The 4 things Google Fi needs to change before I switch

Google Fi SIM
Google Fi SIM (Image credit: Android Central)

Google Fi has changed a lot since it first debuted as Project Fi all the way back in April of 2015. More phones have been added, family plans are a thing, and you can now use your Fi service in over 200 countries around the globe without having to pay any travel/roaming fees.

All of this has resulted in Google Fi being one of the best wireless providers in the U.S., so much so that my colleague Andrew Martonik recently ended his 8-year relationship with T-Mobile to join it.

I wish I could do the same thing, but for me personally, there are a few things I'd like to see Google Fi address before I make that plunge.

More affordable data costs

One of the things about Google Fi that works so well is its pricing. You pay $20/month for unlimited talk and text, and for every 1GB of data you use, it's another $10. It's easy to understand, and compared to the plans being offered by companies like AT&T, Verizon, etc., is a helluva lot more simple.

That aspect of Fi works really well, but my issue with this is the actual cost. $10 per GB is an even, easy number to remember, but the cost of that can add up rather quickly. If you just use 2GB of data during your billing cycle (which is quite easy), you're looking at another $20 for your bill for a total of $40. Use 4GB, and you're up to $60.

To Google's credit, it did introduce Bill Protection in early 2018 to effectively give heavy data-users an unlimited plan of sorts. After you use 6GB of data during a single month, all of the data after that is free — basically giving you unlimited talk, text, and data for $80/month.

That's not bad on its own, but it's also not the best the market has to offer. Speeds are slowed to a crawl at 256Kbps once you use 15GB, and as you start adding more and more people to your account, things get real expensive real quick.

Better group plan rates

Similar to Google Fi's pricing structure, family plans are also easy to understand. After your first line, it costs $15/month per each extra person you add for unlimited calls and texts. They pay the same $10 per GB rate for data, but for every person that's added, you have to use more data each month before Bill Protection kicks in to give you unlimited data. For example, if you have an account with four people, you need to use 14GB of data during a month before Bill Protection is turned on. At that point, you're paying $205/month.

Google Fi just doesn't make sense for large families.

How's that compare to the competition? Let's take a look at my wireless carrier of choice, T-Mobile.

On T-Mobile, four lines with unlimited talk, text, and data costs just $140/month. Taxes and fees are included with that price, and you also get Netflix included for free, unlimited in-flight texting, etc.

That's a difference of $65/month before you account for regulatory taxes and fees you'll need to pay on top of that $205 with Google Fi.

To play devil's advocate for a second, you can make Google Fi more affordable than competing carriers. An account with four lines can scrape by for just $105/month, but to do so you'd have to only use 4GB of data between all four people for the entire month. With T-Mobile (and every big carrier in the U.S.), you can have multiple lines, everyone gets to use however much data they want, and you'll pay a good deal less than what Fi charges.

Some sort of bundle with YouTube Premium or YouTube TV

Over the last couple years, there's been a trend with carriers to bundle some sort of streaming service with your wireless plan. T-Mobile gives out free Netflix subscriptions, Sprint subscribers can get Hulu and Tidal for free, AT&T gives away subscriptions to a number of different services, and Verizon customers get free Apple Music.

With Google Fi, on the other hand, you don't get anything.

The pricing complaints I listed above would require some pretty major changes to Fi's business model, but this is an area that Google could easily address if it really wanted to.

Fi is the perfect opportunity for Google to push its paid YouTube services.

YouTube Premium retails for $12/month and gives people an ad-free YouTube experience, full access to YouTube Music, and much more. Why not give Google Fi subscribes a membership for free included with their plan? That's a pretty good incentive to make Fi more appealing to people looking to switch wireless providers, and along with that, it opens YouTube Music up to a lot more potential users that'd likely otherwise use Spotify, Apple Music, or something else.

On top of that, Google could also do something with YouTube TV. Giving away a subscription to the service doesn't seem likely at all considering it costs $45/month, but Google could give Fi subscribers some sort of discounted rate. Not only would this make Fi customers feel more valued, it'd also give YouTube TV a better fighting chance against its competition.

More phones that have all of Fi's features

In November last year, Google made a pretty substantial change to Fi. After being exclusive to a handful of phones for years, Google expanded Fi to virtually all Android phones and iPhones. It was immensely exciting to finally see this happen, but it came with a not-so-pleasant catch.

One of the biggest reasons people are interested in Google Fi in the first place is because it uses a combination of three different networks (T-Mobile, Sprint, and US Cellular) for its coverage. If you have a phone that fully supports Google Fi, it can hop back and forth between these networks to ensure you always have a fast and reliable connection.

Other phones that aren't sold directly by Google Fi do work with the service, but that feature doesn't work with them. So, you're effectively paying for more expensive T-Mobile or Sprint service without the goodies that come with signing up for a legit T-Mobile or Sprint plan.

Google has expanded its Fi devices lineup a lot recently, such as added handsets from Motorola and LG in addition to its Pixel and Nexus phones. That's great, but I'd love to see phones from Samsung, OnePlus, Apple, and more be used on Fi and still have access to the main feature that'd make you consider signing up for Google Fi in the first place.

What do you think?

With all of that out of the way, I'd love to know what you think. Are you a Google Fi subscriber? Why or not? Sound off in the comments below and let me know!

Bye T-Mobile, I just switched to Google Fi

Joe Maring

Joe Maring was a Senior Editor for Android Central between 2017 and 2021. You can reach him on Twitter at @JoeMaring1.

  • I'll probably be switching to Fi when my Sprint lease is up in May. My bill will be cut in half once I switch
  • I'm going to be ending my Sprint contract at least 6 months early because I still believe it will be worth it. I'll have to finish paying off my wife's phone over the last few months; but yeah, our bill will be almost half. We can skimp on data for months when we need a break. I've been a Sprint customer for almost 15 years, and my bill never goes down. "I won't let the door hit me on my way out!"
  • I was gonna end the lease early, but I decided to stick it out since I only have 3 months left. Once the lease is done I'm getting a new phone and keeping my current phone as a backup.
  • I switched to Fi and so far it's been a good experience. I came from Verizon and cannot tell the difference with coverage. I travel a lot and actually use very little data, moving to Fi has reduced my bill substantially. I use a Pixel 3 XL and moving to Fi was effortless. I really like the idea of having unlimited text and the same data rate in over 200 countries.
  • $10 for a GB is why I left
    Other than that I had no problems
  • Agreed - the $10/gig data is a bit onerous. I am staying with Fi for now but also would like some more meat on the bones if you will regarding the advantages you get with Fi vs $10/gig pricing...
  • It is high and do want to see a better price. But I been out smarting my date. My cost is less than other phone service... Maybe I am lucky one...
  • I just switched to Fi a couple weeks ago. I was on my companies corporate Verizon plan, and I have a Pixel 2XL. The switch was pretty painless. Since I was on a corporate plan, it took a couple days for them to release my number. After all that was ready, it took me longer to get the account password from our IT folks than it did for me to port over to Fi. Within 15 minutes of getting all the information, I was up and running with Fi. My only complaint so far is the coverage in my area isn't as good with T-Mobile/Sprint/US Cellular, specifically at home. Even though I can text/call through my home WiFi, I am always worrying that I am missing a text or call. I'm giving it a good trial run for a few months, and see how things go.
  • We moved to FI because T-Mobile didn't have good coverage near my aging mother-in-law. Our Moto X4 had no issues doing FI in those areas T-Mobile was weak and also did well on a London trip (a few sim error messages that didn't cause any issues). Moving to FI was almost instant with each of our four phones and we even got a nice letter from T-Mobile saying sorry to see us leave. Our monthly bill went from $120 with T-Mobile to under $100 with FI (so far) even with two college kids (who luckily practice good WiFi use). I get a lot fewer complaint about the phone service with FI and we are using it in Chicago, the cornfields of Illinois and England and Norway. T-Mobile was a good service but FI so far has worked better for us.
  • Cheaper data is obvious for everyone, I do agree that Google should have bundles for it's services
  • Fi tends to work better for people that don't use a lot of data, I think that's the point. $10 for a gb of data seems like a lot, but if you don't use more than a couple gigs a month it's considerably cheaper than the competition. With Fi you pay for how much you use instead if paying for how much you might use. I personally am on TMobile and use a lot of data, so Fi wouldn't work for me, but I encourage people who don't use much data to try Fi.
  • Warning! Ironically, as an avid Google services user, the move to Google Fi has made my communications more complicated and less seamless In addition to my mobile number, I relied on a Google Voice number as well. It was hooked up to a phone at home and it was forwarded to my mobile number. Porting my mobile number to Google Fi blew all that out of the water. Apparently, porting a number to Google Fi means it becomes a Google Voice number. Since Google Voice numbers cannot forward to other Google Voice numbers, I can no longer receive my original Google Voice calls as "first class" phone calls. Another complication was that I had to disassociate that same Google Voice number from my primary Google account, so there was no longer a phone number attached to my Hangouts messaging. Since Hangouts is not treated as a first-class messaging app, keeping my mobile number attached to Hangouts didn't work out. So all my communications is now less integrated. Ironic. WRT the article, I was happy to be in control of how much I pay, but now I have to keep a close eye on how much data I use, to keep the price less than I'd pay with T-mobile.
  • Google voice is the exact reason we have not switched. We have had our Google voice numbers since the days of having to be invited. I use the Google voice app and constantly text from my PC with it. The whole process of loosing the number the way it works now is not an option for us.
  • I had a similar issue. I use my Google voice for a home phone (VoIP). I just created a new email account and moved my voice number there. Then signed up for Google Fi bringing over my existing cell number.
  • The Google Voice issue (not being able to forward that number to Fi) is documented, it should not be a surprise. I have my Google Voice number still set up on my phone, even in Hangouts. I had a second account I could move my GV number to so I could keep it.
  • You are right about Google Voice number, if you have a GV already can keep the GV number as Fi number or your transferred number, in either way you loose GV dashboard cause Google Fi will replace it! A heads up and through tutorial would have been nice before people sign up for Fi. FYI i am also on Fi, it's good service if you are small family and don't have unlimited big family plan in other Operators or if you are not a vet...
  • They give you a big warning before you sign up that you will lose your GV number before you active.
  • People may balk at $10 / GB, but the reality is Google Fi pushes you to use WiFi pretty heavily. The Pixel devices all have the Google VPN so you are encouraged to use public hotspots - and get added security. The more wifi you use, the less off your data plan. My wife and I when first getting onto Google Fi managed to keep our usage under 2GB - consistently. As long as we were joining wifi hotspots before doing intensive streaming, we weren't using much of our data plan at all. One thing not mentioned is the last GB of data is prorated, unlike other carriers. There's nothing that annoys me more than spending 100MB over my cap, and being charged for a whole additional GB. Another thing not mentioned: how thoroughly has throttling been tested in 2019 for carriers that offer "unlimited" data? Finally, I concur with another commenter on international travel. Google Fi beats any other carrier hands down. I don't have to buy a special SIM, I don't have to pre-register for international travel. I just hop on the plane, go to my destination, fire up my phone, and Google will figure out what network to connect to. I pay the same data rate as home. Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile can't beat that experience. Overall, I'm not moving away from Fi anytime soon. However, with 2 kids that I will eventually be getting phones for, I will be on the lookout to compare plans. It will be pretty difficult for me to want to switch.
  • I concur with all that you said, especially pro-rated data, Google's VPNs encouraging the use of public hotspots, and international travel. Voice quality is super and the signal hasn't had any acquisition issues between Florida and New Jersey, my principal travels. And the Google Pixel 3 is a winner also.
  • I would switch to Fi immediately if it had a data only plan. Now that there are more dual SIM phones out there, it makes sense to have one. I'd love that for my one plus 6t. My family is on TMobile in a grandfathered 2.5G per month plan and I'm the only family member that regularly exceeds that.
  • They do offer data only sim cards, they just use your same data on the same plan. I think you'd need at least 1 phone line active before they will send you one though. But each additional data only sim is free.
  • My Verizon rate went from $60 to $45 per month after they put me into their Customer Loyalty program. I though I could save more so I switched to Fi. I have been on Fi for over 3 years now and my bills average to $30 per month. Monthly data use was less than 1Gig so it was never $10 for data usage. The only thing I wish they could improve is the call quality. They still have a lot to improve to catch up with Verizon. If you are high data user then I would not recommend Fi.
  • Project Fi taught me how to sip data, but once T-Mobile came out with their One Unlimited 55+ (2 lines for a flat $60) I switched. And since I gave up my broadband almost 2 months ago, the unlimited data has been a Godsend. My mobile download speed is less than ideal (5-10Mbps) but it is working. Been an interesting experiment. Figure I'll go another month to see what I actually need. Whittling everything down to the workable necessities.
  • I've been on Fi for about 2 years now and it works well for me. Fi is NOT good if you (1) use a lot of wireless data (i.e., way from WiFi networks) or (2) you regularly use a pre-existing Google Voice number. I don't fit into either of those categories, and so I am usually under 2GB a month on wireless data, and use the Hangouts app with my Fi phone number to take calls and text on my PC seamlessly. It's cheaper for me, given the fact that I don't use a lot of wireless data. If I did, I woudn't be using Fi.
  • Carrier switching on iPhone would be great, but much higher priority is visual voicemail and WiFi calling. These are pretty basic features that all carriers support. When I decided to try out iPhone having to dial my voicemail and use the keypad to navigate was so annoying! I also don't get the best coverage at home and came to depend on WiFi calling. I left Fi for now, if they just brought those 2 features I would be back.
  • These features work perfectly well on Mint Mobile. And it is wayyyy cheaper too.
  • Do they? Because as recently as six months ago Mint Mobile user forums were reporting that they didn't work. My data usage has ticked up significantly, and that's one big reason I may be looking to move off of Fi. If I do, I'm probably moving to Mint.
  • I have an iPhone X on iOS 12.1.4 and it is going swimmingly. I switched from T-Mobile last week and not a single thing has changed, other than my carrier service.
  • Fi works great for the wife and I as we don't use much data. It would be a nice perk if YouTube TV wouldn't count for data.
  • My Fi plan runs a bit over $28/month. I use a pixel phone, coverage generally exceeds wife's Verizon plan. In Nova Scotia, and essentially every international location, the phone just works, no huge roaming surcharges or need to get international service turned on for duration of trip. Most Asian countries, European countries, the data Just Works too.
    Automatically becomes hotspot for my Chromebook when Chromebook hasn't got a WiFi connection.
    Jeez, before saying you won't move, without seeing how aggressively your data shifts to use WiFi everywhere possible, making the cost even lower for data, why not actually use it for a couple of months? There's no commitment to stay, no switching fees, ... Yeah, lower prices might be more motivating, but total cost of ownership and operations FAR beats the competition's nickel and diming, roaming rates, etc.
    Based on multiple years of experience! And Google phones are state of the art, better cameras than Apple, etc.
  • I recently switched to Mint and it has been great. Considering I was already with T-Mobile, I figured I wouldn't notice much of a drop off and I haven't. Saving $50 a month has never been so easy.
  • I'm on Google Fi and wouldn't recommend it. Half of my outgoing calls are answered, but the remote person can't hear me at all. On the calls when they can hear me my voice is badly garbled. I generally get better bars than I did with AT&T, but poor call quality. Pixel 3 XL - 128 GB.
  • One big thing this post is missing is the availability of data-only Sims. All the other carriers charge $15-40 to add an iPad, but with Fi I can have all my devices connected for that same cost ($20 + $10 per gig up to 6gigs, even if I use 5 connected devices). I have data-only sims in my old phone, my tablet, and my spouse's tablet, which in verizon would run almost what my actual data cost is (20x3=$60 of savings compared to VZW). For some use cases this alone makes Fi a bargain.
  • The carrier switching doesn't work nearly as well as Google pretends it does. Check out the GoogleFi Facebook group for some of the discussions there. In particular, people (such as me) having to lock their phones to one of the carriers to avoid getting annoying "invalid SIM card" notifications every 10 minutes.
  • I switched from TMobile with the hope of saving money. It has only been a month but I am not sure it will save me any money. Data adds up fast.
  • I traded AT&T for First. My beef with AT&T is that I was charged fourty dollars for the privilege of subscribing to AT&T Wireless before the cost of the line. After costs and fees it's another fourty dollars. You pay for everything up front and if you don't use it they carry it over. But if you don't use it you lose it. Only you end up always losing it. If your able to use wifi instead of data your money goes to AT&T. There are enough ways to save data costs that with Fi I get to keep the savings to less than $100/ month. That is impossible with AT&T, Verizon, or T-Mobile. I'm fine with Fi and my savings. If you don't like Google. There are other MVPNs out there with the same pricing structures. It's similar to cord cutting only for Wireless plans instead of cable. It's worth looking into.
  • For starters, T-Mobile, Sprint, and US Cellular barely have a presence where I am. So my ability to use cellular data is close to nil. It isn't much better on Verizon or ATT, depending on where I am, but at least they have retailers here. For that matter, we don't have a lot of public WiFi either. I don't plan to move to a real urban center, so I will likely never see any benefit personally, but I do like the fact that people have options.
  • I have TMo (family plan of 7 lines) and ported one line to FI on a Pixel 3XL. The porting was straight forward and easy. I ported one line (used as business) for few reasons. 1. I don't have good signal with TMO where I live, now I have strong signal with FI in my area. 2. I travel international many times, and even TMo provides free data in many countries, it is 2G or even slower, sometime it's not even connecting even if I have full signal. I'm hoping FI will solve this issue (not tested this yet).
    I'm not really switching due to price but to get a better signal and faster data intl.
    Since FI charges by data use, I use FI on my Pixel3XL eSim and a TMo Sim card on the second Sim slot. Although I can't use both FI and TMo together, I switch from one provider to another where it makes the most sense.
  • I know this will only apply to people over 55....but the T-Mobile 55+ plan is far better than anything else least I think so. Now when I first signed up it was "only" $30.00 per month (with auto-pay) per line for two lines. That's $60.00 per month (with all taxes and fees included in this price) TOTAL for unlimited everything..including tethering/hot-spot and wifi calling etc., etc. Now on top of that I was able to include a third line during a promotion for the exact same $30.00 per month! So then, I am now paying an even $90.00 per month TOTAL for 3 lines with unlimited everything. Unless I am mistaken, no provider can beat this.
  • Yeah I got my parents on that plan and my dad loves the savings. No doubt that phone plans/providers are not one size fits all. You have to find the right one that fits you.
  • I would switch but right now with unlimited data for 5 lines I'm paying $125.00 a month for cricket. If google had something closer, possibly $5.00 per gb, I could be swayed.
  • I have tried to switch to Fi a few times... But if you are coming from AT&T or Verizion (In my area at least) It just cant compare.. The call quality, and the speeds / unreliable & constant switching between networks just cause more issue than it solves. I am ok paying more for better service. I get HBO, unlimited data, and excellent coverage that allows constant streaming while driving on the highway... All on a family plan. Once Fi is on the same level I will gladly switch... I am a big fan of google! I cant wait for them to release the T100 !
  • I switched to FI from VZW and will be around $85 monthly from paying $150. Big savings.
  • $150 seems pretty steep, I have one line on Verizon and its about 80-90 a month for the middle tier unlimited.
  • At the very least Fi should make mobile data to Google services, youtube, play music, photos, free.
  • I have been using Fi for many years now and the value to me is free SMS to USA cellular while travelling internationally. And no need to connect to WIFI or buy local data SIM when travelling overseas, Fi welcomes me to the country after landing, no configurations it is automatic. The switching between networks is only valid for in USA, so travelling you can put your Fi SIM in any unlocked phone. Another great feature is the ability to send SMS from my Fi number from any computer, tablet or phone that I cam logged into my Google account. It is the convenience while travelling that has kept me a customer.
  • I've been with Fi for about 2 years and I'm generally quite satisfied - except for one serious flaw. It seems that they cannot assign a caller ID to my account. This is ridiculous. People I call that don't already have me in their contacts get a message of "unknown cellular caller".
  • My suggestion: Republic Wireless.
  • I like Fi. I setup a second phone with it (a Fi G6). The only thing I dont like is wifi is not prioritized which is weird considering they encourage wifi usage. On my ATT phone I keep wifi on and when I'm home I use very little cellular data. With Fi I was getting much bigger data charges than I expected. I basically just use the phone at home with a strong wifi signal and a so-so cell signal. Fi support couldn't really help me although they did end up giving me a small bill credit. Now at home I have to keep the phone in airplane mode with the wifi on. I shouldn't have to do this but I do. My data charges dropped dramatically but again, this should not be necessary
  • $80 for unlimited on a MVNO is pretty steep in terms of prices. 
  • I'm surprised more people aren't trying out Walmart Family Mobile. I've used them since 2013, and nobody can touch them on price (believe me, I've looked). They keep raising my unlimited data limit. At first, it was 5GB, then 6, and a few months back they raised it to 14, without raising the price. One line (primary) is $39.99/month for that 14GB of data, and unlimited talk/text. My wife's second line is $24.99 for 3GB, plus unlimited talk/text. Add in the taxes, and we pay $70/month, and neither of us ever come close to getting throttled. It uses T-Mobile's network, which has improved over the years. To me, Fi is just such a niche market product. Until they lower their data charges, that's all they'll ever be.
  • I've been on Fi for several years now. I love the service. But its pricing only makes sense if you don't use a lot of data. I typically use 2GB/mo, so the $40/mo is a great deal. If I consistently used 3GB or more, I might consider switching. Also, I could be wrong about this, but I remember seeing reports in the early days of FI that that the service was limited to the Google phones because they were the only ones using the specific hardware that allowed for network switching. If it is a hardware thing, it could be the manufacturer that's limiting network hopping rather than Google.
  • Project fi screwed me, there auto switch to wifi is a joke. It currently will auto switch you to strongest signal. Problem? Well if i have 3bars on my wifi and 3.5 bars on my lte while i am syreaming music during my workout it switches to lte. Once it switches i am unknowingly using up my data. You can switch to airplane mode but that shouldnt be necassary. Plus i had an app using shitloads of data in the background. It waa an insane amount used up my 10gb in like half a day, they helped me a little bit but not enough bill came up to $250 and they wouldnt budge...f#$k off send me to collections..
  • Don't forget that they still don't have VoLTE (voice over LTE) on the Sprint network. This means any time you're on a voice call on Sprint it drops to 1x and you get no data. Kind of crazy in this day and age.
  • For me Fi is perfect. I use only 1 line and very little data. My average bill is $30. My max bill is $80. Still way less than my old Verizon plan which was close to $95 every month, whether I used the data or not.
  • I'm single and can afford to pay cash for a phone but hate paying out the nose every month. I had Project Fi with my Pixel2 and now Google Fi with my Pixel3. In all I've only had one month where I paid over $25 US. I'm on wifi at work and wifi at home. Everyone's use case is different but it's Fi for me.
  • Left fi for Mint Mobile and never looked back. With Mint you can use wifi calling, BYOD and their data pricing plans are unbeatable. If you're BYOD to FI you're using T Mobile towers anyway and Mint using the same T Mobile towers. Mint blows them out of the water in reference to pricing for data. I pay 180 for the year and forget about it... FTW
  • I hate stories like yours. Most of us have experienced being screwed by one carrier or another. So frustrating.
    I've been on Fi for a couple years and my bill is usually under $25. The trick is to take auto switching to LTE into your own hands. Switch it off. You'll know if and when to turn it on. I'm pretty sure 3 bars of wifi would have been plenty to stream at the gym. With LTE off, the phone couldn't switch to it. My LTE is always off UNLESS I need it. Which is almost never. About the only time I have LTE on is when on the road using maps. Even then you can minimize data usage by downloading the maps prior to hitting the road. Take control. It is too late for you but maybe someone else reading this will save themselves a nasty surprise.
  • I've been on Fi for 2 years now, and onto my third Pixel phone and there's no way I would use any other service at this point. Previous to Fi, I was an over-decade-long customer of ATT's unlimited data plan. With two iPhones on it, there was no way I could get my monthly bill below $160/month. That was for 2 lines. And it wasn't even unlimited minutes. When I moved up to an LTE phone, they insisted on charging me an LTE speed fee in order to get their ARPU out of me. (Something they did to their oldest customers). I switched and - with Fi - NEVER had a bill above $65 for TWO lines, unlimited minutes (none of that "rollover" BS) and texts. Most months, my combined bill for two lines was under $45. I never managed to use more than 2.1 GB of data (I work from home and use wifi for calls most of the time). Honestly, I don't know how y'all do scarf up some much data on a phone. What, do you watch Netflix at the airport or something? On your phone? Really? Something I don't understand. Why would anyone use a Samsung phone and put up with that horrible version of Android they push onto you, with all its bloatware, and only one major update to Android during the life of the phone? The screens are great, but you aren't getting monthly security updates from Google. That is just crazy. This piece doesn't mention the global presence of Fi. If you travel outside the US, your phone instantly loads into the locality provider for Fi when you step off the plane. It has been great in Canada and Mexico and in Europe. No "roaming" BS. Best part of Fi? I don't have to talk to a human being. EVER. With ATT, TMo, Verizon, etc., you have to wait on hold and listen to their trained spiel if you want to do anything. On Fi, I changed my phone number in a text chat in under 2 minutes. No sim updates or anything. BOOM. Done. I would rather not use a cell phone than ever have to put up with regular cell providers again. $20/mth plus $10 for each gb of data is a STEAL compared to any other currently available choice.
  • I switched from Google FI to Mint Mobile because of FI’s high data charges. But last fall I switched back to FI because I started making international trips. My opinion is that FI is great for international roaming and for use in some rural areas where the combination of Sprint and T-Mobile make service much better. I have family in rural Wisconsin that have found that true. But if all you need is to use a T-Mobile MVNO then use MintMobile (8gb 4g Ltd data for $20 a month for example.
  • Switched from Fi a few years back. Using Signal Spy showed me that I was mainly using T-Mobile's network. The lack of perks and the expensive multiple lines got me to switch to T-Mobile. Got the unlimited plan, as the article mentioned, but also got in on a promotional "hook up" code for an additional 20% off the account. Free Netflix, included taxes and fees, free flight wifi, still have wifi calling, and great promotional deals on phones. They also had a promotion for an additional free line for accounts with more than 2 existing lines. So I have 5 lines currently with 3 Note 9 payments for $158 flat. EDIT: To clarify, I'm on the One Plus plan. Plan also has "Kick back" enabled which discounts $10 for each of the original 4 lines that doesn't use over 2GB in a month. I enabled HD streaming, so we rarely stay under.
  • Maybe fix the article? Non Fi phones aren't stuck on T-Mobile or Sprint, they're stuck on T-Mobile only. Accuracy matters.
  • I just switched from Google Fi to Verizon due to the cost of Google Fi when you go unlimited. I would hit about 13 GB - 14 GB of data a month and hitting the 6GB threshold was too low to justify paying $80 a month for the plan. I found the prepaid plan from Verizon for 15 GB of data for $45 a month. Another interesting thing is my Pixel 3 refused to get the OTA February patch on Google Fi but immediately had it available once I had switched to Verizon. I thought the coverage was great on Fi, but couldn't justify the cost. If they lower the "kick in" of the unlimited then maybe down the line I'll switch back. Back as of now, I'm pretty content with Verizon.
  • I signed up for Fi back in July 2017 (along with purchasing a new Google Pixel phone at the time). I only kept it for a month or two because the phone call quality was terrible. No problem with the data service. But phone calls were full of static and noise even though I had full signal strength. I could not hear people on the other end, and they were having trouble hearing me. I had to cancel and I switched to T-Mobile. I would only consider switching back if I could find out if the call quality has improved.
  • Switched to Fi in Dec 2018 during our move across country. I knew data usage would be higher than normal. I made the mistake of opting to use my Google Voice number rather than my Verizon number. Towards the end of my first month I need to download a large file and after 2 hours it was not downloaded yet. 256k will do that. So I opted to boost my speed. And that is where the NIGHTMARE starts. I was already over the limit by 17GB. For that last just under 1GB of boosted speed data I was charged $180 for the full 18GB. On my billing page: "Your group used 18.6GB, but Bill Protection kicked in at 10GB. Any usage after 10GB was free, excluding the cost for additional full-speed data." So why was I back charged boosted rates for the 17+GB that was actually delivered at the throttled rate? My account is frozen, my Google Voice number is no longer usable - and this is my business number! 2 full months of "research" by the google team and still no answer. With the other billing horror stories I have found I expect my Google Pay to be turned off here shortly which will, in effect, make it so I cannot pay for anything at google ever again. I will not ever suggest Fi as an alternative.
  • The only reason that I'm on Google Fi is because I don't use much cell data, and like having the low international data costs. My bill is always less than $25/month, and I can use either my Pixel 3 or iPhone XR. I like using the iPhone XR since I don't have to deal with the somewhat time-consuming provider switching that happens with the Pixel 3, just stays on T-Mobile. And I can use Wi-Fi calling (need that at home) by using Hangouts on the iPhone. If I used more data, I'd be on Mint Mobile, or some other MVNO.
  • Fi looks good on the surface, but crunching numbers for my quickly put the brakes on it. Significantly higher cost or less data than we can get by with. Also, during periods of network congestion TMo prioritizes service to it's direct plan customers. Depending where you live, that could be a problem.
  • This all seems rather nitpicky. For Fi-capable phones, I won't buy anything other than Pixel phones (and formerly purchased only Nexus devices), largely due to third parties dragging their heels on keeping their products updated. Some are just getting Android O updates currently, and that is an outdated OS. No, I want something that is kept current, so the Pixel phones are where I will be staying. For the group plans, most of us do not want or need group plans. I have no use for a group plan myself. Family members, especially, need to pay their own bills around here, and they won't take responsibility for their own usage until they see it in hard dollars and cents. As for the YouTube perk, myself and many others have zero interest in that. We use our phones for communication, not streaming content. Finally, the price is a subjective argument. With Google Fi, I am paying less than any other carrier I have had. I don't waste data. The free public WiFi (through Google's VPN) is something no other carrier offers. Even so, my average bill during non-traveling months is $26-$28. When I'm on the road and using the phone for several thousand miles of road travel, with Google Maps/Nav running the entire way, and looking up points of interest or accommodations/restaurants (including viewing a lot of photos), not to mention sending travel pictures to friends and family, I still have never gone over $50 in usage for a month. Not all subscribers suck down huge amounts of data--that has to be a very small fringe of smartphone users, I would think. "Unlimited" means nothing to someone like me. I would rather pay for what I use, and getting the monthly credit for unused data from the previous month is just one added perk the others won't offer. Definitely, though, someone who burns through a lot of data is better off elsewhere. I should add that T-Mobile's coverage alone isn't all that great. At least with Sprint and US Cellular also utilized with Fi, it gives me better coverage in some of the rural areas I pass through, and I have less dead "pockets" locally (in a suburban area) than when I had T-Mobile alone. The public WiFi usage I've found is minimal though--so many now have their WiFi locked down that the feature has become under-utilized. It's all down to what our individual needs are. What works for one person won't always work for another.