After a surprisingly successful launch, Google Pixel 6 pre-orders are set to end this Friday. We've seen some great promotions so far but there's an elephant in the room - this year's upcoming Black Friday phone deals.
Being so close to the year's biggest sale has left many of us wondering whether we should scramble to get that last-minute pre-order or brave the lengthening wait times to potentially score a Google Pixel 6 on the day.
In short? We're heavily leaning towards picking up one of these devices early. Yes, other sites have argued the opposite but hear us out - this year's Black Friday Pixel 6 deals could be in short supply if trends continue.
These two new Google devices have been surprisingly well received so far with their extensive upgrades and temptingly low price - two factors that have attributed to backorders at several leading carriers before Black Friday. In short, we don't think these queues are set to go anywhere fast, so it's definitely worth getting that pre-order in.
Google Pixel 6 pre-order deals - actually good
Currently the forerunners for Google Pixel 6 deals are Verizon and AT&T - both offering up to $700 off with an eligible trade-in and new plan. This $700 maximum saving is more or less the going rate for big flagship launch trade-in promotions over the past 2 years or so.
It's a good deal, but not stupidly amazing like the $800 to $1,000 maximum rebate we saw being offered on the iPhone 13 series at launch. It's also a little less generous to upgraders with only a maximum saving of up to $350 being offered to those who don't want a new line on an unlimited plan.
It's not constructive to compare these new Android flagships with the latest iPhones, however - they are, after all, a much bigger step up from the Pixel 5 than the 13 was from the 12. This year we saw a bumper crop of iPhone deals at launch with the carriers looking to entice people into an otherwise iterative upgrade.
The current $700 trade-in rebates are instead directly in line with what was offered on the iPhone 12 series at launch - very much par for the course. Why are we advocating picking these up instead of waiting for Black Friday? Well, it has to do with the current phones market.
The issue: chip shortages
When trying to predict this year's Black Friday Google Pixel 6 deals you simply can't ignore the ongoing chip shortage and supply chain issues. After all, what good is waiting for a real top dollar deal if you're not going to get a shiny new device for several months?
The chip shortage has been heavily reported over the past few months so we won't go into it too much here. It's safe to say, however, that Android fans will be set to experience the same lengthy backorder queues as iPhone users recently if things continue this way.
The Google Pixel 6 Pro, for example, has already sold out on its 256GB and 512GB storage capacity models at the Google Store. Things are a little better at the bigger carriers (you can still order), but both AT&T and Verizon have Pro models with delivery estimates between the 2nd to 19th of November.
It's worth noting this is in spite of Google's recent announcement that it's doubled Pixel device production this year. These devices are selling fast and it only seems likely those backorder queues will grow rapidly - especially during Black Friday.
What about last year's Black Friday Pixel deals?
Last year's best Black Friday Pixel deal was at Verizon, which offered the device with a $300 online discount plus up to an additional $550 off with an eligible trade-in. That was, at the time, a good deal and slightly more generous than the $700 maximum saving offered by the big carriers at launch.
While we won't rule out any surprises, it doesn't seem wise to pin your hopes on this particular promotion returning to be honest. The market is different this year and carriers might try and get away with a less generous promotion if they think the demand will be especially high.
It's worth mentioning that unlocked Google Pixel 5 devices got a small $50 price cut over Black Friday last year at Best Buy - a small but welcome discount. This sort of deal seems quite likely to return but the free Google Pixel Buds Series A being offered with unlocked Pixel 6 pre-orders currently is a much better deal.
So, should you wait?
Probably not, at least if you want to get your device this side of 2022. Don't get us wrong - patience is a virtue and as a general rule of thumb it's always good to wait until Black Friday to purchase tech. However, a popular launch, decent pre-order deals, and overall industry trends have really changed the outlook for this year.
Hate to be a party pooper, but it doesn't seem like a great idea to expect massive Black Friday Pixel 6 deals this year. We think, at most, you'll likely see a return of the maximum trade-in rebate of up to $700 at most carriers, and an upfront discount of up to $50 at most unlocked retailers. We could see more freebies being thrown in or better rates on upgrades, but again it doesn't seem that likely right now. In short, we're thinking why wait when you can settle for a good deal now?
This is particularly the case on the Google Pixel 6 Pro. This larger device is already on backorder at both the Google Store and Verizon so it's definitely worth at least investigating a purchase before those wait times get any longer.
You may be able to get away with waiting on the slightly less popular standard Pixel 6, but again, that just doesn't seem wise with lengthy backorders potentially looming and decent deals on the table right now. At the very least, we'd recommend keeping an eye on delivery times from now onwards.