Google’s Project Fi Review: Is It As Good as They Say?

Project Fi Review

I was interested in Project Fi from the moment I heard it launched. The selling point? I only had to pay for the data I actually used!

What is Project Fi?

Project Fi is a cell phone plan from Google. However, they do not have their own network. They use a combination of Sprint, T-Mobile, and U.S. Cellular. They also try and use an available WiFi over these different carriers. Switching from WiFi to cellular and back is seamless.

Our Story

When Project Fi launched, we were using an AT&T connection. The bills came up to $117 for two connections. I had a Nexus 6 phone and asked for an invite (it was by invitation only at that point), and got one. There were not many reviews, and BusyDad didn’t have a compatible phone. So I put it off.

Low Costs

Right now, we have a group plan. The plan owner (BusyDad) pays $20 a month, and the rest of them (just me, here) pays $15 a month for unlimited talk and text. For each GB of data used, we pay $10. No rounding off — if you use 214 MB, you pay $2.14. And it is as simple as that.

Free Data-Only Sim

We also got an extra sim card from them to use in my old Nexus 6 phone. I cannot make a call from it, and it is mainly used for GBoy to play Pokemon Go, and occasionally for Google Maps.

Easy To Understand Charges

There are times when I am trying to reduce the cost of something and try to understand what to do. With Project Fi, it is easy. No hidden charges and everything is adequately explained.

International Roaming

Data costs are the same on Project Fi, wherever you are. And texts are free. I have not sent an international text ever — I am not really sure about that part. What I do know is that you can send a text to a US number for free even when you are traveling.

International Calls

I stopped getting a Skype subscription. The call rates are low enough with Project Fi that I now just directly call from my phone. To make calls to India or UK, it now costs me $0.01 a minute. See the screenshots below.

  • On Nov 5, at 9:20 am, I was in the USA. I called a number in India, and it cost me $0.01 per minute.
  • On May 15, at 3:30 pm, I was in the UK, and not connected to WiFi. I was charged $0.20 per minute for a call from the USA.

Coverage within USA

We have good coverage where we live. I have not had any issue with Project Fi. Last summer we drove from Boston to San Francisco and were happy with how well it worked.

Major Drawback

We have found one major issue with using Project Fi. You cannot just get a sim card and pop it into any phone. It only works with certain phones — Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, Pixel, Pixel XL, Nexus 6p, Nexus 5x, Nexus 6 and Android One Moto X4.

Is Project Fi for you?

It depends. If you spend a lot of time where you have access to WiFi anyway, it is probably for you. However, if you do not have access to WiFi most of the time, this may not be a great choice.

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