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5 days ago

New Galaxy S8 software update aims to fix your red display

42

It's hard to ship software that makes everyone happy.

We already cleared the air on the Galaxy S8 "red screen" situation that was unfortunately overblown at the start, but even still, Samsung is releasing a software update to further mitigate the so-called issue. Though only a small number of Galaxy S8 displays have a rather red tint to them and the issue can be mitigated with some tweaking of the built-in settings to have the screen looking just how you like it, Samsung will roll out an update this week to further fix the problem.

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5 days ago

Spotify hiring to launch self-branded hardware, potentially a wearable

8

You can listen to Spotify pretty much anywhere, but apparently that's not good enough.

Spotify is looking to add new members to its ranks with a goal of launching its own hardware, according to job listings the streaming music company has posted. As pointed out by Zatznotfunny, the two listings are pretty clear: the positions are to "deliver hardware directly from Spotify to existing and new customers" and "execution of Spotify's voice efforts beyond our core apps."

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5 days ago

How to back up your Android launcher, and why you should

31

You backup your photos, your music, your documents… Why not your launcher?

We've all been there. You get a new phone and want it to feel familiar, like the one you just replaced. But all your app icons and widgets are all over the place. If you use a custom launcher, it's possible to quickly get right back to where you were before, by using a backup and restore feature.

Here's how.

Update April 2017: We've taken off Google Now Launcher, as it will be retiring soon and its backup system in not transferrable to other launchers, and Apex Launcher, ahead of its re-launch. We've also added Evie Launcher, Smart Launcher, and Yahoo Aviate.

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5 days ago

Best microSD Cards for Galaxy S8

14

What are the best microSD cards for the Galaxy S8?

Following in the footsteps of the Galaxy S7, the Galaxy S8 offers support for microSD cards so you can increase the storage of the phone. This time around, however, Samsung has increased the onboard storage from 32GB up to 64GB, so many people may find that more than enough. But if you're worried about filling that 64GB up with music, video or pictures, you should grab a microSD card and put it all there so you can easily access it.

Here are some of the best options to put in your new Galaxy S8.

Update April 24, 2017: Removed the Lexar 32GB option that is no longer available and replaced with SanDisk's 32GB card with similar speeds.

SanDisk Ultra 32GB

If the 64GB that Samsung gives you inside the Galaxy S8 isn't enough for your daily needs, adding a bit more doesn't have to cost a ton. SanDisk's high-performance card offers transfer speeds of up to 80MB/s and is capable of handling 4K video. To make syncing files to and from your computer easy, Lexar includes a USB 3.0 reader in the packaging.

Adding 32GB of storage to a 64GB phone may seem a bit weird, but if you aren't looking to spend a lot this may be the way to go at under $15 for the card.

See at Amazon

SanDisk Ultra 128GB microSD

SanDisk is a well-known company when it comes to memory cards and storage products, and cards like this show you why. It comes with a 10-year warranty and has quick transfer speeds (up to 80MB/s), so it should check many of the boxes that you look for in a microSD card. The price is great as well at just over $40 most of the time.

See at Amazon

Samsung EVO 128GB microSD

This is not Samsung's top-end offering but it comes with decent speeds and a price tag to match. With up to 48MB/s for read and write you can keep the card updated easily, and it can handle 1080p video without a problem. If you want a Samsung-branded card that doesn't break the bank, this is the one to go with.

See at Amazon

PNY Elite 128GB microSD

If you're not looking to spend a ton but don't want a poor quality card, this is a great option. With read speeds of up to 85Mb/s this card is no slouch, and with a price of around $35 it is hard to beat for the price. For those thinking of grabbing a smaller capacity card, this is worth the couple of extra bucks to gain the additional space.

See at Amazon

SanDisk Ultra 200GB microSD

If you're looking to add a ton of extra storage at a relatively low cost, SanDisk's 200GB microSD card is the way to go. This card from SanDisk provides transfer speeds of up to 90MB/s and can record Full HD video. If you like to keep your digital library with you at all times, you'll want one of these.

We've seen the price drop significantly over the past year, and most of the times you can find it for under $80.

See at Amazon

Samsung 256GB EVO+ microSD

Samsung's own 256GB option is one of the best to go for if you are ready to just go all out on storage. With read speeds of up to 95MB/s and write speeds of up to 90MB/s you can quickly and easily transfer files to and from the phone. With the speed and storage capacity comes a larger price tag on this card, but if you want the biggest on the market this is the way to go.

See at Amazon

Your favorite?

Do you have a favorite microSD card that isn't listed here? Be sure to drop a comment below and let us know which card it is, and why you like it!

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+

Verizon AT&T T-Mobile Sprint

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5 days ago

How's the battery life on your Galaxy S8 or S8+?

74

How's your Galaxy S8 holding up after a few days?

A phone can be perfect in practically every other way, but if it falls down on the battery life front, no one is going to recommend it. Samsung's recent flagships have always done alright on battery tests, but even without increasing the size, the Galaxy S8 is putting out considerably better results than its predecessor — at least according to our review.

But now that the phone is out, we wanted to see what sort of battery life you're getting, so we took to the forums to take a look.

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dlee1001 04-21-2017 06:06 PM “

This was my first full day with the S8 Plus on Verizon, and I want to say, I'm pretty impressed. I know I still have quite a ways to go, but this is my battery life so far. This is with AOD, FHD, around 30% brightness, sync on, with heavy video streaming and web browsing, and a few phone calls. 257609257610257611

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A lot of people seem to be getting significantly better battery life than on the Galaxy S7, ending the day with roughly 30% or more in the tank. This is likely due to the confluence of a more efficient processor in the Snapdragon 835 and a default resolution of 1080p.

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erasat 04-21-2017 06:53 PM “

I just got my s8+ in the morning and immediately charged it to 100%, 7.5 hours later and half of that time installing all my apps and setting everything from scratch, I'm at 50% with 4.25 of SoT. Pretty impressed so far with battery and the buttery smooth performance in general, that and this Orchid Grey being so gorgeous. Basically everything on, AOD, Location History, QHD, only Uninstalled...

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So many people are wowed by the unexpectedly good battery performance on the Galaxy S8, especially because the batteries themselves are no bigger than those in the S7 series. In fact, the Galaxy S8+ has a smaller cell than the Galaxy S7 edge!

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msm0511 04-21-2017 10:21 PM “

TBH I'm not all that impressed with the battery life, but I've never really been all that impressed with the battery on any Android phone I've had. It's mostly standby that kills it for me. I have an S8+ and an iPhone 7 Plus, and my iPhone may go down to 93% during a work day. My S8+ was down to 50% with only 45 minutes SOT

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Of course, not everyone is having perfect results. Some people are experiencing battery life that is just good, while others are outright upset by the uptime.

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blaine07 04-21-2017 09:38 PM “

Looks like I got some work to do... 😯https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170422/b3c6c2b5b9f12da393a8804521aad291.jpghttps://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170422/e6a0b7a22c75a0ef1c4889366f300580.jpg

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Others are finding that battery usage spikes when connected to Wi-Fi, which isn't unusual, but may be fixable with an update.

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steelers1 04-23-2017 09:28 AM “

Well, here's my stats on my s8+ at almost 24 hours on battery. Auto brightness and WQHD. Not quite as good as everyone else's but still good. The one thing I noticed is the high phone radio and Wi-Fi usage. This is not normal on my other phones. I have good signal too. If it wasn't for the two radios my battery would be amazing

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Got thoughts on Galaxy S8 battery life? Jump into the forums!

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+

Verizon AT&T T-Mobile Sprint

img { width: 100%; height: auto; } .devicebox ul { display: table; margin: 0 0 10px; width: 100%; } .devicebox ul li { background: #f7f7f7; margin: 2px 0; padding: 4px 15px; } .devicebox ul li:hover { background: #fff; } .devicebox ul li:before { display: none; } .devicebox p ~ p { line-height: 1.25; } .devicebox p:first-of-type + p { padding: 15px; } .devicebox a.buy-link { border-radius: 5px; display: inline-block; font: 14px/31px "Proxima Nova Extrabld",Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif; text-align: center; } .devicebox a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:link, .devicebox a.buy-link:active, .devicebox a.buy-link:visited { background: #37B5D7; color: #FFF; } .devicebox a.buy-link:hover { background: #2694B2; text-decoration: none; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { content: "\e61e"; font: 40px/0 "ac_iconset" !important; margin: 0 3px 0 -8px; vertical-align: middle; } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { /* div:not(.columns-3) excludes help menu content */ .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p img, .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 660px) { .devicebox h3 { text-align: center; } .devicebox ul, .devicebox p { display: block; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox p img, .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 661px), all and (max-width: 500px) { /* 2x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(even) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:last-of-type:nth-of-type(odd) { width: 100%; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 659px) and (min-width: 501px) { /* 3x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(100%/3 - 10px/3); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(3n):not(:nth-last-of-type(2)) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:only-child { width: 100%; margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(odd) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } } @media all and (max-width: 500px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { display: none; } } .page-admin .devicebox {max-width: 350px;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe {position: relative; height: 0; padding-bottom: 56.9%;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe iframe {width: 100%; height: 100%; position: absolute;} /*-->*/ /*-->*/ /*-->*/

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5 days ago

Become a certified hacker with 2017's most popular eLearning Bundle for only $59

As the online landscape grows and changes, so does the requirement for security. One tried and true way of testing security is to crack through it, after all, it's easier to know what needs to be fixed once something breaks through. Believe it or not, this is actually a job known as ethical hacking, and the people who can do such tasks, they are in high demand.

Learn the skills needed to become an ethical hacker! Learn More

Companies, especially ones that work primarily online, would rather have someone on payroll breaching through their security than someone with bad intentions. Whether you consider yourself adept with tech, or you're just starting out, you're probably wondering how to get started in the world cyber security.

Android Central Offers has a fantastic deal on the Computer Hacker Professional Certification Package. This package contains over 55 hours of course content that you will train you to be an ethical hacker. Plus, you'll have unlimited access to for 12 whole months!

If you've looked into online courses for ethical hacking in the past, you know they don't come cheap, but right now you can get the Computer Hacker Professional Certification Package for only $59 rather than the regular price tag of $1499. You read that right; you'll get a savings of 96%.

With job markets in many sectors dwindling, one thing that doesn't seem to be going away is the need for tech security, so why not get started on this course today? Some of the highlights include:

  • Learn how to breach wireless network security with over 55 hours of training.
  • Understand how to handle digital evidence within legal standards.
  • Use Access Data's Forensic Toolkit, EnCase, and other special steps to review data whilst leaving all evidence intact.
  • Learn how to implement an Info Risk Assessment Process and integrate enterprise business objectives with information security policies.
  • Discover IT Strategy and Information systems maintenance practices.

Don't miss out on the most popular eLearning bundle of 2017! Learn More

The bottom line is you need a change. Whether you dislike your job, or you are looking for a way to increase job security, this is a great a great opportunity for an extremely low price.

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5 days ago

Best HOTAS Controller for PlayStation VR

Best HOTAS controller for PlayStation VR

Is there a HOTAS controller I can use with PlayStation VR?

Hands On Throttle And Stick (HOTAS) controllers are extremely popular in the flight simulator community and are now gaining a lot of traction in the VR world. These controllers essentially give you a ton of control over your airplane or spaceship, and you can also look and feel like a boss while playing. HOTAS controllers will usually have a familiar joystick for one hand and a throttle for the other.

With the rumored addition of War Thunder to the PlayStation VR library and with a few VR games already supported, including EVE: Valkyrie and Starblood Arena, you might be tempted to set up a cockpit in your VR space. Here's the best — and so far really the only — one you'll want to get for PlayStation VR.

Read more at VR Heads!

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5 days ago

Will somebody please make a Chromebook with LTE?

34

All I want is a proper replacement for the laptop that has served me for four years.

Some people have found that a Chromebook is just the best way to compute. I'm one of them and unless I need to do something that requires the big loud PC on my desk you'll find me with a Chromebook in front of me. And if I'm away from home it will be a really beat up aluminum model from early 2013 that is in dire need of a new battery. I still use the original Chromebook Pixel because it has its own data connection.

I reach for my old Chromebook Pixel instead of newer, better Chromebooks because it's connected and ready when I open the lid.

Now the Pixel was a great laptop in its day and still isn't horrible. I'm not trying to say that at all. But I have a few other, newer, and I'll say better Chromebooks here I could slip into my rucksack and take places, Ones with far better battery life (even before the battery in my Pixel started to go it never had all-day battery life) and Android apps. But none of them have a data connection and that makes a big difference for a lot of people. I'm one of them.

Having a laptop with its own connection is probably one of those things you have to use to appreciate it. I didn't want a Pixel because it has an LTE modem. The fast processor and 64GB of storage caught my eye and having used the "regular" 2013 Pixel for a review I knew I would get enough use out of it to justify the cost. LTE (including free data from Verizon every month) was a bonus. As it turns out, the bonus ended up being my favorite feature. I can tether with my phone and that works, but I use the data connection enough that I really don't want to watch the battery meter on my phone nose dive because I'm working somewhere with no Wi-Fi for hours at a time. It's a small luxury and I don't want to lose it.

Other Chromebooks had LTE, too. It's likely nobody was buying them.

I get why Acer or Samsung or any other company isn't making LTE Chromebooks. People buy Chromebooks because they are cheap and capable. An LTE connection and the thought of a monthly service fee doesn't fit very well when you're buying cheap and capable, and companies are smart to make things that sell well. What I don't get is why Google isn't making one.

People bought the Chromebook Pixel for two reasons: They liked Chrome and wanted something really nice or they realized that buying one was cheaper than paying for the 1TB of Google Drive space that came free with the things. The price wasn't the deciding factor because they were more expensive than a MacBook Air. Tacking $150 on the price for native connectivity isn't going to change any of that. The 2013 Chromebook Pixel with LTE was $1,449 and it went on back order on day one like every other Google hardware thing. They would be able to sell as many as they made unless they got silly and made millions of them.

Pictured: A Project Fi data-only SIM card and all the devices Google sells that can use it.

And then you have Project Fi. Anyone with a Project Fi line can get an LTE data-only SIM card, specifically designed for use in tablets and laptops. Yet Google doesn't sell a tablet or laptop that can use it. That's a complete head scratcher and fodder for another article, but still. Google, you provide service designed for products you don't sell — are you kidding me?

If anyone were to make a new Chromebook with an LTE connection, I would be buying it.

These days, my Pixel is on its last legs and I'm not going to spend $300-$400 on another used or damaged one just to snag the battery out of it. I'll carry around my Chromebook Flip and a battery pack for my phone so I can tether, The Flip is a lot more portable and has great battery life so I don't feel too sorry for myself. But I would totally put another $1,500 on the credit card and buy a new Pixel with LTE if Google would make one. Instead, I'll think of this as a eulogy for the laptop that served me so well for four years.

Chromebooks

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5 days ago

Nougat is now available for the Note 5 on all major U.S. carriers

69

Samsung's 2015 phones are beginning to receive Nougat in the U.S.

Update, April 24: It looks like T-Mobile has rolled out Android 7.0 Nougat to its Galaxy Note 5 units, too! Go get it!

Three of the four big U.S. carriers are rolling out Android 7.0 Nougat to the Galaxy S6, S6 edge, S6 edge+ and Note 5 over the week, much to the delight of impatient users everywhere.

Sprint and Verizon were first out of the gate to bring Samsung's 2015 suite of phones to its latest version of the Samsung Experience, which improves the design of the UI and upgrades things like notifications and multitasking. AT&T followed shortly thereafter. Here's a look at what to expect, as seen on the Galaxy S7.

Here are the phones that have received updates so far:

  • Galaxy S6: Sprint
  • Galaxy S6 edge: Sprint
  • Galaxy S6 edge+: AT&T, Verizon
  • Galaxy Note 5: Sprint, Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile

No word on when the T-Mobile variants will get Nougat.

Samsung Galaxy Note 5

AT&T Sprint T-Mobile Verizon Best Buy

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5 days ago

Project Fi Buyer's Guide: Everything you need to know

41
 Everything you need to know about Project Fi

Hate paying for features or data you don't use? Project Fi might just be the carrier for you.

Project Fi is Google's foray into the world of alternative carriers. Fi is a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) and leases coverage from Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, and the Three network for overseas roaming.

Here's everything you need to know about Google Project Fi.

Coverage

Project Fi coverage map

Google leases its coverage from Sprint, T-Mobile, and U.S. Cellular in the U.S. and uses Three's network in Europe and Asia. Its 4G LTE coverage extends throughout most of the U.S., though parts of the Midwest only receive 3G and 2G speeds (there's essentially no 4G coverage in Montana of Wyoming).

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Using the three big cellular networks in the U.S., Project Fi will move you from carrier to carrier depending on how strong the 4G LTE signal is. Fi analyzes your location to see which one is fastest and will bounce you around as necessary so that you're always at maximum speeds.

Learn more

International coverage

As mentioned, Project Fi relies on the Three network for coverage in Europe and Asia. One of the best parts of any Project Fi plan is the fact that you can use your data in more than 135 countries just like you would at home — no roaming charges.

You get unlimited international texting with any plan and calls to and from other countries are a flat rate of 20 cents per minute. 4G LTE coverage is subject to availability in one of the 135+ countries covered, but if it's available, it's yours to use (within your monthly cap).

Learn more

Project Fi plans

Project Fi's plans are about as straightforward and simple as it gets for mobile plans.

You start off with "The Basics" for $20 a month. This gets you unlimited domestic talk and text (including SMS and MMS), unlimited international texting, tethering, and the free data-only SIM card. You can also make calls and texts across all of your devices.

After you sign up for the basics, you add 4G LTE. It's $10 per GB of data. That data works in over 135 just like it does at home. If you buy a certain amount of data but don't use it all within your billing period, you'll be refunded for the amount you don't use, at the rate of about 1 cent per MB. If you go over your monthly data allotment, no biggie — you'll just get billed at the rate of $10/GB.

If you'd like to add on friends and family, you can do so with Project Fi Group plans, and they get a $5 discount on The Basics.

Learn more

Best phones to use with Project Fi

Google Pixel

The one catch (maybe?) with Project Fi is that it only supports Google phones. It makes sense; why wouldn't Google want you to use its phones on its network? Luckily, some of Google's phones are some of the best Android phones around.

The Google Pixel is handily the best Google phone you can buy, which is why it received an Android Central Choice Award and is a favorite among our editors. It's software is excellent, it's got a great build, and it's camera is among the upper echelon of smartphone cameras.

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Here are all the phones that work with Project Fi:

  • Google Pixel
  • Google Pixel XL
  • Nexus 6P
  • Nexus 6
  • Nexus 5X

How to finance a phone with Project Fi

So long as you qualify (up to Google, based on a credit check) you can purchase a new phone and pay for it in monthly installments. There's no down payment required and no interest; the cost of the phone of your choice is just spread out over 24 months.

You can pay off the balance at any time, but if you decide to leave Project Fi, you'll have to pay out the total cost of the phone then and there. You have 30 days to activate Project Fi service from when you buy your phone. If your Project Fi service isn't active within 30 days, Google will just charge you the full amount for the phone.

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Do I have to sign up for a Project Fi contract?

No. Project Fi operates on a month-to-month basis. You can start up and cancel at any time. The only "contract" you agree to is if you choose to purchase a phone on monthly installments. In that case, you must make 24 monthly payments with active Project Fi service.

Can I bring my phone number over from another network?

Absolutely. When you start the signup process, there'll be a section where you can check to see if your number can be transferred. If it can, enter it, and Google will do the rest. Most transfers take only 15 minutes, though some can take a day depending on the network from which they came.

To port your number:

  1. Insert your Project Fi SIM card into your Fi-compatible phone.
  2. Turn on your phone and follow the on-screen instructions.
  3. Wait for your number to be transferred. You'll be able to see its status in the Project Fi app and on its website.

While your number transfers over, you'll still be able to use your old phone to make calls and send texts, and you'll be able to use data on your Fi-enabled phone.

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Why can I only use Google phones?

For right now, Google has only enabled Google phones to use the Project Fi SIM. It claims that only Google phones work with the Project Fi SIM card because they have "state-of-the-art cellular radio[s] tuned to work across network types".

How do I cancel Project Fi service?

Very simply. All you have to do is head to the Project Fi website or app:

  1. Click or tap on the Account tab.
  2. Click or tap on Manage Plan under Your Plan.
  3. Click Cancel service.
  4. Follow the instructions.

That's it. Google isn't like other carriers that make it difficult for you to leave. Just say you want to cancel and cancel. Boom.

Can I use my Project Fi phone with another carrier?

Provided it works with that particular carrier (chances are it will), yup. Google clearly states that your phone is not locked to Project Fi service.

Questions?

Got any other questions about Google Project Fi? Let us know in the comments below.

Alternative carriers (MVNOS)

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