The Pixel 7 series is set to launch next month, and we figured now is a great time to talk about how poorly the official case for the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro has held up over the past year.
From the Pixel 2 in 2017 all the way to the Pixel 5 in 2020, Google offered an official fabric case for its phones. By all accounts, these were absolutely stellar cases in terms of offering a decent amount of protection while staying fashionable. The official Pixel fabric cases also had the advantage of staying in theme with the rest of the broader Made by Google lineup, matching the fabric covering of the Google Home speaker series.
That’s not to say that the Pixel fabric cases didn’t have their flaws. They needed to be washed a bit more frequently than your average phone case and lightly frayed over the years. And from the Pixel 4a onward, Google also introduced a significant percentage of recycled materials into the fabric, which was absolutely the responsible choice but made the cases a bit less pleasant to the touch.
Since then, starting with the Pixel 5a, Google has completely redesigned its official phone cases, taking a more traditional approach with a dual-layer plastic construction. For the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, Google continued using a dual-layer design but made both layers translucent to better showcase your phone’s good looks.
I’ve personally used Google’s official Pixel 6 Pro case for the past 10 months, and over that time, my case has steadily deteriorated, leaving my phone looking worse and worse. It’s no exaggeration for me to say that this is the worst official case I’ve used for a phone, especially for a Pixel.
It all boils down to three key issues, the first of which is the yellowing of the case itself. As many, many Pixel 6 owners pointed out earlier this year, Google’s official cases gradually take on splotches of a darker color. Before long, the translucent layer will leave your phone looking quite dirty and, frankly, unappealing compared to a solid-colored case.
But honestly, I can live with my Pixel 6 Pro looking less than gorgeous in its case; appearances aren’t everything, after all. What really makes the case one of the worst I’ve ever used is the way it slowly deforms.
The problem starts small. You may notice within a few weeks that the soft areas around the volume rocker and the USB-C port will begin to warp and bend out of shape. Over the 10 months I used the official Pixel 6 Pro case, the warping got worse – until the bubble appeared.
From what I can tell, the warping around the volume rocker eventually overcame the adhesive that held the case’s two layers together. Once air started to get between the two layers, it was game over, as an enormous bubble formed in the back of the case. Within hours, the case was distractingly odd to hold in the hand, to the point of being unpleasant.
Around this same time, another issue surfaced, albeit one…