I have been using Google Fi, formerly called Project Fi for the last 3+ years and today I am going to give you a full review, what it is, how much it costs, how much it has costed me, and who this is for.
First, Google Fi is Google’s own network. Well, not really, it’s a network that runs on T-Mobile, Sprint, and US Cellular. If you use smartphones such as a Pixel 3, Moto G6, LG V35, LG G7, Moto X or any of the Pixel smartphones designed for Fi network, they are capable of switching between all 3 networks, your phone will automatically switch between all 3 networks depending on your coverage and strength. In a sense, you get multiple networks in one but in my personal experience it mostly stays on T-Mobile, which gets more coverage where I live. However if you live where Sprint has better coverage, your phone may be on Sprint most of the time. For coverage, I would really check how good your coverage is in your area on Google website. Google Fi can also be now used on all smartphones but you will be most likely be stuck on T-Mobile all the time unless you use a fully-compatible Google Fi smartphone, you can check that on Google Fi website.
Second, how much does Google Fi cost? For a single line, it is $20/month for unlimited text and calls along with free international edge data(same as T-Mobile) on 170+ countries when traveling abroad with 20 cents per minute on voice calls. For 4G LTE data, it is $10 per gigbyte and if you don’t use up all of it, Google only charges you exactly how much data you used. For example, in December 2017, I used 0.636GB of 4G LTE data and google charged me exactly $6.36. Now for a single line, if you go over 6GB, it’s free after that so no matter what you won’t pay more than $60/month in case you go over. If you go over 15GB, they will throttle you but pretty much it’s like $60 for 15GB. Not bad at all.
If you add a second line like I did earlier this year to add my daughter’s phone, it will cost you $15/month extra per month per line. Data is still $10 per gigabyte and my overage now is at 10GB per month, means if I go over 10GB on both lines, rest will be free. October of this year, it costed me $51.66 for 2 lines. Me and my daughter Peony used total of 1.08GB of 4G LTE data, costing us $10.81 for data.
Now, who is Google Fi for? Who needs this?
Well, I am super high on Android and I actually have at least one line on every carrier including AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, and Verizon. The main reason I got Google Fi was for the extra line, not really for the data as I wanted to use my Google Voice number with Google Fi. I also do have unlimited 4G LTE data on both T-Mobile and Verizon, which I use mostly for work when I travel and have to upload 4K YouTube videos on the go. The Google Fi is my extra number that I use again mostly for calls and also I wanted to test out Google Fi network. Google Fi is designed for people who are actually not using 4G LTE data too much. For example, I work from home, I am mostly on WiFi, I don’t use too much data unless I am on WiFi. If you tend to be one of those people that are mostly on WiFi at home and at work, you absolutely don’t use more than a few gigs of data per month, Google Fi can possibly save you a bunch of money every month. If you use a lot of data, you might be better off with an unlimited plan on another carrier. Again, compare the $60/month for 15GB to another carrier and you will have your answer.
Another reason I got Google Fi was so I can forward my Google Voice number to 6 of my other lines as I own a lot of smartphones. Google Fi has very easy call forwarding that I can easily setup online with no extra fees. Also when you use Google Fi, you can receive all your SMS messages using Google Hangouts app, which means you can access your SMS on your PC, Android smartphone, and even iPhone so long as you have Hangouts app installed. This makes it easy when I have to text people while working on my PC, block spam calls, I don’t have to pick up my phone, I just do it all on my PC.
Another really cool feature of Google Fi is that you can instantly pause your 4G LTE data or pause service. If you are leaving the country for 6 months and absolutely don’t need to keep your service on, you can simply pause it for 6 months and not have to pay monthly fees. Think of it almost like advanced pre-paid plan. Also if you have kids that are on your plan like myself, you can instantly pause their 4G LTE data or voice if they are using too much or perhaps they got grounded.
Also, if you use phones designed for the Fi network such as the Pixel 3 with eSIM capability, you can easily switch numbers to another phone by simply logging into your Google account. Since I review phones and I sometimes need to switch between Pixel 3 and 3XL, I can move my number between the two in less than a minute. eSIM makes it simple to move numbers and you don’t have to fiddle with tiny SIM cards.
Overall, Google Fi is going to be great for those of you who don’t use a lot of 4G LTE data or those of you who are in the U.S. only a few months out of the year, you can save big since you have load of options and you only pay for the data you use. Again, Google Fi is now available for all smartphones and you can order a free SIM card for phones that don’t have eSIM. If you have been using another carrier and paying too much for data you don’t use, definitely check out the Google Fi network and it may save some money. And if you have any questions, you can ask me with 3 years of Google Experience, in the comment section of at our HighOnAndroid Forum and I would be glad to answer all of your questions.
$20 credit for Google Fi when you sign up thru this link.
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