Killer Deal: Pixel 3 Is $500 Off This Weekend

(Image credit: Future)

September is here, and that means that in addition to the falling leaves, early evenings and Pumpkin Spice Lattes, we're about to see a bunch of new smartphones, like the Pixel 4 and iPhone 11.

That's very good news for you. Not so you can go shell out a grand on those companies' new handsets, but so you can snag last year's models at fantastic discounts. Like this $299 Google Pixel 3 courtesy of Best Buy, just in time for Labor Day.

Now, there's a couple caveats to be mindful of here. For one, even though this is ostensibly an unlocked phone, you must activate the device on Verizon when you buy it to receive the full discount. Furthermore, you can't buy this Pixel 3 as an upgrade — it has to go on a new line.

That definitely mitigates the appeal of this offer. However, if you're not particularly enamored with your current carrier, and your old phone isn't long for this world, it won't be a bad idea to ditch your existing wireless provider and handset for a heavily discounted Pixel 3 and see how you get on with Verizon's network for a month or two. 

In fact, if Big Red's service is pricier than you'd prefer, there's nothing here strictly saying you have to stay with the carrier for a specific length of time after you purchase the phone. Because this is an unlocked device, there's no service contract or equipment installment plan at play — and that gives you a lot of freedom.

If you do fancy the idea of switching to Verizon for a short time to save on this phone, the best postpaid plan the company offers for the lowest price grants you 5GB of data for $40 per month, plus a $20 line access fee. 

Alternatively, Best Buy is selling the same unlocked Pixel 3 for $449 or $349 if you activate it on AT&T or Sprint, respectively.

Google Pixel 3 (64GB, Just Black):Was $799, now $299 @ Best Buy (with activation)

Google Pixel 3 (64GB, Just Black): Was $799, now $299 @ Best Buy (with activation)

The Pixel 3 might be getting replaced in a few weeks, but it still has the finest camera we've tested on any smartphone. Note that Best Buy is only offering the full $500 discount if you activate the Pixel 3 on Verizon, on a new line.

Now, those are a lot of hoops to jump through, though they might just be worth it for the Pixel 3. Google's flagship normally goes for $800, and this offer makes the Pixel 3 less expensive than the company's midrange Pixel 3a, which normally costs $399.

While the Pixel 3's best-in-class 12.2-megapixel rear camera is definitely its best feature, the rest of the device should keep you satisfied for years to come. You're getting a beautiful 5.5-inch OLED display as well as a Snapdragon 845 processor running pure Android Pie (and you'll soon be upgraded to Android 10) with some added Pixel-exclusive features, like Night Sight and Call Screen. 

Plus, because this is a Google-made handset, you can expect two more years of continued software and security updates, which means quite a lot in the Android world.

Best Buy's deal only applies to the 64GB Pixel 3 in Just Black, so, unfortunately, higher capacity models and the device's other, more fun colors are left out of this one. 

Still, that's a small sacrifice for a pretty solid deal. And besides, you could always cover it up in one of Google's cute fabric cases.

Adam Ismail is a staff writer at Jalopnik and previously worked on Tom's Guide covering smartphones, car tech and gaming. His love for all things mobile began with the original Motorola Droid; since then he’s owned a variety of Android and iOS-powered handsets, refusing to stay loyal to one platform. His work has also appeared on Digital Trends and GTPlanet. When he’s not fiddling with the latest devices, he’s at an indie pop show, recording a podcast or playing Sega Dreamcast.