by Phil Plante on November 4, 2015
Google's Project Fi is proving to be a real alternative to the Big 3 cellular providers. It does not require a contract and you will be reimbursed for data you do not use. The setup is painless and the costs are transparent.
If you don't use much data, your bill can be under $30 per month.
The coverage is very good. Since Project Fi phones actively switch between Sprint and T-Mobile, depending which has the stronger signal, there don't appear to be any gaps around town. I've used the service for a couple of weeks, and have not had any trouble getting a signal.
And if you're close to an open WiFi hotspot, the phone can switch to that as well. With my previous provider, I had to stand on my back deck to talk on my cell phone. Now, I can take my calls inside like a civilized person.
There is only one plan. The base monthly price is $20 which covers unlimited talk and text. You will be charged an additional $10 per GB of budgeted data, and you'll get a credit on your bill for any unused data in the prior month.
Project Fi is only compatibile with three phones: the Nexus 6, the Nexus 6P, and the Nexus 5X. Why just those three? Those are the only phones able to work with both T-Mobile's GSM network and Sprint's CDMA network simultaneously.
The phones range in price from $379 for a 16GB Nexus 5X to $649 for a 128GB Nexus 6P. These are unlocked phones. So, if you buy a phone and are not happy with the service, the phones can be used with other carriers.
If cell phone contracts leave a bad taste in your mouth, the next time you contract is up, consider Project Fi. If you're not a data glutton, chances are that is will save you some cash. Consult the FAQs for answers to most of your questions.