Here we are in 2019 and Google Fi has finally exited its “beta” phase as Google Project Fi and is now officially available on smartphones of all varieties. So, how is Google Fi in 2019? Here is a review of Google Fi and where it stands today.
Review: Google Fi in 2019 – Better than Ever!
What Is Google Fi?
Google Fi is a month-to-month cell phone plan that is operated by Google but uses the cell phone towers of Sprint, T-Mobile, and US Cellular in the US. It offers a simple flat rate for unlimited minutes and text in the US and an equally simple rate for data by the gigabyte.
How Much Does Google Fi Cost?
Google Fi costs $20 per month for unlimited domestic minutes and text in the US. The data is charged at a rate of $10 per 1GB but you only pay for what you use. If you only use 1.4GB in a month, you will only pay $14.
Is There a Family Plan for Google Fi?
Yes! You can add up to 5 other people to your Google Fi account for $15 each per month. With that $15 comes the unlimited minutes and text and a sharing of the data.
To read more, check out this Guide to Google Fi.
Google Fi for Travelers Is Awesome!
If you are a US-based customer, you may have a current contract with AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, or Verizon (or possibly a prepaid carrier). If you travel outside the US, you know that it can be expensive to get data on the go! Yes, T-Mobile offers free data around the world but it is quite a bit slower than Google Fi. The same is true for Sprint.
With Google Fi, you get coverage in over 200 countries and the data and text messaging work the same (and at the same date) that they do in the US. You will receive all text messages for free and you will still pay the $10 per 1GB of data.
If you make phone calls, it will vary based on the country you are calling. You can always call using Google Hangouts, though, and pay much less per minute. Or, you can call over WiFi for free.
Google Fi is Getting Faster
As I said, Google Fi is faster than other carriers in the US that offer free data roaming – and it is going to get faster in over 30 countries in the coming months.
This means that you will be able to get maps faster, upload photos faster, have better video chats and do anything you are used to doing from home – at the same $10 per 1GB (with a cap of $60 per month if you are on a single line plan).
Google Fi is Getting More Features
If you are a Google Fi user that has a Google device, you are getting more features in 2019. From things like always-on VPN to protect your security wherever you are (at no monthly cost for VPN service!) to providing more efficient hand off between WiFi and cellular signals, having a Google device on Google Fi is just going to be better this year.
Also in 2019, Google Fi customers using compatible Android phones and Google’s own devices now have RCS – which is basically like iMessage on Android. It gives a more content-rich experience for messaging. This is now available on all Google Fi phones and can be downloaded for messages on compatible Android smartphones.
Google Fi is More Compatible
As of November 28, Google Fi can now be officially used on iPhones (a review of using Google Fi officially on the iPhone when traveling) and on a host of Android smartphones.
This means that Google Fi is more compatible than ever. No longer do you need to use a data-only SIM and hack your way around your phone. You can have all of your features available and get the full Google Fi experience on most smartphones out today.
Google Fi in 2019 in Practice
Already this year, I have used Google Fi (on my iPhone, on a Pixel 3, and in my iPad) in several countries. The experience has been great and I have had no real issues. There were some things I experienced on my iPhone with network selection but that has been fine lately.
Google Fi basically just works. I don’t have to be afraid of huge overage charges or getting my phone calls. I can use Google Fi anywhere in the world like I would in the US and it has worked great (the major differences being that Google Fi phones have both Sprint and T-Mobile towers in the US while other phones only use Sprint and that you will pay per minute for phone calls while traveling international – they are free at home in the US).
Should You Get Google Fi?
I know some people have had payment issues with Google Fi (which can cause a domino effect on other Google services you use) but I have had no such issues. Some people wonder what benefit that Google Fi can bring to them if they already have a carrier. That is a fair point. If you have a provider in the US that you really like and rarely travel outside of the US, I would say don’t switch to Google Fi.
Great Supplemental Plan Option!
But, if you do travel outside the US and are trying to avoid getting local SIMs or paying the fees for your own carrier’s fast data abroad, Google Fi can be a great supplement for you. You can suspend service for months at a time and not pay the $20 flat fee. You can also refer Google Fi to others and get referral credit that will offset your total bill.