Google 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 and U.S. Cellular. It also partners with carriers around the world provide coverage in 200+ countries.

Pay for what you use

Google Fi

A phone plan that grows with your usage

Google Fi offers competitive coverage with straightforward pricing. An easy to manage account settings page and coverage in over 200 countries make this one of the best carriers for travelers.

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

Coverage

Google leases its coverage from Sprint, T-Mobile, and U.S. Cellular in the United States. Its 4G LTE coverage extends throughout most of the U.S. with greater coverage on phones designated Designed of Fi. Using the three big cellular networks in the U.S., Google 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.

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International coverage

As mentioned, Google Fi relies on the Three networks for coverage in Europe and Asia. One of the best parts of any Google Fi plan is the fact that you can use your data in more than 200 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 200+ countries covered, but if it's available, it's yours to use (within your monthly cap).

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Google Fi plans

Google Fi's plans are about as straightforward and simple as it gets.

You start 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 200 countries, 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 until 6GB. At 6GB, Google Fi will not charge you any longer for more data, but it may reduce speeds at 15GB of usage. Speeds can be restored for $10/GB if you want.

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

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Best phones to use with Google Fi

Google has expanded the number of phones compatible with Fi greatly. Google Fi even supports most newer models of iPhones in case you have a dedicated Apple fan on your phone plan.

Click here to see if your phone is compatible with Google Fi

For the complete Google Fi experience, you will need to use a phone designated Designed for Fi. This includes the best coverage by allowing the phones to connect to the best available tower from Fi's partners. Check the coverage map to see the difference in coverage.

The Google Pixel 3 is Designed for Fi and is one of the best phones you can buy. The entire Pixel 3 family works completely with Google Fi and will work well with the network no matter which phone fits you best. With great software, fast updates, and some of the best cameras you can get on a phone the pixel 3 lineup has a phone for everyone.

Here are all the phones that are Designed for Fi:

  • Google Pixel
  • Google Pixel XL
  • Google Pixel 2
  • Google Pixel 2 XL
  • Google Pixel 3
  • Google Pixel 3 XL
  • Google Pixel 3a
  • Google Pixel 3a XL
  • Nexus 6P
  • Nexus 6
  • Nexus 5X
  • LG G7 ThinQ
  • LG V35 ThinQ
  • Moto G6
  • Moto G7
  • Android One Moto X4

How to finance a phone with Google 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 Google Fi, you'll have to pay out the total cost of the phone then and there. You have 30 days to activate Google Fi service from when you buy your phone. If your Google Fi service isn't active within 30 days, Google will charge you the full amount for the phone.

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

No. Google 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 Google 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 Google 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 Google 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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How do I cancel Google Fi service?

Very simply. All you have to do is head to the Google 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 Google 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 Google Fi service.

Questions?

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

Pay for what you use

Google Fi

A phone plan that grows with your usage

Google Fi offers competitive coverage with straightforward pricing. An easy to manage account settings page and coverage in over 200 countries make this one of the best carriers for travelers.

Alternative carriers (MVNOS)

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