Google’s third-generation of Pixel phones, the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, are now available for preorder. The span of time between preorder and shipment date is short and sweet, with Google aiming to get the new gear into hands shortly after October 18th when preorders ship.
The thing is, whether it can stick to that date is anyone’s guess — especially considering the Pixel 2’s dismal stock situation in 2017. Just three hours following their announcement in 2017, much of the stock faced delays from two weeks up to six or seven weeks on certain models, while others were completely out of stock for weeks at a time.
Buying through Verizon is a good plan, as Google’s carrier partner three years running has fared better regarding preorder and post-release stock. If you decide to do this, keep in mind that while a Pixel purchased through Verizon is technically unlocked and will work with any carrier, the bootloader is locked by default, and may be worth less down the road if you decide to sell it. Verizon is currently hosting a buy-one-get-one offer for the 64GB variant of the Pixel 3,
and if you preorder today (October 9th), you’ll receive a free Pixel Stand.
Best Buy is offering a $100 gift card with the preorder and activation of a Pixel 3 or Pixel 3 XL through Verizon. Additionally, the retailer is honoring Verizon’s buy-one-get-one promotion, so you’ll earn back a total of $899 in savings.
You can also preorder the Pixel 3 or Pixel 3 XL on the Google Store, or through Google’s Project Fi wireless service. During the preorder phase, buying on Fi comes with a $799 service credit if you purchase two of the new phones for a new or existing plan.
It’s crucial for Google to be able to meet demand, and not just to adequately meet the minimum expectation of buyers. The iPhone XR will release on October 26th with preorders opening on October 19th, and because of its more affordable $749 price, it stands to be the Pixel 3’s biggest competitor at launch. If Google can’t keep its stock in the green, the iPhone XR will look pretty attractive.
If you plan to preorder, do so quickly. We’ll be keeping a close eye on stock during Google’s Pixel 3 preorder phase, and will add retailers that are offering the phones on preorder as we find them.
Edited 12:57PM ET, October 10th: Updated to reflect that Verizon’s day-long preorder promo that included the Pixel Stand for free is now over. Also, we’ve added Best Buy’s preorder information.