Hi! This is the first honest review series on The Real Maverick focussing on the service provider, Google Fi and I am thrilled to share my experiences. I started using Google Fi in early 2019 and throughout the entire year, I learned the pros and cons of using the service. Google Fi does not top the list of the best wireless carriers in the US but it does makeup to the list if you scroll down a bit. I have made the review easy by adding every-possible questions that may come to your mind.
What is Google Fi? Also the review
The name was first chosen to be Project Fi but in late 2018 it was rebranded and since then it has been called Google Fi. Google Fi is an MVNO(Mobile Virtual Network Operator) based service provider. It means that Google Fi relies on other companies for its network infrastructure. In this case, it is T-mobile, Sprint, and US cellular. Google Fi has the flexibility to such a great extent that you can pause your service and pay for what you use.
Google Fi does offer trade-in options and the sim cards can be bought in-store at Best Buy.
What are Google Fi Plans?
Unlike, the major four wireless carriers in the US Google Fi offers two different plans with flexibility and unlimited text and call as standard. The plans are straight forward and one of them boasts with the tagline, “Pay for exactly what you use”.
- Plan 1 – It’s the Unlimited Plan starting at $70/month with Unlimited text, data and calls with Terms and Conditions Applied ;).
- Plan 2 – It’s the Flexible Plan starting at $20/month + $10 for extra GB of data.
Google Fi Family Plans
The Google Fi family plan offers up to 6 people and a few bucks discount.
Does Google Fi offer financing options?
While Google Fi has a hand full of phones available on its website, financing is not an issue. The official Google Fi website includes the Google Pixel Family and Motorola G7 as the only option for purchase upfront or through financing.
Can I bring my own phone and how about iPhones?
Most of the Android phones are compatible with Google Fi and any iPhone 5S or newer are compatible with Google Fi if they are Carrier unlocked.
What is so compelling on Google Fi?
Google Fi is one of the affordable wireless carriers in the US offering competitive service across the US. Even though it has been only a few years in the market, it offers 24/7 Chat, Email, and Phone-based customer support. The account has many features like data alerts, facility to pause the data or service and most importantly International coverage which is a must factor for frequent travelers.
The most compelling features of the Google Fi International Coverage are:
- Google Fi can be used in 200+ international locations.
- There are No Roaming fees.
Google Fi also has no contract or any strings attached 😉 It also has a feature called, “Google Fi’s Bill Protection” which helps you save money. Here’s the link to the bill protection plan on the Flexible Plan.
What is the downside of Fi?
Google Fi uses three major network infrastructure providers namely, T-Mobile, Sprint, US Cellular for its services around the US. They call this the switching feature with which a phone can switch network to either one of them seamlessly hereby, improving the signal strength but it is only available to Phones designed For Google Fi.
Say, you bought a carrier unlocked iPhone and you chose Google Fi over other carriers. Since iPhones are not specifically designed for Google Fi, they won’t be able to switch network signals from either of those network infrastructure providers. In other words, you would be limited to T-Mobile’s signal.
With that being said, if you plan to switch from T-Mobile to Google Fi due to network reception issues then, unfortunately, you’d get the same service regardless of Google Fi being a different company. The signal will still be from T-Mobile.
Google Fi does get expensive if you were to use a high amount of data with the Flexible Plan due to the rate being $10/GB but that does not stop it from being expensive, say if you were to use more than 22GB of data on Unlimited Plan, your speed would be capped turning it slower after. But 22 GB is a huge amount of data and only few cross the limit.
What is your honest opinion (The Real Maverick’s)?
I love Google regardless of the data they have. Google has made the lives of people easier but this is an honest review and this is the experience part.
As mentioned in the above paragraph, I have been using Google Fi for a year and I have lots of experiences to share.
- Google Fi’s Device Protection Plans
I personally find Google Fi’s Device Protection Plan misleading. This issue is not about what they cover but how they provide the replacement device. This is my first experience and I may be False but regardless, I would like to share what happened.
Date – 09/08/2019
My daily driver was Google Pixel 3XL and trust me it is a good phone. Team it with Google Fi, makes it super. Unfortunately, I dropped my phone which made it impossible to repair. Fortunately, my Pixel 3XL was enrolled on the Device Protection Plan which did help me get a Refurbished Pixel. I used AT&T and Asurion was the Insurance provider but the situation was different. My replacement phones were new. This may not be an issue but then this is my experience.
- Customer Service
Regardless, of the claims by Google Fi, it did fail to provide me a full proof answer to my problem. Google Fi does offer 24/7 Chat, Email, and Phone support but mind you, if your case were to be escalated to a specialist, it would take 48-72 hours to get a reply.
Date – Jan 20,2020
I bought a Pixel 4 through Google Fi Financing and it arrived the next day with expedited shipping but unfortunately, it had some internal problems. I asked for a new device given that the phone was within 14 days of the return period but Google Fi informed me that the replacement phone would not be a New one rather a refurbished one due to stock availability. I found this unfair so I had to ask for a full refund.
Rest assured, Google Fi is a good phone service provider but it does need refinement. The customer service should not be an issue for you but if you are located in a rural area where the signal reception is not so good then you might want to consider this aspect. Despite, the bad experience with Google Fi, it has still been able to hold me from switching to another carrier considering the flexibility of the service.
I hope to write an updated version of this review once I travel abroad and use its International Coverage feature.
If you want to know more about my blog and how I started this journey, please visit this link.