First up, let’s talk about money a little bit. This is a topic I take very seriously, and I think this is especially important when you consider how cavalier most reviewers are about cost when it comes to the expensive toys that they usually get for free on indefinite loan. But I don’t have infinite money to spend, and when it comes to buying my own devices, which I do, a lot, I try to be as thrifty as possible.

And half-off is about as thrifty as it gets on what is still Google’s flagship handset. I’ve complained about the high cost of the Pixel lineup for each of its three years and generations, and I mourn the days of the reasonable Nexus 6P and 5X pricing. But $500 is a lot easier to swallow than $1000. The math is so simple even I can follow it.

In this case, too, I had $300 sitting in PayPal, which I use for discretionary, typical gadget-related purchases. And a Pixel 2 XL that isn’t getting any younger, or more valuable as a trade-in. So, the timing was right, too.

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