Smartphones and cases go hand-in-hand. After all, these pocket computers we carry with us everywhere are expensive and fragile; it only makes sense to protect them. Smartphone manufacturers like Google know this, and make their own cases to sell to you alongside one of their devices. However, when Google asks if you want one of their cases when picking up a new Pixel phone, say no.
As reported by The Vergethere are dozens of complaints on both Reddit and Amazon surrounding Google’s official Pixel 6 cases, surrounding three main issues that seem to be recurring with these cases: the material is yellowing; the cases don’t fit the phones; and, if they do fit the phones, the case itself is warping, so the material juts out around the buttons. Some even accuse the cases of scratching their phones, which is, of course, what you buy a case to prevent.
One post from Redditor A_Giant_Baguette that included photos caught the attention of the crowd in r/googlepixel. You can see from this image the way the case warps around the Pixel’s volume buttons, while this photo shows off how badly the case has yellowed. These issues reportedly cropped up over the course of seven months, which is way too fast for a $30 smartphone case, especially one made by the same company as the phone itself.
Even worse, seven months is a long time compared to the experiences of some other customers, who reported their cases started to deteriorate after two or three weeks. Whether your case looks new for two weeks or seven months, you have a right to be frustrated with a clearly defective product.
That’s not to say everyone who buys a Google case for their Pixel experiences these issues. If you scan the review pages for themyou’ll find plenty of positive assessments in addition to the complaints. However, the complaints are hard to ignore. Some users who bought through Google’s store Amazon can’t even get their money back; A_Giant_Baguette, who id just that, reports that when they asked for a refund from Amazon, they were sent to Google, who, in turn, sent them back to Amazon.
When they finally got in touch with someone at Google, they were told the company doesn’t provide warranties on products purchased through third-parties—even though that “third-party” was the official Google Store on Amazon. (Take that as another lesson here: don’t buy anything Google-made from anyone other than Google if you want Google to cover it.)
For now, your best course of action is to look elsewhere for your Pixel case. Hopefully, Google figures out the issue and does better with the next case it makes. The company’s fabric cases were a hit, so maybe we’ll see those return for the Pixel 7, if not one of Google’s other upcoming devices.