A different kind of phone plan
I use Google search every day. I use Gmail every day. I use Google Calendar and Google Keep every day. Now I can officially add cell phone service to that list of daily use. You got me Google. You got me good. Previously, I was a Verizon customer going on 15 plus years. One item that always annoyed me about Verizon’s service was the 2-year contracts. To get a reasonable price on a phone, I had to commit to Verizon for 2 years. I always wanted more flexibility and that was an initial draw to Google FI.
I stumbled across this cell phone provider plan from Google a few years ago. It was previously called Project Fi. It appears the project graduated to a full-service product, and it’s now called Google FI. I’ve been waiting for the larger and broader trend of 5G to seriously consider making the switch to Google Fi. Following the Spring and T-Mobile merger, the nationwide coverage map is looking strong. Strong enough for me to leave Verizon even though it has the best nationwide coverage.
I expect the marginal value of Verizon’s larger network to shrink in the coming years. Google Fi’s simple pricing, google products discounts, and 5G coverage convinced me to sign up.
What is Google FI
Google Fi is a cell phone provider service created by Google. This product piggybacks on many major mobile networks. Your phone optimizes coverage based on network quality. In the background, your phone will also switch to WiFI calling for better performance. These are core functions of the products, so it all happens in the background.
This service has a target audience. And that audience is Andriod users. Even more niche, it’s targeting Google Pixel phone users. Sorry iPhone users, this service is not for you.
There are 2 primary plans offered by Google Fi. Flexible data and Unlimited. Both plans offer no activation fee and no hidden fees.
Google Fi is built on the concept of flexibility. No contracts. Only month to month cell phone service with good and straightforward pricing.
Month to month plans, Flexible for 1, start at $20 per month. You pay only for the data you use. You’re charged $10 per GB of data you use, down to the cent. Stick to Wi-Fi calling and data connections if you want to keep that cell phone bill low!
The flexible also offers Bill Protection, which caps your monthly bill at $80 per month. So if you use more than 6 GBs of data, you won’t pay anything extra. No more surprise phone bills, that’s a pretty nice feature.
Unlimited for 1 start at $70 per month. Go nuts stream all the Netflix you want. High-speed data, unlimited calls, and text for a flat 70 bucks per month. This also includes hotspot tethering, which is super easy to set up when you’re on the move.
The monthly unlimited plan also includes international data and texts. I spend a few weeks abroad every year and the $10 per day charge from Verizon adds up quickly. I like to plan trips. I really like to plan international trips. Now I can officially remove an item from my to-do list. No more worrying about international phone charges!
You’re automatically covered with Google Fi when you travel aboard. Here’s a list of the 200 countries that google fi covers. International Country List from Google Fi
Traveling with the Unlimited plan
- Data: Unlimited
- Calls: $.20 per min
- Text: Unlimited
Traveling with the Flexible plan
- Data: $10 / GB
- Calls: $.20 per min
- Text: Unlimited
This service is all about the phones designed for Google Fi. You can bring an existing phone to the network. You can check your phone’s compatibility here. iPhone is in beta for Google Fi. Unless you enjoy pioneering buggy new technology, this service is not for you.
It plays favorites to the Google Pixel phones, with discounts, and 0% financing options. If you’re a devout Google Pixel user already, then this cell phone plan makes a lot of sense. I had a Google Pixel phone when I made the switch, it was a painless process and the coverage is great.
Phones currently featured as phones designed for Fi
- Pixel 5
- Pixel 4a (5G)
- Pixel 4a
- Samsung Note 20 5G
- Samsung Note 20 Ultra 5G
- Samsung Galaxy S20 5G
- Samsung Galaxy S20+ 5G
- Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G
- Samsung A71 5G
- Moto G Power
- Moto G Stylus
Google Fi’s nation-wide coverage is great. Expect coverage to continue to improve as 5G technology rolls out across America. Definitely check the coverage before making the switch. I’d recommend checking multiple addresses for a few of your favorite places. Your house, vocational spots, close family homes, and anywhere you recreate. It only takes a few minutes. Best to makes sure there are no known dead zones.
Verizon has great coverage, perhaps the best nationwide cellular network in the country. That’s why I waited for a few years before trying out Google Fi. I didn’t want to switch to a less reliable and more annoying network just to save a few bucks.
Now the Google Fi 5G network looks great. I’ll be sure to have 5G or 4G LTE coverage in all my favorite places. Even in my hometown of Bar Harbor Maine. When there’s technology in Maine you know things are looking good!
Remember, your phone will automatically switch to WiFi calling. So in you are in your friend’s basements, or speak easy. Fear not! The WiFi will ensure you don’t miss any important calls.
Is Google Fi right for you?
This plan from google is definitely unique. I’d bet that I’m one of the very few people I know using this service from Google. The flexible plan, pay for the data you use, is competitive. There are some cheaper options out there, but it’s a solid plan.
Google Fi connects to networks like Sprint and T-Mobile. With the rollout of the 5G service, you’ll have reliable coverage in most areas nationwide.
Shopping for unlimited data? There are cheaper options. Sprint, T-Mobile, and AT&T all have less expensive programs. So if you’re shopping on price point alone, you may want to consider other options. Personally, I like the Google suite of products and the interconnectivity. The UI/UX of the service is familiar and a Googley as you’d expect. That’s worth a few extra bucks to me.
If you’re a Google Pixel lover, as I am, I’d recommend checking out Google Fi. It might be a great fit. I switched to Google Fi from my couch while drinking a beer. It was easy. The hardest part was finding my damn PIN number from Verizon. They made it a real pain to get the right PIN number to transfer my service to Google Fi.
I guess I should expect that. Verizon doesn’t want to make it easy to leave their service. If you’re an iPhone user, pass on Google Fi for now. If your an Android phone user, check the compatibility of the service.