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Project Fi isn’t innovating, so I’m switching to T-Mobile

Project Fi isn’t innovating, so I’m switching to T-Mobile
4 min read

I’ve been a happy Project Fi customer for almost a year. I originally signed up because of the data SIMs: being able to pick up any phone and use it on the go was important. So for $30, data service on multiple devices was great. A year later, I’m not using the data SIMs hardly at all. Now, I just switch between my Pixel, iPhone, or a review phone. If I’m on any phone, I need full talk, text, and data with the built in apps. The problem? Fi isn’t making it easy for me to do that. So I decided to switch to T-Mobile. But that’s not the only reason. It’s also because Fi isn’t offering me enough value. So, let’s take a closer look at what is missing from Google’s Project Fi.

Feature Set

Project Fi originally launched as a phone service for the Nexus 6, that would switch between T-Mobile and Sprint towers. Since then, they’ve added US Cellular to that, as well as supporting new Nexus devices and the Pixel. The service, was, and is, pretty simple: pay $20 for unlimited talk and text, plus $10 per gigabyte, and get back money if you don’t use all of your data allotment. Go over, no issue.

But the service has stayed the same. They haven’t lowered their prices. Sure, they’ve added a family plan, but there’s no groundbreaking new features to lure more customers in. More importantly, Fi is losing customers because of this. I’ve seen this on a Fi community on Google+ — customers are leaving Fi because the service isn’t going anywhere.

Lack of Value

The real issue, for me, comes in that Fi isn’t offering the value it once did. I came for data SIMs, I don’t need them anymore. But Google had a year — plenty of time to lower prices, add features, or simply communicate with their customers about the future. But they didn’t. So now, Project Fi doesn’t offer any new value. It offers less, especially considering that on T-Mobile, I’ll be paying $30 for 5GB of data at 4G speeds, with unlimited text and 100 minutes of talk. That’s all I need. But T-Mobile doesn’t stop there, no, I’ll also be getting video and music streaming that won’t count towards my data allotment. I’ll be getting way more on T-Mobile, for the same price. Google would really need to step up their Fi game if they want to compete with prices like that.

Project Fi T-Mobile
Pricing:  $20/month $30/month
Data Allotment: $10/GB/month 5GB 4G, unlimited 2G
Talk/Text: Unlimited   Unlimited text, 100 minutes talk
Special Features:      Auto-refund for unused data, data-only SIMs Binge On, Music Freedom

Now, you might ask “what about the network switching?” To me, that’s a bit of a gimmick. Last year, I traveled out to the west coast and maybe only once or twice did I switch over to the Sprint network. Because T-Mobile’s network has expanded so much, Sprint and US Cellular don’t offer much value, making that detail irrelevant to me.


It’s typical for Google to start a project with much hype, and then kill it off in a couple of years, or months. Just look at what happened with Spaces. Now, while this hopefully won’t be the case with Project Fi, they certainly haven’t been doing much with the service. Above all, their communication has been pretty poor. Fi users haven’t heard much about what Google is planning to do with the service, and because of this, the excitement around the service has really died down. If Google doesn’t step up, Fi will be left to die in the dust. Without a constant influx of new customers, and without Google constantly improving the service, customers will drop away. This spells bad news for current Fi customers who could be left without service one day.

Final Thoughts

So what do I hope Google does with Project Fi? I hope they keep innovating. They need to be communicating with current and potential customers about what’s coming for the service. But for me, there’s nothing they can do now. My T-Mobile SIM is already on the way, and I’ll be paying the same amount of money for more features. I’ll also be with a company that is always communicating and always innovating.

If you’re thinking of switching to Fi, go ahead — it’s a great service. But beware of what I said. If you’re currently on Fi, I’m not encouraging you to switch away from Fi. But take note that other options exist, and those options may offer more value for you than Fi does.

T-Mobile $30 PlanProject Fi


About The Author


  1. Hebiasoh J

    I think your argument about Fi not innovating is completely unreasonable. I am not sure what kind of “innovation” you were expecting..
    Major carriers have always had issues in terms customer service, data plans, network speed, etc.. I think Fi is actually innovating in all of those. I certainly hear your argument regarding the cost/value of Fi vs T-Mobile but the premise of your article is completely erroneous

    • Taco Monster

      Also, nothing about free international 4g, which no other network offers.

    • Terry Martin

      Google Fi is piggy-backing off of the networks of the other carriers and offers the same service/ cost for their services that they have for years. While the big companies are offering more and more service to one up the other and attempting to lower prices. Google Fi stays stagnant with regard to offering extra services and features to add value.
      T – Mobile offers partnerships with other companies giving you discounted to free products. AT&T nothing like that ( we left them two months ago). Sprint and Verizon…..not sure what they offer as extra’s. Not that erroneous of an article, valid information as far as I can see.

  2. Christopher Yurgal

    You never mention customer service, which is exactly why I’m with Fi. I just checked the support line, and its estimated wait is 1 minute at 6 p.m. on a Thursday. What can T-Mobile do for you? I’ll be damned if I get jerked around by a company if I don’t really have to.

    • Ian McIlwraith

      While Fi’s support is pretty darn great, T-Mobile has great customer service too. I called them a few times today and got in right away, at least once I got past the menu. The menu is probably the biggest pain.

  3. jkund17

    Don’t forget how easy it is to call and on Wi-Fi.

  4. Douglas Negrini

    You neglected to mention the strongest features on Fi, which are the fact that you can travel to almost 200 different countries and use data at the same price, and, wifi calls.

    • Ian McIlwraith

      Yes, I did — on purpose. I don’t travel internationally (heck, I hardly travel much in the US), so that detail doesn’t matter to me.

      • Douglas Negrini

        On the way the article was written, it just sounds unfair that you’re calling out lack of innovation, where strong innovation points are there (and are still unmatched on the market), but they just don’t suit you personally.

        • Ian McIlwraith

          Project Fi was very innovative when it launched. But they haven’t continued that trend. T-Mobile has, over the years, slowly made innovative improvements.
          So while Project Fi may be ahead of T-Mobile, they’re at a standstill. T-Mobile is continually making improvements and changes.

        • Ian McIlwraith

          It’s more that Fi launched with innovation… and they haven’t continued that trend of innovation. They’ve pretty much just let the project sit.

  5. Jason Gamble

    The reason I never permanently switched is they never rolled anything out for heavy data users. If they had some sort of unlimited plan to compete with T-Mobile or sprint it would be a game changer.

    • eric messenger

      FI is a virtual operator, they just buy in bulk (I assume) from other carriers. Unless they made some killer deal they will never compete with data prices of other carriers. I mean think about it how could they charge less than the companies they are using to provide the service?


    by not innovating you mean its too expensive for you. Because I don’t know of another service that supports multiple carriers, and if you travel, thats worth the price.

    • Ian McIlwraith

      It’s not too expensive for me. But when I can get more value on T-Mobile than I can on Fi, why not? I also don’t travel, so the support of multiple carries doesn’t matter to me.

  7. Georgeinphx

    I left Fi for similar reasons. No VOLTE, have to monitor data consumption, transitions from WiFi to mobile networks were sketchy, network to network transitions were poor. For the same price I’m with T-MOBILE with unlimited everything. Their customer service is amazing. I originally left T-Mobile because they were upgrading their Network to add 700MHz and I wasn’t happy about that inconvenience. When I went to Fi I was on T-Mobile 85% of the time anyway so no gain. The international on Fi is good from what I hear but I don’t travel internationally often and when I was in Oz T-Mobile worked great.

    • Lonerwithaboner420

      Newest update provides VOLTE.

    • Manu Batham

      Yeah, that’s the reason, International calling /texting and international roaming is no match. Posting using Project Fi from India. Also you can attend call anywhere. Your phone number, or anywhere with Google Talk installed with a Internet connection.

  8. Lonerwithaboner420

    They’re going to have to change their plan prices if they want to compete. With Sprint offering 4 lines for 22.50/each with unlimited data Google’s going to have to step it up.

    • Ian Thomas

      That is a temporary price point on Sprint set to go up drastically next year.

      • Lonerwithaboner420

        Verizon’s $45/month which still better than Fi. I rarely ever use more than a gig month but if I’m going to have kids $10/gig aint gonna cut it.

        • Ian Thomas

          Lonerwithaboner420? You’re having kids??

          • Lonerwithaboner420

            Yes and when that happens I will change my user name to fatherwhodoesntgetanysexbecausehiswifeisafrigidbitch420

  9. Scott Wright

    Yeah… I’m not so sure about this article. It’s seems a bit more wanting to be spoiled than anything. Project Fi isn’t meant to be complex. It’s always been about straight simplicity. I’ve been on it for about 1.5 years on a Nexus 6. By far the best from service to customer service. I don’t see myself switching anytime soon to be honest.

    Some points that are made are valid. I too have the worry that they may kill it… But until then, I’m totally with them. I wish I could choose a different device since the Pixel price tag keeps me a bit at Bay for now. I’ll hold tight for now.

  10. Ahhh yeahhhh

    Lol, total apple phan boy

  11. REM

    Fi’s data is too much. Lower the cost as you use more otherwise it doesn’t make sense.

  12. Chocolate Bronie

    Ahem. 5G. Thank you.

  13. Hari Kiran Surayagari

    This article seem to miss a lot of what project fi offers. It’s not meant to compete against T-Mobile and other network providers, atleast not yet! This service is meant to be simple. No contracts. If you use less data then it might just cost you 20-25$ a month, which is cheaper than most networks. It’s international usage is much cheaper and easier than any other network. And also no other network offers mobile to wifi network transitions during calls. Some people seem to be having issues with this but for me personally, there’s no problem. Most times I don’t even realize the network switched to wifi when I’m talking. Project fi also offers a direct interaction with Google Hangouts. You can make calls n send texts from your desktop using Hangouts, you can make calls directly from your web browser as well. If none of the above features are useful then I can understand why one doesn’t fancy project fi. But I don’t understand the concept of changing networks because Google hasn’t made any changes to the project fi offers. Why should they? They are adding more n more features but not increasing the cost, isn’t that essentially the same as decreasing the cost for the same features? VoLTE was recently introduced as well….

    • Ian McIlwraith

      The article doesn’t mention a lot of those features on purpose — because they don’t apply to me. This article is sharing my experiences, and a lot of those features don’t apply to me. So you’re right, that’s why I don’t fancy Project Fi.
      And it’s not so much about changing networks because there aren’t any new features, it about value. I can get more value for my money on T-Mobile than I can on Fi.

      • Ian Thomas

        Ok. But a lot of those features are innovative. And your thesis is Project Fi doesn’t innovate. So leaving out innovations that don’t apply to you is misleading.

        • Ian McIlwraith

          I see where you’re coming from. More of my point, is that Fi isn’t currently innovating. They started off as a very innovative platform, but they haven’t kept that trend going. So to many, myself included, it seems that the project has fallen by the wayside.

          • Ian Thomas

            Ok, Thank you for your response. Sorry if I gave you a hard time. I think we can all agree, John Legere is a legend!

  14. Nick

    I have a Nexus 5x on Fi. If I switched to the T-Mobile $30 plan, would I still get the calling/texting on WiFi feature?

    • ZxyLady

      I still have it… With my Nexus 6p though…

  15. Bonedatt

    I’ve been with T-Mobile for over 10 years, but decided to try out project Fi when I got my invite back in April of 2015. I didn’t fully switch though. The service is really unique because of the network switching, and I appreciate the technology more when I travel locally (especially on I95 where there are lots of T-Mobile dead zones). I haven’t committed to switching fully and using just Fi because I don’t feel like constantly monitoring my mobile data usage like it’s 1999 all over again. Plus, $10/GB IS INSANE. Google should have reduced this price by now. T-Mobile is a project Fi partner and other than the network switching, I concur that there is absolutely not much that Fi offers that is unique, especially to me, that I don’t get from T-Mobile. Hell, T-Mobile even stole a page from project Fi and is now reimbursing customers for using less than 2gb of data. I’ll keep Fi for now since I can pause it whenever (which I do a lot and use it only when I travel locally and internationally) .

  16. 10TenK

    While I get what the author was trying to say .. it’s all great for HIM.. I currently pay over 90$ to Verizon for there lowest plan .. I am on a single line .. it’s just me .. T-Mobile while sounds great .. there service BLOWS in my area .. so author you have to realize not everyone lives in or near a super city .
    Sprint however and Verizon have plenty of service in my area.
    So why again would I switch to T-Mobile? Please grow a brain before writing an article you feel will encompass everyone just because it works for you .. k thxs

    On top for that .. what T-Mobile is doing is against net neutrality rules , letting free video streaming of there shit ..
    You wonder what’s wrong with the world. Keep believing in your companies, nothing bad will happen right …

    • Ian Thomas

      That’s my biggest beef with all these Tech writers. They are always single guys living in a big city who are too cool for school and caught up in their own world… they aren’t explaining anything that will help me with technology. Or real people. They are talking about themselves and others like them.

    • Michael Gatton

      There’s a five GB plan with Verizon for $55 for single lines. I can’t imagine a $90 bill unless you’re​ also paying for a thousand dollar phone.

    • Ian McIlwraith

      Yes, this is a great deal for me. And this article is about my experience. If you’re expecting it to work for everyone, it doesn’t, and I understand that.

  17. Ian Thomas

    This article represents one experience. And that’s okay. But I know from my own experience that I am on the best network for me and my family. I was with Verizon for 7 years, paying way too much and feeling ripped off. They never communicated with me about their plans for the service. They overcharged me, added in a lot of hidden fees and held me in a monopolistic grip. My small rural town didn’t have any competitors when I signed up. Project Fi didn’t even come on my radar until they added US Cellular. That was when I could finally make a switch. I spend $80-$100 less a month, got my whole family smart phones, (some of us had basic phones on Verizon and still paid more), and in my small town I have good reliable 3G service. When I go to a bigger city nearby I switch to T-MOBILE and enjoy their LTE service. It’s not a gimmick for me to be able to switch. It’s a necessity to get the best coverage wherever I am. I’m not worried about Project Fi telling me what they are up to next, I am just happy they give me a fair and transparent deal and even threw in a Christmas gift for everyone in the family over the Holidays. If I only ever went to areas where T-MOBILE offered the best service, I might switch but with my modest data consumption habits I will still pay less with Project Fi and get more options in the long run. Also, it’s unlimited talk and text and their overseas calling rates are incredible. Verizon charged me $40 for my wife to make a 20 minute call back home on our last bill. On Project Fi we pay 40 cents for the same call.

    • eric messenger

      This is exactly what FI is all about.

  18. Tony

    Makes sense. My life would be in shambles if I had to rely on just T-Mobile though.

  19. eric messenger

    Switching is a huge plus in my area. It makes a significant difference in an area dominated by vzw. I agree though after the opened Fi to the public it really seamed to slow.

  20. Master Debator

    Project Fi is built around the premise that WiFi will greatly reduce the reliance on the cellular data. Hence its ability to evaluate open WiFi networks and automatically establish a secure VPN connection. 80 % of the time I am around a WiFi connection, so data usage is not an issue. If you are just never near WiFi, Fi may not work for you because of data cost. For me, not a problem

  21. Michael Rudler

    You are also forgetting Fi’s international data is charged at the same rate as normal data. That is a lifesaver for travelers.

    • Ian McIlwraith

      Yes, but in my case, I don’t ever travel internationally. So for me, it’s an irrelevant detail. For others, it makes all the difference.

    • Timothy Hunt

      Verizon charged me 150 dollars for 500 Meg in Cairo before I switched to my fi phone. 90 bucks for 9 gig. If you travel overseas it may be worth keeping.

  22. leatherneck111

    Switched from Project Fi to T-Mobile. I had 3 lines with Project Fi for $65 (after taxes & fees).

    I jumped on the T-Mobile UNLIMITED T-MOBILE ONE $100 (taxes & fees included) plan 2 lines + 1 free line. If each line uses less than 2GB, than each line gets a $10 refund! So total bill for 3 lines with 6GB of data (2GB per line) comes out to $70 (taxes and fees included!) With Project Fi, 6 GB would add $60 to the $65 talk and text.

    So it’s T-MOBILE (2GB x 3 lines) $70 vs Project Fi with same data for $125

    T-Mobile also offers FREE calling, data & text when in Canada & Mexico. Project Fi charged for calls if in Canada.

    I also noticed call quality is far superior with T-Mobile SIM. Also T-Mobile offers FREE Asus rt-AC68U router for free and 4G LTE Cellspot free so you can max out signal strength in your home! I use to have Verizon prior to project Fi. I noticed stronger AND faster speeds with T-Mobile over Verizon in Western NYS!

  23. Jeb Hoge

    Better read the fine print on that $30 T-Mobile plan. It’s a prepaid plan, so their free video and music streaming doesn’t apply. I had it for a few years…It’s a great value, sure. But know what you’re doing if you jump to it.

    • Ian McIlwraith

      The $30 plan does include their free video and music streaming. You can’t really find it on their website, but it does. Several other commenters have confirmed that it does today, and I’ve personally confirmed it through a friend.

      • Ian Thomas

        Lies Ian. Earlier you say you have it yourself. Now you just confirmed through a friend. Keep your story straight.

        • Ian McIlwraith

          Note that I posted the above comment five days ago. Since then, I’ve been able to personally confirm.

      • Jeb Hoge

        In that case, that’s a screaming good deal.

  24. Justice Dean

    I never could wrap my head around the hype. Flat out not cost effective unless you are always camped out in your house. I was on straight talk and now cricket. I have to say I’m not complaining.

  25. Simon Quach

    But no one can beat Fi’s international rate. Everytime I travel I save about $200 if I had Verizon.

  26. Tomasz Wiszkowski

    Good luck with T-Mobile.
    I’ve been screwed by these guys more than I can count, they are just shameless.
    So the $60 plan that I used was in practice $95, and when I went there to switch to prepaid, I was told that the cheapest is $40. I stood by the guy researching the T-Mobile website to show him there is a $3 plan (I wanted to leave the network, but apparently my there’s been problems unlocking my phone number before end of my billing period, so another $95 fee was awaiting), but that didn’t stop him to say that they have to charge me $10 minimum, which they did. I researched that further at home just to realize it was just an ordinary lie.
    Every time I make changes on the online account something stupid happens. Typically they just turn off my automatic payments, sometimes turn additional options on or off (ever been abroad and realized that your roaming stopped working, because you added your wife to a family plan?)

    This network is plain bonkers. I hate them.

  27. Terry Martin

    I so badly wanted for Goofle Fi to work. I am usually a firm believer in all things Google. Unfortunately, I had issues from the start (6P didn’t arrive when promised), then less than stellar bluetooth sound and connectivity. The customer service was really good until the very end when I cancelled my service and they failed take out my money out of the credit on the account that I had.
    That being said I know several of my closest friends that love the service and have saved tons of money a month on it. My wife and I felt the need to switch to T-Mobile and it has been such a relief to be a part of this company that, literally bends over backwards to get and keep your service. And I know what I am spending each month 2 lines 100 bucks unlimited everything and 1 free line for as long as we have service with them. The kicker is that 95% of the time we were with Google Fi we were using T-Mobile towers. Sold!

    • Ian McIlwraith

      I’m with you. Fi had (or has…) so much potential. But Google didn’t move quickly enough with it; they’ve been letting it sit for quite a while.
      And yeah, I know people who are quite happy with Fi. But, like you, I was always on the T-Mobile network on Fi, so the main draw of Fi had no value to me.

    • J. Michael Jordan

      I agree Terry- I have been with Project Fi for 1.5 years living in Houston where I am almost always on Tmobile’s network. To keep two phones at $50 per month we have starve our data usage. Also I have a Google Play family account which adds another $16 per month. I going to move to the 2 lines 100 bucks Tmobile plan for the value. I also have Google home wish I could text using Project Fi.

  28. Craig Key

    The biggest reason I switched to Fi was my previous carrier went out of business and coverage. I live in an area that has poor cellular coverage, except for Verizon having T-Mobile/Sprint/Us Cellular/wifi was a big plus for me, they tend to cover each other’s coverage gaps, also while getting to use an unlocked flagship device without it being carrier locked, to be able to use the wifi feature that only T-Mobile has. Data isn’t a huge issue for me, I use Wi-Fi a lot, however I wish Fi would consider adding streaming to not count towards data if I choose to use it for that. Usually when I’m not near wifi, I’m not really using my phone anyway, such as when I’m eating in a nicer restaurant without wifi, I probably should be paying my family more attention anyway. Everyone is right though, it’s not for everyone and I too hope Fi improves and comes down on that data price. I’ve also suggested that the $20 needs to include some data and then perhaps they can charge for data after that. Anyway that’s most of what I wanted to say and btw I’m writing this from my Nexus 6P with Fi.

  29. Tim Reynolds

    Maybe it’s hard to remember this… But google is reselling data on these networks. They don’t own the network. So expecting them to compete with major networks on price and features is probably unreasonable. I used to complain about Ting the same way with their ridiculous price structure and low data amounts. but realized I was wasting my breath or key strokes because as mvnos their hands are tied and maybe they’re satisfied with what they have (at least for now). In the end we did the same or similar thing. I’m on t-mobiles data only plan for $20/month.

    • Ian McIlwraith

      Good point! I actually was going to switch back to Ting, but then I realized I could get more value on T-Mobile. Ting is awesome, though, but go over data and you’re in trouble.

  30. Charles Nelson

    Fi isn’t for people who want innovation, huge family plans or crazy amounts of data. It’s for those of us who live in a connected state, are smart enough to ask for wifi passwords and want transparency and flexibility. My avg Fi bill is about $27. The only time I’m on wireless data is if I’m on the road. Most of the time I’m listening to downloaded playlists on Spotify. Im connected at work and at home and most friends houses. If I frequent lunch spots, I get their WiFi. I don’t get pestered with upgrade offers and marketing and I don’t deal with any of the BS marketing major carriers offer. I could not speak more highly of Fi. So as far as I’m concerned, the hell with innovation, I’m happy with the consistency of good ole fashioned simple service.

    • Ricardo

      Couldn’t agree more….

    • Jim bean

      Completely agree

  31. trentag1988

    Having been on every major network, I gave Project Fi a shot. It was nifty. I found the network switching terrible after a while, having to reboot my phone whenever I traveled to a different part of the city. Price-wise, it’s just as expensive as being on a contract. I switched to Verizon prepaid. 20 dollars less for more. No janky network switching. No issue since.

  32. Dave Cartwright

    I want cheap, reliable, and no carrier bullshit. Fi gives me that. I don’t want or need a special snowflake relationship or communication. I want it to work like a utility.

  33. Jim bean

    You all are crazy. How do you beat $20 a month? I save a ton of money and do not use data that much. One person commented that they switched to T-Mobile and now pay $100 a month and that is better. Not sure how $100 is better then $20. What are you smoking and where do I get some?

    • Ian McIlwraith

      How do you pay $20 a month? Fi is $20 for just the basics, use any data, you’re paying more, plus about $6 in taxes.

      • Lorraine McEneaney

        My bill this month for project fi is $28. That’s for talk text and I used .05 gigaiytes of data the rest was all Wi-Fi. And the taxes are only about $3 not 7.

        • Jeremy Wheeler

          Taxes vary by location, I pay $6 mainly do to a local 911 fees. Prepaid doesn’t have taxes like Fi does.

      • Ian Thomas

        He doesn’t use much data if any. And taxes vary by state. Your agenda is showing.

    • Souleymane Koné

      They don’t know what they’re saying. I tried T-Mobile before and I still remember how costly it was. Fi answers to my needs.

    • Terry Martin

      I use 5 – 6 gig by myself. WiFi at my work sucks where I am at 9 – 10 hours a day. I stream music. I would easily pay more than the 100 dollars for the service. TMobile IS cheaper for my family line of three (1free line for the life of my account) that’s essentially 33 bucks a month.
      How hard is it too understand that the author gives an account of why HE switched from Fi. He never says that he doesn’t like the service. I never said that in my comment. It doesn’t make sense for my family. Other families like myself have found this information helpful. “Glad” it works for you, ecstatic that it works for many of my friends.

  34. RS

    I’m in some other part of the world two or three months out of the year. So far, Fi has the best deal for international travelers I’ve seen – hands down.

    • Souleymane Koné

      You’re really right buddy. Right now I am in Ivory Coast (West Africa) and I can experience what you’ve just said. Fi is best of the best.

  35. Christoph Michael

    To be honest, choosing a carrier really depends on your home location. Where you are most of the time. In southern California, I found my t mobile service horrible! Dropped calls, 4G LTE fades in and out, and text messages not going through. Ever since I switched to Fi, all those issues are gone and my phone has 4g LTE all the time, even in a garage. I’d much rather pay more to have good service than pay less and have bad service. So why would anyone pay more for bad service? And the customer support lol?? Good luck there. I’m not sure, but for me, Fi is far superior to any provider in both price and connection speed.

  36. Yianni Galiatsatos

    What does it mean for T-Mobiles plan when it says that you can only have the plan you linked for devices big at Walmart or activated on T-Mobile . Com? I get the Walmart part but Is be other option buying the phone directly from the mobile? Because if that’s the case than Fi is a much better deal for someone like myself with a nexus 6p.

  37. Souleymane Koné

    Good luck to you. I can’t switch to T-Mobile for any reason right now. The innovation will follow when is possible. For the time being I am with fi, I can feel or notice the improvement they made so far. And I think they working hard to satisfy your major concern.

  38. robert lemons jr

    I thought about it switching, but i came from T-Mobile to Fi. I switched for the reason I needed insurance and a quality plan. I get the with Fi. They’re customer service exceeds T-Mobile in every way for me. And the insurance is dirt cheap with a reasonable deductible. Although I would like a cheaper plan for unlimited data use, being on Wi-Fi helps keep costs down. And anytime I’ve had issues they have always credited my account immediately out of kindness.

  39. ZxyLady

    The reason I left Fi was because it seemed at the time, that Google, was going to make SOME kind of inroads rewards being able to use OTHER phones​ on their service at some point. That never happened and I refuse to pay such a high price for a phone with no SD Card support. So the pixel was out for me… I made due with the 6P -Gold 64gb model- but that was a huge sacrifice for me as I am a photo hoarder and a music fan… I smelt love EVERYTHING Google and admit to being a Google Fangirl, but I still like choices. I’m using an S7 Edge, and a V20. My 6P is still one of my favorite phones, and I actually love the visor… Weird, I know ?

  40. ZxyLady

    I currently have 10 lines through T-MOBILE​ and I pay 167.45 for the service and about 20 in taxes. Some of the cheepness is because I took advantage of the free tablets and 5 of the lines are Data only, but I still love it.

  41. Rod Miller

    I dumped them long ago. Nice try though Google.

  42. Karl Steinkamp

    Google Fi is a great deal for the limited set of phones (@Google – adding iPhones to the line up would be HUGE!) its covers. $30 (or less) is a bargain it today’s world – I’ve had the plan for over a year and have seldom used the 1 GB data allotment (given the prevalance of wifi), resulting in money back each month. Wifi at work, wifi at home, wifi in airports/hotels. The other huge benefit is its global coverage. I’ve been on six continents in just under 12 months for business and work, with only of country not offering cell service. All other carriers require you to sign up for expensive data plans for international – not so with FI. Same plan all over the world. Phones and their plan should be straight forward and simple for the use – FI delivers just this!

    • Ian Thomas

      Karl…In order for Google to add iPhones to Project Fi, Apple would have to significantly improved the radios in their phone. They design their phones to work for one network each. No match for a global phone like the Pixels and even Nexus.


    We have been on Project fi for just over a year now. Wife has a Nexus 6p and seriously​, no complaints. Project fi is not for everyone but what carrier is? We pay about $55 a month and that included a new Nexus 6p compared to $92 @sprint with a leased Samsung s6 that we had to pay off or give back.
    Coverage has been as good if not better than my work phone on Verizon. Yes other carriers will start (key word, start) this trend and may even offer a better value but that’s usually the time Google will offer some great new features or updates. Only time will tell.

  44. Jordan Levi

    1. OFFER FI ON MORE PHONES! I love Google and I’d switch in a HEARTBEAT if it was offered on my HTC 10, or the LG G6(which i plan to get when it drops on T-Mobile [4/7? *crosses fingers*]) but i imagine this is already on their to-do list.

    2. LOWER DATA PRICES! im a millenial man, i use 20 GB MINIMUM each month! they should create price brackets for customers who use varying amounts of data, or at least cut it down to $5/GB. id pay that just to support google!(but i understand if they really cant afford to charge less, cuz they proly gotta pay each company to use their towers, plus they gotta make profit)

    3. OFFER FREE WEED FOR NEW ACTIVATIONS! proly illegal, but one can dream.

    SIDENOTE: the tower switching feature is actually hella useful for somebody like me who frequently visits family in a town where T-Mobile has no service(Alturas, CA), but i completely understand how that wouldnt be an issue in the first place for like 90% of america lol

    • doctadrey

      Chances are the weed would be shwag

  45. Beeker

    What you also left out is Fi is testing voLTE but only TMOBILE offers that at the moment. Fi piggyback on other networks which ties them up.

    The only reason T mobile is offering many things is because of a failed merger with AT&T(the DOJ blocked it) which provided them with money. That’s how you see the unlimited text & talk came out as a result.

    I saved a lot switching to Fi after years on Verizon. The premise of Fi is using Wi-Fi to make calls something I didn’t have unless I was on Hangouts app.

    • Realspear

      T-MOBILE has had wifi calling for quite a while. You don’t need Fi for that.

  46. nontopic

    It looks like the free video streaming ISN’T available on the $30/mo plan, on the $50 and up pre-paid…

    • Maverick


    • doctadrey

      Yea I was totally going to go with T-Mobile and that plan specifically, but like you said you don’t get the bonus T-Mobile features with that plan.

    • Ian McIlwraith

      Nope, it is. I have it on my $30/month plan, my friend does, and several Reddit users have confirmed this.

      • Ian Thomas

        Yeah…The Earth is flat too. Many on Reddit confirming.

        • Ian McIlwraith

          If you don’t want to take my word for it, or the word of other humans, go ahead. I don’t care. I’m just relaying my experience and the experience of others.

          • Ian Thomas

            I just came back to say that while I have a soft spot in my heart for Project Fi (only carrier that ever gave me a Christmas present F.Y.I) I too am moving on to T-MOBILE because they are innovating with their new 600 mhz frequency creating stronger coverage in rural areas and laying the groundwork for true 5G speeds. Sorry for being a bit of a fanboy before.

          • Ian McIlwraith

            You’re all good! I appreciate you coming back and digging up this thread. Fi was the only carrier that gave me a Christmas present too, haha. Although T-Mobile with T-Mobile Tuesdays gave me quite a few Dunkin Donuts gift cards.

            Glad to hear you’re moving to T-Mobile though! The innovation is real.

  47. slippast

    Ironically, the main thing I like about fi is that it doesn’t feel like a burden. That sounds weird, but after years on Verizon the fi service simply has a better feel. In an era where services companies are constantly pushing you to add extra features and pushing the endless up-sell, I love that I don’t ever hear a thing about new features or services on fi. To me that’s the magic and Google nailed it. I *hate* companies trying to sell to me when I’m already buying.

    • doctadrey

      I like how when I don’t use all my data they credit it back to your account, so satisfying not having to worry about wasted data.

  48. Zach Parry

    You need to fix your article. There is NO unlimited music streaming for prepaid

    • Ian McIlwraith

      I’ve confirmed this with a friend, who has it on the $30/month prepaid plan, and it’s been confirmed many times over on Reddit.

      • Brady Hitch Johnston

        Unlimited music streaming starts at 40$ a month standard pricing and up for prepaid as advertised on T-Mobile

  49. Adam Morris

    I live on the west coast and I switch cell towers frequently. T-Mobile might be great if you rarely leave the suburbs but when you live in the boonies you either need a service that switches or you pick and choose and watch out for dead spots.

    I used to know of a couple of urban dead spots in Portland, hopefully they have been fixed.

  50. Japheth

    Google needs to add unlimited data or $10 for 25gig then $1 per GB after. They need to do something about data. I try my best not to use mobile data on Fi because it’s over priced. And this coming from someone who uses less than 1 gig a month.

  51. Tanquen

    Talk about spin. Is this an ad for T mobile? Project Fi is a big reason other providers lowered their plans. When I moved from Verizon they were ripping me off for almost $100 with taxes and fees for their cheapest single user plan with the least data. Not to mention their BS about locking out free Android features and trying to charge you even more. Voice mail and tethering and even a Verizon fee. Just do they can advertise a lower price.

    I’ve been paying like $23-ish a month more than a year now because of Project Fi. I welcome lower data rates if they come but come on man, must it be free?

    • George Hale

      Project Fi regardless of data beats all other providers!

    • Diana Burke

      Totally agree. I was paying $90/mo for a basic Verizon plan and I now pay $32/mo on Fi. I’m thrilled with this price and don’t expect it to decrease. This article is ridiculous.

    • Ian McIlwraith

      This isn’t a T-Mobile ad. It’s my opinion (and I also get excited about new things…)
      I definitely agree, Fi did make a dent in the market, and carriers noticed. But the article is more about going forward. If they made their entrance into the market as an innovative carrier, then they need to keep that trend going.

      • Tanquen

        Sorry but my opinion was you left out some important information that skewed things a certain way. Sure made it seem like a T-Mobile ad.

        • Ian McIlwraith

          I did leave out information, on purpose. That’s because that specific information — like awesome data rates when traveling internationally — doesn’t matter to me.

    • dsa127

      Well yea if you use 300mb a month, AKA essentially no data beyond the background apps, your bill will be $23 a month and Fi is for you. Most people just checking social media and browsing the internet once a day will pass 4gb. At that point T-mobile is a better deal. That doesn’t make it an ad, it’s simple math.

      • Tanquen

        “Most people just checking social media and browsing the internet once a day will pass 4gb.”

        Wow, even more spin. You need to work on your simple math and or read what I and others long ago posted.

    • Rae

      I don’t agree with the spin statement but I do agree that Project Fi accomplished their goal of disrupting the cell industry. With weeks of their debut, pricing was changing all over the cell market. And, yes, I fully agree that it’s the primary reason that so many cell companies are now offering lower pricing. But now Fi isn’t. My spouse and I don’t use a lot of data when we’re in our home area and we take advantage of wifi everywhere we can. But we had to travel for a medical trip this spring and were both hit with bills well in excess of $100 plus another one that was probably $60 more than ususal. Ouch. We cannot afford those prices when Tmo is offering two unlimited lines now for $100 (no taxes added) and for anyone with either partner over 55, that’s down to just $60 for both. That’s not much more what we pay for one line at Fi. Or think of it this was…it’s two lines of basic phone access and 1gb per line of data. And that includes the BingeOn which won’t touch our data and covers all of our music and video providers. It’s tempting.

      Please understand, I’m saying this as a HUGE fan of Fi! I help out over in their product forums and love Google’s products. It’s painful to think of leaving but without seeing more innovation in the future and pricing that isn’t as cutting edge as it was two years ago when it debuted, I’m not seeing much in the way of options. I’ve asked if there was any talk of unlimited plans at Fi but at this point, that’s a no, despite them promising to pass along the request. Just think about that…can you imagine ANY one of the other networks having zero price changes in two years? Not feasible. You have to change and flow with the market to stay competitive.

      Lastly, with Comcast rolling out Xfinity Mobile using the Verizon network, Fi has even more competition. There is no fee for unlimited calls and texts for up to 5 or 6 lines with Xfinity internet, or TV. Pricing is across all lines at $12/gb though they also offer an unlimited plan at $45 and you don’t have to have all lines on the same plan (one can be on unlimited while the other is per GB). That means that for just $4 more than the line access fee/unlimited calling with Fi, I can get 2gb per line with Xfinity. The only reason they aren’t taking off more is that they don’t yet offer a BYOD option.

      The point is that other companies are continuing to innovate, add features, drop pricing. Fi isn’t right now. And, though I love the pure Android devices and adore my Pixel, the options for compatible devices simply isn’t enough for most people. I know they are releasing more Pixels this year as well as a new mid level device from one of their partners but that still is hardly an extensive compatibility list. I get why because of the groundbreaking switching between carriers and more companies need to make one model phone for all carriers which would solve this. But that doesn’t make the list more extensive for people who want more choice now.

  52. Larry Holmes

    Project Fi: Buying drugs 1 GB at a time.. you’re 15 days in your cycle and used 10gb lmao.

  53. Mark McCoskey

    So true, Ian. Lack of communication. Been talking about that with a friend who is also on Fi. But an even bigger beef for me is that lack of phones, specifically the lack of affordable phones. Yeah, one can get an 5X for $200, but OS support is down to less than a year now. Pixels? At $649+. NO thanks! In my view, Google/Fi need US Android One’s – sub-$300 phones that are “good enough.” Also, Google needs to support their phones beyond the 2 or so years that they currently do. It should be 3+ minimum. Better yet, they should make it equivalent to the 6.5 years for the Chrome Auto Update Expiration. My current Moto Nexus 6 is 2+ years old and still going strong. My question is, Where do I go from here? US Android One? Or T-Mobile (MetroPCS) like Ian?

    • Ian McIlwraith

      The lack of phones is certainly a major issue with Fi. There’s hacks to get around it, but nothing official. I wish they could keep phones updated for longer, but the reality is that phone hardware changes so drastically every two years that it’s really not possible.
      My recommendation as far as carriers go would be T-Mobile or one of their MVNO’s. That is, unless you need service that AT&T or Verizon offers. Sprint doesn’t really do much.

  54. 2JZ_NOS

    So you left a terrible network for a terrible network. Yeah…Smart. T-Mobile is total crap, I need full service when I’m at work, in a building and T-Mobile has a hard time doing that. Unless I’m next to a window that is. Meanwhile, Verizon is full service strong everywhere. Sorry, but until T-Mobile can figure out the “mystery” of providing strong service inside a building, they can take their uncarrier ass to the curb. Where they’ll probably get service.

  55. Mississippi

    TMo is a good deal if you use a lot of data and don’t need much talk time. My FI phone is typically on TMo. Recently TMo went down in my area. People I know lost service for hours. My phone continued to work with no issues. When I used an app to check the service I realized it had switched to Sprint. I had never seen that happen before.

    • Foo Bar

      Same issue here. Power went down all over the area and TMO was sketchy, my phone switched to sprint and never dropped a beat.

  56. Mestreeg

    I travel constantly between USA, Europe and Asia, almost never does let f1 me down in service and knowing ahead that the service costs almost always the same is a change from the past. I hope f1 keeps it simplicity, of course they may lower price or increase data to compete but for global travellers they really are the only show to count.

    • Faisal Fuad Ali

      This is my only reason to not leave Fi. I travel a lot and Fi helps me.

  57. Brad

    I really wanted to switch to Fi when I first heard of it, but I’ve been down the TMobile and sprint road before. Not to mention $10 for a gig?? I don’t use that much data, only around 6gigs a month, but that would put my price up to $80 at a minimum. I’m currently on Cricket and pay $55 for 20 gigs. The tech of Fi is cool, but it’s no where near enticing enough. In my opinion cricket is the best value out there in cell phone land.

  58. Phil_S_86

    They must have changed the plans since this article was posted. Binge On is not available for the 30/month 5gb plan. At 30/month you get no unlimited music or binge on capabilities. At 40/month you get unlimited music plus unlimited talk and text and then at 50/month you get 2gb of data and the Binge On feature along with some of the other hotspot and various other features. If you take that into account it’s not that much better of a deal. I rarely hit more than 2gb of data on Project Fi so 5gb a month is superfluous to me. I am on wifi a lot of my day at the office or at home so there are months when I don’t even use a gig. T-Mobile is certainly competitive with Project Fi now but I still like that the phone can jump carrier towers and keep me connected better. I had T-Mobile at one point and while it was pretty good I find that living in the midwest having multiple carriers keeps me connected at all times and I tend to stay on 4G more often.

    All and all I just like how easy and no fuss Project Fi is. There’s no arguing about my bill, no debacle when I switch a device, no hassle with customer service. It’s as great of a customer experience as you could hope for and T-Mobile isn’t close to matching that. I think that is something hugely underrepresented in this article. As someone who has been with multiple carriers and working in the user/customer experience field I love that my bill is often only 1 page and is super simple to understand and read. I love that I only pay for the data that I use. I love that often customer service is only a Hangouts away. I love that my issues are usually resolved within minutes with a wait time almost never more than 10 minutes.

    I think you make some good points about lack of communication or new carrier features being rolled out (although people are right that VoLTE is coming) but I feel like those are minor drawbacks especially since most carriers are throwing out features all the time that make it sound like you’re getting the best deal ever but most customers aren’t using them. I don’t need unlimited data, I don’t need binge on, I don’t need calling in Mexico and Canada but I often pay for them just the same and the only ones who feel like they get what they’re paying for are the ones using those features. I’ll take Project Fi with it’s simplicity and clarity any day.

    • Ian McIlwraith

      You won’t find the Binge On or Music Freedom advertised for the $30 plan, but it’s there. Several people have confirmed it on Reddit, and I’ve confirmed it myself.

      Fi does have great customer service. I’ll agree with that. But, T-Mobile has pretty great service, too. Plus, you don’t have to call customer service all that often, if ever. That’s why I didn’t mention it — I’ve only called Fi customer service maybe three or four times.

      Thanks for your comments, though! Really, what works best for you is the best option for you. I’m glad Fi works for you, and most importantly, that you’re happy with it.

  59. Roni Axelrad

    did you have to do anything special when switching ? canceling Project Fi or just putting T-mobile sim did the job ? Did you get the same phone number ?
    I’m switching as well, and need some information. Thanks !!

    • Ian McIlwraith

      Switching wasn’t a pain at all! Once I got the T-Mobile SIM, I activated it on my phone and called T-Mobile. We then went about transferring my number from Fi to T-Mobile, which was super easy. Just go into your Project Fi account and run through the cancellation steps (they give you an account number that you give to T-Mobile). The best part was that the number transfer took about two minutes.

      • Roni Axelrad

        Uh that’s awesome news.. Getting the Sims in a day or two.. Thanks Ian!

    • Rae

      Just for others to know, you can also switch your PFi number back to a Google Voice number on your same Google account and continue to use it that way. Another alternative for people.

    • Ian McIlwraith

      You are correct. Since the article was written, T-Mobile has removed that plan for new customers.

  60. dkkishor

    Based on all the comments I read, it all depends on how much you were paying in other carriers compared to Fi. Most Verizon customers saved tons of my money switching to Fi. For me, I have 5 lines with T-Mobile each paying $33/month on 6GB/line of data. 4 of these lines use < 1GB of data so may not need 6GB and all the lines have 20GB in data stash with T-Mobile. With Bing-On, cellular data rarely gets used. And free international text and data included.

    Any reason I should switch to Fi? The only reason I could think of is unused data credit as I use less than 1GB. But not saving much there as well if I use close to 1 GB anyways.

    BTW, I am Tmobile simple choice plan which is grandfathered plan.

  61. FitnessMethods Houston

    I definitely agree with the author. Google has a habit of starting projects that they later will cancel. Project Fi feels like one of those projects. I had the service and I loved it, but it got too expensive. If the data were a little cheaper, I would have stayed. $10/GB added up quickly for a 6GB user like me. It made sense to go unlimited with a different carrier.

  62. Paul Votava

    Terrible customer service if you have technical issues with your equipment. They will strong you along for weeks with apologies and vague non solutions. Had to switch again. Disappointed because I liked the service before my phone started dropping calls and static in calls. Not worth the hassle.

  63. Christian Wamsley

    Friday afternoon my Pixel XL 32gb started saying out of nowhere that the SIM card was not inserted. I had the phone in my pocket, it has never been dropped and always in a case. I have only had it since mid july. I powered off the phone, took out the SIM and reinserted it. Still the problem persists. I take my old Moto Turbo 2 Nano SIM insert it into my Pixel and still nothing happens (This should at least allow for emergency calls even though the SIM isnt active with Verizon anymore). I then take the Project Fi nano SIM and put it in my Turbo 2. It recognizes the card and I can actually make calls via WIFI but not on the actual cell network. So from this I have determined it’s probably the phone. I’m actually an electronics technician, troubleshooting stuff like this is a specialty of mine.

    So I call Project Fi customer service. They run me through about 10 different steps troubleshooting the software (including a factory reset) to no success. I explain several times that I think it’s the phone not the OS. They tell me all I need is a new SIM then, I tell them I think this is not the problem because of my own troubleshooting. They flat out deny to replace the phone and that I have to try the new SIM out first, They’ll mail it out and it should arrive Monday. So they want me to wait 4 days with no phone only to get the new SIM and it still not work. I tell them I want it escalated and want a new phone sent out. Finally the rep I speak to agrees it’s probably the phone and they’ll get a new one out to me. Great news I think but then he tells me they’ll need to place a hold on my account for the full amount of the phone until they receive my defective unit. So $750 for 6-10 business days. This isn’t going to work for me I tell him. I don’t have that amount just sitting in my account for them to hold on to for that amount of time. So they send me over to hardware and the hardware rep offers the Standard Exchange. Standard exchange means I send in the defective unit and then once they get it they’ll send me back a new Pixel and I should have it in 6-10 business days.

    If I had known how this process went before switching to Project Fi I would have never done so. I switched because I thought it was more cost effective since I don’t use tons of data every month. I also had the phone financed through them because I did’nt have $750 to spend on it. I did’nt then and I don’t now. I hope I am helping anyone considering switching to Fi so that they don’t have to be put through the same thing. In my experience it has not been worth it.

    I have been given the options of Standard exchange or Advanced Replacement for my Pixel XL. Advanced replacement would remove $750 from my checking account for too many business days. Standard exchange leaves me without a phone for a minimum of 6 business days. These are unacceptable policies. I will be canceling my Project Fi service as soon as possible and sharing my poor experience in every corner of the internet possible. Google has pleasant CS reps but they don’t actually get anything done for customers. I have only had my phone a few months and should not have to spend hours on the phone to end up with no replacement phone within a reasonable time frame. This process should take no more than 48 hours since Google has no physical locations. Thank you for nothing, Google.

  64. Notagreatname

    You guys realize that the $30 a month turns into around $60 at the drop of a hat. I know this as I recently signed up for a $30 introductory plan. With insurance, and everything else you need, my first bill was $80. When I called to have the price reduced or try to get a %-off deal, the % only comes off of your 30. Sooo, I saved an entire $3. Even after the first few months died down, I was still paying $70 MINIMUM for my “$30” plan. No that does not include phone payments.

    With Google FI, I pay 40. Every month. Except the first few while I payed down my phone, which hit 55 maximum. Which is EXACTLY what it said it would be when I signed up. When you do those “comparisons” you need to include sales tactics. Google doesn’t lower their prices generally because it’s unnecessary, because you quickly find out that if you’re not grandfathered in, $30 isn’t $30 with T-mobile OR Sprint.

    • Ian McIlwraith

      They no longer have the $30 plan. It’s only the $45 plan and up, at least for prepaid.
      I am on the $45 month plan now, and I only pay $49 a month because that includes taxes. I don’t need insurance or anything else. Even with the $30 plan, I only paid a couple dollars more for taxes.

  65. ER

    Just dropped Fi. It was never that good, but it was cheap. Calls take a really long time to connect — data usage seems to be much higher than doing the same things on another carrier. And overseas it didn’t work at all. Just flat out quit. Then my phone… bought from them… quit before it was even paid for. “Too bad”… “nothing we can do” they said. Customer service is terrible. Not worth it. Very disappointed. I expect more from Google.