Will Google’s Pixel 6 and 6 Professional work with 5G? The reply is sophisticated

Pixel 6 Pro is the premium phone Google needs right now

The Pixel 6 Professional. 

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Google’s new Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Professional, launched at Google’s October Pixel occasion Tuesday, each appear poised to rival the iPhone 13 and the Galaxy S21 as the perfect telephones of 2021. They boast spectacular cameras, quick processors and trendy designs. The place Google seems to vary from its Apple and Samsung rivals, a minimum of on the primary day of preorders, is in whether or not its new telephones will work with the newest 5G networks. 

The quick reply? It is very sophisticated, significantly in case you’re seeking to purchase a telephone immediately from a provider or unlocked from Google itself, or from a 3rd get together like Finest Purchase. Whereas you should buy a brand new iPhone 13, put your SIM card in and know that it is going to be ready to make use of the newest networks out of your provider, the identical cannot be stated proper now in regards to the Pixel 6.  

At subject seems to be deciphering a mixture of a number of unclear net pages from the search big. Google’s most important Pixel 6 and 6 Professional tech specs pages all record two completely different fashions: one which helps all flavors of 5G — millimeter-wave and “Sub-6” (which is a time period that encompasses midband and low-band 5G) — and one other that helps Sub-6 networks however not millimeter-wave. 

A assist web page, in the meantime, says that the Pixel 6 will assist all flavors of 5G within the US whereas the 6 Professional will probably be restricted to simply the millimeter-wave taste. 

It is a mess, however here’s what we all know proper now and what it’s best to know in case you’re pondering of shopping for Google’s newest telephones.


The sophisticated record of US provider assist on Google’s Pixel assist web page. 

Screenshot by Eli Blumenthal/CNET

The Pixel mess


Andrew Hoyle/CNET

With the Pixel 6, Google seems to be sending combined messages. Relying on which web page and effective print you have a look at, the gadget might or might not work with all variations of your provider’s 5G community.

And there does appear to be a discrepancy, each within the gadgets and the pricing. Verizon confirmed to CNET that purchasing a Pixel 6 or 6 Professional immediately from Verizon will get you a telephone that works on all of its flavors of 5G, millimeter-wave and Sub-6. 

There may be, nevertheless, a premium for the Verizon Pixel 6. When shopping for immediately from Verizon the telephone will value you $700, or roughly $100 greater than Google costs for an unlocked Pixel 6 bought immediately from the Google Retailer. In fact, whether or not that unlocked Pixel 6 for $100 much less will work with Verizon’s millimeter-wave community stays a thriller. 

The 6 Professional begins at round $900 from each Google and Verizon. 

AT&T tells CNET one thing comparable. When shopping for immediately from AT&T, each the Pixel 6 and 6 Professional will assist millimeter-wave and Sub-6 variations of 5G. AT&T’s subject? Its pricing begins at $740 for the Pixel 6 and $940 for the 6 Professional, each increased than what Google costs for unlocked variations. A consultant for the provider didn’t share a motive why its pricing is costlier. 

Like its rival, AT&T couldn’t affirm if the unlocked fashions would work with all flavors of its 5G. 

T-Cell, in the meantime, matches Google’s pricing of $599 for the Pixel 6 however its mannequin solely helps the midband and low-band variations of 5G, not millimeter-wave. The 6 Professional, which helps all flavors of 5G on the provider, is equally priced to what Google costs. It stays unclear what networks an unlocked mannequin may connect with. 

Google has not responded to a number of CNET requests for remark. 

The completely different flavors of 5G

Google Pixel 6 Pro

James Martin/CNET

As individuals have been holding onto their telephones for longer intervals of time, it is sensible that when shopping for a brand new gadget as we speak you will have it to be able to tapping into the newest 5G networks for the subsequent few years.

US carriers, particularly Verizon and AT&T, have been actively deploying millimeter-wave 5G throughout elements of a number of dozen cities (plus stadiums, arenas and airports) across the nation. Verizon, particularly, has been touting its millimeter-wave community (known as “Extremely Wideband”) in its early 5G advertising and marketing over the previous few years. 

T-Cell has carried out some millimeter-wave 5G rollouts, however has largely centered on the opposite Sub-6 types of 5G. 

Millimeter-wave is the quickest model of 5G. It has obtain speeds that may attain a number of gigabits per second but it surely suffers from severely restricted protection, significantly outdoor the place it may be restricted to only a few choose blocks in a metropolis or sections in a stadium. It additionally struggles to penetrate indoors. 

Low-band 5G presents the perfect protection and may work effective indoors. but it surely usually has speeds equal to a very good 4G LTE connection. 

Midband 5G, as its title implies, presents a center floor between the 2: considerably sooner speeds than 4G LTE whereas nonetheless overlaying a wider space and dealing indoors. T-Cell has been probably the most energetic of the US carriers with deploying midband 5G so far (what it calls Extremely Capability), and has beforehand stated it plans to cowl 200 million individuals nationwide with this service earlier than the tip of 2021. 

AT&T and Verizon have every spent billions of {dollars} in current months shopping for up midband spectrum often known as C-band, with each planning to start deploying the networks beginning on the finish of this 12 months and into early 2022. 

Each carriers have instructed CNET that the Pixel 6 and 6 Professional ought to be appropriate with their respective C-band networks. T-Cell did not instantly reply when requested if its Pixel telephones would assist its C-band community because of begin arriving on the finish of 2023

Learn extra: 5G Extremely Wideband, 5G UC, 5G Plus– we clarify the provider 5G names

What do you have to do? 

The provider assist for the Pixel 6 is a giant drawback. No person needs to purchase a telephone, discover out it would not work as anticipated after which need to return it and undergo the method once more. Sadly, proper now the one strategy to know you are getting a Pixel that works together with your provider is to purchase immediately from that provider. 

For those who’re capable of reap the benefits of a trade-in or improve deal this may not be a nasty possibility, significantly at AT&T or Verizon the place the deal may offset the worth distinction between shopping for from a provider or shopping for from Google. 

As for getting immediately from Google? You might wish to maintain off till the corporate clarifies what’s going on.

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