There's never been a worse time to buy a Google Pixel 6

A Google Pixel 6 from the back, standing on a table next to some vases
A Google Pixel 6 (Image credit: Future)

If you’re reading this then you might have been considering buying a Google Pixel 6, and if you were – good choice! It’s a great smartphone, but right now is a terrible time to buy it.

You see, while the Pixel 6 is still Google’s main flagship, it won’t be for long, and there’s also a mid-range alternative fast approaching in the form of the Pixel 6a.

That phone has been announced and will be up for pre-order from July 21 (at least in the US and Australia). It will go on sale in those countries on July 28, with the UK still listed as ‘coming soon’.

Three Google Pixel 6a units in different colors, lying on a wooden table

(Image credit: Google)

It costs $449 / £399 / AU$749, compared to $599 / £599 / AU$999 for the Google Pixel 6. So the Pixel 6a is a fair bit cheaper, yet has the same screen resolution, the same chipset, the same ultrawide camera, and a similar design.

As such, you might want to consider buying the Google Pixel 6a instead. Of course, the 6a won’t be for everyone – it has an inferior primary camera, less RAM, a smaller display, and a lower refresh rate. But even if it’s not for you, it’s worth waiting for the phone to land, because when it does, we might well see a price cut for the Pixel 6, since it will suddenly have more competition.

Google itself probably won’t lower the price, since that could see it eat into Pixel 6a sales, but other retailers might.

The Pixel 7 approaches

A screengrab from Google IO 2022 showing the Google Pixel 7

(Image credit: Future)

So at a minimum you should really wait for the Pixel 6a before buying a Pixel 6, but you might also want to consider waiting a bit longer, for the likely October launch of the Google Pixel 7.

That’s quite a way off yet, so if you’re itching for a new phone we wouldn’t blame you for not waiting. But it’s close enough to at least consider, since when the Pixel 7 launches, the Pixel 6 line will no longer be Google’s best phones.

And Google has already revealed some aspects of the Pixel 7 line, including the presence of a new chipset, and a more grown-up design, with a shiny aluminum camera bar. There’s plenty that we don’t know, but it’s almost guaranteed that the Pixel 7 will be a substantially better phone than the Pixel 6, so waiting a few months for that upgrade could be worthwhile.

Plus, with the launch of the Pixel 7 we’ll almost certainly see the Pixel 6 get a price cut, so even if you stick with your Pixel 6 plans then waiting could save you quite a bit of money.

Pondering the Pro?

A Google Pixel 6 Pro in someone's hand, displaying the home screen

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Much of this applies if you’re considering the Google Pixel 6 Pro as well, since we know there’s going to be a Pixel 7 Pro.

That said, the Pixel 6a is less of a rival to the Pro – and less likely to result in a Pro price cut – so if you were considering buying the Google Pixel 6 Pro then it’s only real the Pixel 7 line’s impending launch that you need to factor in.

Pick up a Pixel

While we’d advise against buying a Google Pixel 6 right now, you won’t go too far wrong if you do. This is an excellent handset, and thanks to numerous rounds of bug fixes it’s also better than it was at launch.

Plus, with years of updates promised – and Android 13 just around the corner – it’s sure to feel fresh and to remain one of the best Pixel phones for a long time yet. You just might be able to spend less or get an even better phone for similar money if you wait a little longer.

James Rogerson

James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to, and and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.