Project Fi, introduced in 2015, is Google’s attempt to improve mobile phone service. Instead of trying to compete with traditional phone carriers, Google has teamed up with the cellular giants to provide cheap phone service that «just works.»
I’ve been using Project Fi since early 2016 and I’m ready to tell you all about it. If you’re thinking about moving on board, here’s everything you need to know before jumping on Project Fi. If you’re running out of time, jump ahead:
- What is Project Fi?
- Fi project plans and prices
- Project Fi Compatible Phones
- What it’s like to actually use Project Fi
- Project Fi: International, Voicemail, Hotspots, etc.
- Getting Started with Project Fi
- Managing your Project Fi account is easy
1. What is Project Fi?
Project Fi is Google’s only mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) in the US, which means it uses existing mobile networks instead of building its own.
For Project Fi, these are the Sprint, T-Mobile and US Cellular networks. With a Project Fi plan and a compatible phone, you can get quality cellular service with multiple benefits at an affordable price.
Let’s take a look at the features of Project Fi to see if it’s right for you.
2. Project Fi Fi and prices
Project Fi offers simple pricing. Unlimited talk and text is $20/month and data is $10/GB. These are the only costs you will pay other than taxes and fees.
The Project Fi family plan supports up to six people. The owner pays $20/month for unlimited calls and messages plus $15/month for each additional member. Shared data costs $10/GB for everyone and the group admin gets one bill per group.
Project Fi also includes a feature called Bill Protection. Once you reach a certain amount of data usage per month (for example, 6 GB for a single user, 10 GB for two people, etc.), you will not be charged for any data beyond that.
For example, if one person used 8 GB of data per month, they would pay $80 per month: $20 for talks and texts plus $60 for a maximum of 6 GB of data. This works up to 15GB of data, after which Project Fi slows down (i.e. slows down) your speed.
You don’t have to worry about termination fees or yearly contracts with Project Fi.
3. Project Fi Compatible Phones
You need a compatible phone to use Project Fi. You can find a list of them on the Project Fi phones page. At the time of writing:
- Pixel 2 / XL
- Moto G6
- Moto X4
- LG G7 ThinQ
- LG V35 ThinQ
- Nexus 6P
- Nexus 5X
- Nexus 6
Although the choice is limited, all devices offered are reliable. But we do not recommend using Nexus devices as they are old and no longer receive updates.
If you don’t want to pay the full price right away, you can pay in installments over 24 months (if any). However, if you leave Project Fi before the 24 months are up, you will have to pay for the rest of your phone.
Google also offers a trade-in program that can lower the price of your new phone.
You can also order an additional data-only SIM for free. They allow access to Project Fi data (at the same price of $10/GB) on tablets and other supported devices. This is an inexpensive way to connect to the Internet using other devices.
4. What it’s like to actually use Project Fi
I am very pleased with Project Fi after many years of use.