As of today, Google’s wireless service, Project Fi, is available to the public. According to Gizmodo, signing up under this celebratory period entitles users to a deep discount on the Nexus 5X. How deep, you ask? The current deal reflects a $150 savings on an popular phone, available in three groovy colors.
There are two main reasons Google’s wireless service is refreshingly different. The first one has to do with coverage. Google took the initiative to create its own mobile virtual network operator. In other words, the company combined T-Mobile and Sprint coverage maps, allowing the service to seamlessly switch back and forth to whichever signal is the strongest.
The second difference is how the Project Fi service handles data. Users get charged the competitive price of $10/gigabyte. The cool thing is that customers are only billed for what they actually use. Don’t you wish the cable company did the same thing? Think of all the money you’d save!
— The Verge (@verge) March 7, 2016
The official Project Fi FAQ indicates the basic monthly charge is $20. This includes unlimited talk and text (domestic), Wi-Fi tethering and unlimited international text. No roaming fees, whatsoever, in more than 120 countries.
If you’re not sure how to set your data budget, Google recommends basing it on past usage. Watch this nifty video, for more information. It only takes a minute. Really!
Any unused data, for the current calendar month, is applied as a credit on the next month’s bill. This is done automatically. There’s no need to request it or figure it out yourself.
Should you happen to go over your data budget, again, you’re only charged for the extra you actually use. For example, if you go over the limit by 425 MB, $4.25 gets added to your next bill. It’s as simple as that.
Built-in customer service is an unexpected perk. It all but eliminates the need to wait on hold for what seems like a hundred years to receive technical assistance.
A big drawback of Project Fi is the number of smart phones the service supports. As of this writing, only three Nexus phones are compatible, the 5X, the 6 and the 6P. If you’re lucky enough to already own one of these phones, it’s easy to request a free SIM card to complete your transfer of service.
The reason for using these particular Nexus phones is simple. It has to do with the device’s cellular radio. It works with the the most world-wide 4G LTE networks possible. This includes all networks in the U.S.A. Because other brands of cell phones only work with limited networks, they probably won’t be considered for use with Google’s mobile service.
Another negative aspect of the service is the fact that Project Fi doesn’t offer any type of plan for multiple users. There’s no indication that Google will be offering this service in the future, either.
If you’re looking for an affordable cell phone service that doesn’t lock you into a yearly contract, Project Fi is definitely worth your consideration. You never know how you’ll feel about about things, a few months down the road.
In the event you aren’t satisfied with the Project Fi mobile service, by Google, you won’t be charged a termination fee. The only charges you may incur are any remaining payments you might have if you chose to pay for your phone over time. (A credit check is required for the payment option.)
The new phone you purchase to use with Project Fi comes unlocked. So, if Project Fi isn’t for you, you can use the phone with a variety of other services.
[Photo by Kitja-Kitja/via Shudderstock]