Once again, it looks like Freedom Mobile has one of the best prices for a brand new smartphone.
Like we did with the iPhone 13 back in September, now that Google has announced the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro, we’ve calculated the costs of getting these phones at various Canadian carriers. One caveat before we get into the details: several carriers have not published pricing yet.
I don’t expect this will impact the results too much — we’re waiting on Bell, its flanker brand Virgin Mobile and a couple of other regional carriers like Vidéotron. Going by how things shook out with the iPhone 13 pricing, I really only expect Vidéotron will be in the running price-wise, but I’ll be sure to update this post with any new information when it becomes relevant.
One more thing before we get into the carrier pricing: Google charges $799 and $1,179 for the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro respectively. Keep those numbers in mind — they’re important.
Now, let’s get into the carrier math. First, it looks like Freedom currently offers the best price on the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro, unless you live in an area where Shaw Mobile is available (Alberta and B.C.).
For the Pixel 6, Freedom charges a $30/month Tab fee if customers get at least a $50/month plan. $30 a month for 24 months works out to $720 total you pay for the phone, which is a little less than buying it directly from Google. Similarly, the Pixel 6 Pro costs $42/month on a $60 plan at Freedom, which works out to $1,008 for the phone over 24 months.
It’s also worth noting that Freedom’s Tab cost changes depending on the plan. For example, customers who get the Pixel 6 on a $60 plan at Freedom will see their monthly Tab price drop to $25/month. While it may seem like a good offer on the surface, you’d end up paying $5 more per month total.
Update 11/02/2021 at 3:11pm ET: Vidéotron has since added its Pixel 6 and 6 pricing, which is similar to but slightly more than Freedom/Shaw. For the Pixel 6, Vidéotron charges $33.25/mo on a minimum $50/mo plan, which is just a little more than Freedom. However, for the 6 Pro, Vidéotron charges $49.25/mo on a minimum $50/mo plan. Although that means you’ll pay more for the Pixel 6 Pro in the long run, your overall monthly bill would be cheaper at Vidéotron thanks to the lower plan cost. In other words, if you want the Pixel 6 Pro and live in Vidéotron’s coverage area, it’s the better choice.
Consider the monthly plan price, which often makes (or breaks) the deal
Freedom and some other carriers try to strike a balance between plan and phone price, often using the plan price to subsidize the cost of the phone. This is a key thing to pay attention to when comparing prices at different carriers (and is exactly why Shaw Mobile happens to be cheaper than Freedom).
If you live in Alberta or B.C. and have Shaw internet, you can get a significant discount on a Shaw Mobile plan. Shaw charges the same monthly price as Freedom for the Pixel 6 ($30/month), while the Pixel 6 Pro is slightly more expensive than Freedom at $48/month. However, when you factor in the cost of the plan, things shift in Shaw’s favour
Those with a ‘Fibre+ Internet’ plan from Shaw get the Pixel 6 Pro for $48/month on a $45/month Unlimited plan, which works out to be cheaper than Freedom in the long run. Customers with the Fibre+ Gig Internet plan can get the Pixel 6 Pro for $55/month on a $25/month Unlimited plan which, once again, works out to be a little cheaper in the long run.
The comparison goes the other way when looking at offers from other carriers like Rogers or Telus. Using Rogers as an example since it’s the cheaper of the two, with the carrier’s current “discounted” offer customers would pay $1,179.12 for the Pixel 6 Pro over two years. That doesn’t include the minimum $80/month plan you’d need to get with the phone, which makes it way more than Freedom or Shaw. Plus, when Rogers’ promotional discount ends, you’ll end up paying a total of about $1,381 for the 6 Pro over two years (again, not including the $80/month plan).
You’d need to pay $46/mo or less for a smartphone plan to match Freedom’s deal
Finally, to put the pricing in perspective, I calculated how much you’d have to spend on a monthly plan to match Freedom’s pricing if you bought the phone outright from Google. It’s worth considering this since you need a plan to make the most of a phone anyway, and it’s another way to look at the deal.
The total cost of the Pixel 6 from Freedom, including the plan, is $1,920 over two years ($30/month for the phone and $50/month for the plan over 24 months). Buying the Pixel 6 outright costs $799, leaving you with $1,121 to spend on a plan over 24 months, or about $46.71 per month.
For the Pixel 6 Pro, you’re looking at $2,448 total ($42/month for the phone plus $60/month for the plan over 24 months). Buying the Pixel 6 Pro outright costs $1,179, which leaves you with $1,269 to spend on a plan over two years, or about $52.88/month.
Of course, pricing will likely change going forward. It’s possible another carrier will get cheaper with promotions, such as Black Friday deals. And typically carriers offer discounts on phones as they get older. For now though, barring any surprise pricing changes, Freedom’s one of the cheapest ways to get the Pixel 6 or 6 Pro with a carrier.