Google Fi [An Honest Review in 2022]

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In this post, we’ll be covering Google Fi and all its good and bad points. We’ll be as completely honest as we can, and hopefully by the end of this article, you’ll know if Google Fi is right for you. If not, hopefully we’ll be able to point you in the right direction for a better cell network provider.

Excited? Let’s jump into our review.

Who is Google Fi?

We understand that Google needs no introduction. However, not everyone knows that Google provides a cell network service. It first came out in 2015, but was known as Project Fi at the time, and kept that name until 2018 when it switched to the name Google Fi.

Surprisingly, as huge as Google is, they didn’t try to compete traditionally by getting their own cell towers built. Instead, they’ve partnered with already established brands as an MVNO, which stands for mobile virtual network operator. In short, instead of building and using their own towers, they essentially borrow towers for a fee. The startup costs associated with doing this are much, much less, and as a result, Google Fi is able to pass on some of the savings to us as end users.

In the beginning, Google Fi, or rather, Project Fi, wasn’t available for iPhone users. However, they’ve since been able to include iPhones in their services as of 2018, so this review applies to a broad range of potential readers, not just Android users.

Google Fi Highlights

A phone plan, by Google
Plan Options
Coverage
Cost
Customer Service

What are Google Fi’s plans and pricing for a single user?

Google Fi has three main plans. Keep in mind that these prices are based on a single user:

  • Simply Unlimited – $50/month for unlimited data (tethered after 35 GB)
  • Unlimited Plus – $65/month for unlimited data (tethered after 100 GB)
  • Flexible – $20/month + $10 per GB of data

The difference between the first and second lies mainly in how many GB of data you can use before your speeds slow down. In a way, it’s a bit misleading, as “unlimited” data in the first plan isn’t the same as “unlimited” data in the second plan.

With the Flexible plan, which is basically a pay-as-you-go plan, there isn’t any tethering as you’re paying per GB of data used each month. However, it doesn’t make any sense to go with this plan if you are planning to utilize 3 or more GB of data per month, as it already adds up to $50 and you could just opt for the Simply Unlimited plan at that point.

What are Google Fi’s plans and pricing for multiple users?

When you have multiple users, Google Fi gives you a discount up to a certain number of users depending on the plan. The cheapest per user price you can get for the Simply Unlimited and the Unlimited Plus plans comes to full fruition at 4 users total. Anything above 4 users does not equate to more discounts per user. For 4 users, the prices are as follows:

  • Simply Unlimited – $20/month per user for unlimited data (tethered after 35 GB)
  • Unlimited Plus – $40/month per user for unlimited data (tethered after 100 GB)

As for the Flexible plan, the cheapest per user price comes to full fruition at 5 users total. Anything above 5 users does not equate to more discounts per user. For 5 users, the price is as follows:

  • Flexible – $16/month per user + $10 per GB of data per user

Network

T-Mobile

T-Mobile

T-Mobile

Verizon

T-Mobile

Cancel Anytime?

Unlimited Date Plan

Starting Cost

$20+

Per Month

$6.25+

Per Month

$5+

Per Month

$30+

Per Month

$19.99+

Per Month

Rating

How does Google Fi’s plans compare to other data providers?

Now that we have a good idea of the plans and pricing structure, how does Google Fi compare to other competitors? For this comparison, we need to be comparing as closely apples to apples as we can, so we’ll aim for 5GB with unlimited talk and text for a single user:

  • Tello Mobile: $19 per month for 5GB and unlimited talk/text
  • Mint Mobile: $25 per month for 4GB + unlimited talk/text (note the $15 pricing is introductory and only applies to the first three months)
  • Visible Wireless: $30 per month for unlimited data/talk/text (Visible only offers an unlimited data plan)
  • Google Fi: $50 per month for Simply Unlimited’s data/talk/text (the plan for unlimited data is cheaper than the per GB data plan at 5GB, which would cost $70)

Tello Mobile clearly beats out the competition, including Google Fi, in terms of pricing alone for a single user. How about if we compare pricing for a family of four? Let’s take a look down below:

  • Tello Mobile: $19 per month for 5GB and unlimited talk/text
  • Google Fi: $20 per month for Simply Unlimited’s data/talk/text (the plan for unlimited data is cheaper than the per GB data plan at 5GB, which would cost $70)
  • Mint Mobile: $25 per month for 4GB + unlimited talk/text (note the $15 pricing is introductory and only applies to the first three months)
  • Visible Wireless: $30 per month for unlimited data/talk/text (Visible only offers an unlimited data plan)

As you can see, by having four or more users, Google Fi starts to become much more competitive based on pricing alone. Whereas before, it was the worst deal out of comparable plans for a single user, it is now second best for a family of four. Plus, it is only $1 more per user per month, so it really isn’t even all that far behind.

How is Google Fi’s coverage and connectivity compared to other providers?

Remember how Google Fi is an MVNO? Well, so are the other 3 mentioned providers above. Interestingly enough, Google Fi, Tello Mobile, and Mint Mobile all run on the T-Mobile and Sprint network (T-Mobile and Sprint completed a merger as of 2020). Visible Wireless runs on the Verizon network.

As you may have suspected, Google Fi’s coverage and connectivity should be similar if not identical to Tello Mobile and Mint Mobile’s.

Admittedly, Visible Wireless, being on the Verizon network, has the best coverage and connectivity in the U.S. The pricing reflects that appropriately, as Visible Wireless is the most expensive option for a family of four, and the third most expensive option for a single user.

Who is Google Fi best for?

We recommend getting Google Fi only if you’ve got a family of four or more that you’re planning to bring onto the network. As a single user, it’s the most expensive option and really isn’t offering any benefits over the other providers. You may as well go with Tello Mobile in that scenario, seeing as they’re both using the same cell towers owned by T-Mobile/Sprint.

With a family of four or more, you really can’t go wrong with Tello Mobile or Google Fi, as long as your area has good coverage. If it doesn’t, you’ll most likely benefit from Visible Wireless out of the four contenders mentioned here in this post.

Also worthy of mention is that 5G coverage isn’t supported for the iPhone on Google Fi. You can only get the 4G network for it currently. While Google Fi states that they’re looking into it, it’s been years and there’s still no progress on it. Other MVNOs that utilize T-Mobile/Sprint towers have figured it out long ago. Is it an intentional move, or lack thereof, on Google’s part? It makes sense, as Apple is basically the archnemesis of Android in the cellular space. There’s no proof, but it’s exceptionally suspicious, and at this point, I really do wonder if realistically speaking, it’ll ever happen.

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