Last week, we were excited to see the Pixel 5a drop to less than $400 thanks to a Black Friday sale at Google. Well, someone went and undercut Google's price on the budget Pixel — and it turns out to be Google's own wireless provider.
In this new Black Friday phone deal, Google Fi is taking $100 off the Pixel 5a (opens in new tab), bringing its cost down to $349. Pixel fans will recognize that price as the same cost of last year's Pixel 4a, making it one of the best smartphone values at the time.
Considering that the Pixel 5a features 5G connectivity and two rear camera lenses — features missing from its predecessor — we'd say the new phone is an even better value at this price.
Google Fi is Google's phone service. As an MVNO, Google doesn't use its own cellular towers, instead relying on T-Mobile, US Cellular and what's left of Sprint's network now that it's part of T-Mobile to provide coverage. That includes 5G coverage. The Pixel 5a is optimized for Google's network, meaning it can grab the best cellular signal available wherever you happen to be. It also can switch over to Wi-Fi hotspots to avoid consuming too much data.
Google Fi's unlimited plan is priced the same as the Magenta plan at T-Mobile — $70/month for a single line of data. (By the gig pricing costs $20 for unlimited talk and text, plus $10 for each gigabyte of data you use.) While Google Fi doesn't offer some of the perks you'd get from a bigger carrier, it's especially attractive to people who do a lot of traveling, as Google Fi subscribers can use their plans at no extra charge when they're in more than 200 countries.
The Pixel 5a isn't the only Google Fi-optimized phone getting a discount at the carrier for Black Friday. Google Fi also sells phones from Samsung and Motorola, and those are seeing discounts during the holidays, too. Some of the more attractive deals include the Galaxy Z Flip at $200 off (opens in new tab), the Galaxy S21 for $400 off (opens in new tab) and a $150 discount on the Motorola One 5G Ace (opens in new tab).
Buying any of these phones will require a commitment to Google Fi, though we've had generally pleasant experiences testing the service. (See our Google Fi review for more.) And the Pixel 5a, with its terrific photo features, is certainly worth jumping to another carrier at this price.