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Best Buy’s Pixel 3 sale might be unbeatable: $400 off for Black Friday

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You’ll have to jump through Verizon’s hoops, but it might be worth it

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Photo by James Bareham / The Verge

At $799 and $899 respectively, Google’s Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are the most expensive phones Google has ever made, and arguably also the best. But on Thanksgiving and Black Friday, you might be able to get $400 off either Pixel 3 — and you might be able to do it without chaining yourself to Verizon or trading in your current phone.

You see, Verizon is offering that $400 off a number of flagship phones over the next two days, including the Samsung Galaxy S9, S9+, Note 9, LG V40, and the two new Pixel phones. With Verizon’s deal, you’ll only see that savings over the course of two years.

But Best Buy just confirmed to The Verge that it will have its own version of the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL deal, one where the $400 savings happens immediately. A rep says you’ll only see the remainder of your balance on your Verizon account — theoretically allowing you to pay off the rest of your bill with Verizon whenever you like, while retaining the ability to jump carriers instead of sticking around for 24 months. (Here’s Verizon’s device payment plan FAQ if you want to see how they work.)

The deal will be available both online and in-store, according to a Best Buy rep. You should be able to find the online version here right now:

Mind you, it’ll still be a Verizon Pixel 3, meaning you’ll need to activate it on Verizon and pay a $30 activation fee before you can unlock the phone. If that’s too much of a hurdle, Google is also offering the pre-unlocked Pixel 3 for $150 off, and the Pixel 3 XL for $200 off starting on Thanksgiving as well.

Kudos to Droid Life for spotting the leaked Black Friday flyer that mentions the $400 off promotion, which wasn’t on the company’s previously released ads. You may want to take a look at Best Buy’s fine print there. And here’s our Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL review, in the event you want a professional opinion on the quality of the devices. (Hint: they’re both excellent phones.)

Update, 12:05 AM ET: The deal is now live, and I just bought one myself! I can confirm the contract I signed is basically a loan for $400 in total (because I bought the cheapest model) and the terms say I can pay it back in full at any time. I paid $78 in tax, will be paying a $30 activation fee, and then $16.66 a month gets tacked onto my Verizon bill unless I pay it off early.