Discounts and gifts for bugs: Google trying to trick people into buying new Pixel phones?

 

In case some of you have missed it, Google’s been… very generous lately.

The company offers some exceptional trade-in deals and gifts with your Pixel purchase, and that’s… wonderful. Who doesn’t like a bargain? That’s the same question I asked myself before shelling out $900 for a Pixel 6 Pro about ten months ago.The irresistible offer, which I wish I had resisted, included my Pixel 6 Pro and a pair of Bose 700 headphones, worth about €350 at the time. My cousin bought a Pixel 6, and as Google was running out of Bose 700s, they switched to Bose QC 35II, which were even pricier at the time, and added a €75 Google Store voucher, exceeding €400 in value and virtually selling the Pixel 6 for €200-250, down from its original €650 price at launch, in Europe. For the record, US buyers received a free pair of Pixel Buds A with the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro purchase.Even back then, though, I thought to myself: “Why so generous, Google?” The Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro were already noticeably more affordable than flagship phones from Samsung and Apple, and Google’s expensive gifts made it all seem almost too good to be true.

Because… it was too good to be true.

Google will pay you $200 and give you a Pixel 6A for your iPhone 13 Pro Max or $300 for an old iPhone 7, iPhone 8

The initial idea for this story was sitting in a document for many months, and the reason I decided it was a good time to bring up the topic was another “too good to be true” set of deals that Google made available.

This time the incredible deals concern the newly-launched Google Pixel 6A. Let’s take a look at some trade-in deals across Europe and the US. As of now, Sundar Pichai & Co allow you to trade in your:

  • iPhone 7, iPhone 8 for up to $300 (US)
  • Galaxy S10 for $300 (US)

 

  • iPhone 4S for €90 (Europe)
  • iPhone SE 2016 for €150 (Europe)
  • Galaxy S9 for $175 (Europe)
  • iPhone 8 for €250 (Europe)

 

This by itself is unbelievable value, as a phone like the iPhone 4S is worth virtually nothing right now. The most impressive trade-in deals are for the old iPhone 7 and iPhone 8, though. These phones are over five years old at this point, and Google is ready to give you up to $300 if you were to switch to the Pixel 6A, bringing the price of the excellent mid-range phone down to just $150. But that’s not all…

When the Pixel 6A went up for pre-order in the US, UK, and Europe, Google gave out a pair of Pixel Buds A with it, worth 100 bucks. This offer is gone for now, but at the time, combined with some of the trade-in deals for old iPhones, this would’ve given you a Pixel 6A for practically $100, which is:

1. Hilarious
2. Almost suspiciously amazing

Did Google always know the Pixel 6 series was going to be problematic, and are the gifts trying to buy your happiness and patience?

All these suspiciously amazing deals bring me to the original question I had. Are Google’s incredibly generous deals and gifts a way to compensate for what the company knows to be buggy devices, or is Google just ready to sell some phones at a loss on the way to establishing itself as a serious player? Xiaomi’s known to do the latter.Of course, we can’t know the answer to this question. However, I can give you two perfectly different perspectives on the fact that Google gave away so many gifts and good deals for the buggy Pixel 6 series:

The first one is my perspective as a Pixel 6 Pro owner who also happens to be a tech enthusiast. I think the pair of Bose 700 headphones I received absolutely doesn’t make up for the buggy phone I bought for €900, which stayed buggy for 10 whole months (things seem to be getting better with Android 13, but we’ll talk about that in a future story).

My cousin, on the other hand, who, as I mentioned, paid €650 for a Pixel 6 and a pair of the latest at the time Bose QC II, was more than willing to tolerate the totally broken fingerprint reader on his Pixel 6, which Google took about a month to fix. He loves his Bose headphones and uses them all the time, so whatever Google’s intention was, it seems like the gifts bought his happiness and patience. I told him he could return the phone, but he didn’t want to. Despite the inconsistent performance from the Pixel 6, he thought he was getting good value.

Pixel 7 series: Is it worth pre-ordering a potentially buggy phone in exchange for a pair of earphones and a good trade-in deal?

I know that’s a very personal and even a family-centric story, but I actually like the fact that I can work with practical examples here.

See, my mum and aunt happen to be using a Galaxy S9 and an iPhone 8 right now. Both of them want and frankly need a new phone at this point. My aunt says the iPhone 8’s poor battery life and low storage are getting harder to ignore, and my mum’s Galaxy S9 (which, as you can imagine, I have to use sometimes) is a laggy mess – no nicer way to put it.Of course, they aren’t up to date with the latest and greatest on smartphones, which means I had an important decision to make on behalf of them: Do I recommend a Pixel 6A, which they could effectively get for as low as €200 ( Galaxy S9 trade-in and the free Pixel Buds A) and €120 (iPhone 8 trade-in and the free Pixel Buds A), or do I make the wiser choice of not repeating a potential Pixel mistake again?

I chose the latter.

Now, will Google continue the trend of incredible gift bundles, trade-in deals, and buggy flagships? We won’t have to wait for too long to find out, as the Pixel 7 series has already passed through the FFC, meaning a launch is imminent.

The good news for now and Google’s only hope remains Android 13. As hinted above, I’ve installed the update on my Pixel 6 Pro, which now seems to be more stable than ever. I’ll give myself another week or so just to make sure how to fix the Pixel 6 Pro isand then I’ll tell you all about it in a new story. Until then, I would think twice about Google’s awesome deals.

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