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Google Pixel Pass: What is it and is it worth your money?
Pixel Pass is Google’s answer to Apple One. It was announced alongside the Pixel 6 series, but it now includes one of Google’s high-end phones as well as several services for one monthly price. The savings are quite significant, but that doesn’t mean Pixel Pass is something we recommend to everyone.
Google’s Pixel Pass is an attempt by the company to sell you more of its services and keep you within its ecosystem of products and apps. We’ll take a closer look at it in this post to figure out who exactly is it for and who should stay clear of it. Let’s dive in.
What does Pixel Pass include?
Alongside the Pixel 7, 7 Pro, or Pixel 6a, Pixel Pass includes the following five services:
A YouTube Premium ($11.99 per month) subscription gets rid of those annoying ads on YouTube and also supports background play, meaning that the video will continue playing when you turn off the display of your phone or open up a new app. You can even download videos for offline viewing.
YouTube Music Premium
The YouTube Premium subscription also gives you access to YouTube Music Premium. This lets you enjoy an ad-free music listening experience, play music in the background on your mobile devices, and download tracks for offline playback. The service offers a vast library of songs, albums, music videos, and curated playlists. It’s designed to compete with other major music streaming platforms while leveraging YouTube’s vast music video collection.
Google One (200GB of storage)
Google One ($2.99 per month) is the company’s cloud storage service that adds additional space to your Google account. The tech giant offers its customers 15GB of free storage that’s shared between Gmail, Drive, and Photos. You’ll have to pay up to get more, which is where Google One comes into play.
Pixel Pass includes a subscription to Google One’s Standard plan that adds an additional 200GB of storage to your account. It’s a great choice for those who take loads of pictures, record lots of videos, or have a bunch of files in Google Drive.
No, you can’t. Pixel Pass includes Google One’s Standard plan with 200GB of storage.
Google Play Pass
Next up is Google’s Play Pass ($4.99 per month) subscription that’s aimed at gamers. It includes access to hundreds of games and apps without ads or in-app purchases. It’s sort of like Netflix but for mobile games. The selection includes both well-known titles and hidden gems, spanning various categories from productivity apps to entertainment games. It’s a way for users to explore and enjoy premium gaming content at a fixed monthly cost.
Google Preferred Care service
The last service Pixel Pass includes is Google’s Preferred Care ($5/$7/$9 per month) that’s designed to give you peace of mind. It covers accidental damages to your device, including drops, liquid spills, and cracks. It’s basically like an insurance policy for your Pixel device.
It’s currently only available in the US. There’s no word on when or if it will make it to other markets.
Yes, you can share access to your Google One and Play Pass accounts with up to five family members.
How much does it cost and how much do I save?
Pixel Pass starts at $37 per month for the Pixel 6a, $45 per month for the Pixel 7, and $55 per month for the Pixel 7 Pro. For reference, the Pixel 6a is now $349 when bought separately, the Pixel 7 starts at $599, while the Pro model starts at $899.
Let’s break down these numbers to see exactly how much you save over the course of two years by first looking at how much the extra services included cost.
- YouTube Premium — $11.99 per month ($287.76 over two years)
- Google One Basic plan — $2.99 per month ($71.76 over two years)
- Google Play Pass — $4.99 per month ($119.76 over two years)
- Preferred Care service — $5 for Pixel 6a, $7 for the Pixel 7, and $9 for Pixel 7 Pro per month ($120/$168/$216 over two years)
These four services would run you exactly $599.28 for the Pixel 6a, $647.28 for the Pixel 7, and $695.28 for the Pixel 7 Pro over two years if you signed up for each one individually.
With those figures in mind, let’s crunch the numbers and work out the savings:
- Pixel 6a and Google services without Pixel Pass: $948.28
- Pixel 6a and Google services with Pixel Pass: $888
- Pixel 7 and Google services without Pixel Pass: $1,246.28
- Pixel 7 and Google services with Pixel Pass: $1,080
- Pixel 7 Pro and Google services without Pixel Pass: $1,594.28
- Pixel 7 Pro and Google services with Pixel Pass: $1,320
- Pixel 6a total savings with Pixel Pass: $60.28
- Pixel 7 total savings with Pixel Pass: $166.28
- Pixel 7 Pro total savings with Pixel Pass: $274.28
Those figures are for the base models of each handset. You save an additional $10 over two years if you opt for the 256GB variant of either of the two Pixel 7 phones, as you’ll have to pay an extra $3.75 for Pixel Pass. The 512GB variant of the Pro model saves you an additional $10 on top and will set you back $7.50 extra per month.
Yes, you can cancel it at any time and then just pay off the remainder of the phone you chose. If you cancel within the first 15 days, you can even return the phone to Google if you’re not happy with it.
Is Pixel Pass worth it?
It depends, but I’d say that Pixel Pass is not worth it for most consumers. That’s because I think most people don’t need all of Google’s services that Pixel Pass includes.
Take me, for example. I’m thinking of getting the Pixel 7 and am already subscribed to YouTube Premium. I am also thinking of signing up for the cheapest Google One plan that comes in at $1.99 per month, but I have no use for the company’s Preferred Care service or the Game Pass subscription. With that in mind, I’d actually be losing money instead of saving it if I’d signed up for Pixel Pass.
That’s just my situation. For those who are already subscribed to the four Google services mentioned and want to get the latest Pixel, Pixel Pass is definitely worth it. Based on my calculations, it’s also worth it if you only see yourself using three of the mentioned services — YouTube Premium, Preferred Care, and either Google One or Play Pass. You’ll still be saving money in this case, just not nearly as much.
Also consider the fact that you can often get the phones at a discount at other retailers. For example, the Pixel 7 is $150 off on Amazon, while the savings for the Pro model stand at $200 off at the moment. These savings alone negate the majority of the savings from Pixel Pass on their own.
One other consideration is that if you subscribe to Pixel Pass, you can get $5 off a Google Fi plan. This is Google’s own MVNO carrier service using both Wi-Fi and cellular networks belonging to major carriers. There’s a Flexible plan that starts at $20 per month, but you may pay more for using more than the allotted 10GB of data. There are then two unlimited data plans, which are Simply Unlimited and Unlimited Plus. They are $50 and $65 per month, respectively. These plan prices are for one line. If you add more than one line then the monthly cost per line reduces.
You’re unlikely to combine Unlimited Plus with Pixel Pass as some of the perks of the plan are that it includes services like YouTube Premium and Google One, so you’d be double-paying for these extras even if it’s at a promotional rate.
So, for instance, if you were to sign up for the Simply Unlimited Plan, choose the Pixel 7 Pro, and get Pixel Pass, you’d be paying $45 per month for the plan rather than $50. That would save you $120 if you stuck with the plan for two years. Add that to the $274 you save by having the Pixel pass with the Pixel 7 Pro and you’re saving $394 all-in.
Do you think Google's Pixel Pass is worth it?
If you do decide to sign up for Pixel Pass, make sure you really think about which of the included services you actually want to use and which one you don’t, so you won’t be paying for something you don’t need.
Those already subscribed to YouTube Premium or a Google One Premium account will have to manually cancel their subscriptions (or downgrade to the Standard plan) before signing up for Pixel Pass. However, those on a Basic or Standard Google One account don’t need to do anything.
The Google Fi promo that gets you a $5 monthly discount is valid for both new and existing customers.