Skip to main content

Planning to use Project Fi with your Nexus 6P or 5X? Be sure to order a new SIM card

If you're planning to use a new Nexus 6P or Nexus 5X with your existing Project Fi service, but didn't order the phone directly through Project Fi, you'll want to order yourself a new Fi SIM card. For whatever reason (it still isn't completely clear why), Project Fi is rolling out a new kind of SIM, and it's required if you plan to use one of the new Nexuses with the service.

If you have an active Project Fi account and have been using it with a Nexus 6, head over to the SIM order page at fi.google.com/order-sim and order yourself a new one. The SIM is free, as is standard 3-5 day shipping, and when it arrives you'll be able to quickly activate it (replacing your old SIM) in the new Nexus and be up and running in no time.

Likely due to a flood of demand from the new Nexus launch, the new SIMs are rather backed up on the order page. For that reason we recommend ordering one as soon as possible so that it can arrive around the same time your day one Nexus orders do. Project Fi is quoting a delivery range of October 29 to November 2 for standard shipping, and October 26 to 27 for overnight shipping (which is $15.99 plus tax).

If you're just starting out with Project Fi and ordered a new SIM recently in anticipation of your new Nexus arriving, you're likely okay — but it's best to double check with Fi support to make sure the SIM you have is a "new" model. At the same time, if you ordered a Nexus 6P or 5X through Project Fi's own store, you don't have anything to worry about.

Andrew was an Executive Editor, U.S. at Android Central between 2012 and 2020.

40 Comments
  • Well ordered mine, Would love to hear why we need to get a new sim.
  • Would be nice to know, too, since I'm just curious. But this isn't uncommon at all. Carrier regularly switch to new SIMs, and slowly phase them in every time a customer comes in for a new phone. Interesting to see Project Fi switch so quickly after the first SIM rollout, but hey they're trying things.
  • Now I'm confused! I was worried about this a bit ago and asked the Fi support very specifically and got this answer: ////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
    "Actually I have even better news, I spoke with my specialist and I have been informed that if you pre-order the Nexus 6p it will come with a new SIM that is compatible with Fi, no matter where you purchase it, so you are all set my friend!"
    ///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
  • We'll see about that. I haven't seen that sort of answer anywhere. Project Fi specifically told me to order myself a new SIM. And since it's free with free shipping, there's no reason not to order one and have it on its way in case there isn't one in the box.
  • Maybe the rep thought that if u pre-ordered direct from Project Fi, like I did, then it'll come with the required sim. If you pre-ordered elsewhere, maybe it doesn't come with the project fi sim.
  • This is my understanding. The only way to get a Fi SIM in the box is the buy from Project Fi.
  • From what I understand, not all sim cards work in all countries. For example, I work at a global company and when our employees visit various countries, they may need to swap out the sim card, otherwise the service won't work. Since Google Fi works in 120+ countries, I would imagine the need for a new sim card is so that you'll have service around the world without needing to change anything. Also, from Project Fi's FAQ page: What's different about the Project Fi SIM card?
    The SIM card in your smartphone contains the information needed for your device to connect to cellular networks. We teamed up with our partners to develop a SIM card that supports access to multiple networks.
  • That's probably true if you ordered your Nexus 6p FROM Project Fi. If you pre-ordered via Playstore or Haweui directly, no dice. You have to order it yourself then.
  • Sorry, I should have been more specific, that answer from Fi support was specifically in response to a question I sent them asking what the SIM situation would be since I preordered via the Google store instead of the Fi store.
  • Ok thanks. I just chatted with Fi support and they said any SIM's ordered now from their website will be these "new" ones.
  • Correct.
  • Fi users have noted calls not coming through Sprint when on WiFi. Others have said that will be fixed with Marshmallow. Maybe that has something to do with it? Posted via the Android Central App
  • I talked to Fi support about this, and they said the delayed shipping date is because they don't want the SIM to arrive before the phone, and to not pay more for faster shipping because they'll make sure it arrives by the time the phone does.
  • Finally got my invite to Project Fi.. only to find that the Nexus 6P that I want to use with it is out of stock. Even the in stock models are stating 4 weeks to leave warehouse. Ugh.. I don't think my current phone is going to make it that long. I may have to reconsider other options. Disappointing.
  • If only it didn't require Google Voice. Don't get me wrong, I love Google Voice, but it won't let me port my number that I've used for 10 years (neither will T-Mobile, for that matter). Guess I'm stuck on AT&T.
  • It doesn't really require Google Voice ... it replaces Google Voice. I know some people have issues porting certain numbers to GV... but have you tried porting to Fi before? It may work.
  • Just tried porting it through Project Fi - no luck. Still can't use my existing number. I'm super hesitant to give that number up in the hopes that something changes in the future that lets me port, but I'm 100% locked into AT&T right now unless I'm willing to get a new number. It's a hard decision.
  • Have you contacted AT&T about why they won't let you port your number? They should be able to unlock it unless you have some circumstances that are keeping them from doing so (like you owe them more than a normal month's worth of money or the number is on a business account and, as such, technically belongs to that business and not you, which would require you asking the business to unlock it for porting).
  • Yeah I don't think it's that simple. The number was originally on Sprint when I first got it 10 years ago. Since then, I spent a few years on Verizon (ported the number no problem), then I tried to switch to T-Mobile and it wouldn't port. I went to AT&T instead and it ported just fine, so I've used them for a couple years now (prepaid plan). I've checked back in at T-Mobile and Google Voice several times and still no luck porting. I doubt it is an AT&T issue since I believe I tried T-Mobile BEFORE AT&T when moving from Verizon. I wonder if I cut ties with AT&T if that would enable me to port...
  • I'm curious, what reason do they give you when you can't port your number. I thought it was by law that you can port to and from any carrier be it landline, ISP, or wireless or hell, even satellite carriers...
  • Google Voice and T-Mobile simply say number is unavailable for transfer. AT&T assures me that there is no lock on the number and porting shouldn't be a problem. They tell me I need to give T-Mobile or whoever else my AT&T account number and PIN, but I've never gotten far enough with anyone else to have a chance to input those numbers. They look up the number and instantly get told it won't work. No one can give me an answer.
  • Now that you mentioned it, I tried to port my parents' landline into google voice but couldn't either and it never told me the error. Just stated I couldn't either.
  • Some more context here - just tried it again on Google Voice and this is the error message: This number appears to be from an area we don't currently support for porting.
  • This is worrisome, I've had my number ported over from Verizon, to metro pcs, and finally to Virgin mobile. I've had my number for the past 12 years. When i signed up for Fi, it asks if you want to keep your google voice number or get a new one. i clicked get a new one (although I have google voice) and it asked if I wanted to port my number over. But i guess i wont find out until I officially get my phone and service activated in order to see if I can? Have you contacted Project Fi's customer service? They were very friendly and answered all my concerns.
  • Got it Posted via the Android Central App
  • I was worried about this when I ordered my Nexus 5X so I waited until the Fi site started showing the 5X/6P to order the SIM. I've still got a good month yet left on Straight Talk and I ordered early enough for both phone and SIM to get here between the 23rd and the 27th so if I get the wrong SIM I'll have time to get the right one hopefully.
  • You will get the new SIM. I was worried about this too, so I verified. Any SIM Kits purchased on or after September 28th are the new SIMS, which work with the new Nexus devices as well as the 2014 Nexus 6.
  • What about non fi? Does it come with a regular data sim? Or do we just use our old one? PS. There are no stupid questions. . . . something witty. . .
  • Well the phones are unlocked, and don't come with a SIM. That's on you to bring your own service. Posted via the Android Central App
  • If you aren't joining Project Fi, take the SIM out of your old phone and put it in your new device (as long as the phones use the same SIM card size). If they are different sizes, take the phone to your retailer and they will set up a new one for you (which should be free).
  • If i get nexus 5x through fi do i have to use fi network or can i put my at@t sim ?
  • There's nothing in the phone's technology that would prevent that, but what would be the point in buying through the Fi site if you are not going to use Fi? Are you trying to use the Fi site as a financing option with no intention of actually using the service? I don't know what the terms and conditions are for financing through a Fi site purchase, so you might want to investigate that before taking any action. You could end up having to pay for the phone in full if you terminate Fi service prematurely. That's typically how these things work. Update: I just checked the Fi terms for financing a phone purchase. From the FAQ: "What happens if I cancel my Project Fi service before my phone is paid off?" "If you decide to cancel your Project Fi service, you’ll need to pay in full what you owe on the phone. After you cancel your service, your remaining balance will be charged to the credit or debit card on your account. You’ll see the charge on your billing statement." https://support.google.com/fi/answer/6181978?hl=en&ref_topic=4596407&vid...
  • You can buy through Fi, but there's no reason to unless you're going to actually use it on Fi. In order to keep financing your phone you need to have your Fi service active, and if you cancel your Fi service, you immediately have to pay off the remaining balance on your phone financing plan.
  • Just curios friend was asking he was thinking about doing that i already bought mine through play store can't wait thanks for info let him know
  • My first question is what benefits can I get by using this new Sim card? It sounds like call to action from the piece posted on http://spinsucks.com/marketing/cta-or-die-eleven-tips-for-calls-to-actio... and that is why I need to know exactly what useful is in your service. I do not mind using Project Fi service but need to know why I need this. Thanks for describing new offer.
  • I ordered a sim like a week ago but it still hasn't shipped out, it seems like they're backed up for whatever reason but this article sheds some light on it.
  • Dang it, Google. Why did you not send me the email for this sooner? I just now got an email from you last night. Now I'm going to get my phone several days before I'm able to use it!
  • So is there a way to know which SIM is the new one from the old one? I ordered mine 9/29/15 hopefully I'll be good. If there isn't a way to physically tell I'll just have to ask support.
  • My 5x and my SIM both shipped earlier than Google predicted, within a day of ordering for the SIM. The delay now seems to be getting phone service. I'm trying to port my GV number over and am on day 4 of waiting while paying for service I am not receiving. Google web site is nowhere near what tech support says on this topic. Everywhere you read says it should take 4 to 24 hours, and that you need to call Google if it takes longer. If you call all that happens is they tell you it might take 5 days and to call again then. Meanwhile the clock started ticking for billing when I "activated" 4 days ago but i still dont have any phone service. Data works but I'm still having to pay for my other carrier as well until I can make calls - if moving your GV number over you don't have some other number while waiting for porting, just a dead phone. I guess i could make voip calls using hangouts, but that would get expensive being billed at the data rate. It's not a lot of money so far, but in principle Google should not start charging me for service until they can deliver it.
  • Google now at least says i will get a credit once they get it sorted but nearly 2 weeks in and still waiting for the Google voice number to port over so my phone will start working. Don't cancel another service until this works for you.