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Don't buy your Google Pixel from Verizon

The Google Pixel and Pixel XL are really solid phones. You can say they're a bit on the spendy side considering how much cheaper the past few Nexus phones have been, but Google is clearly swinging for the fences here.

Part of that plan is a multi-pronged retail approach that includes partnering with Verizon in the U.S. to get the new Pixels out in stores and in front of average consumers. But just because Google has struck a deal with Verizon to carry the phones doesn't mean you need to go with that option — Google is also selling the phones directly through the Google Store, and through its own carrier Project Fi.

We've started to learn the details of how Verizon will handle the Pixel phones, and most of the news isn't good for the savvy consumer who thinks about the intricacies of how they'll experience their phone. Here's why you should seriously consider bypassing Verizon if you make a Google Pixel purchase.

Bloat apps

Verizon is known for its bloatware just as much as any other carrier. Both its own-branded Verizon apps and plenty of pay-to-play partner apps fill up phones you buy from Verizon. If you buy a Pixel or Pixel XL from Verizon (opens in new tab) it won't have the full suite of garbage, but you'll get three apps nonetheless: Verizon Messages, Go90 and My Verizon. They should be uninstallable, but just knowing that they're pre-loaded is something you shouldn't have to deal with.

Having just three apps installed is a step in the right direction for Verizon, and I recognize that, but it needs to go all the way and stop installing these apps. You can install them from Google Play if you want, and that's how it should be handled.

Slower updates

Update: Verizon has since clarified its stance on the matter of updates. While the carrier will indeed certify and be involved in testing updates, it also plans to release them simultaneously with Google's release to unlocked models.

Part of the appeal of a Pixel phone (and Nexuses before it) is that it'll be update directly by Google on a regular cadence, guaranteed. This isn't entirely the case for the Pixels purchased from Verizon, however. In a bit of a capitulation, Google is letting Verizon handle platform updates going forward on the Pixels it sells — and this should be expected, as Verizon wants to verify things like network performance before thousands of phones get new software.

For what it's worth Google says that it is still handling monthly security updates itself, and Verizon has historically let those slide on through quickly with phones this year; just look at the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge's track record. But future platform updates potentially lagging behind their arrival on unlocked Pixels doesn't feel good — a couple days may be okay, but how long are you willing to wait? For an enthusiast owner, probably not very long.

Encrypted bootloader

This last point is one that probably has the smallest number of people who care but for those people has the biggest impact: Verizon will encrypt the Pixel's bootloader so you can't unlock it. Now this really shouldn't be all that surprising considering this is Verizon's policy for every phone it sells, but considering that the bootloader will be unlockable when you buy the phone SIM-unlocked, it's a bit disappointing.

If you want to unlock your Pixel's bootloader for future application of factory images, use of custom ROMs or other flashable customizations, don't even consider buying from Verizon.

The Google Store has you covered

Google Store

Even if you didn't think the few extra apps, slower updates and an encrypted bootloader were a very big deal (though at least one of those should be), the biggest thing that should keep you from buying through Verizon is the availability of Google's own shopping experience.

The Google Store will sell you a Pixel or Pixel XL for the same price, with free shipping, in whatever configuration you'd like. It also offers you 24-month interest-free financing, just like Verizon will. The Pixel or Pixel XL you buy from Google directly will also still work on Verizon just fine — just pop in your SIM card and you'll be up and running in no time. The only restriction will be the lack of HD Voice and Wi-Fi calling. (Update: Google has confirmed that the unlocked Pixels will work with VoLTE, HD Voice and Wi-Fi calling on Verizon. Hooray!)

It's important for Google to have Verizon as a partner. But that doesn't mean you should buy from the carrier.

Don't get me wrong. It's important for Google to get its new Pixels out in the world, sitting in Verizon stores and on Verizon's website, being sold to normal people who walk in and make their buying decision with a quick stop at their local carrier store on their way home from work. Those people don't care about slightly slower platform updates or an encrypted bootloader, and they'll enjoy using their Pixel or Pixel XL.

But that doesn't mean that you, the savvy consumer who thinks about all the details, have to make that decision. Because there is another perfectly good way to buy a new Pixel or Pixel XL that happens to also let you bypass Verizon's meddling in your phone: store.google.com (opens in new tab).

When you add it all up, I struggle to see a reason why you'd buy the new Google Pixel from Verizon. Sure some people won't know about the Google Store, or will prefer to buy directly from Verizon as they have for years and maybe trade in their old phone for whatever crazy promotion Verizon is currently running. But you don't have to make that mistake. You can be ahead of the curve and buy from Google, knowing you're getting a better overall experience and an unencumbered phone, while using any carrier you prefer — yes, even if that's Verizon.

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

305 Comments
  • Thank you for writing this and sharing this with the world Andrew. I'll be sharing this to all of my social media.
  • WHAT THIS DOES TO THE RESALE VALUE OF YOUR PIXEL/XL...?.... When buying your Pixel second hand,... You will now have to "VERIFY" if it is a Verizon model....!!! Verizon models will not resale very well. I see a future fiasco in the works.
  • Slow down there speedy. No need to get all worked up. This will only affect the price if the majority of people buying resale are somewhat tech savvy. If not, then it really should have no affect whatsoever.
  • Actually there is a reason to get worked up, it sounds like the Verizon versions are locked to Verizon and that's that. I hope they do get branded. Verizon sucks, no thanks.
  • I just got my Pixel XL from my work Verizon account and put my personal T-Mobile SIM in it and its working perfectly. There is no Carrier Lock on these phones! Just Bootloader lock on the Verizon version.
  • Forget the Carrier Block, I'm specifically worried about the bootloader lock. If I buy a Pixel thinking I will have the ability to develop on it, only to find out that it's a Verizon model that can't be developed on, I'm going to be P I S S E D!
  • They do and it's been shown that they have been f'in customers over for years and deserve nothing. But fear not my friend because soon carriers will go under as more people buying unlocked phones
  • The carriers won't go under, they'll just start charging more for data.
    Remember, Verizon is losing customers and still refuses to get back on the Unlimited** bandwagon.
  • True we'll be paying$120 a month for 6gig
  • So just find an idiot to buy it, that isn't hard at all
  • Don't buy a Google device from a carrier, whether it's a Nexus 6/GNex or a Pixel. Enough said. There's an unlocked option. Go for it.
  • It's not a coincidence that every time Google partners with a carrier, the carrier basically mandates the prices be set artificially high. Verizon doesn't want to sell a phone for $400. They want a $400 phone that they can can charge $650 for, and one that won't take sales away from Apple or Samsung.
  • Well of course.That upcharge and the activation fee is how they get by with selling you "interest free" phones. Of course the Umbrella Corporation, I mean Verizon still gouges with their monthly fees.
  • Does numbersync work with unlocked phones?
  • Amen to that. I learned that lesson about this years ago when I was on AT&T. That's why I only buy unlocked phones now.
  • I couldn't agree more. I did buy a s7 edge from tmobile this time around but I have always(and will next time, this time was a one off) will be buying unlocked. I do not understand why these companies don't just released a unlocked along with one's from carriers on launch day Options are ALWAYS best. Give the consumer options. And plus I'd never go to verizon anyway. Atnt can suck it too, especially.
  • Common sense, it gives the carriers an exclusive window to make more sales before the devices are available unlocked. No secret there.
  • My poppa sells these phones 5x is $367
  • I was just wondering this, thanks for writing/sharing this, it really helps me decide on where to buy my Pixel.
  • +1
  • What about Jerry's tweet about AT&T carrying the Pixel next month?
  • Now you know none of them will reply to this rumor...
  • *patiently waits for Jerry to show up*
  • Lol IF that happens AT&T will have their shit locked up tight too.
  • I'd actually guess it would be a little bit worse considering how fond AT&T is of sim locking their phones...
  • Isn't AT&T one of the better carriers in regards to updates? AFAIK they were the only one willing to give full control of updates to Apple when they first came out, and Microsoft negotiated a deal with them as well, I believe. Now in regards to locking and bootloaders, that's a whole different story.
  • So much for taking OS updates seriously. I guess selling out is the cost of selling phones on a large scale.
  • At&t kicks ass man I switched from Sprint and yeah been great
  • Don't buy from an android phone from carrier is the take away from a long time..and it continues with Pixel. The only phone that can be bought from a carrier without worrying is an iPhone. Apple has put the carriers in the right place.
  • I couldn't agree more. I've never understood why carriers sell phones anyway, or why anyone would ever buy a phone from a carrier. Your carrier is basically your ISP. It is in their best interest to sell you a device that can only be used with them so you are stuck and dont have the option to choose someone else. Carriers sell internet access. Would you buy your computer from Comcast as well as your internet? On the other thing you said, I also agree. Apple is the only company that has the ability to mandate how carriers handle their phones. The carrier's will basically do whatever Apple wants because they can't risk losing the iPhone. They would simultaneously lose millions of customers.
  • yeah google phones should be bought unlocked from google or the experience is just ruined by the carrier bloat. might as well buy another phone if you want to buy from carrier
  • Does anyone know if Best Buy models activated on Verizon count as bootloader locked or unlocked?
  • If you go to bestbuy.com and click the Pre-order button for the Pixel , the list consists of all Verizon versions. No unlocked option.
  • Carrier phones bought at Best Buy are the same as buying them directly from the Carrier. So, yes... these will have the locked bootloader as well.
  • Don't buy from Best Buy, they charge more when you buy the phone at full price
  • Yes they do.
  • Best buy is no place to buy phones. Stay away.
  • Counterpoint, Google's insurance does not offer coverage for loss and theft, while Verizon's does. If Verizon lets you add their insurance to your BYOD, then buy it from Google, but sometimes they don't. So if you don't care about the points above, like me, but want to make sure you're covered for anything that could happen to your new $1000 phone, buy it from Verizon. No, I don't work for Verizon, but I know how handy the loss and theft coverage is. I've only had to get two insurance replacements over the last 6 years and they've both been because of theft.
  • Great point, not to mention the Verizon that we have today is a pretty far cry from the Verizon that totally screwed up the GNex launch and updates. With Flagships Verizon pretty regularly delivers updates in a timely manner when they are released by the manufacturer, I am not saying they are perfect but no carrier is, hell how long did it take Google to push out the Nexus 6 update? If all of this was happening in a vacuum I would completely agree, but the Android landscape has changed since then and it has become obvious to carriers that there are merits to updating their phones. Again, not perfect but as the poster above me points out there are benefits, and this new relationship between Google and Verizon is somewhat of an unknown at this point.
  • Yes.
  • Hey thats not right. I just bought my Pixel XL this week and Project Fi has a $99 dollar option for 2 year full phone replacement for any issue that might arise.
  • You might wanna read through your coverages again. Google and Fi don't cover loss and theft, only malfunction and breakage. https://support.google.com/fi/answer/6337239
  • Not every issue. It does not cover loss/theft.
  • Great point and been saying this..If Verizon sells the phone and you bought it from Google Asurion will still accept it from my experience..(Believe me ive done it)..Once you stick your verizon sim card in the phone it will register as a Verizon phone..I also give them my imei # just to cover my A**..I would never buy a $1000 phone that's not covered with theft protection..Doesn't make sense..Who cares that you pay $9.00 a month for insurance..After the money is spent it's gone just like you pay for full coverage on your car insurance every month..You just never know what will happen..I use unlocked phones on Verizon like the Nexus 6p and iPhone 6s but I use my Verizon S7 for MetroPCS bc all Verizon LTE phones come GSM unlocked out the box..
  • I just did a quick Google search and found a phone insurer that covers loss and theft also. The quote was $10.99 for a Galaxy s7 with a $175 deductible. I don't know how that compares to Verizon's price but it is an option that would keep you out of the carrier contract lock.
  • You missed one important reason FOR buying on Verizon: If you have a 10gb (or more) data plan Verizon will give you a $25 per month credit toward a 24 month payment plan. A $649 Pixel costs $27 per month. The net cost would be $2 per month. Wouldn't that be considered savvy?
  • What is this plan called and are you sure they still offer it? Only asking because the last few times I went to Verizon to buy a phone and inquired about this plan (which I had heard of as well) they had no idea what I was talking about. They looked at me as if I was crazy. Finally, one associate said they no longer offered that plan. They then explained that the new plan was to pay off the phone in full over their 24 month payment plan and the monthly charge per line would go down from $40/month to $20 going forward.
  • More Everything Plan.
  • You would think that. However, as a Blackberry Priv owner, I can tell you stories about Verizon that will curl you toes. The short story.... Four months after making the Priv available all updates ended. Blackberry was still releasing patch bundles at least once a month. In the patch bundles, there were security, stability, and functionality patches. EVERY CARRIER BUT VERIZON HAS PUSHED THESE PATCHES. There are now 317 vulnerabilities left unpatched (including several listed as level 5 or higher by NIST). There were patches that resolved overheating and other critical issues. It even brought the OS from Lollipop to Marshmallow because of the fine-grained security control it offered. I've submitted complaints to the FCC, FTC, my state's Attorney General, the VP of Verizon Wireless and others without success. Verizon fluffed them all off with a "as long as the phone can call and text, we don't have to update it". I implore you, if you value your sanity, do not buy a locked Verizon Android phone.
  • I love my Priv, and it sucks the only network with decent coverage in my area is Verizon. I really wish there was a network that was even marginally close, so I could bail. I am sick of their crap.
  • Can you elaborate where you saw this?
  • Per the rep I just chatted with on VZW.com The $25 per month discount on a payment plan would apply to the (normally $40) access fee making this $15 per month.
  • Someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but this is how I understood this when I discussed it with a Verizon associate a little while back: When upgrading your phone with Verizon under the new plan structures, you are able to rid yourself of a certain amount of your monthly fees: $15, $20, or $25, depending on which plan you have. These fees are the old "phone subsidies" carriers would add to the monthly fee to cover the "2 year upgrade" promotions they used to offer (i.e. get a brand new "insert phone here" for just $100, or free, with a new 2 year contract). You would pay that phone subsidy every month, which covered the extra ~$500 that phone actually should have cost you. Now that they've gotten rid of contracts, they don't offer the 2-year upgrade prices, and hence they don't charge the phone subsidy to cover their losses, as you already are paying full price of the phone. They do allow you to still get a 2-year promotion on a very limited number of phone, but if you do this, you don't get that $15, $20, or $25 discount. So, having said all that, my understanding is that those discounts will still apply if you buy from the Google Store and bring you phone in to the Verizon store to activate it. This is exactly what I did with my wife's 5X last year. We bought it on Black Friday from the Google Store, took it to the Verizon store, activated it, then saw $25/month come off our monthly bill. Very possible Verizon has changed this policy, but that's how I understand it.
  • When the New Verizon Plans first came out I remember them specifically saying that when the lines were switched to this new plan (and were no longer under a 2 year contract) the line access charge would drop to $20, specifically when using devices purchased through Verizon. Well this must have change because I'm paying $20 line access charge for my 6P on Verizon. Here's what Verizon's fact page says now: "Why do some smartphones have different monthly line access charges on the new Verizon Plan? Monthly line access charges for smartphones on the new Verizon Plan differ based on:
    a. If you're currently making monthly device payments or own the phone, the monthly line access charge will be $20
    b. If you purchased the phone at a discounted price, the monthly line access charge is $40
    You can switch to the new Verizon Plan anytime, but the monthly line access charges for all devices on 2-year contracts will remain at $40 until each device contract expires. Once each device contract expires, the monthly line access charge will automatically drop to $20."
    https://www.androidcentral.com/e?link=https2F2F... It doesn't say anything anymore about having to purchase the phone through Verizon in order to get the $20 line charge.
  • I thought Google stated that the Pixel will support WiFi Calling...
  • It will, but the real question is whether or not Verizon will let the unlocked Pixels use WiFi Calling on their network. I've read that it SHOULD work, but I'm not sure anything has actually been confirmed. I'd also like to know about Android's built-in Visual Voicemail and whether or not Verizon is going to allow it. Neither my Nexus 6 or 6P were able to use it.
  • Verizon has their own visual voicemail as well I believe... Either way I think these are valid questions!
  • Visual voicemail works on my Google Nexus 6 on Verizon, not on my Nexus 5X, for some crazy reason they don't support LG Nexus devices visual voicemail, and from the looks of it the Huawei Nexus device.
  • Same with me. There's an app for the N6 but not for the 5X. Also, HD Voice works on both our N6 and the 5X. WiFi calling does not. I wonder if VZW will prevent HD Calling on the non VZW purchased Pixels?
  • I'm not referring to Verizon's VV, but Android's built-in VV (not an app).
  • You can use Google Voice as a visual voicemail app. That's all I use it for. That should work.
  • I shouldn't need to nor do I want to. Android has VV built into the OS; we should be able to use it.
  • Go to the Google play Store, type in Verizon visual voice mail, it's the one that says by Motorola mobility.
  • I'm not referring to Verizon's VV, but Android's built-in VV (not an app) which has existed since the release of Marshmallow.
  • Verizon has to allow it as well. Again, using the Blackberry Priv as an example... It supports wifi calling but Verizon won't turn it on for their network.
  • Id keep the "My Verizon" app to keep track of the data used.
  • Yeah, same as the T-mobile app pretty much and I actively went out and installed that. The other two are not welcome.
  • I use it to see my data usage on my home screen and pay my bill. Pretty great app.
  • The built in data usage isn't accurate enough for you? It matches up fine on mine with the MyAtt app - which I use to pay the bill.
  • And don't forget, Verizon charges a ridiculous 'upgrade fee'. Even though you're paying for the phone in full. I think it's around $20-$30. They're policy is also to open the package and set up the phone for you unless you buy it from their website. After years of buying from Verizon, I bought my moto x from moto maker 3 years ago and my Nexus 5X directly from Google last year, and the experiences were far superior. Night and day. I don't think I could ever go back to buying from Verizon. Glad to see this article posted to inform the masses.
  • On the Best Buy website it clearly says "Verizon," so it's obviously the locked Verizon version that Best Buy is selling. Didn't Google say that Verizon is their only retail partner? That would basically mean that, unless you get the unlocked version straight from Google, it's the locked-down Verizon version.
  • I'd argue don't buy any phone from Verizon. Sent from my Sony Xperia X Compact
  • LOL
  • He is right though..I would add don't buy any carrier branded phones.
  • Don't buy any phones. They're all terrible.
  • Yes! Lol
  • I upgraded today at my local Verizon store and had a great experience. Not everything is doom and gloom, guys.
  • I am not sure I agree 100% with this, maybe we should try to be more balanced. Some individuals can go into VZW or online and trade in their current phone and get 300 dollars off the Pixel and a VR from Google and get a great phone. Now that Google is selling the phone similarly to how Apple has in the past maybe they will handle releases similarly. I am sure I will get slammed for this but not everyone can afford to buy it right out and will opt for a 2 year contract and price of 199. Hey I am by no means a fan of VZW but I am a fan of Google and however they can sale the most units is what matters most to me!!!!! So buy a PIxel or PIxel XL...period!!!! Wherever you can get the best deal and are happy with the service you receive. Thanks
  • I was hoping that someone would have the sense to bring this up! I've got an ex-bootlooped G4 lying around and can get a $300 trade-in value for that with Verizon. I'd be lucky to get half that if i sold it on Swappa...
  • If you check the trade in value on your G4 on Verizon, you'll see that they won't give you the full $300. It says up to $300.
  • You are very correct111 They only offered me $200 credit for my Nexus 6P.
  • Good Call, I got excited by the wording for a minute. Checked the trade in value on my year old g4, $12.60. HA puke.
  • I use the Google Nexus 6 and Nexus 5X on Verizon just fine, and they are Google phones, bought on swappa, in regards to Verizon messages, I like it because it can be integrated with your PC or tablet, you can be on your PC or tablet and send and receive text messages.
  • You can do that with any messaging app. Just install mighty text or something similar and boom, text from your computer or tablet.
  • I use Google Messenger but still get all the texts on my tablet and PC via Verizon Messages.
  • That's how mightytext works too
  • That's all well and good and such... But for those who haven't checked out the Google store and project fi, they're already sold out. Ontop of that, no they don't "offer payments"... You have to have a credit score of over 720 to be allowed to make payments, so a good majority of people won't be able to get it that way. For them, they'll need to wait for best buy to open up pre-orders, and hope that their credit policy is less restrictive, which I doubt. Nearly 900 dollars for a "Google phone" is pretty outrageous... That's a house payment! I wish manufacturers would get their sticks out of their butts and realize that people aren't made of money. Sure they can get payments through a carrier, but that's just a way to force you into giving them extra money for an already over priced phone! Look at xbox and the ps4.... They are under 400 bucks, and are generally seen as more powerful than a phone... Slap a modem into it and presto you could have a Weirdo whacky phone... OnePlus used to understand this, and would give people a super phone for half the price as everyone else... Nexus phones used to be the same way. Now it's all "welp we want some extra cash so lets Jack up the price by 500 bucks ok?"... It's despicable...
  • Google has added a second Finance option outside project Fi.
  • Resale value will take a hit if you buy the Verizon phone as well I bet.
  • I just hope Fi offers a screaming deal like they do with the 5X.
  • Word
  • Ok great. Google has a financing option. But you're locked in for two years. I want the option to either continue to pay payments or trade it in after the year mark. I can do that now with my carrier with every phone I have so this is a non option. Besides, I don't want too. My personal eyeballs dictate that this phone is ugly.
  • Just so you know Andrew, there is one such possible reason, if you have a business account with Verizon the Pixel is only $199 and $319 for the XL on a one year contract (which is actually 10 months) . . So while I agree that these Verizon restrictions are loathesome it may be an option for the cost conscious business user.
  • 100% agree... Good article and still doesn't matter because AC readers will still buy from Verizon starting some reason and later come to complain that Google is not pushing updates to Verizon version, bootloader is locked and so on... NO reason to buy this crippled version at any cost.
  • @Andrew Lack of HD Voice and Wifi Calling? Is that confirmed?
  • Curious about this, WiFi calling is very important to me.
  • Yeah if confirmed that seems like a big deal and a major reason not to buy it through the google store. I don't have Verizon but I would think twice before buying if that were true.
  • I'm also wondering if this is confirmed.
  • s'what we understand, which is why I wrote it here. if they flip-flop and offer it it'd be a pretty huge switch.
  • What's your source for that? It sounds more like just a misunderstanding, given that the Nexus 6P with a Verizon SIM has HD calling.
  • Not saying it will work the same, but HD voice (VoLTE) works on Verizon on my BYOD Moto X Pure.
  • Still looking forward to the day Google stops pushing the "only on Verizon" marketing. Verizon likely requires it, but it sure isn't helping sales. I've seen some enthusiasts online question if the Pixels will work on their carrier due to that marketing. If some people online are questioning it, I can only imagine the normal consumers will likely be turned away if they're interested, but not on Verizon.
  • Oh no, bloatware. "Can you hear that?"
  • Folks love to jump to conclusions here... Also, hating on Verizon is mandatory on this site lol .. The 3 VZW apps actually are installed from the Google Play Store, so you can uninstall like a regular app.... https://www.reddit.com/r/Android/comments/561wpq/google_pixel_preloaded_...
  • Yep.
  • I would get it from Verizon for one reason, and one reason only. My employer pays for my phones and service. If I had to pay for it myself I'd be on another carrier and purchase the phone directly from Google.
  • Nice of your employer to do.
  • If you are on Verizon then most likely you will be using the My Verizon app so there are a whole 2 apps you can uninstall- big deal. The bootloader reason is about the only issue I see as being a problem. You are getting security updates and since the Pixel is not loaded with Verizon bloatware I am willing to bet the OS updates won't be that delayed. Sometimes the Verizon hate is ridiculous.
  • Try not to be too sane in the membrane.. The Google zombies will eat your brains... For me it's two VZW apps, the My VZ app and the Messages app, which happens to remain my favorite messages app after many years.. So for me that means I will be uninstalling/hiding more Google bloat than VZW bloat lol
  • If we buy directly from Google. Will we get WiFi calling?
  • Did you read the article? If so, comprehension classes should be on your wish list for xmas.
  • no guarantees. I know a bunch of other phones such as the 6P and moto x pure DO NOT HAVE WI-FI calling available. VoLTE (advanced calling) does work, however.
  • Nice catch Andrew. I saw this news too.
  • Google really needs to fix the advertising on these phone as they are misleading. The ad showing on this page says the Pixel is only on Verizon, which isn't true. This could potentially steer people away from it thinking it won't work on their current carrier.
  • Don't buy a Pixel phone, period! Why?
  • Good article and I think it drives the main point home well - don't buy phones from the carriers. I think we are finally moving in this direction here in the US and I think it's a good thing. When I was an iPhone type it didn't matter because Apple didn't allow anything to be installed. Now that I'm living in the Android world it's a very different scenario. Hopefully if people start buying devices elsewhere the carriers will stop making features like VoLTE and wifi calling exclusive to devices they have sold and make them available for all.
  • This strongly contradicts what the Pixel is supposed to be about. Its supposed to be a simple device that "just works". Thanks to carrier exclusivity, we're now talking about WiFi Calling not working on unlocked, Bootloader restrictions, delayed updates, Verizon apps pre-installed. So basically, while the look of the device, Google Assistant, and hardware is the same....you are not free to do what you want if you purchase the Verizon model.
  • And some things wont work if you buy from googs. Visual voicemail etc etc..
  • A simple device that "just works" doesn't need its bootloader tinkered with. So how is having it locked contradictory to that?
  • Soooo..... 3 Verizon apps, 2 I would keep, 1 is garbage.... That means I would be uninstalling MORE "Google bloat" then.... If I bought this device... BTW, I've found the Verizon Messages app to be superior to any "default" one.... Definitely better than that Allo mess....
  • Yes, along with HD voice and Wi-Fi calling. The term carrier bloatware in this instance is way over used. I can get a pixel or pixel xl through Verizon for $200 with HD voice and Wi-Fi calling and your so called bloat apps are a whopping 3 Verizon apps, 2 of which I use by choice, daily, and the other go90 crap I will simply delete. I think this article tries very hard to make Much Ado About Nothing, but in the end if you want to buy the phone, by it however you want to. No, I'm not happy about the major platform updates being delayed by a bit, but to be honest, I don't give a flip about the bootloader being unlockable or not.
  • How are you getting it for only $200??
  • When you are on the annual upgrade program using an eligible device, once you pay off 50% of that device, whether it is in 12 equal monthly payments or you pay off the 50% at an accelerated rate you are then free to choose another phone.
    $200 in the here-and-now will take me to the 50% pay off on my S7 Edge and allow me to choose another phone that is annual upgrade eligible, which includes the new pixel phones. If I wait until the start of November my upfront fee drops from $200 to $165 to flip over to any annual upgrade eligible phone of my choosing, including the pixels.
  • This right here is an excellent explanation of how the phone doesn't cost $200, but many people will think it does.
  • No zebra, I don't believe the phone cost $200. I said that I can flip to the phone for $200.It is a payment system in perpetuity as long as you choose to carry on with it. I know that and I'm okay with that as long as I want to continue it. If you select 1 phone and make the payments on it for 2 years, then yes, you do own that phone outright. I don't want that. I want a new phone on an annual basis, and I recognize what the program entails. Of course if I just wait until next march that eliminates any upfront fee that I have discussed up to this point whether that is $200 or $165 next month, at that point it simply becomes the device is 50% paid for, turn it in and get the next one to begin the two years of payments again and that is the key there, the TWO years of payments beginning again and have the next shiny new device. As long as you understand what the program entails, each person must make the decision for themselves if they are okay with that or not, I am.
  • I know Jerry and probably others will agree with you about Google's own installed 'bloatware'
  • Really no reason at all. I pre-ordered with Google and they sent me an email that they will also offer a free daydream headset.
  • Wifi calling
    Vzw visual voicemail (Google voice doesn't work for me for reasons i don't feel like going in to)
    Sexy blue phone. There's three reasons.
  • Verizon is also giving away the free VR headset.
  • "You can say they're a bit on the spendy side" WTF???? I think you mean a bit on the PRICEY side. I'm a bit on the spendy side, if there is such a word, i.e. I spend too much.
  • I will absolutely need an answer to the WiFi calling question. I'm moving in a few months out into the sticks..weak Verizon coverage, and NO AT&T or T-Mobile. I will need to receive calls and messages over Wifi
  • If you are on Verizon and Wi-Fi calling is extremely important to you I would be leaning very, very strongly toward the Verizon version of this phone.
  • "Carrier bloatware" is the new gluten.
  • My old Note 4 is Gluten free. No bloatware.
  • Lol, hilarious!
  • "The only restriction will be the lack of HD Voice and Wi-Fi calling" Verizon it is then. WiFi calling is a must.
  • I use WiFi calling using the Google messenger app.
  • But on what phone?
  • "It also offers you 24-month interest-free financing, just like Verizon will." I think it's important to note that with Google's financing option, you're opening a new line of credit whereas with Verizon, there is no hit to your credit if you have a good payment history. That's a big deal to some folks.
  • Yes, it would be a shame to have a freaking phone purchase brought up and called into question when you were financing your next vehicle or looking at a home loan because each and every hard check and line of credit counts.
  • Yeah, but $299 for a Pixel 128GB is really tempting if you still have e the subsidy option....
  • Yes, but that would increase my line access fee by $25/month making the cost of my service $600 MORE over the 2 yr contract. That makes it an $899 phone, not a $299 phone. There is no real difference in purchasing at the discounted contract rate and full retail, except with the contract you pay a big chunk of the cost up front.
  • Unless you're on their loyalty plan, unlimited calls and texts, 2gb for $60. Then using the contact option isn't a bad idea.
  • I will never support exclusive products. no matter how good they maybe to me it's insulting. also Android OS should be equal across the boards let the OEM's to come up with good devices.
  • My Nexus 6p has hd calling on Verizon, shouldn't the unlocked pixel have it as well?
  • YES! Avoid Verizon, UNLOCKED 4LYFE.
  • This cheapens the brand, for me. If Google wants to charge top dollar (many would say too much), then the least they can do control the experience for the customer and ensure all the best features and core integrity of their phone is upheld. A Google Pixel with all these caveats has almost no value proposition. You might as well get the S7 for less. Or HTC 10. Or OnePlus 3. Or an iPhone where you will get direct updates from Apple.
  • I only purchase unlocked devices. I never buy from a carrier. I have already ordered my pixels XL from the Google plays store.
  • While I agree with the sentiment to avoid Verizon for purchase, there are some things in this article that warrant further clarification. 1) We don't know HD voice will be excluded. HD Voice works on the Moto X Pure and the Nexus 5x (and I think the 6p, but I don't have that device to confirm.) Since it works on other unlocked devices, it should work on these. Wifi calling is an unknown. 2) The 3 apps may show up on any Pixel that is activated with a Verizon SIM. Verizon is using the ability that Google baked into android to load apps from the Play Store upon activation. They are not baked into the ROM. So, it's possible that they will get installed on any Pixel device that activates with a Verizon SIM. Good news is though that they should be able to be uninstalled right away. For right now, it looks like the software on the Pixel for Verizon is going to be 100% the same as the Play Store variant, the only difference is configuration (bootloader that can't be unlocked.) Keep in mind that one typically doesn't need the bootloader to be unlocked to flash OTAs manually. So, again, agree with the message to avoid buying from Verizon, but the downsides may be minimal.
  • I know that google fi and verizon offer extras like Daydream but I dont see any extras through the google store. Are there any extras if I buy it from the google store?
    [Edit: Nevermind I see the free daydream in the google store 0.o
  • Interesting article you hit here Andrew. He are my takes on your points.
    Bloatware: if having three apps that will take a total of about a minute to remove from the phone is a problem for someone, that speaks more to that person's sense of entitlement than anything. It'd be different if they couldn't be removed, but reports are they will be removable.
    Updates :they're may be a delay because of Verizon. There probly will be. But Verizon did beat the Nexus in updating a phone before. So we can't automatically say it'll be delayed. And Google will still be handling the security updates, and I'm 100% sure that Jerry has written a few articles explaining how that is far more important than OS updates. I'll take Jerry's opinion over any other tech writer on the planet.
    Bootloader: are there more than 50 people that actually care about that?
    The most important thing, however-if I don't buy from Verizon how will i get that sexy blue phone?
  • I agree with you, across the board, plus WiFi calling & HD voice.
  • Yup, Tdizzel is right on. You should really look into Capitalizing that "T" in your name!
  • I agree with the writer; however, I cannot find proof that the bootloader will be unlockable when buying directly from Google. I have seen many articles, tweets, etc...that say it will be bootloader unlockable (from Google), but that isn't proof. Until I see a successful unlocking of the bootloader on a non-Verizon branded Pixel, it would be irresponsible to believe it.
  • I always buy from Verizon.
    They always supply me with free suppositories and vaseline.
    I just love that squeaky clean empty wallet feeling.
  • Well, that's fairly humorous, but the phones cost the same either way, from Verizon or Google, funny enough.
  • Which is an excellent reason to not buy from Verizon.
  • It really just depends on your needs. If you're already a Verizon customer and you would like to actually have HD voice capability and Wi-Fi calling, to me that puts the ball back in Verizon's Court. To each their own.
  • After reading the articles about how verizon is treating pixel purchasers I must admit I'm a bit perplexed. Why on earth would anyone buy a pixel from them rather than from Google? I could understand it if google didn't allow purchases on credit, but from what I've read on AC Google do credit sales.
  • How is Verizon treating Pixel purchasers? The phone replaced the Iphone on the front page, has no real bloat (3 uninstallable apps, 2 I use and 1 that every VZ customer will keep)... All I've read is a lot of jumping to conclusions and hyperbole... . The 3 VZW apps actually are installed from the Google Play Store, so you can uninstall like a regular app! https://www.reddit.com/r/Android/comments/561wpq/google_pixel_preloaded_... .. I can order a Pixel from VZW with no credit hit, as I've never had a late bill, heck I could buy one paid in full and bill it to a future bill and then pay that off with a credit card card, giving me almost 3 months to pay off the phone in full with no interest .
  • I think insisting on retaining control over future OS updates is a ****** thing to do to punters.
  • It's a new device, if it sells, VZ will lose it's upper-hand. Although, not my fave device, I actually hope it sells well and Google uses that to it's advantage (I've always felt that Samsung wussed out by not taking full control of updates from carriers).. Also, thanks for replying with words and not just a meaningless downvote.
  • Yes.
  • Well first off, I NEED wifi calling because my house is a service killer and actually causes dropped calls. Also as mentioned above, there are several financial perks that would be ill advised to passed up on simply to avoid three uninstallable apps and unlocked bootloader, not to mention the insurance discrepancies. If bootloader is a deal breaker, then of course go Google, but im sure there are still people out there who dont need to turn their phone into a 1998 Honda civic from from fast n furious. Give me Nova launcher and im good. All in all, Verizon is still a viable and reasonable place to get this phone. The day where we purchase our phones outright from the manufacturer is almost here, but for now there are plenty of reasons to go either way.
  • This is the problem with Verizon and why I left them, they force all of the concessions on them.
    Meanwhile I can buy it unlocked from google and get wifi-calling, VoLTE and HD voice because all T-mobile lets any phone manufacturer go through the certification process to enable these features, which is how every carrier should behave. Now very likely your on Verizon because you need the coverage, I understand that completely, in my area T-mobile coverage is truly 99% as good as Verizon and a lot less and I'm lucky that I can support a company that treats it customers right. Just makes it mad it seems just as phones began to be compatible with all four carriers, AT&T and Verizon said "we need another way to lock users into our network" so they made these artificial restrictions on WiFi calling and VoLTE to make sure their phones don't work as well on competitors networks as well as forcing existing customers to buy from them and lock them into their network.
  • I think google really screwed this pixel launch up with Verizon as the only store that will have it in store. I understand it has the most users but they are also the most draconian, and the reason I left Verizon a long time ago.
    A lot of Verizon users may not care, but some will find out late in the game after buying from Verizon and feel cheated, leaving a bad taste in the mouth of the average user who buys a Pixel at Verizon, which is who they are trying to court. Average users to their brand, Verizon has been much better with updates lately so maybe the gamble will play out OK, but if it doesn't sell well I'd expect Verizon will let the updates slide longer and longer.
    Putting the users Google is trying to court off their brand. Now I understand that it's quite possible that AT&T wouldn't allow the phone on their network without control of the software either, and you wouldn't have wanted to go with them at all if they controlled the updates that would be an absolute disaster. Maybe they should have just accepted their position and gone with carriers which might have been more accepting of google controlling the updates
    T-mobile seems the most likely and / or maybe Sprint, they'd have less users to potentially court but if it took off they could get the momentum to get better terms from AT&T or Verizon and in the end if they want this to work they need to wrestle control of updates away from the carrier to be like Apple. (Only in the case of updates of course) I bought it from the google store for use on T-mobile and I'm sure I'll be happy with the device, I'm just don't think google made the right call for appealing to more average users. Did you already forget the galaxy nexus google? it's the same company.
  • mid range unlocked phones are the way to go, cheap but just as good(almost)
  • Except that the Google Store is out of stock of almost all configurations :)
  • If you buy a Pixel or Pixel XL through Verizon, do you still have the option of subscribing to Project Fi with that phone? While you most likely wouldn't want to pay for both a Verizon and Project Fi plan for domestic coverage, you might want to do so for international travel for a month at a time. So, the question: Is it possible, or does Verizon block Project Fi on the Pixel/Pixel XL phones it sells?
  • So, what happen when you buy direct from Google and bring it to big red?
    Does it auto download the bloatware on your phone?
  • Bestbuy is giving your free Chromecast and $100 gift card,i assume those are Verizon models
  • Friends don't let friends buy phones from carriers.
  • Carrier phones matter
  • If you're going to get the Verizon version, at least get it from BestBuy. They are bundling a Chromecast and $100 gift card in some cases.
  • That's my plan....
  • Hey there random cell phone purchaser? Not sure about phones? Just don't even buy this one. Pass on it. Google did a terrible job and you should not give them your money for it. If you're not a smartphone nerd, you'll be much better off with a Samsung, LG, or HTC phone. Good luck!
  • Two reason to buy the phone from Verizon:
    1. $200 trade in credit if your phone's trade in value is at least $1 that will be credited per month.
    2. Really Blue is out of stock through the Google Store but still totally available from Verizon. Bonus reason:
    Still get a free daydream headset from Verizon too! Pre-ordered mine over the phone yesterday from Verizon and it was incredibly easy with great customer service. I am always one to order online, but I benefited from the trade-in credit on my custom Moto X pure by talking to someone.
  • Where is that $200 credit mentioned?
  • You're going to sell your soul to the devil and wind up with no OS updates for a long time just for $200. Why bother with a Pixel phone? One of it's biggest selling points were the updates and Google has pissed that away.
  • The sky is falling, the sky is falling.
  • I think there a little more networking shenanigans than just loosing out on HD voice and wifi calling. I think if you bring your own phone, Verizon blocks you from using XLTE which is their fancy name for polling and getting data from all 3 LTE bands at the same time if available. And I also have to believe that their LTE Advanced network wont work on it either. Your story paints a much nicer picture about Verizon just doing some normal testing before getting an OS update out. They will freaking hold that update until "all of their apps properly work on the new OS" which usually means until about 3 months after their new flagship comes out with that software. I have been burned by droids the past 3 years and I had Vz Galaxy Nexus so I am not doing that **** ever again. You get the financing with google, get your VR headset and grab a Fi sim at the same time. And you start using Vz off contract and save a few bucks. If it doesn't work out you have Fi in your back pocket. It their only one Sku though of the pixel and all the bands are the same? Does the Vz one have different bands? And why no 128 in blue!!!
  • This isn't quite as bad as I expected.
  • Buying my pixel from Verizon. Not everyone has the same needs or wants as you.
  • WHAT???? Didn't you hear? There is 3 VZW apps that you can uninstall via play store in all but 3 seconds!!! You are crazy if you're willing to waste 3 seconds of your life.. Crazy!!!! :-)
  • Hahaha, well said.
  • Seriously, it's such a tragedy to have to go through ALL THE AGONY of uninstalling 3 apps...
  • lol
  • I'm a little late to this party, but It's worth mentioning. I use a Nexus 6P on Verizon now, certain functions do not work with an 'unlocked' phone. For some reason CSRs aren't able to add international data/calling (I go to Canada sometime) and can do 0 troubleshooting if there is a connection issue. I had big problems swapping between Google Fi and Verizon. Just FYI there are some minor roadblocks, but nothing that should stop someone.
  • Just a random comment, not in response to anyone. I don't understand people "financing" phones - not to be a jerk, but if you can't afford a 600-1000 dollar phone maybe you shouldn't be buying at that level. I see it quite a bit - couples piling into a jalopy in tattered clothes with hungry kids - yet there's Mom and Dad chronicling every minute of their day on Facebook on their $1000 iPhones/Note 7's. Ugh.
  • "Just a random comment, not in response to anyone. I don't understand people "financing" phones - not to be a jerk, but if you can't afford a 600-1000 dollar phone maybe you shouldn't be buying at that level. I see it quite a bit - couples piling into a jalopy in tattered clothes with hungry kids - yet there's Mom and Dad chronicling every minute of their day on Facebook on their $1000 iPhones/Note 7's. Ugh." Welcome to America, been here long? The I gotta have it at any cost mentality is one of the worst things about Americans. These phones are all over priced and over hyped, yet every third grader has one. it's getting to a point where everything has to be financed because people are either underpaid or stupid or both. I look at these people and wonder do you even make $650 a week? How can you afford an iphone? Sadly the answer is they don't but they make monthly payments on a new phone. Unfortunately, instead of voting with their wallets and causing greedy phone manufacturers and now Google included in that bunch to make more affordable phones. They continue buying expensive phones like there's no tomorrow and lining up in front of the Apple store for days or weeks at a time. why would they lower their prices? People are stupid and now Google want to cash in on some of that stupidity too.
  • Agree with you. Not so sure it is a uniquely American phenomenon - but yeah, we probably are the World leaders in the mentality. Not healthy.
  • There is a huge difference between financing something and not being able to afford it. If someone can fit $30 a month into their budget but doesn't want to take out $800 from their savings, why not finance it? Especially at zero percent interest?
    I get what you're saying about the tattered clothes and hungry kids and I agree, but there is nothing inherently wrong with financing a phone.
  • Of course there is, if you have to finance it that means it's too expensive. Just like everything else in America, cars, houses, TV's, college, etc.. Banks have figured out how to keep everyone in America in debt until they die. So the zero percent interest is fine for now, but how long do you think it'll be before these guys start charging interest? I give it a few years, it will happen.
  • "Of course there is, if you have to finance it that means it's too expensive."
    Wrong. Dead wrong. It's true that many, many people finance things they can't afford otherwise, but that's not the case in every situation. I'll give you a simplified version of my case and what i and everybody in my family was taught, and surely they're are others in the same category. These aren't exact numbers but i think you'll get the point.
    I have five thousand dollars invested earning interest. There's a phone i want that cost a thousand dollars. That phone can be bought for 50 payments of 20 dollars (no interest). According to you, i should stop earning interest on the thousand dollars that's invested instead of paying the 20 dollars a month to finance it. That, my friend, is fiscally irresponsible. In my case, financing the phone makes a ton more sense.
  • If your 5 thousand is in a bank earning 0.2 percent interest then your point is meaningless.
  • Tdizzel, thank you for laying that out, so I didn't have to, and then the automatic leap to, well you're not earning enough interest to count anyway. Pointless conversation with someone who is just not going to acknowledge any other Viewpoint or possibility anyway.
  • Why doesn't it surprise me that wannabe Mr. Richie Rich that gets a new phone every 3 minutes doesn't understand the concept of interest. Apparently everyone in America is so smart that they are all earning interest on their money and it would be foolish to take that money out and use it to buy a new phone. Meanwhile the reality is that people are so stupid that they don't even have $20 in their bank account yet they have a new iphone thanks to subsidies and now monthly payments.
  • You really are just a bitter, hateful troll. Is the core matter that you hate anyone with two nickels to rub togather. Get some professional help, and move on. You are truly a bitter, useless individual. Are you angry because nexus phones don't cost a nickel anymore, and so you have displaced, mentally ill hatred toward anyone who can afford one? Buy yourself an Android one, and live happily ever after, useless. You are so worried about $20 in the bank and EBT cards, I know your exact cradle to grave welfare life, libtard. After all, you've obviously got to vote for the party of socialism, you've got to do your very best to keep those welfare checks rolling in, libtard. Not any of your damn business, but my family and I have not received a tax refund in 20 years, if you can comprehend the implications of that, as opposed to you waiting on your socialist entitlement funding, more accurately known as your next welfare check.
  • Do you really not understand the meaning of 0% for a term of 24 months, using the bulk funds anywhere else you please. Jesus, you truly are an idiot, who just enjoys unintelligible trolling, because you obviously have no job to worry about. Useless.
  • And you don't seem to understand that the only reason carriers have these 24 month 0% options because the phones themselves are too damned expensive for average people to afford. Get a clue
  • I thought you were done? But yet you keep coming back. If you have not received a refund it's because you're not paying enough every month and you have your withholding set to high. You want to make it seem like you pay a lot of taxes because you don't get a refund but that proves nothing. You need to get a real CPA and stop going to H&R Block. If you had a real CPA you would understand that the way to do it so that you break even. If you get a refund that means you paid too much and you like the government holding on to your money and not paying you any interest. Basic tax knowledge that seems to elude you, but hey you like paying a lot taxes so go for it and keep paying every year. Is the reason that your family does not get a refund because your family doesn't work? Seems like it cause you have no clue how the w2 withholding works. Like I said wealthy people are not AC they have important things to do. You on the other hand seem to have a lot of time on your hands.
  • Enjoy Columbus Day, welfare Thomas. Buy your phone from Google, be happy, and shut up, useless. You don't get tax refunds when they tax the hell out of you to provide welfare checks to people like you, useless.
  • Look who has anger issues, did you not get your government cheese this month?
  • Well said. Agree - in light of $0 interest. Can't help but think that more than a few that do so don't have the $800 in savings to begin with. Anyway, I think you and I are agreeing - I totally agree about their being a huge diff between financing and not being able to afford it.
  • I definitely agree with you, I just don't think things should be painted with such a broad brush.
  • Fair enough :)
  • So begins the Pixel adventure, Google already shot itself in both feet and is now aiming the gun at it's head.
  • Why buy from Verizon? Because subsidized pricing, that's why. $250 is a no brainer.
  • And for that subsidized pricing you get Verizon throwing a monkey wrench into Pixel's biggest selling point, namely the updates. Sure there will be security updates but no new versions at least not quickly. And you'll be one of the first to whine about it here when others will get Android O or XYZ or whatever their new version is and you will be waiting and waiting and waiting. Tell me I'm wrong and that you don't care about those updates and I'll call you a liar.
  • The updates isn't the biggest selling point for everyone. It wasn't the biggest point Google made and many people don't care about OS updates as much security updates. And even for those who find it critical, there is no way to definitively say Verizon will delay them.
  • Well I can tell you I stopped caring about "the latest OS version".. Sure cared years back and went nuts with ROMS and such, Then after KitKat I stopped caring.. There hasn't been any major features to the OS that makes me go "OMG I must have that feature right now".... Your wants and needs do not equal the want's & needs of others.... Most people just don't care about having the latest OS right away and it means nothing to them. Just because someone doesn't have the same needs or wants as you does not make them a liar.. Calling them a liar for that however make you a .................... very nice person..
  • The people that claim to not care about the OS updates are the first ones crying when their phone doesn't get updated. That was the point in case you missed it.
  • Blah, blah,blah, use my update to the latest OS plan, I treat myself to a new phone yearly, because it is a hobby and something I enjoy.
  • If you think that phone costs $250, perhaps you'd consider spending the money you'll save on this bridge I'm looking to sell. I'll give you a good deal.
  • I'm sure that engineer knows that he also pays a monthly built-in fee for it, at least I hope he does.
  • Call me a liar then, because I don't care. I'm used to waiting regardless if it's Verizon or when I was previously on Sprint. People are making a bigger deal of it than it really needs to be. Is spending $400 more worth the "privilege" to say they got an update *first*? Not hardly. Same goes for the bloatware which can be removed...it's another non issue.
  • Well that bloatware can be removed now, but that hasn't always been the case.
  • As you yourself said, but now that bloat can be removed, but you constantly toil on these points. Obviously, because they're a very, very important issue to you, and you're angry about the whole verizon pixel situation, in general. I have an easy cure for your anger, don't buy the phone from Verizon, buy the phone from Google, if you're going to buy the phone, and have your happiness restored.
  • I hate that saying.. "it's a Non issue" .. Why can't we say "it's not an issue"?? Which arsehole in the corporate world came up that saying ??
  • Yup. SO MANY examples of that out in the wild. We used to go to meetings and have "BS BINGO" cards at the ready... filled with many of the corporate buzzwords/phrases of the time. "synergies", "levers", "leverage", "circle back", "cross-pollinate", etc., etc... it made for a lot of fun!
  • I don't know, but in this instance it is appropriate.
  • Wtf? I thought they were copying everything from iPhone. Meaning all phones treated equally and no bloatware??
  • They only copied the iphone look and price, good move Google.
  • What was NOT mentioned, which is the biggest reason to buy from Verizon, is if you are currently in the middle of your payment plan for another device (say iphone 6s plus). Since the Pixel is one of their yearly upgrade compatible phones, you can trade in your iphone and get the pixel when it releases (as long as the phone is half paid off). Google will not offer this so anyone on verizon that is paying for a phone right now would have no choice if they want to purchase the Pixel.
  • That option disappeared when VZW disconnected phone sales from contracts. The option is no longer there.  
  • Incorrect sir. There are several models that allow you to upgrade yearly even while you are on payment plan. Iphones, galaxy s7/note, and now Pixel. As long as you have paid off at least half of your phone (you can pay it if you havent met the year amount yet), then you can get the next phone.
  • That only applies if you're under an old plan. Once that plan is up and expired, it won't be renewed. There's no grandfather clause that allows one to keep it up. Once it's over, it's over. The amount of users that can take advantage of it is very small, but it'll be gone within a few months. VZW no longer subsidizes nor allows promotions of that sort. Just like the old Unlimited Data plans expire and can no longer be grandfathered or continued.  
  • Fortunately, you are wrong again. I am NOT grandfathered in and when you are on payment plans with iphones, galaxys, and now pixel, you can upgrade yearly as long as the half of the phone has been paid off. I know what I am talking about because I have already preordered using this method. You may need to research this if you do not believe me...... if you own anything other than those models, this may be why you are confused.
  • Sorry, Denver Ralphie, you are wrong. Verizon as we speak right now has a selection of phones that are termed annual upgrade eligible and the pixel phones fall into that category along with the high-end Samsung's and the newer iPhones. You should go to Verizon wireless.com and check it out for yourself if you don't want to take our word for it.
  • Wrong, Ralphie. Keywords/ annual upgrade eligible. Proudly front and center on their web pages right now. Pay off 50% of the phone and grab another device as you want, whether you make 12 monthly payments to pay off that 50% or whether you pay off that 50% at an accelerated rate. That is exactly how I can pick up either pixel phone for $200 in the Here and Now, or I can pick up either pixel phone for $165 once we begin the month of November. I have already spoken with customer service about it at length, as you might suspect.
  • the old (true) unlimited data plans don't automatically expire, however, holding one subjects you to a lot of overbearing pushiness from VZW to give it up and move to a tiered plan. still have mine and it means never again buying a phone from them, always have to go outside to get a SIM compatible phone and move the card. a slight annoyance but keeps me in the full unthrottled data stream
  • Wrong..verizon still has 2yr contracts which i can kill off at any time i want for $350 or less and bc i have 3 lines im always locked in to get a another 2 yr contract..I play the hell out verizon and i love it..i have no problems slipping thru verizons loopholes...
  • We weren't mentioning 2 year contracts for a reason. It's "technically" not something cheap nor easy to upgrade yearly. Plus not everyone wants to juggle three lines for a loophole. You tend to spend more money using that method anyway.
  • Galaxy nexus 2.0... Maybe one day Google will step up and push back on verizon. 
  • This sort of BS is why I don't buy phones from carriers.
  • Don't buy anything from Verizon. That would be all that would have to be written. Everyone would understand.
  • Sorry but users like me who haven't upgraded in two years get the Pixel for $199, period. My monthly does not increase one penny. If I wasn't getting paid $450 from Verizon then I'd buy it from Google. But Verizon customers might want to check if they get $450 off before they purchase from Google. I've only been a customer since 2014.
  • While the phone may only ship with 3 bloatware apps, it has been reported that as soon as you activate it with a Verizon SIM, all the typical bloat will be automatically downloaded from the Play Store. While it won't be in the system partition, and therefore should be uninstallable, no one should have to go through that. And I can't help but wonder if Verizon won't keep trying to reinstall it when you're not looking. Frankly, as anti-consumer as Verizon's policies are, I can't understand why anyone who is interested enough in smartphones to come to a site like this would even consider using Verizon.
  • Well, you have heard an incorrect rumor, and besides that, as with any smartphone purchase, one of the first things that anyone should do is go in and disable DT ignite, which is nothing more than a piece of malware that independently installs other pieces of malware, and no, it is certainly not exclusive to Verizon. Perhaps the most important thing would be to purchase your phone wherever it makes you happy. A lot of people value Wi-Fi calling and HD voice and this is Much Ado About Nothing over 3 applications, two of which are very good, one of which is crap, delete it, and luckily for me, I am not among the one hundred or so people who actually care about an unlockable bootloader. Will it be a drag to wait a little bit longer on updates? Sure, but then again, I treat myself to a new phone every year, so there is the most current OS, no problem,in my case.
  • Because some people get a discount and apparently that's all that matters. In about 6 months to a year when Verizon screws them over they'll all be whining here.
  • You keep saying the same thing, over and over, as though you speak for everyone. You're not clairvoyant, you lack the ability to say whether anyone will be crying in 6 months, other than yourself. NEWSFLASH: you don't speak for everyone, you speak for yourself.
    Jesus Christ,dude,let it go.
    Don't buy the phone from Verizon, be happy, have a life, let other people worry about their own lives and decisions. To each their own, please buy your phone from Google, if you're even going to buy one. You have a serious, massive hang-up about this. Did Verizon take your lunch money and kick your dog?
  • In case you haven't noticed the title of this article says "Don't buy your phone from Verizon". Maybe you should go to the Verizon forums and proudly waste your time there and waste your money on Verizon. Yeah we know you're rich and you buy a new phone ever 3 days blah blah blah. Because that's what rich people do they buy new phones all the time and they troll the Android Central comments sections. Laughing at all the losers who buy OP3's because they're broke. That's what you would have us believe when the reality is you waste every last drop of money you have on dumb expensive phones and from an expensive provider. Meanwhile you're shopping with your EBT card. Yeah everyone knows your type. I suppose everyone here who writes a comment speaks for everyone? No, I speak for myself and it's my opinion. Just like everyone else here who has an opinion and writes a comment. You don't like what I have to say tough cookies. How about you take your own advice and you let it go? You don't like what other people write you're free to read and move on or criticize it. Don't expect people to just read your comments and accept it as some kind of gold statement. Ok, you got me, that was the greatest comment ever made and you put me in my place and now I'll just shut up and let it go. NOT!
  • Blah, blah, blah, I hate verizon, and I endlessly troll anyone who might have a different use case or desires. Serious question if you buy your phone from Google doesn't that make you happy so that you can just shut up and move on with your life?
  • I'm through with this thread. You're just an ignorant troll. Enjoy the weekend, useless.
  • It's weird, I've had HD voice on my unlocked nexus 6 for a while, and I'm on vzw. Granted that's a different phone, but I'm curious why the pixel can't use it.
  • We are talking about HD voice and Wi-Fi calling, incorporating advanced calling, also, the Nexus 6 was officially available on Verizon in its regular time frame.
  • Verizon is a no go. I had a bad experience with them and they never will get another dime from me. Their bloat is the worst and updates are slow. Their service is not leaps and bounds better either. They truly suck.
  • Great recap of being anti-verizon or pro Google, can't tell from the hateraiding on a carrier and their "bloatware." Sure, there may be a couple apps added but you nor I have yet see the phone in person on VZW so don't jump to conclusions. Fact is if people are so hell bent on buying unlocked phones then get on Fi and have an inferior network coverage and spend countless hours connecting to multiple wifi that aren't open. As a nexus owner, you DO get HD call thanks to Verizon's VoLTE service. WiFi calling is a built in feature on almost ALL smartphones so again, get facts straight. Maybe rewrite this and review the advantages of Verizon customers with the $200 trades going on and the VR set for free..didn't see any option on Google Store for them taking my $700 N6P back for anything. Check.
  • The $200 trade in is nice, I grabbed an old 2013 Moto X we had in a drawer collecting dust, and got $200 credit for it. Real nice deal. Will take the phone I am replacing (LG G4) and sell on Swappa for another $150-$175. You'd get $300 from Verizon for more current phones too.
  • Would be nice if they financed to me.
  • I wonder if the title of this article will change if and when a Verizon attorney reads it?
  • Here is a good reason to buy one from Verizon. They are paying me to switch to their network, giving me $300 credit and a Daydream headset for pre-ordering.
  • I've got a Nexus 6P running on Verizon. No problems at all only one slight inconvenience that really bugs the crap out of me. Verizon doesn't have a visual voicemail app that is available for download. That means I have to use a third party app for anything voicemail related and remember to download and reconfigure the app if I have to factory reset. There is a My Verizon Nexus app that works for me (I have heard that others were not successful in the setup process), but I really only use it to track my monthly data usage.
  • Google Voice has done this for years now. Completely compatible on Verizon. If an app by Google is "3rd party" then okay, but it works great.
  • Verizon is installing 3 apps that can be completely removed and nothing else. Not sure why they would have any say in updates seeing that the OS is not molested in any way. Carriers here have already announced that updates come directly from Google, be it OS upgrades or security patches!
  • " Carriers here have already announced that updates come directly from Google, be it OS upgrades or security patches!" Wrong, Google will be providing security updates directly to the phone without any interference from Verizon. But that's not how the OS updates will be, yes they will be from Google but they will not go direct to the phone. They will go to Verizon and Verizon will update your phone. Who knows how long it will take for Verizon to push it to the phones. Judging from past experiences it won't be quick. Does anyone read anymore?
  • Don't forget : as soon as installed... They take all your contacts and other data... Too late to uninstall as the bad things have been already done... Never forget !
  • My Uncle Daniel got a new gold Mercedes-Benz GL-Class Diesel by working parttime off of a pc. http://www.sea59.com
  • It's not just the pixel. Don't buy anything from Verizon. Even their accessories are insanely overpriced. Most of them you can get for half the price on Amazon. I'm so done with Verizon. They don't care about their customers. They just want your money.
  • You'd think this would be common knowledge not to buy the pixel from Verizon... Especially given that the unlocked variant will work with Verizon anyway
  • HD voice is just their term for VoLTE, correct? If it's not supported on unlocked phones that would mean no simultaneous voice and data. Just something to think about.
  • Yes, especially at the same price? There's just no reason to get it from Verizon. So much for the exclusivity eh?
  • What does a day change,.....well after thinking about it some more I went ahead and ordered it directly from Google and cancelled my Verizon order. I can make more money selling my Nexus 6P on Swappa and get more for it than the trade in from Verizon and I financed the Pixel through Google. An added bonus besides the upgrades and being unlocked is the warranty for the Pixel is only $99 for two years total protection. Thanks
  • If you had an old phone laying around still, you could have gotten $200 trade-in credit under their current promotion, and still sold your Nexus 6P on Swappa.
  • Would this still work on Verizon's CDMA network or only their 4G network? And as mentioned above, if no VoLTE (since it requires proprietary drivers, along with WiFi calling, eg, T-Mobile) we can't talk and GPS at the same time?
  • Will an unlocked pixel work with att and will you be able to use Wifi calling and HD voice?
  • On my version priv HD voice wasn't turned by default. I called Verizon and they turned it on. I wonder if it can be turned on with the pixel. After all Verizon wants you to have the best phone experience.
  • From what I have been told, VoLTE and WiFi calling require proprietary drivers that would not be in Google's build of the OS. So no, you wouldn't be able to just have them turn it on.
  • Ding, ding, ding! No sh*t, for all those with wishful thinking, because they're angry about a nexus costing more than a nickel, and that Verizon is the antichrist. Quit Your whining and crying, buy your phone from Google, and deal with the features you'll be missing, taking solace in the fact, you did the "right" thing. LOL.
  • Missing feature == GPS while talking on 4G? Not really something I just want...
  • The Google fi version of my Nexus 5x does have HD calling on the Verizon network. I believe it will work on the Pixel too.
  • Seriously?
  • I honestly would rather deal with Verizon's CS than Google's. The bloatware on this will be ignorable (and 1 of the 3 actually useful), and as long as it gets timely security updates I don't have an issue waiting a little longer for FW updates, as Google Nexus updates are renown for regressing performance in one way or another. It's often better to get them a month or two later, frankly. At this point in time, I couldn't care less if the update comes today or 6-8 weeks later, to be honest. I don't even get all that excited about phone updates anymore. I'm only concerned about security updates, and those are going to be fairly reliable (still not as good or timely as Apple's, though). I'm not getting the phone, but I don't think updates or bloatware is a legit reason for the average consumer to get it from Google instead of Verizon. They're probably better off getting it from an entity where they can easily go in for help/support/replacement/etc. if necessary, to be frank.
  • My issue is that, this is what I thought with the Droid Turbo. Now, after the launch of Android 7, I am still on 5.1, awaiting the 6.x update that we were promised. Motorola keeps saying they are waiting on Verizon. Since my phone isn't a Samsung, I don't get updates. I doubt it'll ever get the 6.x update at this point. Verizon just doesn't care. I do not want to run into this situation with a Google phone. Google updates are one of the reasons I wanted a Nexus/Pixel in the first place.
  • This happens with all carrier subsidized phones on all carriers. Your experience isn't exclusive to Verizon.
  • Edit: Bug or something in the comments. I clicked reply to one person and it replied to my own last post.
  • The larger reason for not buying through your carrier is because the sooner we make them just big dumb pipe suppliers the better.
  • There is one scenario where buying from the carrier makes sense: When your cell bill is reimbursed by your employer. Mine will reimburse up to $100/month but it all has to be on the cell carrier's bill. As much as I would rather have the unlocked Google version of the Pixel, I'll live with the bloat ware and locked boot loader if my boss is going to make the monthly payments.
  • How does one spend $650-$700 and let someone control YOUR PROPERTY!, Verizon is a horrible company and there are many more. Their pretty much free to do what they want and charge what they want. I would give up one meal a day to get Google fi, Let your contracts go. UNLOCKED UNLOCKED UNLOCKED read the word people, it means do much more than a bootloader.. Hit Verizon where it hurts. In their greedy ass pockets.
  • Horrible choice for a exclusive partner they are the ****'s of the phone world their network certification is a joke they just use it to say "oh well your phone is still in network certification for that software, but you can get this blah blah phone and it's already certified for that software just pay us some more of your hard earned money" Verizon is a joke touting things as "new" when they have existed for ever!!
  • But if you buy it through verizon you can get a 2 year contract to lower the price, I cant really afford the 700 dollar price tag, but the two year contract to drop it to ~300 something dollars is much better.
  • I SAID THE SAME THING BEING DOING THIS WITH VERIZON FOR AWHILE..
  • So Google has learned nothing from its past. Why couldn't they go with T-Mobile or Sprint, they're smaller and thus more likely to allow Google to do its own thing.
  • Verizon is offering a pretty awesome trade-in deal which makes it hard not to order from them. I took my wife's old 2013 Moto X, that they are currently appraising for $8 (~$70 on Swappa), and got a $200 credit applied to the monthly payment, spread over 2 years. More current phones they are offering $300, but I'm just going to sell my current LG G4 direct on Swappa. Don't know how long the promotion will last, but this significantly lowers the purchase price for next to nothing. Her Moto X has been sitting in a drawer collecting dust for over a year and it just saved us $200.
  • Agreed @maverick0984. Currently w/ MotoX2014, Verizon offered me 128GB Pixel for $300. I know I'm taking a risk with updates, but that's a significant discount.
  • Me too. But now I'm debating about spending the extra $450, not doing a contract and getting the unlocked, always updated guaranteed, phone through Google.
  • This just in on my Twitter! http://imgur.com/a/PoHzU
  • Verizon Customer Service verified that Google claims HD Voice and WiFi calling will work on Verizon even if purchased from Google http://imgur.com/a/8juJ5
  • Would love to know if that really is true. I have a Nexus 6P that is useless when it comes to phone calls on Verizon since they block calling over WiFi even though the phone is capable of it. I would like to get the Pixel XL but need to know for sure that the unlocked version will support calls over WiFi. Reception around here mediocre but better than any other carrier.
  • I literally just got off the phone with Google tech support about the pixel xl. They confirmed that the device doesn't support expandable storage but DOES support HD voice and WiFi calling. Also. If bought though Google it is carrier unlocked and should work on AT&T and other carriers without any issues. I told her that Google should update their site as there s a lot of misinformation about the HD voice and WiFi calling features...
  • While I fully agree with all of this I am still surprised that no one is mentioning one big downfall to buying through google (and I am also very late to the party here but oh well). Correct me if i'm wrong but buy through Verizon gets you $20 line access fee + ~$36 device payment plan = $56 total. Buying through google and activating on Verizon gets you $40 line access fee + ~$36 payment with financing = $76 total. Sorry but $480 is no small price to pay for what you are getting with the unlocked version, IMO.
  • While I fully agree with all of this I am still surprised that no one is mentioning one big downfall to buying through google (and I am also very late to the party here but oh well). Correct me if i'm wrong but buy through Verizon gets you $20 line access fee + ~$36 device payment plan = $56 total. Buying through google and activating on Verizon gets you $40 line access fee + ~$36 payment with financing = $76 total. Sorry but $480 over 2 yrs is no small price to pay for what you are getting with the unlocked version, IMO.
  • Would LOVE to buy a Google Pixel XL from the Google Store instead of Verizon... BUT, Verizon has them available on 10/20/2016 where it might be a few weeks to 2-3 months to get one from the Google Store as they are SOLD OUT for the 128GB version I want. SO, Verizon here I come.
  • http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2016/10/psa-if-you-like-updates-dont-buy-... Can we stop the witch hunt now? Sheesh.
  • A unlocked Pixel sounds awesome but I'm getn a $200 discount on my Pixel 128GB for turning in my old HTC M8! That's a good chunk of change I can't pass up. With that said, my wife has had nothing but Samsung phones over the years, but now she is very intrigued by the Pixel phones and is considering spreading her smart phone wings. She is thinking of picking up a Pixel of her own. So if she does, I was thinking of going through Google for it. But I want to make sure she will have no issues wat so ever using her Verizon Sim card in Googles unlocked Pixel phone. I apologize if this has already bn discussed but does any one know for a fact that her Pixel will work just fine with Verizon as if we purchased it from them?
  • I have a Verizon Note 5, from my employer. If I buy an unlocked Pixel from the Google Store, can I simply take the SIM card out of the Note 5, put it in the Pixel, and have service? Is it that simple? Any feedback will be most appreciated. Thanks.
  • another reason to buy from Play Store is for the grandfathered unlimited account holders who are unable to purchase any phone from VZW without having to be forcibly removed from the truly unlimited data plan and thrust into one of the tiered plans.
  • to be fair, the "truly" unlimited data plans are the same as their current unlimited, minus the 10GB hotspot restriction. but the deprioritization over 24GB (i think its 24) is there for everyone unfortunately. Granted, that hotspot restriction can make or break some people, so i'm not putting this forth as an argument that its not worth it.
  • I wouldn't buy a waffle iron from Verizon
  • "there is another perfectly good way to buy a new Pixel or Pixel XL that happens to also let you bypass Verizon's meddling in your phone: store.google.com." I would if I could... but they're sold out :( I have an upcoming international trip in 3 weeks, and I wish to use Project Fi for seamless international data. I think my only option would be to upgrade from Verizon, then stick it to them and activate on Project Fi... I hope my credit card still have no-interest financing promotion going on. Damn, this sucks.
  • Just don't lose it! I bought one for my wife and someone just broke my minivan window to steal the purse. Now I can start making 30 payments to the Google Store for my wife's phone that she doesn't have. If I had bought the phone from a carrier, there might have been some insurance.
  • Well I got mines from Verizon.. Insurance is a good safety net..
  • if you want insurance, third-party options are available, such as squaretrade.
  • I switched my family over to Verizon on Black Friday to get the deal on the Pixel, and couldn't be happier. And I did NOT have the 3 bloatware apps mentioned in this article pre-installed on the phone. So really, no bloatware, updates at the same time as unlocked, the only "drawback" is the locked bootloader, which 99% of average consumers don't care about (and don't even know what it is/does). And for the 1%, the bootloader has been cracked on XDA. So to get a screaming deal on the phone, I got 0 drawbacks by going through Verizon. Big Red may not be for everyone, but they're doing right by the Pixel at least.
  • weird, i *did* have the three bloatware apps installed (though easy to uninstall). i don't plan on rooting or unlocking, so the encrypted bootloader isn't a big issue for me either. i've only had the phone for 2 weeks now and don't know much about update cadence since this is my first android phone in a long while.