You’ll only find one U.S. carrier selling the Pixel 2 online and in stores. Google and Verizon are again partnering to make the phone an exclusive on Big Red’s network. While you’ll be able to buy an unlocked model through the Google Store and Best Buy for use on any network, Verizon will be the only carrier actually selling the phone. The same arrangement caused confusion last year among consumers, but apparently didn’t feel that it was an issue.
T-Mobile, however, doesn’t care about Verizon’s special treatment from Google. The carrier will offer its own promotion benefitting anyone who brings the Pixel 2 to its network. If you decide to switch to T-Mobile with your Pixel 2, T-Mobile will give you $325 back in bill credits.
The #BYOPixel program debuted in 2016 when the Pixel landed at Verizon. It’s back again, but there have been some changes. And they’re not good ones. The promotion won’t benefit nearly as many people as it did last year.
It has been confirmed that only new T-Mobile customers and existing customers adding a line are able to get $325 back for bringing their Pixel 2 to the magenta-colored network. If you’re an existing customer who doesn’t want to change anything about your account, you’re out of luck. T-Mobile won’t give you a penny back for being a customer with Google’s flagship.
Rather than issuing endless bill credits like it did for the first Pixel, the carrier will send eligible and approved customers a MasterCard card with $325 pre-loaded on it. The amount is half the value of a Pixel 2 that has 64GB of internal storage. There isn’t any differentiation in the reward no matter the Pixel 2 you have.
All owners of the Pixel 2 on T-Mobile’s network will get to benefit from 4×4 MIMO, three-way carrier aggregation, and 256 QAM. These are technologies the carrier has been heavily investing in throughout 2017.
Google will release the Pixel 2 on October 17. Meanwhile, T-Mobile hasn’t said when the #BYOPixel program ends. It’ll probably continue on a rolling basis.