Observations About Google Fi
I didn’t find anything terrible about Fi. It just doesn’t live up to the hype, much of which I had read in reviews, gushing about how much a user could save on data because Fi would primarily use WiFi as much as possible. That never happened for me. My data use was about the same on Fi as it would be on any other carrier (roughly 3 GB per month). Your mileage may vary. If you’re going to have a contest about how much you can stay on WiFi, there are plenty of free alternatives – Google Hangouts, Skype – which will let you make free WiFi calls to and from your device all day long.
So if Fi isn’t that bad, and if parts of it are actually pretty good – why did I port my number away from Project Fi?
I went back to Verizon, where for $15/mo ($40 – $25 bring your own device credit) I can use my Nexus 6P and join a shared family data plan that two members of my family are using. Ultimately Fi was costing me more money (roughly $50/mo) than what a good family plan with some data to share would ($15/mo with bring your own device).
Here comes the strange part. Despite my experience (more Meh than Good) I can still recommend Project Fi to someone who fits the profile of an ideal user:
- Virtually always use less than 5 GB of data – and some months may use virtually no data
- Uses a compatible Nexus Android device (Fi won’t work with iPhone or non-Nexus devices)
- Long periods of time within reliable WiFi
- Have a NON-Google Apps Gmail account as their primary account
- No option of joining a family shared data plan
- Live in an area where Sprint and T-Mobile have strong LTE signal
Project Fi is a compelling option for anyone fitting the above profile. Unfortunately, I don’t feel it is flexible enough for those with Google Apps accounts or those in areas where they can’t take advantage of the two built-in carriers (T-Mobile and Sprint) because they are outside of a strong coverage area.
Give me Google Fi with cheaper data, integrated Google Apps accounts, all 4 carriers on a SIM, and I’d be back in a flash.