Project Fi Review: Seamless Wireless Service from Google

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nduke

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Sep 8, 2017
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I've been using Project fi for over a year and a half now and absolutely LOVE it! Previously I used a prepaid phone service on a Google phone and didn't want to get back on a contract with anyone just to have a phone. I was tired of the huge cost of monthly plans and being at a carrier's mercy until a contract ran out. I got a 6P from Google for a no interest $21/month and a $20 plan with an added GB of data. I will admit that I use my phone more at home or at friends than anywhere else (hence lots of WiFi usage), because I live out in the boonies and am retired. But for less than $50./ month (including data credits and phone payment) I feel like I get an excellent deal! Texas is a large state and I tend to drive around quite a bit and travel out of state. In the past year and a half I have never lost a signal or come up without a signal anywhere I have been on fi, and have always had data when I needed it. Also I never have noticed a switch of carriers mid call or search, but an app tells me that it happens more often than I would have guessed. Granted, I am not a 5-10 GB/month user. But for my purposes fi is great!
 

1gr8gol4

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Oct 22, 2017
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Why no comparison to Tracfone? If you shop around, phones are free and you can buy just what service you need. Seems like a better deal for people who at just moderate phone service users.
 

deavir

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Oct 22, 2017
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My wife and I use less then a gig of 4G due to wifi at work and home. Our group plan is ~55$ a month. Also the old nexus 6 is also supported.
 

holguinlorenzo

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Oct 22, 2017
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Even though coverage is good, one is afraid to use it because it's easy too expensive. I feel like when I'm using video I'm looking to check his much data I'm using. 2 or 3 days of video use puts you at 5 GB fast.
 

glorioushektor

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Oct 22, 2017
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It doesn't work well in much of Wyoming thanks to the Union Wireless monopoly on GSM service in most of the state. Sprint is not very good in most of the state either. Luckily I can pause my Fi service and reactivate when I travel Cheyenne, Jackson, or Utah. In the meantime I'm using a Verizon MVNO on my Moto X4 Android One version, since it's universally unlocked despite being sold as a Fi phone.
 

nduke

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Sep 8, 2017
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Use WiFi for that! Are you in the habit of using cellular service for movies? I watch Netflix on my phone with WiFi. No charge for data usage.
 

wowamber123

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Oct 22, 2017
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Loved my phone. The network service was awful. My phone bootlooped, I was sent a refurbishef replacement with so many problems. They credited my account $5. But i still had the problems.
Finally. I had to say goodbye. I do miss my original phone.
 

madamliqueur

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Oct 22, 2017
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I currently have a plan with Project Fi. I would say it's best for people who are out of the country a lot. You're covered under the same plan internationally. I went to Mexico for 6 months, and my phone sent me a message saying that I'm covered. I went to Guatemala within that same timeframe and received the same message, that I was covered. When your phone is linked to an open WiFi, it secures it automatically. And the way you can call internationally, from another country, for free, is by using your Google Hangouts dialer. I use that to call my family in America when I'm in other countries, and I'm not charged. If you dial through the actual phone dialing system it'll charge you 20 cents a minute. This was a great article. So again, it's worth it for convenience.
 

manganite

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Oct 23, 2017
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Let's see how long even successful MVNOs can hold out when there are only three Mega-Carriers left after a T-Mobile/Sprint merger. Chances are we end up like Canada that already has that level of non-competition and double the cell plan costs as here. I am a Fi user since February and beforehand was a T-Mobile prepaid user on my own Android. Rarely I cross 2GB per month - just restrain yourself from video streaming until you got WiFi.
 

Doh_123

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Feb 2, 2014
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Was on Project Fi for about a year and was frustrated by the time spent waiting for the phone to switch carriers. We don't have a strong cell provider here, and T-Mobile is about 1 bar of signal strength at my house. The phone would occasionally decide it wanted to use T-Mobile, so after it settled on T-Mobile, I'd have to switch it manually to Sprint...switching was NOT instantaneous, each switch took about 15 seconds or more. Anyways, I decided that Fi was not for me...especially since wifi calling didn't work most of the time since we had low-level Sprint coverage that prevented it from using wifi calling ("Cellular preferred"). Just didn't work out for me, although I gave it a good long chance until I just got tired of waiting for my phone to find Sprint...always looked at T-Mobile first when searching for a usable provider, even if the last one that I used was Sprint. Stupid algorithm, I could do better just starting with the last provider used rather than T-Mobile every time. Going back to Verizon was a relief, just turned on my phone and could immediately use it, wonderful!
 

dysonjjr

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Oct 23, 2017
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My parents are probably the oldest users of Google Fi (in their 70s) and it works great for them! I originally set them up as an experiment when US Cellular was added to the participating providers. Voice calls seamlessly move from Wifi to cell most of the time. They get money back every month because they don't use their alotted data very often, since most of their usage is in their home. There is absolutely no risk with this plan if you have (or want) one of the supported phones. We have had terrific support from LG even when a phone ran into a problem outside the warranty window.

If Sprint/T-Mobile/US Cellular have strong signals in the areas you frequent or you have reliable public wifi available, it is definitely viable for people with low data needs.
 

pbilling

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Feb 11, 2015
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We have been on Fi just over a year now and love it. Very sketchy cell service in our house and none in the basement. With Fi and wifi we get coverage everyplace at home. Out and about the service is on par with what we were getting from Verizon and much better then our friends get with ATT. Good article, but almost no mention of the fact that Fi uses WiFi for calling, for us this was the biggest benefit.
 

Doh_123

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Feb 2, 2014
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Wifi calling worked sometimes, but mostly not for me. While Wifi calling works well on my iPhone on Verizon *sigh*, the Project Fi version was mostly prevented from working by having low-level Sprint coverage. And the mode for calling is "Cellular preferred", which means if there's any cellular coverage, use that. Our Sprint coverage was variable but enough for Fi to attempt to use it, no T-Mobile coverage, but enough Sprint coverage to inhibit wifi calling. Glad that it worked for you, though! Be aware that it may not work for others.

It is low-cost to try, though, if you already have a Google phone, or Moto X4 in Android One mode. Or would have a Google phone anyways.

 

pbilling

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Feb 11, 2015
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It's a pain sometimes but that did happen to us occasionally, particularly with 5x's we started with. When it did, I would put them in Airplane Mode then turn WiFi on. It would then work great. I do wish there was a way to tell it to use certain (like my home) WiFi calling no matter what the cellular strength. The Pixel seems to do better with it.

 

Doh_123

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Feb 2, 2014
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Yes, the weird thing is that's exactly when you need wifi calling, when you don't have adequate cell coverage. And that's when my Fi phone used to try to use that inadequate cell coverage, rather than going to wifi calling. That's one reason why I'm no longer on Project Fi. Yes, you could put the phone in Airplane mode and turn wifi back on, but the phone should be able to do that, without my having to risk remembering to take it out of Airplane mode every time I leave the house, or put it in Airplane mode when I get home. That's the way that my iPhone works on Verizon, just uses wifi calling when it needs to, so it can't be too difficult to do it right :).
 

zanydr18

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Nov 12, 2017
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Keeping it short, I was a first buyer for the 5x and Fi service, being sick of the bills. The Fi service is good for me because if you watch yourself and get on WIFI the bill stays low and there is no other connection service problem. The bad was the 5x phone which had a hardware bootloop problem they should have fixed for free. It happened to me twice almost on schedule. The next time it happens, I will be out of warranty and will not be buying another.
.
I know people still using the original moto x phones, bought used for 100 dollars on ebay that had no problems. That says a lot for Motorola.
 

DR____L

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Jan 31, 2016
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When parts ran out for the 5X and 6P bootloop problem they were being replaced by the Pixel and Pixel XL. It sounds like you got your 5X from Google and Fi so I would call Google/Fi. Hope this helps.
 

jvintimilla

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Feb 3, 2018
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I have had Project Fi for just under 2 years and today I am going to Verizon to switch my service. I have had nothing but issues with their phones & service and it isn't worth it. Here are the main issues:

-Outright purchase of a Nexus 5 that died within 8 months of it being issued. It took them over a week to send me a new phone. With there not being any hard wall stores, you have no choice.
-The replacement Nexus 5 that was given to me died 8 months later as well and Project Fi told me "Oh well, your problem...call the manufacturer because we don't support the phone anymore." They knew when they sent me the replacement this was going to happen & rather than send me a reliable device, they sent me this to quiet me.
-The Oreo 8 operating system on their phone is not compatible with everything because it is so new. It does not work with my car's bluetooth, it does not integrate well when trying to send texts to iPhone users, etc. - no way to fix it unless you want to trade-in your car for something with lesser technology.
-Spotty service. I have had my calls dropped because their carriers didn't cover an area or the coverage switched to one of their other carriers. I'm only going 30 minutes in Atlanta - not a rural area. This shouldn't happen.
-Poor customer service. The amount of times I have had to call, online chat, etc. is more than I ever had for any product. On top of that, they aren't friendly & don't even attempt to understand your issue. I'm pretty sure if someone at Google didn't have a phone for a week they would loose their mind.

Until Project Fi ups their customer service and provides reliable technology, I would stay away. Especially when established carriers offer competitive data plans.
 
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