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:

  1. What is Project Fi?
  2. Fi project plans and prices
  3. Project Fi Compatible Phones
  4. What it’s like to actually use Project Fi
  5. Project Fi: International, Voicemail, Hotspots, etc.
  6. Getting Started with Project Fi
  7. 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
  • Pixel/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 have one of these phones, you can transfer it to Project Fi. If not, you can purchase an unlocked phone through Project Fi, which will save you a lot of money and hassle. (Why buy unlocked phones?)

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.

Thanks to timely Android updates and good specs on modern Project Fi phones, you get the best of Android and don’t have to deal with the manufacturer’s dramatic hardware. But if you don’t like stock Android, Project Fi is probably not for you.

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.

Setting up the SIM card and translating my number was easy. Google even replaced my non-guaranteed Project Fi Nexus 6P (which had a battery issue) with a new Pixel XL for free. I loved both phones and I pay less on my phone bill than I used to.

Cellular coverage is always a concern for any mobile carrier, but I haven’t had any major issues getting connected or staying connected. Sometimes I find myself in a dead zone, but since my device switches between three carriers, the dead moments never last long.

See the Project Fi coverage map to see if this service covers your area.

Project Fi is all about connecting you to the best network available. It makes calls through your Wi-Fi connection if it’s faster than cellular. The service also moves easily between the three carrier networks to find the best connection. The Signal Info app can show you which network you are connected to at any time.

If you go to one of the millions of «high-quality» open Wi-Fi networks across the country, your phone will automatically connect, and Google’s built-in VPN will protect your browsing while you’re on it.


Being able to connect to three networks instead of just one makes a noticeable improvement. I have a strong signal in areas where I had connectivity issues with my old plan. Project Fi is nothing like an unreliable or «second rate» service.

If all that wasn’t enough, when I got my original phone and SIM, Google even included a Holiday Surprise — a LEGO building figure that held my charging cables in place! When has your phone provider ever done something so amazing that it made you smile?

5. Project Fi: International, Voicemail, Hotspots, etc.

Project Fi includes several extras in addition to the phone plan.

It supports visual voicemail in the Phone app, so you can read transcripts and listen to messages without having to call a number. Project Fi also lets you turn your phone into a Wi-Fi hotspot for tethering without any additional cost. Just pay for the data you use while connected.

And if you’re traveling outside of the US, Project Fi offers affordable international fares. In over 170 countries, you can enjoy free unlimited texting, calls without Wi-Fi at $0.20 per minute and mobile data at the regular price of $10/GB.

Visit the Project Fi International Fares page for more information. I can’t talk about international performances since I don’t use my phone outside of the US.

As a nice bonus, if you refer a friend to Project Fi, you’ll both receive $20 credit in your accounts. Project Fi also offers device protection for $5 a month, allowing you to swap your phone for a franchise if something happens to it.

6. Get started with Project Fi

While Project Fi once required an invitation, anyone can sign up now. Just go to the Project Fi registration page and sign in with the Google account you want to use to manage it. Here you will select your device, choose a number and confirm your plan.

Important note for Google Voice users: if you have a Google Voice number associated with your Google account, you will lose access to it when you connect to Fi unless you make your Voice number your new Project Fi number. If you want to keep it separate, you’ll need to sign up for Fi with a different Google account or port your Voice number before continuing.

If you’re not using a Google Voice number, you can either get a brand new phone number or port your current number from your old carrier. Once you receive your phone, you will need to follow a short procedure to switch and then manually cancel the service with your old carrier. Google doesn’t pay any switching fees, so check with your current carrier first to avoid surprises.

7. Project Fi Account management made easy

Google makes it easy to see what’s going on with your account using the Project Fi website or the Project Fi Android app.

In the app, you can see how many days are left in the current cycle, how much data you’ve used (and set an alert limit), and view past assertions. In addition to setting up features like voicemail and call forwarding, you can manage your plan and even order new devices from within the app.

The app also allows you to contact support via phone, email, or live chat. Google promises to answer calls quickly, so you don’t have to worry about sitting on your phone for an hour to fix a small problem.

The app is simple and doesn’t get in the way. Besides managing your data, you don’t have to visit the Fi app often, which is great.

Is the Fi Fi project right for you?

After using Project Fi for two years, I’m happy to report that Project Fi is a simple, cheap, reliable phone plan that’s worth the price.

If you’re interested in supported phones and think you’re paying too much for mobile data, take a look at Project Fi. This is especially handy if you use Wi-Fi frequently and don’t use a lot of data. It’s not for everyone, but it’s affordable, provides great features, and lets you avoid the fees and pain of traditional carriers.

To save even more on Project Fi (or any other data-enabled mobile plan), check out the best Android apps to reduce your mobile data usage. data usage

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