same membership plan, normally $12 per month or $288 over two years, making up the largest portion of the Pixel Pass’ included services. The YouTube Premium side of the service removes advertisements that stream before and during YouTube videos (midroll ads especially are fantastic to zap away), allow you to download YouTube videos to your phone or tablet and listen to the audio of a YouTube video on a mobile device while your screen is locked (useful for long interview videos that you don’t necessarily need to watch). 

The YouTube Music Premium side of the service is Google’s answer to Spotify and other music services, providing ad-free access to both traditional albums alongside live recordings and music videos that you typically only find on the video side of YouTube. 

Important to note: A caveat for existing YouTube Premium subscribers is that Pixel Pass requires you to cancel your subscription before signing up for Pixel Pass and longtime subscribers grandfathered into the original $10 per month YouTube Red price may want to keep that in mind.

Personally, I’ve been subscribed to YouTube Premium since it launched as YouTube Red and I find its ad-free experience to be invaluable. Downloading videos for my subway commute or airplane travel has provided me hours of entertainment and I can’t stand midroll advertising breaks. However many people I know scoff at the idea of paying for YouTube and since it makes up such a large portion of the Pixel Pass value, it might be the dealbreaker for Pixel Pass if this service isn’t important to you.

Google One cloud storage for your photos and more

Standalone cost: $30 per year or $3 per month.

What you get: The 200GB Google One cloud storage, which separately is $30 for one year or $60 for two years, bumps up the 15GB of free Google storage and encompasses Gmail, Google Drive, Google Photos and other Google apps like Pixel’s Recorder app. Since Google no longer provides unlimited photo storage for Pixel phones, the higher storage tier could come particularly in handy for anyone who wants to upload their photos in full quality as opposed to using Google’s Storage Saver quality, which compresses your photos. Pixel Pass customers also can opt to pay slightly more to increase their storage further.

Important to note: While Google lists this plan as “Recommended,” you might not need 200GB of space. A lower priced 100GB plan is available at $20 per year without the Pixel Pass. Also, Google’s Storage Saver compression is quite good: I’ve personally been using that photo storage level for years and I find it preserves much of my images’ detail while shrinking the file size. While Google only began counting these photos against my Google Drive storage this year, Google’s photo management tool estimates that it would take me more than four years to fill up the 100GB of space I currently subscribe to — and by then perhaps I’ll be using some other service or will consider the upgrade.

Google Pixel 6 Pro

Google’s Pixel Pass includes services that let you store your photos, watch YouTube and play games on the phone.


James Martin/CNET

Google Play Pass for premium apps and games

Standalone cost: $30 per year or $5 per month.

What you get: Google Play Pass is an app subscription service that runs $30 per year or $60 for two years. It includes a variety of premium games and apps that normally require a purchase to download or in-app transactions. Unlike Apple Arcade, the games in this subscription are available on other platforms or as a la carte purchases, with particular highlights including Stardew Valley, Sonic the Hedgehog and Monument Valley 2. Play Pass also includes podcast apps, weather apps and other categories.

Important to note: While Play Pass may provide a curated experience, the Google Play Store is filled with free and paid choices. For podcasts, you can use Google’s own Podcasts app for free. Or maybe you would rather support a creator directly, for instance my favorite Android weather app is Appy Weather, which has a free tier with an option to upgrade to a paid tier with more features.

The value of Play Pass is entirely dependent on the way you use your phone, but is especially nebulous if you aren’t big on gaming with your phone. If you primarily just play one or two games on your phone, you might also be better off just buying those a la carte.

pixel-6-pro-6

Google’s Play Pass subscription has similarities to the Apple Arcade subscription available on the iPhone (right).


Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Preferred Care support when something goes wrong

Standalone cost: $149 for Pixel 6, $199 for Pixel 6 Pro.

What you get: Preferred Care is Google’s equivalent to AppleCare, in which Pixel customers can get support for mechanical breakdowns and accidental damage to the phone. This includes support at participating walk-in centers, which in the US includes uBreakiFix stores. For the Pixel 6, Google charges $149 for two years of coverage with up to two accidental damage claims, or $7 a month that can renew for up to three years of mechanical breakdown coverage and six accidental damage claims. For the Pixel 6 Pro that starts at $199 for two years of coverage or $9 a month.

Important to note: While the guaranteed device protection is convenient, it’s not the only way to get device coverage. Certain credit cards provide phone protection as a perk, and might not have an annual fee. For instance, I use a Capital One QuickSilver to pay for my cell phone bill and since it’s a World Elite Mastercard I can receive a reimbursement of repair costs should my phone get damaged or stolen. I haven’t personally exercised that benefit yet, so I can’t fully endorse it, but it’s been enough of an assurance that I have since skewed away from purchasing other device protection plans.

CNET sister site The Points Guy has a roundup of credit cards that include cell phone protection, but like with any credit card, it’s worth making sure to fully understand its terms, conditions and related fees.

Google Pixel 6 Pro

Before getting the Pixel Pass, you should make sure the services are of value to you.


James Martin/CNET

Grand total

So let’s say you absolutely would want the Pixel 6 phone and all of these services. Without the Pixel Pass and before taxes, the Pixel 6 comes out to $1,156 when counting the device at its full $599 value and using the two-year cost of each of the services. With the Pixel Pass, the cost is $1,080, amounting to a $76 savings. You may be wondering why Google estimates a $176 savings, but Google’s answer for that is that the amount is calculated based on the monthly pricing of each of those services as opposed to the annual rates that I am choosing to use since this is a two-year program.

For the Pixel 6 Pro, the $899 device plus the various services at annual rates without Pixel Pass come to $1,506. With the Pixel Pass, it’s $1,320 for a savings of $186. Google’s estimate of savings based on the monthly rates for all the services is $294 off over two years.

With this math, it’s clear that there is indeed some savings to be had if you are enthusiastic about each of these services and intend to make use of them regularly. I would say the most important question to ask is whether YouTube Premium or Device Protection as offered by Google is important to you, because if it isn’t you will easily be better off buying the device without the Pixel Pass. Since Google One and Google Play Pass are a much smaller portion of the overall subscription value, those two will likely make up less of a deciding factor.

Pixel Pass pricing breakdown

Product/Service Pricing
Pixel 6, standalone $599
Pixel 6 Pro, standalone $899
YouTube Premium cost, 24 months $288
200GB Google One subscription, annual rate x 2 $60
Google Play Pass, annual rate x 2 $60
Preferred Care, two-year rate $149 for Pixel 6, $199 for Pixel 6 Pro
Pixel 6 total without Pixel Pass $1,156
Pixel 6 total with Pixel Pass $1,090
Pixel 6 Pro total without Pixel Pass $1,506
Pixel 6 Pro total with Pixel Pass $1,320

What do you think of the Pixel 6 and the Pixel Pass subscription? Let us know in the comments.

Thinking of buying a Pixel phone? Here’s how to know which Pixel is still worth buying in 2021.

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