Google’s first-party cases for the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro didn’t go over so well. In the year since those phones were released, the cases have earned an unfavorable reputation for staining and warping out of shape. This 9to5Google article is a good summary of what was so bad about the $29.99 accessory.
Some Pixel fans have called for Google to return to the fabric-coated cases that were available for previous generations of its phones. But the company hasn’t gone that route. Instead, the new Pixel 7 and 7 Pro cases are similar in material to the Pixel 6 cases — but they’re now solid colors instead of being semitransparent. That should at least address the staining and yellowing issue. Google has chosen colors that match the hues of the new devices.
But is the new case any more sturdy? Will bending or warping still occur through regular use? It’s too soon to tell, honestly. Google didn’t have any cases on the floor at its hands-on area during today’s Pixel event, but for the purpose of journalism, I pulled one off of a wall installation to get a better feel for any differences. And there don’t seem to be many.
The new case didn’t immediately seem more reinforced or rigid than its detested predecessor. It now has actual buttons instead of just molding them into the structure, and the camera bar ridge is a little more refined, but those are really the main outward differences.
But the fact that they’re no longer translucent should mean that Google’s latest $30 cases should age better than the previous ones. Maybe just try to use some restraint when prying them off your phone until longer-term usage can speak to their overall durability.
I still wish Google would offer fabric cases as another option and callback to its past. I’m also a fan of the Bellroy-made leather cases, but just like Apple’s leather iPhone cases, they’re silly expensive. The new Bellroy cases are priced at $55 for the Pixel 7 Pro and $49 for the Pixel 7. Google is selling cases from several different companies on its store, and you can count on a flood of inexpensive options from Spigen and other brands to hit Amazon soon enough.
Photography by Chris Welch / The Verge