T-Mobile Tries to Lure Google Pixel Owners With $325 Rebates

Pixel phones are exclusively offered through Verizon or Google, but T-Mobile is offering buyers monthly rebates to switch their service.

Verizon, T-Mobile, Pixel XL, Google Pixel, smartphones, mobile carriers

Google's popular new Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones may be available exclusively through Verizon and Google, but that's not stopping T-Mobile from offering rebates to get buyers to move their new phones over to the Un-Carrier's network.

T-Mobile is now offering any Google Pixel or Pixel XL buyer a $325 rebate—equal to half the cost of a 32GB Pixel smartphone—in equal bill credits over 24 months to switch their mobile service on their Pixel or Pixel XL handset to T-Mobile from Verizon. T-Mobile announced the offer on Oct. 27.

The offer is available to new and existing T-Mobile customers for first-time owners of a Pixel or Pixel XL phone who moves to T-Mobile's One mobile plans. Pixel phones are sold as unlocked handsets.

"If you think you can only purchase and use the Pixel on Verizon… that's simply not true," the company said in its announcement. "Don't let the 'exclusive' advertisements fool you, the Pixel phone is tested and proven to be fantastic on our lightning-fast network, and we want to help you get the best of both worlds," John Legere, president and CEO of T-Mobile, said in a statement. "I'm a huge fan of what Google has done with the Pixel, and now consumers can use it the way it should be used—with truly unlimited data on the fastest 4G LTE network in America."

The monthly offer is good for any 32GB or 128GB Pixel or Pixel XL handset and gives customers an automatic $13.55 bill credit each month for 24 months, totaling $325, or half the price of a basic Pixel 32GB phone. The deal can be obtained by buying any Pixel phone and presenting proof of purchase through T-Mobile's online validation site, according to the carrier. The offer is good within 30 days of the receipt of a Pixel handset and will still be honored if shipping delays occur with the phones due to tight supplies at present, said T-Mobile. The rebates will be offered as long as a customer's Pixel phone has been ordered during the eligibility period, according to the terms of the offer.

One monthly Pixel rebate is offered for each phone, and the deal is available for up to eight lines per customer.

Since going on sale Oct. 20, Google's Pixel and Pixel XL Android smartphones are so popular that several versions are completely out of stock and others are apparently taking longer to get to buyers than Google previously estimated.

All 5.5-inch Pixel XL handsets in Quite Black or Very Silver are out of stock in both 32GB and 128GB configurations, while the 5-inch Pixel models in certain configurations—32GB in Very Silver and 128GB models in Very Silver and Quite Black—are shipping in two to three weeks, according to the Google Store's ordering page. Other standard Pixel models are completely out of stock, including the Pixel 32GB Quite Black version and the 32GB Really Blue Limited Edition version.

In an email reply to an Oct. 27 eWEEK inquiry, a Google spokesperson said the company is "working to restock our inventory as soon as possible."

The 32GB 5-inch Pixel phones sell for $629, while the 128GB Pixel sells for $749. The larger 5.5-inch Pixel XL handsets sell for $769 for the 32GB models and for $869 for the 128GB versions.

The Pixel handsets, which Google has designed and engineered, are sold only through the Google Store and Verizon, including Verizon mini-stores inside selected Best Buy stores.

The standard Pixel phone has a 5-inch full HD AMOLED display, which is covered with Corning Gorilla Glass 4, has a 2,770mAh battery, and is 5.6 inches tall, 2.7 inches wide and 0.3 inches thick. Its larger stablemate, the Pixel XL, has a 5.5-inch quad HD AMOLED display, a Corning Gorilla Glass 4 cover and a 3,450mAh battery, and is 6 inches long, 2.9 inches wide and 0.34 inches thick. The phones are the first Google devices to include the latest Google Assistant services built-in to assist consumers in their everyday lives.

Both phone models feature a metal unibody design with curved edges, a Snapdragon 821 MSM8996 quad-core processor, 4GB of LPDDR4 memory, a 12.3-megapixel auto-focus, rear main camera with an f/2.0 lens and an 8MP front-facing, fixed-focus camera with an f/2.4 lens. The two handsets can capture and play 4K video as well as 1080p and 720p video.

Both models also include a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor for device and user security, fast charging that can provide up to seven hours of use from a 15-minute charge, a USB Type-C port, a 3.5mm headset jack, a single SIM receptacle and a single bottom-firing speaker. Also included is 24/7 technical support for the handsets through a preloaded app that gives tech support personnel the ability to examine the phone remotely after the owner consents to the assistance.

In addition, both handsets include Google's new Android Nougat operating system with automatic updates in the background and free unlimited storage of photos and videos at original quality and full resolution through Google Photos.

The handsets come in Quite Black or Very Silver in 32GB or 128GB versions, but only in a 32GB version in the other color choice, Really Blue.