Google’s new Pixel Pass service is an all-new way to acquire the brand-new Pixel phones – the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro. It’s also going to be Google’s answer to upgrading to a new Pixel phone whenever a new model comes out. Allowing users to move into a new device at a lower cost by continuing to subscribe.
Since Pixel Pass is launching today though, it’ll remain to be seen just how much it ends up being used by consumers. If you’re interested in the new Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro and are considering Pixel Pass, this guide will serve as a means for telling you everything you need to know about Google’s new phone upgrade system. Which is essentially what this is.
What is Pixel Pass?
Pixel Pass is Google’s way of more or less locking you into a carrier phone financing program. It lets you pay a set monthly amount for the Pixel phone, and it comes bundled with Google services. This is a plan that you subscribe to with a set cost for each phone model. In this case the Pixel 6 and the Pixel 6 Pro.
Regardless of which phone you choose, you get access to these services. And it’s also a way for you to save money on your monthly payment for the phone. You’ll then proceed to pay for the phone every month over the span of a two-year period.
How much does Pixel Pass cost?
Pixel Pass has a cost that’s associated with the phone you pick. It’s $45 if you go with the Pixel 6, and it’s $55 if you go with the Pixel 6 Pro. These are the prices you pay for the monthly payment for the new phone. Which is higher without Pixel Pass if you go through the Google Store’s normal phone financing. The Pixel 6 Pro for instance is $71 a month if you aren’t doing the Pixel Pass.
Do I need to subscribe to Google Fi to get the Pixel Pass?
No. You can subscribe to Fi with the Pixel Pass if you want to. But it isn’t a requirement. Google will allow you to subscribe to the new service without having the phone locked to Google Fi. Meaning you would get your monthly payments for a brand-new Pixel phone, all of those premium Google services, and an unlocked device that works with any carrier. Whether that be AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile etc.
How much do I save if subscribe to Pixel Pass?
Quite a lot over the course of that two-year time period. Though you will save a significantly larger amount if you subscribe to Pixel Pass through Google Fi.
All told if you subscribe to the new service through Google Fi, you can save up to $414 over the two years you’re paying monthly for the phone. Which is quite a lot. And that’s not even factoring in the trade-in amount you’d get from a phone trade-in. That is if you have one to trade-in. Since it has to be a compatible device that Google accepts, and in good working condition.
What services come with Pixel Pass?
Aside from the phone itself, Pixel Pass comes with a handful of Google’s premium services. Included is YouTube Premium, which comes with ad-free viewing and background playback. As well as YouTube Music with no ads so you can stream music non-stop.
You also get 200GB of Google One storage, Preferred Care just in case you damage your phone and need a repair or a replacement, and Google Play Pass. Interestingly, it does not include Stadia Pro. Which could have been a perfect opportunity for Google to get more users for its cloud gaming service.
Can I trade in my phone if I subscribe to Pixel Pass?
Google does allow you to use phone trade-ins if you set up your Pixel 6 or Pixel 6 Pro purchase with the new pass. Though it is worth noting that you get more for the trade-in value if you do the trade-in through the Google Store financing without it.
For example, the trade-in value shows $285 for a Pixel 4a 5G without the service. But with it the trade-in shows only $150. This could be because Pixel Pass will already save you additional money on the phone over the two-year period that you’re paying for it.
While you still might save more with Google’s new service in the long run, it’s worth knowing that the trade-in values are different.
Can anyone subscribe?
Technically, yes. Anyone can choose to subscribe to this new service if they want to pick up the new Pixel 6 or Pixel Pro through this method. However, just like with regular Google Store financing, you have to be approved to be able to make payments for the phone each month.
Google uses a credit service called Synchrony to check your credit. And in a matter of seconds you should get a response back that tells you whether or not you’ve been approved to make payments.
If not, then you have to pay for the phone outright and you will not be able to subscribe. Though you can still get the trade-in value for your phone. In which case you just do the trade-in through the Google Store and not through Pixel Pass.
Can I cancel the subscription before the two years is up?
You certainly can. But, just like with a phone financing plan at your traditional carriers, you’ll end up needing to pay the phone off right then and there.
Say you pay for a Pixel 6 Pro via Pixel Pass and pay for the phone through 12 months of payments. You’ve paid off one whole year of the device cost. If you then decide to cancel right after your 12th payment and before your 13th payment, you’ll need to pay whatever the remaining amount is.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing. If you preferred to pay for everything up front but couldn’t in the beginning, this would be a good way to drop that one-time payment down to a more manageable amount later on.
So you can cancel. Just be aware that that doesn’t mean you won’t have to pay for the remainder of the phone’s cost.
If I break the phone, can it be replaced?
Under Google’s terms for the Preferred Care, which comes with the Pixel Pass subscription, you can get the phone replaced if you happen to damage it.
However, you only get so many claims per year. Up to 2 at the maximum. So the obvious thing here is to try and avoid damaging the phone more than that. Ideally, though, you want to try and avoid damaging it all so you don’t have to make a claim. But in the event that you do, because accidents happen, you can get it replaced up to 2 times per year.
If it’s a warranty issue that causes the device to lose functionality at no fault of your own, then that’s a different story and Google should replace the device without the claim cost. As long as it’s within the warranty period.
To use Pixel Pass, you will need a Google Payments account
If you don’t already have a Google Payments account set up, you’ll need that in order to utilize this new subscription service to get the phone.
Thankfully doing so is pretty easy. And only requires that you accept the Google Payments Terms.
If you already subscribe to Play Pass and/or Google One, they will transfer over
Two of the big perks of Pixel Pass is that it comes with a Play Pass subscription and a Google One subscription (200GB). But what if you already have those subscriptions set up? Well, good news. It transfers over to the new service.
So you won’t be locked out of Pixel Pass should you want to pick up a new phone. The service won’t transfer over until your device ships. So if you’re buying today, your subscriptions for the two former services will remain as they are until Google sends out your device.
Manage everything in once place
Another benefit of the pass, according to Google, is convenience. The ability to manage everything in once central spot so you don’t have to go traipsing through numerous apps to do the same thing.
Google doesn’t really elaborate on this a whole lot, but it’s obvious that the company is referring to managing everything the pass comes with. Which includes the monthly bill payment for the phone (and the service if you’re going through Google Fi), as well as all your accounts like YouTube Premium, YouTube Music, Google One, Preferred Care, and Play Pass.
Pixel Pass will provide users with other special bonuses
If you read through the terms and conditions for Google’s new subscription-based upgrade program, it notes that there are additional benefits to look out for. While Google doesn’t give out specifics at this time, it does suggest that you get more than a new phone at a discount and access to some of its premium services.
The terms and conditions state that Pixel Pass provides users with “Google services and support, special offers, and a place to discover new products and features.” While that doesn’t really tell you much, it hints that down the line Pixel Pass subscribers will get alerts, probably through email, about exclusive promotions and other benefits. What those end up being is anyone’s guess at this time.
You are not exempt from changes
Google doesn’t seem to be allowing any sort of grandfathering when it comes to the Pixel Pass subscription. Another note inside the terms and conditions states that Google may change the service at any time. But that it will also notify subscribers prior to those changes so they’re aware of them.
Any changes that would come up would also not take place until after the current pay period that customers are in. So for example if you just paid your monthly Pixel Pass payment a week ago, and then changes happen a couple of days later, they won’t impact you until the next monthly payment.
Worth keeping in mind is that this doesn’t mean Google will change anything. At least not for a while. Google simply has to include these details in the terms and conditions for legal reasons.
Cancelling means you lose access to the included Google services
Should you decide to cancel at any point, you keep the phone. You just have to pay for the remainder of it in one payment as mentioned above. As for the included Google services like YouTube Premium and Google One, Google says these would be terminated.
Basically, you’d have to go through and re-subscribe to anything you had and want to keep. The loss of these services would happen at the end of the current billing cycle and you would not receive a refund for anything you paid for prior.
You can also re-subscribe in the future, but you would end up having to pay whatever the current prices are. If they change in between the time you cancel and want to re-subscribe.