Google’s MVNO is advertising this program as an alternative to the “time consuming, complicated and expensive” process of “choosing and upgrading to a new phone.”
For $15 per month, you get the Pixel 4a, device protection, and a phone upgrade after two years. A cellular plan — either Fi Flexible or Unlimited — is not included. Buyers will save $133 over that period, and get to keep the Pixel 4a at “no further cost.”
The upgraded device at the end of two years will be a “new Pixel” as you “continue to earn savings every month on your new phone.” There is also an option to not upgrade.
After 24 monthly payments, you fully own your phone. At that time, you decide if you want to stay in the program and receive the next device in the subscription program as an upgrade. If you don’t upgrade, your monthly payment reduces to device protection only.
This Fi program comes out to $360 versus $493 if you buy the $349 phone and protection plan ($6/month) separately.
The device replacement covers cracks, spills, and other damage, though there are deductibles — “cracked screen repairs are $49 and phone replacements are up to $99.” Google notes that device protection is optional, but “you’d still be responsible for the subscription cost if something happens to your phone.”
The Pixel 4a is the only Made by Google phone available at Fi currently since the Pixel 5 and 4a 5G have not yet launched in the US. It’s not clear if Google will expand this offering, or limit it to just the most affordable phone.
Purchased devices have to be activated on Fi within 30 days, while “you can send the phone back in the first 15 days.” After that, you have to pay off the full price of the device. The Google Fi Phone subscription program is available today.
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