Blastoidea Do the non-Verizon Pixels sold by Best Buy have unlockable bootloaders, or is it safer to buy direct from Google?
I don't know. At one point there was worrisome fine print on Best Buy's 6a web page saying that once you activate with a carrier the phone will be locked. That scared me off. It's still there if you click on one of the little circle-i buttons:
Verizon, AT&T or Sprint
Choose your preferred carrier and we'll connect this device to your account, or help you create a new one. Once it's activated, it's locked to that carrier (Note: Your carrier may be able to unlock your phone upon request).
That's when I went to the Google store. I think in the U.S. the Google store definitely sells unlocked Pixels. I would not buy from anybody else without a clear written guarantee.
Maybe the Best Buy text means you can buy Verizon-locked or AT&T-locked phones if you want to? But those phones are locked before activation, so if that's what they mean they aren't writing accurate text, so I'll stay away.