Google Pixel 6 and 6 Pro users aren’t impressed with Google’s $30 first-party cases. Looking at Reddit and reviews on Amazon, there are dozens of people complaining about the clear plastic on display extreme yellowing† warpor just does not fit the phone from the factory† Some users have posted some gnarly photos of their cases, saying they deteriorated to just two or three weeks within a few months. An editor here at The edge says their case is also starting to look “a little dingy.”
Although there are many positive reviews for the cases, it is difficult to ignore the number of complaints. It also seems unlikely that this is just from a bad series of cases. There is a Reddit thread complaining about the problem from January and one with almost exactly the same complaints from just a few hours ago† Some reviews also mention that the cases start to change shape around the buttons or bottom, which would make me personally concerned about its ability to protect my phone. Google didn’t respond right away The edge‘s request for comment whether these were known issues.
Anyone who has bought a $10 translucent phone case is likely all familiar with this kind of rapid discoloration. For the most part, it’s just a fact of living with translucent plastics. Even many of the negative reviews admit that they expected the discoloration to happen at some point; they just didn’t expect it to happen in a few weeks or months, nor did they expect it to look this gross when it happened. Personally, I don’t think I’ve seen it this bad since early 2010.
Again, however, this is no bargain, no name; it is one that is sold and branded by the same company that makes the phones. There’s also the added sting that this is a problem that Google has solved in the past. Some of my colleagues had fond memories of the cloth suitcases the company made for phones like the Pixel 4A and Pixel 5, as did a few Reddit commentators (though there were quite a few complaints as well). Of course, they didn’t have the same yellowing problem, and if they got dirty, you could clean them relatively easily.
Thankfully, there are plenty of third-party Pixel cases out there these days, but it’s a little disappointing that getting the official one is such a gamble. At least these reports started popping up before the Pixel 6A was released; if Google is offering similar cases for its more budget-conscious phone, it might be best to stay away unless the company announces it has fixed the problem.