As I mentioned earlier in the week, the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro being announced way earlier than their upcoming launch date both have the benefit of already having tons of cases on the internet ready for purchase. Seriously, this is my favorite part about the way Google has chosen to slowly unveil their latest phones and the result of that market visibility has landed on my desk in the form of an affordable, clear TPU case for the Pixel 6 Pro I’ll eventually own.
There are quite a few things you can learn from an official case for a phone, and while my excitement around this case purchase was more about being prepared for my new phone in a few weeks, I also realized that there are some insights to be had from holding and examining this simple, molded piece of plastic.
A better idea about the size of the Pixel 6 Pro
Here’s the thing: when Google said that the Pixel 6 Pro was going to weigh in at 6.7-inches, I was a bit unsure. I owned the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra for all of 18 hours and that phone was a beast. While I think my hangups with the S21 were more about Samsung’s software than the size of the phone, I just remember how large that device felt. So, when Google said the Pixel 6 Pro would basically be the same size as the S21, I really thought about going for the Pixel 6 instead. I swear I considered it for a little bit.
At the end of the day, I know myself and I know that, for one, I’ll get used to the phone size and two, I’d want all the Pro features a month or two into ownership. So, with that in mind, I went ahead and ordered the Pixel 6 Pro case instead of the Pixel 6 case. And now that I have it, I’m very, very relieved. Instead of this hulking brick I’d imagined, the case showed me that the Pixel 6 Pro won’t really be much different than the phone I carry already in the OnePlus 8T. Putting my current phone in this case, there’s no real wiggle side-to-side and maybe a couple millimeters of space at the top. Sure, my OnePlus 8T is already a large, 6.55-inch device, but I’m happy that the feeling of the phone in my pocket won’t change much at all when I get my hands on the Pixel 6 Pro.
Even more fun, we put the Pixel 4XL in the case and realized there was very little movement there, either. At 6.3-inches, it would seem that the new Pixel 6 Pro and it’s 6.7-inch screen would swallow the 4XL whole. Not the case at all. As a matter of fact, with the Pixel 4XL’s massive forehead, it actually becomes the same size as most modern full-screen phones. The OnePlus 8T measures 160.7 x 74.1 x 8.4 mm, while the Pixel 4XL comes in at 160.4 x 75.1 x 8.2 mm, making them nearly identical in size.
The camera bump/bar is big, but not crazy looking
Some of the renders of the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro don’t do a great job at making the camera bar look great. Instead, it looks like a massive shelf on the back of the phone that could be a polarizing aesthetic choice by Google. Since we began seeing these renders, I’ve grown to really love the look of the bar across the back as it makes these phones stand out in a sea of iPhone wannabes.
With this case in my hand, I can tell you that the protrusion is there, it is not subtle, but it’s also not much more extended from the phone’s body than any other camera module out there. I’ve also noticed that the entire camera bar is seated high enough on the back of the phone that when I pick up the case I never even come close to my hand hitting it or coming into contact with it. My bet? Once I have this phone, I won’t give it a second thought.
The buttons are in a comfy spot
With big phones, it is important that the things you need to reach are in a good spot. The power and volume keys are the most important – and generally only – buttons on your phone and they need to be reachable when you hold the device in a normal way. Thankfully this is the case with the Pixel 6 Pro, and I don’t see any issues with button placement and am grateful that this will keep my hand gymnastics to a minimum with this very large phone.
For now, that’s about it. It is just a case, after all. But from it, I feel even more excited for the Pixel 6 Pro later this month. The size doesn’t feel ridiculous, the buttons are in the right place, and the camera bump is less egregious than I’ve worried it would be. All in all, the physical layout of this phone won’t be a bother at all, and that’s a great thing. The screen, hardware, camera and software are what Pixels are all about, and it really feels like the outer parts of this phone won’t be getting in the way of any of that.