What is Google Fi?

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Network and Wi-Fi Collaboration Via Google

What is Google Fi?

My husband and I work diligently to streamline our monthly expenses, cutting unnecessary subscriptions and shopping for local deals regularly. We’ve done a pretty great job at reducing costs, but our cell phone bill always eluded our attempts … until recently. After seeing various writers and personalities mention switching to Google Fi, my husband proposed we consider making the jump as well. My first question, “What is Google Fi?

What is Google Fi?

If you’re on the Verizon network, you use Verizon towers to receive cellular service as you move, hopping from one Verizon tower to another as needed. If you want to connect to a Wi-Fi network, it’s up to you to find and select Wi-Fi networks as you move.

Project Fi pulls together multiple LGE networks (Sprint, US Cellular, and T-Mobile) and smartly identifies available Wi-Fi — it then connects you to the best service as you transition from one place to the next, leveraging their partner networks and services. You can participate in both texts and calls via LGE or Wi-Fi and transition mid-call or text if you’re mobile. Moreover, Project Fi charges you only for the data that you use and refunds you for the unused data.

What is Google Fi?

For my husband, the ability to save money based on his digital behavior each month makes Google Fi almost like a challenge. There will always be calls and texts he has to take and make, but he can also learn to adjust settings and usage in order to save money when possible. And he can check in on his month-to-month savings right from his phone.

Google Fi Limitations

For the most part, Google Fi sounds too good to be true: leveraging partner networks and Wi-Fi to save and refund me money? Yes, please.

Like most great things, though, there are a few negatives. First, there are only two phones available to Google Fi participants. Users can select between the Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X — both excellent phones to be sure — there are no other Android models available and no entry options for iOS fans.

What is Google Fi?

Secondly, while the network is strong, particularly in large US cities, there are weak spots and you can drop calls or miss text messages in low service areas. We have no problem with Google Fi in our Chicagoland area, but we noticed poor service at times when we were traveling through smaller towns in Florida a few months ago.

What is Google Fi?

Is Google Fi Right For You?

I’d say this is a great fit for you if,

  • You are willing to stick with the service long enough to cover the cost of the phone you purchase.
  • You live in a major metropolitan area and travel to small towns or rural areas rarely.
  • You enjoy monitoring your data usage and find it entertaining to check in on your progress.
  • You’re not married to iOS devices and services.

Are you already using Google Fi? I’d love to hear about your experience so far!

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About the Author
Kylie Larson is a content wrangler, helping both small businesses and large organizations get their message up and out. When she's not writing and organizing online, you'll find her walking the dog, with a camera in hand, riding the Chicago blue line, and in the midst of a home renovation project that never ends. Connect with her on Twitter @kylieslarson.

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