If you are not happy with your current mobile service provider’s bills, you probably should take a look at Google Project Fi.
When it first launched in April 2015, Google Project Fi was an invite-based service only. However, with many people joining the platform thanks to the power of Google Nexus 6P, Nexus 5X and Nexus 6, the search engine giant decided to open up the platform to the public. Being a Google product, Project Fi is based in the U.S., but since Google is a global company, it has also managed to reach Europe.
Through Sprint, T-Mobile, and U.S. Cellular, Google Project Fi offers users with mobile network services that pick the strongest 4G, 3G, or 2G service available from the three and connect their devices to it. If there is a Wi-Fi hotspot in the vicinity, the better as Project Fi will stop using your cellular data and instead connect to the internet using the found hotspot. However, this will only be possible if the Wi-Fi hotspot has the strongest connection available – more than any of the three carriers supported.
In Europe, those using Three can access the services of Google Project Fi locally, allowing them to seamlessly switch between the carrier and open Wi-Fi hotspots in order to enjoy the best connection possible.
Google Project Fi cost and features
One of the attractive aspects of Google Project Fi is that it’s relatively cheap when compared to other mobile operators. For Fi Basics, you need $30 per month. This gives you unlimited calls and texts alongside 1GB data. The latter is charged at $10, but the good side of the narration is that Google will credit any data that you don’t use using the rate of $0.01 per MB. For instance, if you pay for 3GB of data ($30) and use 2GB only, your next billing will be credited with the balance of $10. This happens on a monthly basis – no long-term contracts here.
Google Project Fi has a Wi-Fi Assistant feature that determines the strongest open Wi-Fi hotspot around and connects your device to it via a VPN. This saves you from depending on the paid-for data and instead, you stay connected via a public hotspot for free. You can make calls as well as send messages using these same hotspots.
If you want to get your family or group of friends into the program, Google Project Fi recently launched a group plan. The first account holder of the team can invite up to five other people to the plan, but the new additions will cost $15 per line as opposed to the usual $20 per line. However, there won’t be changes to the data aspect of Fi.
For frequent international travelers, Google Project Fi is a must-have. The carrier is supported in more than 135 countries across the globe. You will keep on using your data at the same speeds. The carrier also allows you send texts to other people when in other countries, but calling will be charged at a flat rate of $0.20 per minute.
But there’s a catch
As you can see, Google Project Fi has lots of goodies. However, you need to be careful before deciding to make the switch. For starters, Project Fi users must also agree to use a number of Google devices. These include Nexus 6, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Pixel and Pixel XL. If any of these phones is not your friend, forget about Project Fi.
Since Google Project Fi switches between Sprint, T-Mobile and U.S. Cellular – carriers that are ranked below Verizon and AT&T in terms of coverage in the U.S. – you need to ensure that your area has the best coverage from the supported carriers. Otherwise, you may have to rely on Wi-Fi most of the time. If none of these three carriers has the best coverage in your region, it is better to stay off Project Fi.
As for those who use huge amounts of cellular data, Google Project Fi might at some point get costlier than what other platforms provide. In fact, the lack of unlimited data plans on Fi may actually be an advantage to the carriers that offer the services.
Despite the few limitations, Google Project Fi is still very cheap. At the moment, Google Nexus 5X costs just $199 via Project Fi – you can start from here and actually test the waters.