It's been roughly a week since the Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro went on sale, and the reception has been generally positive - but there have been some furrowed brows alongside the smiles.
There are reports on r/GooglePixel (opens in new tab), the main subreddit for discussing Pixel phones and other Google devices, of Pixel 6 Pro units getting dropped and smashed. You can find one story of someone dropping their phone within a day of getting it here (opens in new tab), and another tale of a person doing the same thing, and smashing the body in a similar way, here (opens in new tab).
From a quick browse on the subreddit, it seems most of the stories are about the Pixel 6 Pro, with similar-looking smashes on the screen or back of the phone. We're seeing more reports of smashes than we normally do when a new phone launches - so why is that?
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Google Pixel 6 Pro smashes
There are likely two key reasons that people are dropping and smashing their Google Pixel 6 Pro smartphones more than most people damage new devices, and neither of them is because of any fault of the phone (or the people using them).
When most people upgrade their phone, they jump up two or three generations, but because mobiles don't progress too much, the resulting phones are often fairly similar. An upgrade from a Samsung Galaxy S9 to Galaxy S21, for example, will result in a phone that doesn't look or feel too different.
That isn't the case if you're upgrading to a Google Pixel 6 Pro, though. The phone is much, much bigger than something like the Pixel 3 or Pixel 4, and is also made from glass, which is heavier than the plastic that some of Google's slightly older phones have been clad in.
That's not to mention the huge camera bump which means the 6 Pro's weight isn't evenly distributed, unlike in many other Pixel phones. So it's very likely people using the new phones aren't used to its weight, and could end up putting it in pockets it could easily slip out of, or just dropping it by accident.
That wouldn't be an issue in itself - a new phone can often take a little getting used to - but there are issues with cases that are resulting in unprotected devices.
Many people are reporting that the delivery dates for their Pixel 6 phones are actually a week or so before the delivery dates for cases they ordered alongside the device - two members of TechRadar team ordered Pixel 6 handsets, and their cases are expected roughly a week after the mobiles arrived.
When we tried to buy a Pixel 6 Pro case on Google's website, the delivery time was two weeks away. It's possible to get a third-party case (opens in new tab) from Amazon in the next few days, but official Pixel cases are very popular due to their design and material, so many people are likely opting to stick with it.
As a result, it's likely people are receiving their Pixel 6 smartphones without the cases that can be so important in protecting them, and are therefore damaging their devices by doing actions that wouldn't affect a handset in a sturdy case.
Plus, unlike many new mobiles, the Pixel 6 phones don't come with in-box silicon cases - many people like to use these before their proper cases come, as it can add a little extra protection over using the device without it.
Why phone cases are so important
Cases are one of the most important mobile phone accessories you can buy, as they cost a fraction of what a repair would for a device. Plus, they can often come with useful extras, like hand straps or stands.
Looking at the Pixel 6 Pro pictures posted on Reddit, it seems the phones were dropped in a similar way, so it landed on a bottom corner - this can be a weak point for mobiles, and we've definitely smashed our fair share of phones this way.
A case would make sure a drop didn't hurt the device, even on a curved edge screen phone like the Pixel 6 Pro (as cases often don't clad handsets with this display feature as much).
In fact, one of the posters explicitly states they were waiting for their case to arrive - it's typical Murphy's law that a phone would break in the short space of time it wasn't protected.
The moral of the story? Case up! If you don't want to wait weeks for an official Pixel case, there are loads of Amazon listings for Pixel 6 cases (opens in new tab) too, from reputable case makers like Spigen and Urbanite. We wouldn't want anything unfortunate to happen to your brand-new phone.