28 Jun

Project Fi Review: Is It Worth the Switch?

project fi review

Phone technology is constantly changing as are the services that mobile providers are offering. To the average consumer, selecting a cell phone plan may be anything but easy. The plus side of various providers is that there are so many options (this can also be a major downside). At least this gives you the opportunity to shop around and save yourself some money!

If you’re on the hunt for a new provider, you may have seen Project Fi reddit or heard your co-worker talking about the project. We’ve done the research and have written a review to help you decide if it’s the best plan for you and all your mobile needs.

What is Project Fi?

Haven’t heard much or don’t know anything about Project Fi? Don’t worry; we’ll get you up-to-date. In short, Project Fi is a prepaid phone carrier from Google. It works by giving you data service on three different mobile networks (Sprint, T-Mobile, and U.S. Cellular).

With Google Project Fi, your phone switches and selects a network on its own depending on signal strength and speed, which allows you the best possible connection and speed available.

Unlike some other prepaid providers, it uses WI-FI as much as possible when you make calls or send a text.

Since Google is kind of the “king” of the Internet, it should be no surprise to anyone that they created their own mobile phone carrier, but Project Fi is still relatively new. In 2015, it was only available to Nexus 6 users, and it was by invite only. In 2016, Project Fi dropped its exclusive “invite only” plan and made it more widely available.

Project Fi is intended to be a suitable (if not better) alternative to other prepaid cell phones. It’s designed to be easy to use, accessible to anyone who lives in the areas of coverages, and inexpensive. In our Project Fi review, we focus on the information that will help you decide if you want to make the switch from your current provider.

What Makes Project Fi Unique

If you’re going to make a switch from your current provider, you need to have some pretty good reasons, right? You’re probably wondering what sets Project Fi apart from all the other prepaid phone carriers and plans.

First, since Project Fi works with three different networks, there’s a good chance you’ll always be connected and experience fast speeds on your phone because you are connected to more 4G LTE towers.

With Project Fi, you can start up and cancel whenever you want, and you never have to sign a contract. Not only do you get credit for data you don’t use but you don’t have any overage fees (you just pay $10 if you go over). The Project Fi app makes using the provider easy and convenient to make payments on your phone and pay for the straightforward plan itself.

You can also forward your Fi number to any phone you want and enjoy all the same features like Hangout, voicemail, and send texts.

How to Get Started

Want to get started? Our Project Fi review will cover all you need to know. It’s important to note that Pixel XL, Pixel, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, or Nexus 6 are the only phones you can use. Don’t have one? Project Fi phones are available for purchase, and you can select a 24 month, no interest financing option to pay off the phone.

Once you have the phone, you will receive a Project Fi SIM card, which allows your device to connect to the Fi Network.

Pricing

An attractive feature of Project Fi is the low cost and the pricing options. The price for using Project Fi is straightforward: $20 for unlimited text and talk. When trying to figure out how much data you’ll need, you should find the average amount that you already use (i.e. 3GB).

Data is $10 for each GB you use. If you don’t use all your data, you’re credited, and if you go over, you are sent a notification that you’re getting close to going over and will be given some price options.

As long as you’re traveling or calling a country (one of the 135+) in Project Fi coverage, you can call and text. If you’re interested in a Project Fi family plan, the group plan allows up to six people on the same account (costing $15 per user). No contract and can be added or removed at any time.

What The Public Says

Still don’t know if Project Fi is the right provider for you or worth making the switch? Here’s what others are saying about Google’s mobile provider:

The Good

Unlike other cell phone plans, Project Fi’s pricing is straightforward (for the most part). It costs $20 to get service and $10 per GB. If you don’t use a ton of data, it shouldn’t cost you much, especially if you already have a compatible phone.

The customer service has rave reviews and is described as “robot-free.” How many times have you tried to call customer service only to find that you wait time keeps increasing? If you have a question about anything regarding your account, you can log in, open a chat window, and start a conversation.

Users have also said that the Project Fi app makes it easy to track usage, so you’re never in the dark about how much data you use.

The Bad

Even though Project Fi made itself available to all, it’s still pretty limiting as you have to have one of these phones: Pixel XL, Pixel, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, or Nexus 6. While you can buy one if you don’t have one, that may be an added expense you’re just not willing to pay for (even with convenient monthly payments).

If you go to the Project Fi website and try to do a little research, there’s a good chance you’ll be completely overwhelmed with information (which is why we wrote a Project Fi review). The site can be difficult to navigate but the information is thorough, and they do a good job of answering all questions. One can hope that the customer service will remain strong and reliable, too.

One of the biggest complaints is the data. While the concept of having optimum connectivity all the time is great, the cost of data is not. The average cell phone owner uses around 2 to 3 GB a month. If you use 3 GB, that’s $60 a month (not counting group plan costs). Price wise, it’s not very a whole lot cheaper than other prepaid plans.

How It Compares

The big question we ask in our review is, “Is is worth the switch?” It all depends on the provider you currently have for your cell phone use. We’ve done a little comparing with popular providers:

Verizon

Verizon allows you to bring your own device (as long as it’s compatible) and offers many different phones than Project Fi. A prepaid plan with 3GB data and unlimited text and talk. There are also over 200 international destinations in the unlimited texting plan.

Any unused data you use on each month will carry over to the next so that you won’t miss out. In a way, it’s like being credited for leftover data, but if you never use all of it, you aren’t really saving money.

AT&T

AT&T has a prepaid plan that allows you to bring your own compatible device and you can get unlimited talk, text, and data for $65 a month. If you sign up for auto-pay, you receive $5 discount each month. Like Project Fi and Verizon, there’s no annual contract, and there is family (group) plans available.

The more lines you add with AT&T, the cheaper they cost (unlike Project Fi’s $15/line).

T-Mobile

T-Mobile has a prepaid unlimited 4G LTE plan for $75 a month. While T-Mobile is a little more expensive than Verizon or AT&T, it’s comparable to Project Fi, and the significant benefits are the unlimited plan and variety of phone options.

What We Think

There are a lot of great features about Project Fi, but it also seems to fall short in some areas and is a little bit limiting for cell phone users who want more (such as unlimited data).

If you’re a hardcore Google fan and love the Pixel or Nexus phones, Project Fi is a good option for you. If Project Fi ever decided to expand their phone options, they would likely gain more users.

Project Fi is great if you travel a lot for work or fun because you can take comfort in knowing that you’ll always be connected with some of the best networks around. To get the most out of Project Fi, you have to be a light data user otherwise it wouldn’t be your most affordable option.

If you’re not obsessed with streaming and downloading, but love to text and talk, Project Fi may be a perfect fit for you.

Coupons and Deals

[I did not find any coupons or deals for Project Fi]