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Google insults Pixel 4 buyers with $295 trade-in value for the Pixel 3 XL

Google Pixel 4
Google Pixel 4 (Image credit: Android Central)

What you need to know

  • The Google Store is offering a maximum of $295 for trading in a Pixel 3 XL when purchasing a Pixel 4.
  • For the same Pixel 3 XL, Samsung is offering $450 for a trade-in when purchasing its Note 10 smartphone.
  • iPhone XS Max users can get up to $600 in savings for their trade-in when purchasing a Pixel 4.

Buying a flagship phone these days can put an awful strain on your wallet. One way to relieve some of that strain is by taking advantage of trade-in offers many manufacturers provide. This aids in subsidizing the cost of your new shiny smartphone while also helping convert users from other brands or acts as a loyalty bonus for previous customers.

However, in the case of the Pixel 4, many customers are feeling insulted by Google's estimated value of its own phones. Despite Google advertising savings of up to $400, it only offers a paltry $295 for a 128GB Pixel 3 XL in pristine condition.

That stings a bit when you consider similar models on Swappa (opens in new tab) are selling for $400 or more. Furthermore, Samsung even values the Pixel 3 XL more than Google, offering a trade-in value of $450 when purchasing a Note 10. That's also the same valuation it gives its own Note 9 if you were trading in last year's model to upgrade.

If that wasn't bad enough, trading in an iPhone from last year will get you significantly more back, with the iPhone X saving you up to $395 and the iPhone XS Max fetching up to $600. The only other Android phone that comes close to that is the Samsung Galaxy S10+ which can net you up to $590 in savings.

With these trade-in values, Google sends a clear message that it doesn't value its own phones as much as its users or other manufacturers. It also cares much less about rewarding loyal Pixel customers than it does about trying to chase after iPhone users. It's no wonder Pixel customers are feeling disrespected at the moment.

For those of you disappointed to see how little Google values its own phones one year later, especially considering they can cost you up to $1000 initially, you might be better off purchasing your Pixel 4 elsewhere.

If you're looking to buy a Pixel 4 with a trade-in, you'd be better off going through Verizon or T-Mobile at this point. Verizon is currently offering $450 for a trade-in of your older Pixel and you can even get the Pixel 4 for free with trade-in if you're a new customer at T-Mobile.

52 Comments
  • Google must still have a lot of P3 & P3XL inventory. The trade in is horribly low and Swappa values will decline as fell in the short future.
  • Been on Android since I left apple after iPhone 4, I think we are going to take a hard look at Apple again, not a fan of Samsung and if Google wants to charge flagship prices with sub par equipment I am not paying
  • I am in the EXACT same position. For the FIRST time EVER, I'm literally 50/50 on switching to iOS and the IP11 Pro Max.
  • Same here. I ended up moving to the 11 Pro Max: https://forums.androidcentral.com/showthread.php?t=978937&p=6652940&view...
  • Man. So I had a OG Pixel, and LOVED it, but it had bugs galore. My wife has always been an iOS person (I did get her to try the Samsung S7 and she loved and hated it haha), so I tried the XR, thought "meh, it's ok, but nothing special", went to the Note 10+, had it for a week, and now I have the 11 Pro Max. I have ALWAYS loved Android, but man, it just sucked going back, which shocked the heck out of me.
  • It's a real shame there aren't like 30 other Android device manufacturers besides Samsung and Google...
  • But... Apple has always done that?
  • The iphone XS max is selling for around $650 on average. The pixel 3 XL is selling for around $350 on average. Offering $295 trade in, they will be lucky to break even. What do you expect? I am no fan of Google, but they are not a charity.
  • Amen. People act like Google is in this for ***** and giggles.
  • Companies often pay more than a phone is worth for trade in because they're getting your business. Google doesn't understand that, clearly.
  • I'm sure they understand it. They just don't think it's the right thing to do for themselves. They make their $ in areas other OEMs aren't playing in.
  • Then they shouldn't be shocked if this phone underperforms.
  • Isn't that why they're paying more for iPhones? To get iPhone-users to cross over? They've already got existing Pixel-users in the fold...
  • P4 xl should be selling for 499.00 or less PERIOD.
  • And as soon as you start your own multinational tech company and build a phone, you can decide what to charge. People crack me up.
  • So you're saying people shouldn't have an opinion on anything unless they're in the business? Get real...
  • Have an opinion. By all means, but realize how silly you sound. LOL
  • Let me rephrase, cause I am not trying to be a jerk....thinking that these companies owe us a cheap phone with all the bells and whistles and a high trade in value, is silly. It's business. They owe us nothing. Decide what device and upgrade and price point is good for you and go with it. But to say Google should price a phone thusly or give X amount for a trade, is ridiculous. Google is not using Pixel phones as a revenue driver. Hardware is a means to an end...to get your data and search business.
  • Yes, but that's a really bad decision when compared to what other companies are doing. We could voice out our dis-satisfaction as customers and potential customers. If vast majority of people don't like what they do and they still go ahead with their bad decision, fine. The sales results will be their judge.
  • The market decides. Business 101.
  • I wonder how much blame can be put on the fact that this is a software company trying to do hardware business. Just a thought.
  • Notch worth that much anymore I guess.
  • I was secretly hoping that they would try to lure buyers in with the 3a and then offer a great trade-in offer to get them to upgrade to their premium/high end devices. Alas, it's not meant to be.
  • How much does OnePlus give for it's previous phone?
  • For the low spec 7 Pro they'll give £310 (that's 400 dollhairs in colonial scrip).
  • "Colonial scrip" Bahahahaha!!!
  • I'm confused though. I have a Pixel 3 XL under Google Fi. I went and checked T-Mobile and I can only find plans that are like $120 / month for 4 lines. I just want a single line. My Google Fi bill is usually $25. It doesn't help to get a free 4XL with trade in if I have to pay 24 months at $120/month. Am I missing something?
  • Yes, you missed the sliding dot. Slide the dot over from 4 lines to 1 line. You will then see that one line starts at $60.... T-Mo will subsidize $800 over a 24 month period, which means you're locked in for that long.
  • Thanks. Even at $60/month I think Google Fi is a better deal despite the $295 vs $450 trade in value. But it is much closer.
  • I made a spreadsheet reviewing all of this and came to a similar conclusion, except that as a Google One subscriber, the extra $90 from the Google Store was possibly the better option, if I could find something else to buy from the Google before Jan 31, 2020. Otherwise, Fi was a better deal over T-mo by about $200 over two years (though cheaper in the first year).
  • Two things to note... First, this is the exact same thing that happened last year - they offered abysmal value on trade-in of the Pixel 2/2XL towards the 3/3XL, while being generous with other handsets. It was only the first cycle from the OG Pixels to the 2/2XL where value offered was arguably reasonable. Second, assuming this is being managed as it was last year, this isn't Google's offer for the phone - it's a 3rd party company who Google has contracted to offer this "service." And Google's phones haven't held their value as well, so.... Of course, it might have been wise for Google to invest a modest amount on top of what that company would collect to offer a reasonable value to those who might trade in their older Pixels. That subsidy would go a long way towards both encouraging people to upgrade as well as to avoiding the easily made assumption that Google doesn't think it's older phones are worth much at all.
  • That is incorrect. It was $400 for 128GB Pixel 2 XL trade in.
  • Cant even seem to find the option to trade in a newer samsung device.... stops at s9+
  • Google will force people back into the arms of AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint with their NEXT every year plans. (1 year upgrade). Sure, you'll pay around $600 to lease a $1000 phone for a year, but you won't have to worry about getting hosed when resale value plummets and you want the next best thing.
  • If you purchase the P4 64GB through AT&T NEXT and do the 1 year upgrade, you're looking at $38 per month device payments to total $420. After that, turn the device in and upgrade to something else. If you purchase the P4 64GB through the Google Store, you're paying $799 plus tax (roughly $840 give or take).
    After that, trade the device in to Google for $225 and have fun eating the difference of $615 bucks. Is the Pixel 4 worth leasing for 1 year at $420? Or is it worth owning for 1 year at $615 bucks?
  • Or, is it worth owning for three years of updates and then passing it down or trading in? That's what I plan to do. I can't afford to update my phone every year. But every two or three, maybe. That's what my Pixel 2XL allowed me to do and my son will get to use it now.
  • My Pixel 3 128GB was $250. Oneplus is offering $230 for trade-in.
  • My Pixel 3 is worth $225.
  • Verizon is giving 450 over 24mo bill credit. Brought payments down to 18 bucks for trade in z2 force (keeping p2xl) so no brainier.
  • They gave me 450 for a droid turbo 2 that my neighbor gave me,could not pass that up!
  • I don't even understand how you folks can consider paying so much for a pixel phone. Who in their right mind does that? I guess Google just helped y'all answer that though. I'm sticking with the OnePlus phones and if i gotta move from android.. then it's iOS.
  • Is anyone really going to buy this phone? Especially coming from a Pixel 3XL! Yeah, the 90hz seems nice but holy chin and forehead batman! Its almost 2020! No finger print scanner, no wireless charging, and only a 3700 mAh battery for $899 (XL)? Those of you who are on the fence should not buy this phone. Google should be ashamed of themselves. Do yourself a favor and go pick up a one plus 7 pro for $699. Save $200 for a far better phone.
  • Not sure where you got your information but there is Qi wireless charging on the Pixel 4 and 4XL, just like last year's 3 and 3XL. Your point still stands though, they're asking too much money for too many flagship-level omissions.
  • FYI. It has wireless charging.
  • Talk about punching yourself in the face...Google that is...they should just bag a premium phone if they are gonna pull this crap...
  • Last straw for me, I'm buying a note 10! Had to come back and let you guys know, I just ordered Black note 10 + 256 1st non google phone ever!
  • On day one, the Google Store didn't list the Pixel 3 or 3XL (which I have) as a trade in option. I purchased and got a paltry $66 for my pristine Pixel XL. Cancelled after thinking better about it. Then I read about the $260 I could get for my 64gb 3XL. Bought again. Then I started thinking about the non-premium specs, eyes-closed face recognition security hole (no other way to say it) and cancelled again. This generation is a swing and a miss for me.
  • Samsung was offering $500.00 trade-in for the Pixel 3 XL when you pre-ordered the Note 10. I skipped out and now I regret it.
  • Samsung offered me $600 for a pixel 3 and $100 Samsung credit. That's the reason why I got a note 10 and Galaxy buds.
  • And the blind shall see. ( that they're being had)
  • Hey Google, WHAT THE WTF?
  • Verizon essentially took half off the 4XL with my trade-in of my 3XL, so I couldn't pass that up.