Google's Project Fi is dangling big savings if you want to load up on new Pixel phones. But the clock is ticking on just how long this deal will last.
Starting today (Nov. 16), you can buy two Pixel 3 or Pixel 3 XL handsets through Google's wireless carrier, and get a $799 service credit. Since the Pixel 3 costs $799, essentially, you're getting that second phone free, although you will have to pay for both devices before receiving the credit. (And if you opt for the more expensive Pixel 3 XL, you're getting the second $899 phone at a significant discount.)
However, there's a time limit on Google's generosity. The deal disappears at 10 p.m. PT next Thursday (Nov. 22) or until supplies run out.
There's a few caveats to this deal, too. Only one person can buy the Pixel phones, but the devices need to be activated by two people on the same group plan with Project Fi. The promotion requires at least one new line of service with that person porting over their phone number. Both Pixels need to be activated within 30 days of being shipped, and you've got to keep them active for 60 consecutive days within the first three months of receiving the phones if you want that credit, which will be applied in increments toward your data and calling costs. You can't use the credits to buy other devices from Google. Oh, and if you pause your Project Fi account, those credits only become available when you re-active it.
Still, even with those conditions, this could be a way to get in on the increasingly compelling Project Fi service, which uses the cellular towers of Sprint, T-Mobile and US Cellular along with Wi-Fi hotspots to provide you with coverage. That help keep costs low — two lines of unlimited calls and texts costs $35 a month, with Project Fi charging $10 for each gigabyte of LTE data you use. (Unused data gets credited to your account.)
Project Fi stops charging you for LTE data once your two-line account uses 10GB. So you'll never pay more than $135 a month ($35 for the talk and text, $100 for the data), even if you use more than 10GB.
Just this week, Google announced that Project Fi customers will have access to secure VPN services for cellular connections, extending that feature from Wi-Fi connections. That's likely to appeal to privacy-conscious wireless customers, though it will mean consuming more cellular data in a given month.
The Pixel 3 and 3 XL are available unlocked through Google's store, and you can also buy the new phones through Verizon. But if you ready to make a move on the Pixel 3 by Thanksgiving, Google just gave you 799 reasons to give its Project Fi service another look.