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April 22 is Google Fi‘s birthday and the cell phone plan provider is celebrating by discounting its line of Pixel 3 smartphones up to $500 each. Now through 11:59pm PT Monday, Pixel 3 phones are being discounted as follows:

  • Pixel 3 64 GB is discounted from $799 to $399
  • Pixel 3 128 GB is discounted from $899 to $449
  • Pixel 3 XL 64 GB is discounted from $899 to $449
  • Pixel 3 XL 128 GB is discounted from $999 to $499

Here are Google Fi’s terms and conditions for this deal:

  • You can qualify as either a new or existing Google Fi customer.
  • Activate your Pixel 3 or 3 XL within 30 days of the shipment confirmation email.
  • Activate on the Fi account used to purchase the phone. You can activate it yourself or give it to a group plan member to activate.
  • The discounted price will automatically apply during checkout.
  • If Fi is not activated within 30 days of the phone shipment confirmation email, the discounted amount will be charged to your Google Payments account to match the full price of the phone.

Since January 2018, my wife and I traveled the world using our Pixel 2 smartphones connected through Google Fi. Despite a few hiccups, we generally were thrilled with both the phones and service. But then, in late November, Google Fi launched a wild promotion to refund the purchase price of a cell phone in travel gift cards. While we didn’t see a reason to upgrade our phones, we couldn’t pass up the deal to get $225 of trade in credit for each Pixel 2 and get newer Pixel 3 XL 128GB phones for practically free.

The difference between the two was stark — especially the camera. While we still carry our Canon G7X compact cameras for times that we need optical zoom, the Pixel 3 XL camera is virtually as good as a good-quality stand-alone camera when you don’t need zoom. And the Night Sight feature means that I leave my normal camera at home when venturing out at night:

Knowing what we know now, we’d definitely pay the $499 purchase price for these same phones if we needed a new device.

While others have had issues with Google Fi’s service, we have barely had any trouble with it as we’ve traveled — often relying on the service to tether our laptops to work while on planes, trains and automobiles. Although it’d be cheaper for us to get new SIM cards when visiting certain countries, we are happy paying the reasonable $10 per gigabit data price and $0.20 per minute of overseas calls for seamless connection almost anywhere in the world.

These phones come unlocked so you should be able to sync them up with your current carrier’s plan after they’ve been activated on Fi (which must be completed with 30 days to receive the discount). Nothing in the terms state that you can’t switch them over from Fi to another carrier after activation.

If you’re going to take advantage of this deal, don’t forget to purchase your new cell phone with a credit card that provides cell phone loss and damage protection. It’s a feature that many of us on the TPG team have had experience with:

H/T: Dan’s Deals

Featured image by Drew Angerer via Getty Images

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