Buying a Nexus 5 without a contract at Best Buy is going to be expensive. Very expensive. The massive US retail chain has priced off-contract purchases at an eye-popping $799.99 according to a new Sprint listing on its website. That's for the 16GB model, which sells for $349 at Google Play. Even Sprint itself isn't asking for that much; the carrier is charging $449.99 for the device at full cost — $100 more than Google. Best Buy has tacked on an extra $350 to that figure, instantly putting off-contract purchases out of reach for most customers. The company routinely prices "replacement" devices well above their normal suggested retail price, but we've rarely seen a gap as massive as this one.
Best Buy has stayed relatively mum on its Nexus 5 plans since Google's announcement, so the listed replacement price may be some sort of placeholder or error. There's also the possibility that the retailer will offer the Nexus 5 alongside other Google hardware (Chromebooks, Chromecast, etc.) at a lower rate. Many Best Buy locations now feature special Google sections that showcase the company's offerings. After Thursday's announcement, many had hoped that the Nexus 5 would appear there at its more affordable $349.99 price point. We've reached out to both Best Buy and Google for clarification on Nexus 5 pricing and availability.
Update: Several hours after this story was posted, Best Buy quietly lowered the Nexus 5's off-contract price to $449.99. This matches Sprint's MSRP and is far more reasonable than the original $799.99 pre-order rate.