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Google Fi Anyone?
Old 12-16-2017, 09:45 AM   #1
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Google Fi Anyone?

I am in need of a new phone, and one option is to get a new Google Pixel 2 and switch carriers to Google Fi. Their rate structure, and my limited data use, would mean that I would save enough per month to make the cost of the phone essentially free. There is a $100 statement credit offer out there now (expires 12/31) making it an even better deal.

In addition to the cost savings, I am also interested in their international coverage. I use AT&T today, and when I travel I add a "Passport" option to my plan which gives me unlimited texting and 200Mb of data that is good for a month. Coverage in Europe with this plan is excellent and I've never exceeded my data limits, but I do worry about it. Google Fi promises to use your existing data rates while traveling, so I thought I'd post here to see if I can get some real world feedback on Google's wireless service, especially as it relates to traveling. So, any Google Fi users out there?
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Old 12-16-2017, 10:31 AM   #2
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I know Google Fi is a good deal, but just so you're aware:
I was a long time satisfied AT&T user, but it did gall me to have to cough up the extra bucks for the "passport" every time I went to Europe.

Now I'm a happy T-Mobile user, on their "over 55" plan. Unlimited everything, including overseas, for a flat $60 a month (no added taxes or fees) for our two iPhones. So I consider this to also be a very good deal, since I've been happy with the T-Mobile coverage everywhere in Europe I've gone so far.
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Old 12-16-2017, 10:45 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by braumeister View Post
Now I'm a happy T-Mobile user, on their "over 55" plan. Unlimited everything, including overseas, for a flat $60 a month (no added taxes or fees) for our two iPhones. So I consider this to also be a very good deal, since I've been happy with the T-Mobile coverage everywhere in Europe I've gone so far.
Unfortunately T-Mobile is not an option for me due to their poor coverage in my home and work cities. I actual had T-Mobile for 6 months and traveled to London, so I agree they're probably the best carrier for international tourists, but not if you can't get a signal on the interstate during your daily commute

I don't mind the $40 fee so much as it usually amounts to less than 2% of the cost of my trip, rather it's the worry about exceeding the small amount of data that you get which adds some needless anxiety to my trip. I will add that AT&T's international support is great, so I am a bit leery of leaving a known quantity that I've been mostly happy with, to switch to an unknown experience on Google Fi. Hence my post here
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Old 12-16-2017, 11:02 AM   #4
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I'm a fan of Google Fi, very pleased with the service and the price after 2+ years on it now.
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Old 12-16-2017, 11:11 AM   #5
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We've used them for several years and I am happy. They use T mobile, Sprint and US Cellular so the coverage isn't as good as Verizon or AT&T but we get by. Mostly use the WiFi at home so the only time we have issues with coverage is when we are out and about. In our travels to Bermuda and some Caribbean islands we always had some service so that was good. Typically run about $50/month for two phones with 1 gb of data each.
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Old 12-16-2017, 03:52 PM   #6
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Worked in Austria during the past summer and purchased a Google Fi phone before departing as my Verizon phone was going to be insanely expensive to use overseas.

Overall, I was very pleased with the Google Fi phone; it worked well in Austria, Italy and Germany. Costs were about $40 per month, but I worked hard to avoid using data as much as possible by doing things like downloading maps on WiFi before going on weekend excursions and installed the Hangouts Dialer to make sure my phone calls were over WiFi. The "regular" cell phone app will try to use WiFi, but if it switches to cellular for even a few seconds during a call, that entire call is billed as being over cellular (not bad in cost compared to VZW, but really irritating). Texting worked well to/from every country code. I was almost always able to make/receive calls; the exceptions were in the Alps where you expect to have occasional dead zones anyway due to the terrain. Data was occasionally unavailable along major freeways which I found strange based on what we have in the US.

We took a different route for another person I was traveling with--we bought a prepaid Austrian SIM card from Saturn (European version of Best Buy) and put the SIM in a Verizon android phone. It was a 10 euro for 5 GB data and 1000 minutes/SMS for 30 days. The minutes/SMS were not so useful as there were surcharges for calls/SMS to countries other than Austria, but with the data, you could make/receive calls and send/receive text messages over Hangouts or other apps. The coverage wasn't quite as good as Google Fi outside of Austria, but it had the most bang for the buck. If end up with a temporary Europe assignment again, I will likely take this route; the most obvious issue is not being able to always receive a call from the US.
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Old 12-16-2017, 04:38 PM   #7
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I am also a happy Google Fi user. I have a Nexus 5X phone, which is a model that has had some reliability problems, but mine has been fine for the 20 months I've used it. I got a $150 credit for activating a Fi account after purchase, so the phone ended up costing $199.

I took it to Scandinavia, Finland and Estonia this summer and had coverage absolutely everywhere we went. Each time we crossed a border I would get a push message that said something like "Welcome to Denmark. Google Fi works here! Data is $10/GB, texting is unlimited, voice calls are 20 cents per minute."

I did not make or receive any phone calls while overseas, but I did use Google Maps every day for transit info and walking directions. I also looked things up online as needed while we were out and about. I used WiFi whenever we were in a hotel. I ended up using .8 GB more data during the three week trip than I would have used at home. It was totally worth $8 to be able to use my own phone and apps immediately upon arrival without having to find and purchase a local SIM card. Also, since my Mom and MIL are both elderly, there's peace of mind in having my regular phone number so they or other family members could call if anything happened.
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Old 12-16-2017, 07:35 PM   #8
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I'm pleased with Fi--one year in.

Here in flyover land, DW's verizon phone has better coverage, but Fi isn't bad.

In Peru and Mexico, it was easy/peasy, both for Data and voice (local and international). My bill is basically $30 a month when at home. Spikes a bit overseas because the data is typically faster than hotel and airport lounge wifi--so DW uses me as a hotspot for both her blogging and for downloading netflix shows.... (Hit $100 one month in peru due to huge, for me, data load).

transparent pricing though, and on balance, cheaper for me than a T-mobile account.

E.T.A.--apart from international hotspotting for DW and mapping, I try to wi fi whenever possible; hence the ~$30 monthly bill....
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Old 12-17-2017, 09:03 AM   #9
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I had Sprint service way back in the flip phone days, and coverage was fine in my home and work areas, so I was hoping to get some feedback on how Fi works internationally. Thanks everyone for the encouraging reports. It's looking like there might be a Pixel 2 under my Xmas tree. Unfortunately it will be in white as they're out of stock in black.
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Old 12-17-2017, 09:27 AM   #10
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I've been a big Google early-adopter since the beginning. But I just can't work up a lot of love for the few phones that work with Google Fi. I'd like something with an SD card slot. I'm also not a big fan of changing over to the new USB standard, making the hundred USB cords I probably own obsolete. Yes, I know you can buy adapters, but I don't want a dozen of them laying around all the different places I may need one, either.
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Old 12-17-2017, 09:42 AM   #11
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I've been a big Google early-adopter since the beginning. But I just can't work up a lot of love for the few phones that work with Google Fi. I'd like something with an SD card slot. I'm also not a big fan of changing over to the new USB standard, making the hundred USB cords I probably own obsolete. Yes, I know you can buy adapters, but I don't want a dozen of them laying around all the different places I may need one, either.
Moto X4 has a micro-SD slot. It does use USB-C cables though.
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Old 12-17-2017, 09:44 AM   #12
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I've been a big Google early-adopter since the beginning. But I just can't work up a lot of love for the few phones that work with Google Fi. I'd like something with an SD card slot. I'm also not a big fan of changing over to the new USB standard, making the hundred USB cords I probably own obsolete. Yes, I know you can buy adapters, but I don't want a dozen of them laying around all the different places I may need one, either.
Agreed. I am using my first gen Moto X (4 years old) and it still works great. However, I want more space (it has 16GB), a bigger screen (old eyes) and touch ID, which I feel is more secure. I wish that there were more phone choices on Google Fi, but I am probably going to go with the Pixel 2.

A co-worker has an iPhone X and I have to say that from a size to screen ratio perspective, Apple nailed it. My "dream" phone would be an iPhone X form factor, Google touch Id on the back, and with the Moto X gestures that I love so much and don't really want to give up. I wish the Moto X4 were a better phone, but I played around with one at BestBuy and it's just too big and chunky for me.

Edit to add: And it would cost no more than $400, the price of my first gen unlocked Moto X four years ago!
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Old 12-17-2017, 07:25 PM   #13
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Moto X4 has a micro-SD slot. It does use USB-C cables though.
I didn't know the Moto X4 was in the program. I ended up with a Moto the last new phone I bought, and it's really pretty good for the price. I probably would have waited and got the X4 if I'd known.

Maybe I'll get lucky and drop mine in the water
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Old 12-18-2017, 05:16 AM   #14
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We have been using Nexus 5X phones with Google Fi for 18 months. We are happy with the phones and the service. The monthly combined bill for the 2 phones we use is usually under $45.

I need to check with DW, but I think we used it in Central America without issues. The additional cost might have been $5.
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Old 12-18-2017, 06:28 AM   #15
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Been on project fi for 2 years now with the nexus 5x. Have no complaints. My bill has never been more than $28/month although I use never to no cellular data...im almost always on wifi.
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Old 01-17-2018, 12:53 PM   #16
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They just introduced a new billing plan called Bill Protection. See the attached link for data levels depending on the number of users on your plan. For two of us it starts at 10gb.

"Once your group of 2 has used 10 GB, you'll get free data for the rest of the cycle. Until then, you'll pay the same $10/GB of data that you've paid in the past.

You'll no longer pay upfront for your group's data. Instead, you'll pay for the data you've used at the end of your billing cycle.*

Any individual on your group who uses more than 15 GB of data in a cycle (under 1% of current Project Fi users) will experience slower data speeds for the rest of the cycle. These slower speeds will not impact other members on the plan. Once anyone on your plan uses 15 GB, they can opt out of slower data speeds by choosing to pay $10/GB for data above 15 GB and getting in touch with our support*team."

Looks like a good way to cover those heavy use times and limits your exposure to outrageous bills.

https://support.google.com/fi/answer/6201699?
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Old 01-17-2018, 05:33 PM   #17
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I signed up with Project Fi at the end of the year to get the $100 statement credit which helps offset the high cost of buying one of the few phones that will work on their network. Once I pay off the Pixel 2 I bought, my monthly phone bill will be half of what I was paying. So far, I've found that the call quality is higher with the WiFi option turned on (it was off by default.) Coverage has been fine, but I have not gone off the beaten path yet. I have a trip to Europe coming up so I am looking forward to finding out how good Google's service is abroad.

Regarding the Pixel 2, the fingerprint sensor works great and it's faster than my 4 year old Moto X. But, it's not $650 better than my old phone. What happened to the days when you bought a new electronic item and it was twice a fast and half the price? Phones definitely are not following Moore's law
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Old 01-17-2018, 08:37 PM   #18
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I had the service for a year or so to save $. Calls took a little while to connect and used the phone on a couple international trips - worked great.

The original phone they started with was ok but not great. Prefer Apple for the apps. Would probably still be on their plan if I had to pay for my phone (for cost and international use)
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Old 04-04-2018, 06:37 PM   #19
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I finally bit the bullet. Bought a Moto X4 and signed up for Google Fi.

I ran the new phone alongside my (not very) old phone on the Straigh Talk plan.

I found most places where it's been weak with Straight Talk, the coverage was about as good or better.

Most months I'll be saving maybe $15 by switching.

When I need it, I now have the ability to tether my laptop. It'll cost me $10/G for data, but for the few times I really need to, it'll be worth it. Straight Talk has no plans which allow tethering, and actively block it.

So far so good!
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Old 04-05-2018, 12:26 AM   #20
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Okay -- Apparently Google Fi has nothing at all to do with online research regarding financial independence.

Learn something new every day. #LOL

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