Project Fi is a mobile virtual network operator by Google, providing phone, messaging and data services using both Wi-Fi and cellular networks belonging to Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, and Three (U.K.). The service was launched on April 22, 2015, for the Nexus 6 through invitations only. The invitation system was dropped in March 2016, and support for additional devices, including the Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones, was introduced in October 2016.
Project Fi automatically switches between networks depending on signal strength and speed. It automatically connects to Wi-Fi hotspots with data encryption through an automatic VPN. Phone calls transition between Wi-Fi and cellular networks. With all networks combined, Project Fi covers more than 170+ countries around the world.
Plans are based on a flat rate, in which a subscription costs $20 per month for unlimited calls and messaging plus a customizable data allowance costing an additional $10 per gigabyte. Money for any unused data is credited back to the user’s account, while overuse of data costs an additional $10 per gigabyte in proportion to actual usage. A Group Plan, which lets users add members to their subscription, costs an additional $15 per user per month, and offers features including data overview, data notifications, monthly allowances, and the ability to pause users’ data usages. A data-only SIM card can be used on supported tablets.
Project Fi announced “bill protection” which caps the charge for data at $60 if you use more than 6GB of data in a billing period. If the data used is greater than 15GB, then Fi may slow the data speed to 256kbps. The user can avoid the data slowdown by paying full price for the data used at $10 per GB. The “bill protection” also works with group plans maxing out the data charge at $85 for two people and $120 for three people and $140 for four people. The rate for unlimited calls and text is not affected by the new “bill protection” plan.
Project Fi Devices
As of the date of this article Project Fi has these six phones available to purchase ranging in price from $199-$949 providing a large enough price range to make any average consumer happy.
5.7″ Full HD+ Max Vision display, advanced imaging software, 32 GB of internal storage expandable to 128 GB and a long-lasting battery.
The Moto X4 brings the Android One Program and Project Fi into a simple package with very little frills. While it may not sound like the most exciting device on paper, the Moto X4’s true appeal is its affordable price, timely updates, and how it will make Project Fi more easily accessible to consumers.
Discover a better way to capture, store, and see the world. Pixel 2 features a smart camera that takes beautiful photos in any light, a fast-charging battery and the Google Assistant built-in.
Sleek hardware meets smart features. The new LG G7 ThinQ comes with a super bright 6.1” edge-to-edge display, smart cameras, and powerful speakers for thoughtful innovation, inside and out.
The LG V35 is built to impress. A vibrant 6.0” edge-to-edge display, smart cameras, and ultra lightweight design are paired with an ultra fast high performance processor for an all-around premium experience.
Project Fi makes use of four networks, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, and Three (U.K.) and automatically switches to the fastest network that you are around. Anyone that has used any of the networks mentioned will know that they do struggle in rural areas and inside buildings. With that said, the point of Project Fi is to make use of as much WiFi as possible in order to keep your data usage down. If you can deal with not having Verizon’s best network then Project Fi is likely going to be good for you.
Price is where Project Fi wins over low data consumers. If you have access to WiFi throughout most of your day or make it a point to join available WiFi networks when you visit a restaurant or even a friends house, you can save some serious money each month. You pay $10 per gig which is capped at $60, so your worst phone bill is going to be $80 for a single line including Calls & Text. Take a look at my bills since joining Project Fi on my Pixel 2 XL (I am a heavy phone user).
Additional lines are $15 each and data pricing is as follows:
- 2 lines – $35 dollars for lines and $10 per GB at a max of $100. Total max price per month is $135.
- 3 lines – $50 dollars for lines and $10 per GB at a max of $120. Total max price per month is $170.
- 4 lines – $65 dollars for lines and $10 per GB at a max of $140. Total max price per month is $205.
- 5 lines – $80 dollars for lines and $10 per GB at a max of $160. Total max price per month is $240.
- 6 lines – $95 dollars for lines and $10 per GB at a max of $180. Total max price per month is $275.
Note that the prices are the most you will pay. The less data you use the less you pay!
If you are looking to save money and you can control your data usage, Project Fi is an amazing option to save you some serious cash each month on your phone bill. The network is very much tolerable for most Americans and is available in over 170 Countries. You will miss out on some major flagship phones from major manufactures such as Samsung, however you still have great quality phones to choose from in the Project Fi network.