Google Fi is now offering a new way to buy phones: a subscription plan. Instead of buying a device outright, you can now sign up for a two-year contract, tack a few bucks onto your monthly bill, and get a phone to go with your service plan.
You have one entire device to pick from, the Pixel 4a (not the Pixel 5?). The basic contract is $9 a month for two years ($216 total), which will get you a Pixel 4a (MSRP $349) that is “yours to keep” at the end of the plan. From there, Google imagines you’ll keep paying the subscription fee and pick up a new device, with the company proposing you “upgrade to a new Pixel after 2 years.”
There’s also an optional “device protection plan” for another $6 a month that Google says will “Protect against accidental damage, loss or theft (except in NY), and out-of-warranty mechanical breakdown.” That $6 a month won’t actually get your phone repaired if something happens, however—there are deductibles on top of that. For the Pixel 4a, Google says it’s an extra $49 for a screen replacement, $79 for a mechanical breakdown, and $99 for a theft replacement. Google is primarily pitching that you pick up the service plan with the phone, which works out to $15 a month for two years, a total of ($360).