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Should you buy a Pixel 6 in 2024? Here’s everything you need to know – the good, the bad, and the possibility of making it useable for longer.



The Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro were OK phones when they came out, but they weren’t anything to write home about. Not compared to Google’s newer models like the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8a – both of which are great, the latter especially.

When the Pixel 6 series launched – 2021, to be exact – Google was still kind of finding its feet with its phones. They were decent, the cameras had always been good, ditto the software, but there were problems.

There were QC issues on both of my review units, for instance, and the Tensor CPU, while showing plenty of potential, was a little wonky to say the least. And I’d had similar issues with my Pixel 4, Pixel 2, and my OG Pixel – they all basically bricked after less than 12 months.

My advice? Go with a newer model; the Pixel 8a can be had for not too much money and it is a brilliant device with tons of useful updates.

Pixel 6 Update Schedule and Availability

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As with all Pixel phones, the Pixel 6 is due three major Android updates and five years of security updates, taking it to the end of 2024 for Android updates and the back end of 2026 for security updates.

The phone itself, and also the Pixel 6 Pro, can be picked up for next to nothing on the refurbished market or via channels like Amazon – some networks still have units laying around that they’re basically giving away at this point.

Should You Buy a Pixel 6 in 2024?

But should you get one? It’s cheap, sure, but it is cheap for a reason (and not just because Google and its retail partners want you to buy new hardware.

Rather, it is now cheap because it doesn’t have much of a life left in terms of it being useful.

The last Android update it gets will be Android 15. After that, you’ll get a couple of more security updates and then its end of life time. Or, is it? You see there is an entirely other angle to this question and it basically gets around nearly all of the problems listed above.

GrapheneOS: The Android Alternative For Privacy-Focused Folks

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Enter GrapheneOS, The Android Alternative For Privacy-Focused Folks

GrapheneOS is a bit like Android, except it isn’t Android. It uses a forked version of Android and is designed to be the most secure (and private) operating system on the planet.

Installing GrapheneOS on Your Pixel 6

Installing GrapheneOS on your Pixel 6 or Pixel 6 Pro is relatively straightforward, but it does require some technical know-how.

You’ll need to unlock your bootloader, flash the GrapheneOS images, and then set up your device from scratch. It’s not for the faint of heart, but if you’re comfortable with these types of tasks, it’s definitely doable.

Benefits of GrapheneOS

Once you have GrapheneOS up and running, you’ll be greeted with a familiar Android-like interface, but with a host of privacy and security features baked in.

One of the standout features is the ability to sandbox Google Play Services, allowing you to use your favorite apps without sacrificing your privacy.

Another big benefit of GrapheneOS is that it receives regular updates, often even faster than stock Android. This means that you can keep using your Pixel 6 or Pixel 6 Pro well beyond Google’s official support window, with the peace of mind that comes from having a secure and up-to-date operating system.

Potential Drawbacks of GrapheneOS

Of course, there are some potential downsides to consider. Not all apps will work perfectly on GrapheneOS, particularly those that rely heavily on Google services. You may also encounter some compatibility issues with certain accessories or features like wireless charging.

Additionally, using GrapheneOS does require a bit of a learning curve, especially if you’re used to the creature comforts of stock Android. You’ll need to be willing to seek out alternative apps and services, and be prepared to troubleshoot any issues that may arise.

GrapheneOS Will Ensure Your Pixel Phone Lasts For Longer

But for those who value privacy and security above all else, and who are willing to put in a bit of work to achieve it, GrapheneOS is a compelling option.

It breathes new life into older devices like the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, and offers a level of control and customization that simply isn’t possible with stock Android.

So, if you’re considering picking up a cheap Pixel 6 or Pixel 6 Pro in 2024, don’t write it off just because it’s reaching the end of its official support lifecycle. With GrapheneOS, you can transform it into a privacy powerhouse that will serve you well for years to come.

I do have some pretty serious reservations about the overall quality of the Pixel 6 series, so my advice to you – if you must have a Pixel phone – would be to look at either the Pixel 7a or the newer and infinitely improved Pixel 8a.

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Richard Goodwin

I bought my last iPhone, MacBook, iPad and AirPods Pro refurbished, saving – most likely – close to $1000. It’s better for the environment and your wallet. It’s a no brainer!

— Richard Goodwin, Technology Editor / Publisher

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