It's a damn shame the Pixel doesn't have a Nexus-style 'carpet' case

With each hardware release, Google trots out a whole new set of accessories and cases. Some are bigger hits than others, but you can point to each Nexus release of the past few years and find a couple of truly uniquely designed cases or covers that actually approach being worth the super-high prices Google charges.

Last year, that was the Nexus 6P and 5X case affectionately referred to as the "carpet" case. It was a hard silicone case that offered plenty of protection for the phones, but on the back had something you don't see every day: soft carpet. The material that you wouldn't be surprised to find in a rug store had a neat geodescent pattern and "Nexus" lettering across the bottom.

The case stood out for sure, and gave you a feeling you couldn't find elsewhere. It was a bit of a polarizing design, but I love the design of that case. And when the Pixels launched, I was sad to see that the carpet case had died with the moving from the Nexus brand to Pixel.

For the Pixel release Google is really pushing its various "Live Case" designs that can be customized with a truly individual design, and also offers a set of simple thick silicone cases along with an incredibly basic clear case. But there's nothing approaching the awesome design of the carpet case.

Google obviously has no problem with fabric ... except on phone cases, it seems.

Now it's obviously a particularly self-serving complaint to say that Google should've kept the carpet case around simply because I liked it ... but what's interesting to me is that it didn't choose to make a new version that carried on the spirit of the case when other products in the "Made by Google" lineup use fabric. The new Daydream View headset uses very well-engineered (and comfortable to wear) fabric for the entirety of its exterior, and the Google Home offers a variety of swappable fabric-laden bases in colors to match the decor of your home.

Google obviously has no issue using fabric ... except on its phone cases, it seems. And unless it decides to come out with a fresh set of cases for the phone well after launch, it looks like I'll have to live with a decidedly non-carpet case on my Pixel XL. And when I take out my Nexus 5X for a bit of nostalgia, you can bet it'll have carpet on the back.

Andrew Martonik

Andrew was an Executive Editor, U.S. at Android Central between 2012 and 2020.

  • Check out the Incipio cases, they have a carpet case for the Pixel and XL.
  • It is a cloth material, but I believe Incipio covers it in some clear coating to prevent the fabric from fraying. I owned the Nexus cloth case and the material was softer than Incipio's Carnaby cases. However, it is the closest thing that exists to that Nexus case design. Pics of it on my V20:
  • Holy hell those are some solid shots of that case....big site review quality if I say so myself. What'd you shoot those with?
  • Thanks! I used my Moto Z Play for those shots.
  • And people say it's sub par for camera....that'll show them. Good on you man.
  • Incipio Carnaby Esquire Series Only case I've ever had for my Pixel and I love it.
  • I think Verizon sells a similar one from incipio, I forget the name of it . . .
    Edit . . Here it is ..
  • "I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more carpet cases" :-)
  • Yeah been recommended as well. Looks okay, not quite the same though.
  • The issue with the pixel is the pixel. It's an iPhone with Jo home button. I don't care what anyone says to me, I was sitting doing something else and a commercial passed on tv and I went "yeah yeah Apple, we get it, your phone is the best" and then the ad ended with Made by Google. Even me, a tech lover who changes his android phone every year and owned every nexus ever made tought it was an iPhone ad cause the phone looks the same. Google and HTC should be ashamed and Apple shoukd sue then.
  • looks like your issue is with the ad, not the phone. The phone is an awesome android phone, it's just awefully espensive...
  • That's fair. I think you are right. The physical appearance is more my issue. My friend got on for work and it's an amazing phone. I just hate holding it and his first remarks was that he hates the chin. He even said he'd tolerate the chin if they at least put a logo or something but blank is just taunting a useless chin.
  • I agree! I had one of those cases on my 6P and loved it. Wish I could get the same for my Pixel XL.
  • Ive had a carpet case on my 6P since day 1.y only gripe is that it picks up a lot of dirt and grease, especially at work. My solution? I pressure washed it, back to clean, no problem.
  • I got the Bear Motion case from amazon when AC advertised it and I def recommend it. It has a tacky logo but that rubs off quite easily. ive always been opposed to cases, especially on such good looking phones, but this one is extremely minimal and still keeps the shape of my pixel. and it's cheap.
  • YES! I loved the carpet case on my 6P so much, I got one in each color and would alternate periodically. So sad there isn't one just like it for the Pixel.
  • I agree, I loved that case on my 6p.
  • I thought the 6P's version is a crappy case personally. I have 2 of them and they're not my favorite for sure
  • Agree 100%, those cases were awesome.
  • I loved my carpet case for my 6p. I could set it on my knee and it wouldn't slide off for the world. I wish Google would've at least made a case that didn't have exposed edges. Especially the custom cases... I used a case with exposed edges on my Nexus 5 and that area end up super dinged.
  • I would really like one of those for the Pixel. The case I have on it now looks and feels nice, but the texture is grippy enough that sliding it in and out of my pants pocket doesn't feel great, and sometimes yanks the pocket inside out.
  • Thermal issues are key with mobile (ahem, s7 note). While I loved the carpet case on my 5x, I can see why Google reigned back from material that would insulate the battery efficiently on the pixel. Better safe than sorry.
  • I can guarantee that this is not the reason for not making a carpet case for the Pixel.
  • Carped Moto Style Shell , nice idea! I have ballistic nylon, wood and leather so this would be nice
  • Two things. A carpet case, and a PRICE REDUCTION. Say, $300.00 less than what it's going for.
  • I've got two of them for my 5X. They're great cases.
  • The first case for my 6p was defective on the power button. So I returned at it is one of my favorites. The others are tjeive case and this one I got made of recycled skateboards Karved I think, very thick case. It nice looking. For the Pixel the hint finished today with their neo hybrid in really Blue. Looks great on my really Blue Pixel.
  • Carpet case? Why not a rag one!
  • I whole heartedly agree! The micro fiber on the Nexus 6P case is awesome. I never came close to dropping it. The Google Live Maps case on my Pixel XL on the other hand is crazy slick! I would love a "carpet case" for the Pixel XL.
  • You could just do like I did and keep your 6P, have nearly the same phone and also rock a carpet case.
  • The Google Pixel is a beast. Best Android phone of all time. Why isn't Android Central talking about it more? Come on AC it's time you guys jump on the Pixel train.
  • This is a really bad joke or sarcasm right? Have you not seen how at every turn, ads included, they try to push the Pixel? The only subjective review on it was Michael Fisher's.
  • Try out the Diztronic Pixlee Slim-fit Flexible TPU. It's made of TPU, but the way the TPU is textured on the back makes it feel really similar to the 5x/6p google case from last year.
  • I also love the carpet case on my 6p. The only drawback is that my favorite earphones don't fit with the case on. The opening for the headphone jack is a tad too narrow for its thickness.
  • I dropped the 6p with that case so many times and it didn't break
  • Oh how I disliked that case. The mat part is the only good thing about it It was not cheap; pressure distribution on the power and volume keys sucked so there were situations where you where trying to increase volume or hit the power button and then one or the other would respond in its place. Screenshots were tricky, you had to presse 5mm above the power button and 5mm below the volume down button to snap one... Only ONE of the 327 USB-C cables I owned fit through the cutout hole for charging or file transfer. Only TWO of the 43 audio cables / headphones I owned fit throught the case for music listening. What you're looking for is a non-slippery cover. Not the evil-possessed nexus cover!
  • Big difference between carpet and felt lol