If you are in the market to buy an Android phone, chances are things have become a lot more complicated for you. Online retailer Flipkart is offering an aggregation of discounts on the Google Pixel and the Google Pixel smartphones. However, before you jump up in excitement at the prospect of owning a sparkling new Pixel smartphone, here is what you should consider.
The deal on the Google Pixel phones is multi-pronged. First up, there is an exchange discount of up to Rs20,000. The 32GB version of the Pixel is priced at Rs57,000, while the 128GB version sports a price tag of Rs66,000. Now, you would perhaps assume that after exchanging your old phone, the new Pixel variants would be Rs37,000 and Rs46,000, respectively. Finger-licking good prices, aren’t they? Hang on a moment. Because never underestimate the power of the “up to” clause—the discount is up to Rs20,000 and this amount differs from phone to phone. For example, the Google Nexus 6P (made by Huawei) is worth just Rs8,190 as per Flipkart, for the purposes of this offer. Flipkart, at the time of writing this, is selling the Nexus 6P Special Edition Gold variant (64GB) for Rs30,998. Anyway, we persisted. But, the news isn’t much better. The OnePlus 3, which is perhaps the best value for money Android smartphone you can buy right now, is valued at just Rs9,000 for this exchange offer. The OnePlus 3 (64GB) is otherwise priced at Rs27,999 on Amazon.in now. Just for the record, if you trade in your iPhone 6s (though we aren’t sure why you would, to be honest), it’ll be valued at Rs15,840—this phone is priced at Rs50,000 (32GB) and Rs60,000 (128GB). The only phone that we could find, which offers the full Rs20,000 discount on exchange is the Apple iPhone 6s Plus, and that for us, is a no-deal.
The other component of the Google Pixel discount is the cashback offer on Citibank credit cards. What Flipkart and Citibank claim is that you will get a cashback of Rs9,000 if you buy the Pixel phone on EMI (equated monthly instalment) or without EMI, using your Citibank credit card. While this amount doesn’t vary, there is a condition attached to this cashback as well. The Rs9,000 discount that you are eyeing will not be reduced from the final phone purchase amount now. The cashback will instead be credited to your credit card statement before 5 June 2017. There might be some wait involved there as well.
If you happen to have an Axis Bank credit card, you will get a 5% discount on the purchase of the Pixel smartphone. However, before you start making calculations about the Rs2,850 discount heading your way, hang on. The fineprint suggests that the maximum discount you’ll get on the Axis Bank credit card will be Rs200.
Even after considering all these offers, we still aren’t entirely sure how much less expensive the Pixel smartphone will be for you, and that is what perplexes us the most about such claims made around exchange offers.
Then there is the matter of the Google Pixel XL, the bigger sibling. At the time of writing this report, there is just the 32GB version of the Pixel XL listed on Flipkart. The same exchange scheme, claiming a discount of up to Rs20,000 applicable on that as well. However, the Citibank cashback scheme isn’t available on this, though if you want a Rs200 discount on the Pixel XL, which is priced at Rs67,000, then the Axis Bank credit card scheme is available.
The terms and conditions of the scheme mentioned here are available on the website.
The Google Pixel runs a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor, 4GB RAM, has a 5-inch (1920x1080 resolution) display, a 12.3-megapixel camera and a 2770mAh battery. The bigger phone, the Pixel XL has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 chip, 4GB RAM, 12.3-megapixel camera, 5.5-inch (2560x1440 resolution) display, and a higher capacity 3450mAh battery. Both phones run the latest Android Nougat software, along with the exclusive Google Assistant which is based on artificial intelligence, and there is also the promise of quick software updates for the future.
There is no doubt that the Pixel and the Pixel XL are two phones that redefine the Android flagship smartphone benchmarks. But this exchange offer on Flipkart is not the one to fall for. Buy a Pixel phone but don’t expect it to be available at massive discounts that the Flipkart advertising would lead you to believe. In the meantime, we still feel that the OnePlus 3 (Rs27,999; Amazon.in) and the OnePlus 3T (Rs29,999; Amazon.in) are much better value for money Android phones.