Since in 2015, Google's Project Fi is silently one of the best technology stores. An alternative to regular carriers offers simplified data plans, easy international use, and a host of other benefits. Catch: Only Nexus and Pixel phones from Google – and, in recent times, the shake-up of Android third-party capabilities. This will change on Wednesday when a slightly renamed Google Fi will begin receiving the latest Android and iPhones with iOS 11 or later.
As always, there's a catch, the size depends on what smartphone you bring. However, it is useful to talk about why you might want, especially if you are not familiar with Google Fi.
Unlike the big four American carriers you've heard of, Verizon and Sprinty World, Google Fi does not run its own network. Instead, it's based on those of T-Mobile, Sprint, and US Cellular, who give you the phone, whether you have the best connections at any moment. This makes it a "mobile virtual network operator" rather than a carrier. In practice, this does not mean much for you, other than hypothetically consistent strong coverage, wherever you are.
Where you will Note that the difference is direct pricing. With Google Fi, you get unlimited calls and messaging at $ 20 per month while data costs $ 10 per gigabyte up to 6GB. This is probably the most you pay; all data over this limit is free, though Google starts to shrink to 15 GB. (At this point, you can jump up to $ 10 per gigabyte at this point to restore full speed.) Second Wrinkle: You only pay for the data you actually use. For example, if you hit 2.5GB, you get back five dollars.
Which is perhaps a complicated way of explaining how simple it is all. Google Fi also has no long-term contracts; you pay a month to a month and you can go as you like. And the data is as international as at home, at least in most countries.
But just like Google Fi was all the time, the choice of equipment was disappointed. The Google Pixel line is always great, but dear. Options that do not belong to Project Fi project pixels are miserable – a couple of LG and Motorola phones. Most of all, it left millions of iPhone owners outdoors in the cold.
Finally, they will get an opportunity to join the Google Fi on Wednesday, but there are objections. IOS compatibility is technically in beta, so expect less than a smooth experience. It also omitted some important side features, such as voice mailbox, Wi-Fi calls and texts, automatic spam detection, and international tethering.
Likewise, Android smartphones that are not built specifically for Google Fi – nothing but Pixels, and LG and Motorola phones – will not be able to easily switch between, say, T-Mobile and Sprint, or between Wi-Fi and cellular. They will lack junk mail and Wi-Fi calls and texts. And if you are stuck on a device running something older than Android 7.0, you are not lucky. This is about half of all Android smartphones currently in use.
It sounds gloomy, but it's probably useful to think about how many of the features of your current carrier are in the first place. And even more useful is to think how much they charge you. The real appeal to Google Fi has always been its simplicity and affordability, both of which remain, no matter what device you bring aboard.
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