Google Project Fi has been around since early 2015 and so far, the MVNO has clocked two years under its belt.
Over the recent past, the carrier has been adding more users to its fan base thanks to what it claims to be affordable phone and data plans. However, the affordability of Google Project Fi plans will rely heavily on how you actually use data on your phone.
As far as calls and texts are concerned, there’s little to worry about since the carrier only charges $20 per month for unlimited calling and texting across the U.S. However, the problem is with Fi’s data plans. In a time when major carriers such as Verizon, T-Mobile and AT&T are working to integrate “Unlimited” plans in their services, using Project Fi simply doesn’t add up, especially for people who use as much as 20GB+ in a month.
Google Project Fi positions itself as that carrier that will refund you whatever data you don’t use by the time your next subscription is here. For $10 per month, Fi gives you 1GB of data. If you happen to use 0.7GB per month, the equivalent fee of 0.3GB will be carried forward such that your next billing cycle will have a charge of $3 less than your normal bill.
However, if you use 20GB of data per month, Project Fi will charge you a whopping $200 per month for data alone. Add the $20 charged for Fi Basics and the total bill comes to $220. Compare this with, for instance, T-Mobile. The Magenta carrier has an unlimited plan of $70 (or $75) per month, earning you a decent package of up to 32GB alongside the usual calling and texting.
Verizon, on the other hand, has an unlimited plan of $80 per month, giving you up to 22GB of data per month. As for AT&T, you only need to part with $60 per month for the Unlimited Choice or $90 per month for the Unlimited Plus plans, earning you data of up to 22GB. Sprint is also in the same boat, asking for $50 per month (until June 30, 2018) to hand you up to 23GB of LTE data per month.
Of course, all of these plans have a few tweaks here and there, but the bottom line is that they are way cheaper than what you’d end up paying for using more than 20GB of data on Google Project Fi. One way of reducing data usage on Fi is the use of the Wi-Fi Assistant. This feature enables your phone to automatically scan for Wi-Fi hotspots that have a better speed than your current cellular network and connects to this hotspot for all your internet needs.
By using these Wi-Fi hotspots, you might end up using a smaller amount of cellular data, but if you have no access to Wi-Fi, it means you’d have to be totally dependent on cellular data, which would mean you pay a lot more than what you’d pay for choosing to go with any of the four major carriers in the country.
In short, your data usage patterns coupled with your accessibility to Wi-Fi hotspots will have a huge impact in the amount you end up paying on Project Fi. If you have no regular access to Wi-Fi and use lots of data, Fi is not for you.