Google is making a strong showing for the Pixel 8a and Pixel Tablet

This story was updated on May 10. Update below.

Google continues to deliver its strong offerings on its devices with the release of the latest Pixel 8a phone. But are the pre-order deals worth it, or should you wait until the inevitable price drops?

As it stands, Google is offering a $100 store credit with all Pixel 8a pre-orders, and if you have a Google One subscription, you’ll be able to claim a 10% store credit back.

The company is also offering some respectable trade-in deals with every Pixel 8a purchase. If you already own a Pixel phone, Google will give you $210 for the Pixel 7 Pro and $200 for the Pixel 7a. But owners of older Samsung phones are getting a much better deal, with the Galaxy S22 Ultra getting a good price of $320.

That’s a good price considering the S22 Ultra was released in the same year as the Pixel 7 Pro. Although, with a raft of new AI capabilities in a Samsung phone, you might want to hold on to it.

Unsurprisingly, Google’s best trade-in deals are saved for the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra and Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max, where the maximum value is up to $499. The iPhone 13 (128GB) is also trading for up to $250, which is still more than the Pixel 7 Pro or Pixel 7A – reflecting the fact that brands retain their value over the long term.

As always, it’s never worth replacing a recent flagship phone with a slightly newer mid-range phone. It also appears that these prices are temporarily enhanced trade-in prices because Google says these offers end on May 19. Buyers have 30 days to send in their device for exchange, and the credit will be issued as a refund to the card used to purchase the Pixel 8a.

Elsewhere, the Pixel 8a’s product page has more than a few claims about subscribing to Google One, the company’s subscription storage service that (in some regions) is bundled into a free subscription from Fitbit and Nest Aware.

If you pre-order the Pixel 8a, Google will give you three months of Google One with 100GB free, three months of free YouTube Premium, and six months of Fitbit Premium for free.

ForbesGoogle suddenly adds Nest and Fitbit to its Google One subscription

But the real deals are saved for Google’s Pixel Tablet. The company is offering huge money for very old tablets as trade value. For example, the seventh-generation iPad, which was released in the glorious pre-pandemic year of 2019, will get a $399 discount from the Pixel Tablet, which itself costs $399. On RedditPixel tablet buyers are raving about the “absolutely insane” savings.

“It’s absolutely crazy. I just traded [a] “The 7th gen iPad I bought for $360 in March 2020 costs $400,” one Redditor said. Others have also noticed higher trade-in prices for the 6th generation iPad and 1st generation iPad Pro.

Google says these enhanced exchange rates will continue until May 20. It’s also no coincidence that the company is launching this offer on the day Apple announced the new iPads – a clear sign that Google is (for now) taking its tablet division seriously.

If you have an old iPad, or can pick one up cheap somewhere, and you’re looking for a new Android tablet, this is a solid deal. But for the Pixel 8a, I’d advise patience because that flagship price will drop significantly over the next few months, if Google’s frequent discounts on the flagship Pixel 8 range are anything to go by.

If you have Google One, you will still be able to claim the 10% discount in the future. Getting cash directly from the phone is better than the $100 store credit that Google is offering Pixel 8a buyers right now.

The Google One push, along with improved interchange pricing (a tactic straight from Samsung’s playbook), is part of the company’s new aggressive pricing strategy. Google devices are just a gateway to a more lucrative revenue stream for the company, as it absorbs you into its ecosystem via as many subscriptions as possible. Read more about that here.

ForbesGoogle’s new discounts on the Pixel 8 are endless

May 10 update: Pixel 8a buyers will get an instant update when they first turn on their phone, which also happens to be a Pixel 8 exclusive: AI-generated wallpapers.

This feature is currently exclusive to the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro, but a system update has been spotted on the Verizon website, by Robot bodyIt shows that the feature is making its way to the Pixel 8a. This will come via the May 2024 security patch, which was announced on the same day as the Pixel 8a.

Android Authority notes that reviewers tested the phone with an earlier version of Android 14, so it appears that Pixel 8a buyers will have to update the phone when they set it up to get the latest patch.

AI-generated wallpapers are exactly what they sound like. Users have the option to create wallpapers based on limited prompts, which will then create a new image to use as the wallpaper.

This isn’t an on-device AI feature, the processing needed to create the images is done in the cloud by Google’s servers, so there’s no reason for it to be a Pixel-exclusive skill. But the company likely wants to maintain a clear distinction between Pixel phones and other Android devices (although some Samsung devices also support AI-generated wallpapers).

It looks like other key Google AI features like Circle to Search, Magic Editor, and Call Assist will also move to version 8a. Google’s promise to keep the phone up to date for seven years with OS and security patches, coupled with feature drops, likely means more AI tools will arrive on the phone in the future.

See also  Leak reveals Google's plan to update Samsung phones with 'Pixie' AI.

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