Google Project Fi is no longer a service that is on trial as it has been around for over a year now, offering amazing services that are also simple to understand.
The facts that Google Project Fi has a very simple pricing plan and also combines multiple networks to give you the best coverage possible make the carrier a stand-out option among others. There is no doubt that Project Fi has a lot to be admired. The service allows you to connect to millions of Wi-Fi hotspots through a Google VPN and with these connections, you can make calls, send messages, browse the web and do just about everything you would do with your cellular data – only that you won’t be using the latter.
As for now, Google Project Fi will give you cellular coverage from either Sprint, T-Mobile or U.S. Cellular, but this is only true for those in the U.S. If you live in Europe and Australia, you can access this service via Three network. Google Fi charges a small fee of just $20 per month, which earns you unlimited calling and texting. For data, you need to pay another $10 for 1GB.
What makes Google Project Fi a unique carrier is how it handles data usage and charges. Even though the data pack is charged at $10 per GB for a period of one month, not all smartphone users will be comfortable with this. For some, it is very small while others may see it as a huge package. If you use less than this 1GB per month, Google will refund you the balance from the $10 paid at the beginning of the subscription. In case of using more, you will also be charged for the extra data you used at a rate of $10/GB.
If you travel a lot, Google Project Fi still lets you use your locally-purchased data in at least 135 countries across the globe. You also get international texts as well as very affordable call rates with the basic plan.
With all these goodies, there is no doubt that many out there would be willing to make the jump to Google Project Fi. But how does it really compare to the competition, especially when looking at other mobile virtual network operators (MVNO) in the U.S.?
Republic Wireless operates on T-Mobile and Sprint. Like Project Fi, you also get unlimited calling and SMS. For $30 per month, the carrier will give you unlimited calling and messaging alongside 2GB of data. However, there are no overages, but the good part is that you can use your device for tethering, something Fi also supports. There is room to switch to a different plan anytime.
To get 2GB data on Project Fi, you will part with $40, which is slightly costlier than Republic Wireless.
Google Project Fi has a basic plan of, say, 1GB per month for $30. This, as mentioned earlier, will also earn you unlimited calls and texts. However, if you thought Project Fi is the only MVNO that allows users to only pay for what they need, Ting, which operates on Sprint and T-Mobile’s infrastructure, started this practice some few years ago. You can get flexible plans for data, texts, and calls in addition to only paying for what you use per month.
But for a basic plan of 1GB per month, Ting is still pricier than Google Project Fi. The data alone costs $16. So, assuming you also make calls of around 500 minutes and send up to 2000 text messages in a month, Ting will charge you a total of $39 per month. This includes $9 for calls, $8 for SMS and $6 device fee. Project Fi gives you the same data but makes the calling and texting part unlimited. There is also no device fee charged for users of Fi.
The use of Google Project Fi gets more interesting if you are not a heavy data user. For those using larger data packs per month, say 5GB data, you may want to look elsewhere, for instance, ROK Mobile. Offering its services through Verizon Wireless, ROK Mobile will charge you $49.99 per month for a 5GB data plan. This will also earn you unlimited calling and texting as well as unlimited access to ROK Music streaming services.
On the downside, ROK Mobile does not support Wi-Fi calling like Project Fi. Speaking of Fi, the Google carrier could prove to be more expensive for huge data users. For the same 5GB data plan, you will have to part with $50 for data in addition to the standard $20 for unlimited calls and texts. This means you part with $70 for a 5GB data monthly data plan on Google Project Fi. Oh, there is also no unlimited access to any streaming music service, which means an additional charge, just in case you need one.
As you may have noticed, Google Project Fi works best for those who aren’t heavy data users, prefer something that has a very simple plan that is also easy to understand, you travel a lot or spend most of your time in public areas and last but not least, you own a Google Pixel, Pixel XL, Nexus 6P, Nexus 5X or Nexus 6.
6 thoughts on “Should You Switch? Here’s How Google Project Fi Compares to Other Carriers”
In contrary to what you stated, Project FI supports tethering.
Incorrect statement “However, there are no overages, but the good part is that you can use your device for tethering, something Fi doesn’t support.”. Google article on setting up tethering: https://support.google.com/fi/answer/6182204?hl=en
In addition, you can easily add devices that use data like LTE enabled tablets to your plan at no charge. The only fee is for the data.
Just proof about adding a data only enabled SIM tablet to your Fi account: https://support.google.com/fi/answer/6330195?hl=en
Getting any last year Republic Wireless phones (Moto x, G or E) are a big bargain for low data users. I pay $12 a month for the Sprint/Wifi Moto X1 on RW now.
Great article with a straightforward and effective comparison, thank you. What surprises me everytime I read about tariff comaprisons is how expensive tarrifs are in the US. Free Mobile in France, for example, offers all of the above and fifty (50) GB of mobile 4G data for €20 / month ~ 22 US Dollars! Unlimited SMS/Calls to Mobile and fixed, 100 international destinations included (fixed) PLUS 50 GB of data. 22 US Dollars. I would be grateful if anyone has a rationale they would be kind to share.
Had ROK Mobile when they had the unlimited plan. Now I have been lowered to 5gb and their music app crashes all the time. Switched to Project Fi and am way happier! ROK CS was never the best either. Happy I moved