Friday: refurb Nexus 6P for $240+ or Nexus 5X for $140+

Project FI is a great way to have cellular service without breaking the bank. Especially if you like to use or switch between various smartphones. However, to get into Project FI, the guardian at the gate requires a Nexus or a Pixel phone or the new Moto X4. If you want in, but don’t want to pay the big bucks for Pixels, and you have a soft spot for the Nexus phones, you have until Saturday at 3am eastern to decide!

Because among the daily deals at Amazon for Friday is a sale on a handful of certified refurbished Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X phones. Prices vary by phone color and storage option. The Huawei Nexus 6P models range from $240 to 4260, while the LG Nexus 5X range from $140 to $150.

Once you are in Project FI, you can order from Project FI what they call “Data SIMs”. These can be used for data service only, no voice. However, you can use the Google Hangouts and Hangouts Dialer combination (or Google Voice if you want a different phone number) and then you can make/receive calls and send/receive texts with the “Data SIM” only phones. Google sends these to you for FREE. You can have up to nine of them per Google account, great for developers, testers, reviewers and smartphone/tablet aficionados. I just did this with the Sony Xperia L2, I will finish the blog-post during the weekend if you are curious!

Refurbished Nexus 6P (Huawei) for $350

If you want to get the latest flagship Nexus phone but don’t want to pay a flagship price, there is the refurbished option, which is more appealing when it is manufacturer refurbished. Which brings us to the manufacturer refurbished 32GB Nexus 6P (made by Huawe), unlocked without contract requirements, going for $350 with free shipping by Best Buy’s eBay store. This is an online only offer, there is no store pick up option. Limit three units per customer.

It is as usual a never-ending cycle, do you buy the latest phone now, or wait for the new Nexus phones in the fall that will likely come out to coincide with the release of Android 7.0 (aka Nougat)? This is where refurbished may be a good option, since we are closer to the future models than we are not.

Refurbished 16GB Nexus 5 (unlocked) for $170 [was $150]

The 16GB Nexus 5 (made by LG) Android phone that is part of the Marshmallow wave is available in “certified refurbished” condition for $170 [was $150] with free shipping by two different sellers “BuySPRY” and “Magic Mobile Partners” with the order fulfilled by Amazon, so you get free Prime shipping (if a member) and you get to deal with the Amazon customer service in case of problems. This “certified refurbished” comes with a minimum 90-day warranty and testing/inspection according to the product listing over there… UPDATE 11/19/15: the price jumped from $150 to $170 🙁

From the same seller with similar terms you can get the 32GB version for $180. This does not have a microSD slot, so it’s a trade-off to consider. On the other hand, this is a 4G LTE phone, so if you have a fast connection and access to reliable Wifi, you may not need more than 16GB – at least for media purposes.

I haven’t yet bought any items that are part of Amazon’s Certified Refurbished category, so I can’t tell you what to expect. I am tempted by this Nexus 5 price though because I don’t currently have an officially sanctioned Marshmallow phone.

There are no customer reviews of either one of these listings, so perhaps this is for the more brave shoppers who don’t mind taking a risk.

LG Nexus 5 for $175

The launch of Marshmallow (Android 6.0) changed the depth chart of the Nexus phone line-up. No longer can the trusty Nexus 4 get official OTA Google OS updates with the rest of the pack. So the lines have moved, now the Nexus 5 is the oldest phone that is going to be Marhsmallowed (yes, it’s a verb!). Of course there is (and will be) more work at XDA and other places to get 6.0 on the Nexus 4, but if you prefer the official OTA, it has to be Nexus 5 or newer.

Speaking of which, eBay seller “mobilepros1” (97.9%) is offering new-condition factory-unlocked 16GB LG Nexus 5 (model D820) for $175 with free shipping, with a limit of five per buyer. Only the black color scheme is available. This is a GSM model. No contract!

The warranty is curiously described as “Remaining US Warranty”. Remaining as in? 🙂

A quick refresher, this has 2GB RAM, 16GB on-board, no microSD, 5-inch 1080p display, Snapdragon 800 with Adreno 330, and things like that. Some are reporting battery life improvements with Android 6.0, which is a good thing since battery life was one of the knocks on this one when it came out.

Now strategically the question is, do you get this one or a Nexus 6? Other things equal, the Nexus 6 may get an additional official OS update over the Nexus 5. On the other hand, there’s breaking rumor-news now that Google will merge Android and ChromeOS, so I don’t know if that will throw a monkey-wrench in their OS upgraditis situation.

Unlocked 32GB Motorola Nexus 6 (XT1103) for $300

If the new Nexus 5X and 6P devices are not to your liking, there’s further discounting on last year’s Nexus 6 by Motorola. You can get it in new condition, carrier unlocked, in the 32GB denomination for $300 with free shipping, with a choice of blue or white, with a limit of five per customer, from eBay seller “QualityCellz” (99.2%). This is model XT1103.

This does not have a microSD, but it is one of only a few phones at the moment that can work with Google’s Project FI, whose defining feature is giving you an account credit for unused data in your account.

Macally Nexus 4 case for $3.41 [add-on; limit 3]

If you are looking for a light case for your LG Nexus 4 smartphone and you like it when your fingers don’t bump in the edges of a case when you furiously touch-screen around, and if you are planning to place an Amazon order of $25 or more, you can get this baby blue (North Carolina blue?) Macally Nexus 4 case for $3.41 with a limit of three per customer. The are four more colors but they go for $7.50+. There are seven pictures of the case over there to get a good feel for it. I just received it, and I like it but I’ve only been using it for a few hours so far 🙂

Google Nexus Player by ASUS for $67 [Android TV]

Apple accidentally started a streaming box price war when they discounted their prehistoric Apple TV earlier in the year. As a result, there are some good news on non-Apple streaming boxes as well. Case in point, the Google Nexus player (Android TV) made by ASUS is currently on sale, in new condition, for around $67 at A gamepad is available but it is sold separately and it is optional for the operation of the device.

Used Nexus 5 (Freedom Pop) for $200 [no contract]

Wow, this came out of left field at Stacksocial. A Nexus 5 Freedom Pop bundle! The good old LG Nexus 5 is offering without contract and with one year of free service from Freedom Pop for $200. This is a certified pre-owned with 16GB of on-board storage. See the details at the Stacksocial listing.

This is the basic Freedom Pop free plan (up to 500MB of free data per month) with a trio of non-free features include for free for a year (tethering, visual voicemail, usage alerts). You own the phone right away, so you don’t even have to activate Freedompop if you don’t want to!

This is last year’s Nexus device, with the Snapdragon 800, 2GB RAM (remember, this is pure Android, no skins to eat up memory), 1920 x 1080, Android 5.1, but sadly no microSD.

Buy Nexus 6, get 6 months of Google Play Music

The Google Store has a new limited time offer. If you purchase the Nexus 6 smartphone, you can receive a free six month subscription to the Google Play Music All Access subscription service. After the six months, the service is $10 per month. You must buy the Nexus 6 by 4/30/15 and redeem the offer by 5/31/15. The offer is not good if during the last 12 months you had a paid or free trial subscription. These are the Terms and Conditions per Google.