Project Fi experience? [WiFi from Google]

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unclescrooge
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Project Fi experience? [WiFi from Google]

Post by unclescrooge » Tue Nov 10, 2015 1:56 am

I was wondering if anyone it's using project Fi, a wireless service from Google.

Unlimited talk and text for $20/mo, and data is $10/GB.

I'd love to hear your experiences, both good and bad.

Oakdale19
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Re: Project Fi experience?

Post by Oakdale19 » Tue Nov 10, 2015 4:15 am

Great experience so far. However if you live in an area w poor T-Mobile and sprint coverage be wary. Everywhere I spend a considerable amount of time has WiFi.

Things to consider
Do you use your phone as a GPS
WiFi in most places you visit
Sprint and T-Mobile coverage (when WiFi isn't available you use these networks' towers

tyrnup13
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Re: Project Fi experience?

Post by tyrnup13 » Tue Nov 10, 2015 6:41 am

My wife just got the Nexus 6P and joined Fi this week. She has literally 4 days of experience, but so far, it has been great. No dropped calls. Her old number transfer (from Verizon) took less than 1 day. Online google support was immediate (took less than 1 minute to connect with a rep to help transfer old numbers).

I have had Republic Wireless for about one year, which I also really like. When compared to Republic, Fi has fewer dropped calls and the call clarity seems better on WiFi. I will probably switch to Fi in a couple of years (once it is time for a phone upgrade).

Most of the data we use is over WiFi. We use approximately 4 GB of WiFi data per month and 0.5 GB of cellular data. With that usage, her bill should be under $30/month. I pay $29/month for basically unlimited cellular data, so the two plans are identical when it comes to costs.

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Re: Project Fi experience?

Post by sperry8 » Tue Nov 10, 2015 10:35 am

I've been following another popular travel board re this topic and reviews have been mixed. I currently use TMobile and they offer a wonderful International plan where you can keep your SIM and get free text and free slow data internationally. I would prefer Fi however since I'd save $10 per month and get a little more data speed internationally. However based on the mixed reviews I'm waiting 3-4 mos to see more info before switching.
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protagonist
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Re: Project Fi experience?

Post by protagonist » Tue Nov 10, 2015 11:14 am

I don't know much about Fi, however, Cricket Wireless offers unlimited talk and text with I think around 3 Gb data/month (I forget exact number since I never use that much) for $35. Numerous other MVNO's offer similar service for as low as $27/month, last I checked. The advantages of other MVNOs over Fi seem to be:
1. You are not limited in choice of phone (which is a big deal....especially as there are now very competitive unlocked smart phones in the $300 range)
2. AT+T network has a better reputation for coverage than Sprint or TMobile
3. If you use less than 1 gig data/month the price is similar....if you use more than 1 gig data/month Fi is more expensive
4. With other MVNOs you don't have to think about how much your bill will be each month...it is impossible to go over your limit. If you do your data is simply shut off or severely throttled and you can order more. With Fi you could be in for a surprise with your next bill.

I don't, offhand, see any distinct advantages of Fi. Perhaps use overseas.....though coverage overseas is usually cheaper and easy if you just go with a local provider. You can still use Google Voice for phone calls from overseas, regardless of whether or not you have Fi, and I have found that calling the US from other countries on Google Voice is often free.
Last edited by protagonist on Thu Nov 12, 2015 12:37 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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knpstr
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Re: Project Fi experience?

Post by knpstr » Tue Nov 10, 2015 11:21 am

I have virgin mobile that is unlimited talk/text/data (2.5gb of 4g then reduced speed) for $35/mo
This plan started as 350 min/mo then was "upgraded" to unlimited at no charge after a year or 2, without request by me.

Seeing how virgin mobile uses sprint towers as well, I have been interested in Fi. I signed up and received an invite, but haven't pulled the trigger, mainly due to the purchase of an expensive phone is required.
Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking. -Marcus Aurelius

freebeer
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Re: Project Fi experience?

Post by freebeer » Tue Nov 10, 2015 2:10 pm

I'm writing this on a Nexus 6, LTE connected via Fi. I like it a lot. If your LTE data usage varies the ability to be credited for unused dats is another big plus besides those already mentioned. Other MVNOs don't offer this AFAIK. Combined with cross-carrier roaming, the surprisingly good WiFi voice experience, the free hotspot functionality, and the seamless international data at same rate it's a great package for me (and I already had the right phone).

My only real complaint is that it sometimes seems to get stuck on 3g when it could get LTE on the other carrier, my workaround is to temporarily disable and reenebleobile data.

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Re: Project Fi experience?

Post by freebeer » Tue Nov 10, 2015 2:13 pm

Oh and one more thing the ability to receive and make calls and texts seamlessly from computer via Hangouts has been a nice bonus...

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jesscj
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Re: Project Fi experience?

Post by jesscj » Tue Nov 10, 2015 10:57 pm

I've been using Project FI for two months I really like it. I'm on WIFI pretty much all day and so I don't use a lot of data. So far I've got credits back at the end of the both months I'm only paying for 1gig so bill less than 30 bucks. It works well for me if, you use a lot of data then it might not be very competitive right now the way FI is setup.
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Re: Project Fi experience?

Post by unclescrooge » Wed Nov 11, 2015 12:09 am

Oakdale19 wrote:Great experience so far. However if you live in an area w poor T-Mobile and sprint coverage be wary. Everywhere I spend a considerable amount of time has WiFi.

Things to consider
Do you use your phone as a GPS
WiFi in most places you visit
Sprint and T-Mobile coverage (when WiFi isn't available you use these networks' towers
I use my phone's GPS quite a bit (probably 3-4 times a week). How is this impacted on Fi network?

Yes, most places have wifi. I use about 1.5 GBs of data on an average month.

Unsure about T-mobile at home. I know ATT has great coverage. I had to get a network extender for Verizon at home due to the hilly terrain interfering with cell signals.

Volkdancer
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Re: Project Fi experience?

Post by Volkdancer » Wed Nov 11, 2015 1:01 am

If you will be traveling in China, as I am now, Google functioning is blocked, but I do not know if this applies to T-Mobile. Although I am told that googlemaps will work, the wifi speeds are so slow that graphics time out before loading. This would also affect other wifi dependent applications. Skype works although hangouts does not.
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JimmyD
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Re: Project Fi experience?

Post by JimmyD » Wed Nov 11, 2015 8:07 am

I've been using a Nexus 6P on Project Fi for nearly two weeks now and am thrilled with it so far.

As others have said, it uses the best signal from either WiFi, Sprint, or T-Mobile, so as long as you have access to one of those (and won't be consuming tons of data via cell) you'll be in great shape, with likely a less expensive phone bill to boot.

I've had the occasional hiccup with a very slight delay in voice calls that sometimes causes me and the person with whom I'm speaking to talk over each other a bit, but that doesn't occur often.

Between the money I'm saving (was on Verizon), stock Android with no carrier meddling, and the amazing support staff from Project Fi (they'll call you in less than 60 seconds!), I highly recommend it!

protagonist
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Re: Project Fi experience?

Post by protagonist » Wed Nov 11, 2015 10:30 am

Nirav wrote: I use my phone's GPS quite a bit (probably 3-4 times a week). How is this impacted on Fi network?
GPS does not seem to use a tremendous amount of data.

I drive 310 mi RT to NYC every weekend and always use Waze navigation, setting location to "high accuracy". I use it at other times as well, such as walking around NYC, looking for restaurants, etc. Despite this, my total data usage last month was only about 600-700 Mb, and that includes all of the other ways I used data. I don't believe that Waze was even the biggest data hog of my apps.

miles monroe
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Re: Project Fi experience?

Post by miles monroe » Wed Nov 11, 2015 11:50 am

what happens when you are at a location (i'm thinking of the mcdonalds i go to wait while my car is being serviced) that has has wifi BUT you have to log in to use it? my GUESS is that the phone would sense the wifi but the call couldn't get thru since you weren't logged in. comments?

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SpringMan
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Re: Project Fi experience?

Post by SpringMan » Wed Nov 11, 2015 12:12 pm

knpstr wrote:I have virgin mobile that is unlimited talk/text/data (2.5gb of 4g then reduced speed) for $35/mo
This plan started as 350 min/mo then was "upgraded" to unlimited at no charge after a year or 2, without request by me.

Seeing how virgin mobile uses sprint towers as well, I have been interested in Fi. I signed up and received an invite, but haven't pulled the trigger, mainly due to the purchase of an expensive phone is required.
Does your plan on Virgin Mobile have roaming when Sprint is not available? My wife has Virgin Mobile PayLo which does not roam. She was thinking of upgrading to your plan and was told she could use her balance to buy a new smart phone. Her current phone is a flip phone. It looked like Virgin's more expensive smart phone plans had domestic roaming. If not that would be a deal breaker.
Best Wishes, SpringMan

zimmer0
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Re: Project Fi experience?

Post by zimmer0 » Wed Nov 11, 2015 12:25 pm

patiently waiting for them to expand to the new Moto X Pure Edition phone officialy. It works on T-Mobile but doesn't switch to the Sprint towers when T signal drops below par. Although i have decent T-Mobile coverage where i am.

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knpstr
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Re: Project Fi experience?

Post by knpstr » Wed Nov 11, 2015 2:46 pm

SpringMan wrote:Does your plan on Virgin Mobile have roaming when Sprint is not available? My wife has Virgin Mobile PayLo which does not roam. She was thinking of upgrading to your plan and was told she could use her balance to buy a new smart phone. Her current phone is a flip phone. It looked like Virgin's more expensive smart phone plans had domestic roaming. If not that would be a deal breaker.
I don't know from experience as I am always in a Sprint covered area. In their FAQs it says:
"There are no roaming or long-distance fees on our plans. This includes all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands."

I don't know if that helps or not, but I do NOT know from experience!
Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking. -Marcus Aurelius

AerialP
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Re: Project Fi experience?

Post by AerialP » Wed Nov 11, 2015 7:36 pm

I have been researching Project Fi recently as well, and am ready to make the jump from Verizon. I've only heard directly from two friends who have also switched, but both are happy so far and are discerning consumers of technology. I myself am not an early adopter of tech and tech services, but in this case I'm willing to give it a go since my Verizon contract just transitioned from its 2-year term into a month-to-month.
One additional compelling aspect which I've not seen discussed yet here is security. With the other carriers you receive operating system updates when they get around to it. In my case, with Verizon, when I activated my current handset two years ago I received an automatic Android update...and there have been none since. In the case of something like the Stagefright exploit which has made the rounds recently I am still vulnerable. It is my understanding that, with Project Fi, Google will be very proactive with pushing updates since there is no carrier middleman.

neuro84
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Re: Project Fi experience?

Post by neuro84 » Wed Nov 11, 2015 7:39 pm

freebeer wrote:I'm writing this on a Nexus 6, LTE connected via Fi. I like it a lot. If your LTE data usage varies the ability to be credited for unused dats is another big plus besides those already mentioned. Other MVNOs don't offer this AFAIK.
Republic Wireless also offers credit for unused data, with their new pricing structure.

protagonist
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Re: Project Fi experience?

Post by protagonist » Thu Nov 12, 2015 12:35 pm

protagonist wrote:I don't know much about Fi, however, Cricket Wireless offers unlimited talk and text with I think around 3 Gb data/month (I forget exact number since I never use that much) for $35. Numerous other MVNO's offer similar service for as low as $27/month, last I checked. The advantages of other MVNOs over Fi seem to be:
1. You are not limited in choice of phone (which is a big deal....especially as there are now very competitive unlocked smart phones in the $300 range)
2. AT+T network has a better reputation for coverage than Sprint or TMobile
3. If you use less than 1 gig data/month the price is similar....if you use more than 1 gig data/month Fi is more expensive
4. With other MVNOs you don't have to think about how much your bill will be each month...it is impossible to go over your limit. If you do your data is simply shut off or severely throttled and you can order more. With Fi you could be in for a surprise with your next bill.

I don't, offhand, see any distinct advantages of Fi. Perhaps use overseas.....though coverage overseas is usually cheaper and easy if you just go with a local provider. You can still use Google Voice for phone calls from overseas, regardless of whether or not you have Fi, and I have found that calling the US from other countries on Google Voice is often free.
I must be missing something here, with everybody else praising the benefits of Project Fi. What am I missing? What are the benefits over other MVNOs?

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Re: Project Fi experience?

Post by knpstr » Thu Nov 12, 2015 1:14 pm

protagonist wrote: I must be missing something here, with everybody else praising the benefits of Project Fi. What am I missing? What are the benefits over other MVNOs?
I'm not a Fi user, as stated previously, but per Google:

"Our plan starts with the Fi Basics for $20 per month, which includes: unlimited domestic talk and text, unlimited international texts, ability to use your phone as a Wi-Fi hotspot, and coverage in 120+ countries."

I know quite a few people were excited about "tethering" at no additional charge.

I do believe there is a bit of "fanatic" excitement as well. Some people like Google the way others like Apple.
Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking. -Marcus Aurelius

JimmyD
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Re: Project Fi experience?

Post by JimmyD » Thu Nov 12, 2015 1:21 pm

knpstr wrote:
protagonist wrote: I must be missing something here, with everybody else praising the benefits of Project Fi. What am I missing? What are the benefits over other MVNOs?
I'm not a Fi user, as stated previously, but per Google:

"Our plan starts with the Fi Basics for $20 per month, which includes: unlimited domestic talk and text, unlimited international texts, ability to use your phone as a Wi-Fi hotspot, and coverage in 120+ countries."

I know quite a few people were excited about "tethering" at no additional charge.

I do believe there is a bit of "fanatic" excitement as well. Some people like Google the way others like Apple.
They also credit your account for unused data that you already paid for.

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knpstr
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Re: Project Fi experience?

Post by knpstr » Thu Nov 12, 2015 1:47 pm

JimmyD wrote: They also credit your account for unused data that you already paid for.
As mentioned by someone else, at least 1 other company does this as well, so that isn't something exclusive to Fi
Also, if they are charging more per GB of data, it isn't exactly as much benefit as it appears to be (worse if you use a lot of data).

As my $35/mo plan at Virgin Mobile is unlimited everything it essentially equates to the same $20/mo unlimited talk/text but then only $15/mo for unlimited data to break it down to compare with Fi plan structure. So the break-even point is at a fairly low, by today's standards, 1.5 GB of data.

Their [Google] plans are competitive, but by no means revolutionary... or even the best available, depending upon your personal usage trends.
To my knowledge the tethering benefit is the only thing they offer that no one else does, but I may be wrong about that.

The good news is that cell plans are beginning the "race to the bottom".
Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking. -Marcus Aurelius

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Re: Project Fi experience?

Post by neuro84 » Sun Nov 29, 2015 9:00 am

About a week ago, I switched my cell service from Republic Wireless to Google Fi. I believe RW was the closest to Fi in terms of overall plan design and pricing structure (cheap baseline service, firmware which prioritizes calling via WiFi, data over cell towers is charged per Gb and refunded if unused). Here is my impression of Fi so far, compared to Republic:

1) Google Fi is more expensive than RW (on the order of $10/mo for me).
Both companies' plans are cheap compared to the big wireless companies (less cheap compared to other MVNOs). Among the MVNOs, RW is probably among the cheapest. My RW bill for October was about $16 ($10 base plan, $7.50 for 0.5Gb cell data, from which I was refunded about $5, and then about $4 in taxes/fees). In comparison, I expect to pay about $25 with Google Fi, given my low cell data usage profile. Most users will pay more. Over a year this will add up to about $120 difference between the two services for me.

Additionally, I was required to purchase a new phone (Nexus 5X) which I like very much, but it wasn't as cheap as the Moto G I had on RW ($350 for the 5X, vs $150 when I bought the Moto G - Amazon says they can be had for $130 now). So that's a difference of $200, divided over however long you use the phone. I hope to get 2 years out of it at the minimum.


2) The service seems overall smoother.
On Republic, the major service problem I faced was not being able to receive MMS messages. This was primarily a hindrance when an iPhone user at work would send me an MMS with a third party's contact info. I would invariably have to ask them to resend the message as text-only, which annoyed them and me. Google Fi works pretty well with MMS, via either one of the built-in apps (Google Messenger or Google Hangouts).

Additionally, I didn't personally have this problem with RW, but my father (also a RW user) had many frustrating dropped calls over wifi, or instances where someone would call him and he never got any indication that he'd missed a call. He is an attending physician, so when this happened, there was a threat of compromising patient care (if a resident had a clinical question and couldn't reach him). Obviously this is unacceptable, so I'm trying out Google Fi to see if it might be a more reliable service for him. I have not run into any dropped call issues or no-notification-of-missed-calls yet. In theory, Google Fi will have an easier time making their firmware and apps streamlined and reliable, since they control the OS environment as well as the service.


3) The Nexus 5X has some really nice features that the Moto G didn't have.
My work requires me to have a 4-digit PIN to unlock my phone, in order to be able to check work-related emails on my phone. This was mildly cumbersome on the Moto G, but the 5X comes with a fingerprint scanner which can take the place of the PIN. In addition, the LastPass app (yes, the one that was recently purchased by LogMeIn) can use the fingerprint in place of my very-long master password, which I frequently used to typo on the Moto G. Essentially, I can very quickly log in to any website or application using only my fingerprint. This has already saved me several minutes of time, in the week that I've had the phone.

The screen is slightly bigger and brighter, the camera is sharper, and the apps run a bit faster. The battery life is about the same. In short, the phone has all the expected amenities of a brand-new piece of technology made in this amazing year, 2015.


Summary: I like Google Fi. It will cost me more than Republic did, but not nearly as much as most of my colleagues pay for their iPhones on Verizon. The service seems reliable. The phone is nice. So far I have found nothing to complain about aside from the mildly increased cost.
Last edited by neuro84 on Sun Nov 29, 2015 9:43 am, edited 4 times in total.

neuro84
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Re: Project Fi experience?

Post by neuro84 » Sun Nov 29, 2015 9:07 am

One last note regarding GPS and data usage:

The newest update of the Google Maps app has the ability to download maps and store them on your phone. I basically downloaded my entire home state and all the roads therein - this takes up about 1.5gb of data in my phone's memory. In return, whenever I'm using GPS, the over-the-air data requirements are much lower (since I'm just downloading realtime traffic info).

This feature also enables you to use GPS in areas where there is spotty or nonexistent cell service. It was very handy on a recent trip to the Florida panhandle, where there are large swaths of rural highways devoid of any cell towers. My navigation worked great despite having no cell service at all.

Of course, any phone with Google Maps should be able to take advantage of this feature, so it's not unique to Google Fi or any other service. But it dovetails very nicely with the MVNO plans which offer incentives to use less data (like Fi and RW).

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Re: Project Fi experience?

Post by AerialP » Wed Feb 17, 2016 6:33 pm

Three months in and I love it. Great integration with the whole Google experience. Monthly update push to the operating system. Super call quality. I travel fairly extensively (not enough to Europe and/or other overseas locales, so haven't tested the touted international capabilities) and haven't had an issue yet with coverage. Enjoying the Nexus 6P device. Low monthly bills. I recommend anyone thinking of jumping to perform their due diligence of course, but I think most everyone who sees how this service fits into the overall communications scheme of today will be pleased if they make the transition.

canbonbon
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Re: Project Fi experience?

Post by canbonbon » Wed Feb 17, 2016 7:16 pm

As an alternative, have a look at Ringplus. Have been very happy with the free 1800/1800/1800 plan. Haven't paid a dime in 3 months. Obvious con is that they may cancel this plan as they have done in the past. But they use Sprint backbone so I am in for the ride as long as it lasts. Using it on iPhone 6 with Sprint LTE.

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Re: Project Fi experience?

Post by munemaker » Wed Feb 17, 2016 7:50 pm

I moved from Verizon to Project Fi about 3 months ago.

I like that the Nexus phones gets the Android updates before other Android phones, and that the Nexus phones are not loaded with bloatware like the phones from Verizon. I like that voice calls default to WiFi when available, and can seamlessly switch from WiFi to cell towers as you move. I like the very simple approach to billing, and that you are refunded for all unused data. I like the really nice integration with all the Google stuff. The monthly charges are WAY less than Verizon. The fingerprint reader for security is really fast and slick, so no reason not to have good security! The camera in my Nexus 5 works better than other phones I have had...not sure how it compares to the latest and greatest. Free tethering to my other devices is a nice plus, considering Verizon would charge you out the wazoo for that.

The only negative is the T-Mobil and Sprint networks used by Project Fi do not have as good as coverage as Verizon. I was recently traveling in Mexico. Voice coverage was pretty good, but data was non-existent unless you had WiFi access. A guy I was traveling with had Verizon, and he had good data coverage most of the time. Most of my phone use is at work and at home, so the coverage is usually not that big of a deal to me.

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Re: Project Fi experience?

Post by cholan » Wed Feb 17, 2016 9:52 pm

I am using Google fi with nexus 6 for 8 months.

The coverage is obviously limited to Sprint and T-Mobile , which is not all that great where I work. Calls can be made on Wifi if google thinks the network is safe- it considers my workplace wifi as unsafe!

I travel frequently to Canada and there are no problems using data or voice or maps, but the problem is the voice call charges to US- 20 cents a minute(unless you use wifi, which is no benefit because you are not in an office and you are constantly on the move). In comparison, T-Mobile has free service to and from all of North America and Verizon has a 2 dollar a day surcharge only on the days you use it. Both carriers deduct your use from their domestic allowance.

I have used the service in Germany, UK, Middle East and South Asia for about 30 days at the end of last year. I was pleasantly surprised at the ease with which I used the phone as if I were in the US. With a fair bit of use I paid about 30 dollars more for that month. You are only supposed get 2G service overseas but I had excellent LTE service where it was available for local users. Only in one city I had problems -no data or voice!. Google had no explanation for it. I understand that T-Mobile is offering a similar service internationally.

I also have an iphone 6 with verizon service and in my area the coverage cannot be beat (at twice the price)!

Cholan
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Cruiser
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Re: Project Fi experience?

Post by Cruiser » Wed Feb 17, 2016 11:04 pm

I had Project Fi for a short time with the Nexus 6p and really enjoyed the service. Their support is extremely quick and helpful. For the most part, the coverage was good. I would notice that I would occasionally lose service in areas where I knew both Sprint and T-Mobile had their best LTE coverage.

However I switched back to one of the big carriers for the following reasons:
  1. No iPhone compatibility. I've tried switching away from iPhone twice now (first, with the Nexus 4, and most recently, with the Nexus 6P) and just cannot make the switch to Android and stick with it. To each their own.
  2. Not able to receive texts from businesses that use shortcodes/SMS Gateway. This was another biggie. This means you cannot receive texts from companies such as Redbox, and more crucially, from businesses such as Twitter or any other large company that uses multi-factor authentication (sending a code to your phone to verify your identity). There were some conflicting reports on some forums that some Fi users got this to work via support, but I was unsuccessful.
  3. Finally, I found I started to make it a game to see how little cell data I could use. This made me not want to use my phone - the phone I had paid over $600 for - that enables you to connect to the Internet and world while you are out and about. I found - that for me - the promise of getting money back for unused data was defeating the purpose for having a(n expensive) smartphone in the first place.
The concept is promising, and if they were to open up compatibility to the iPhone, I would take a serious look at switching from my carrier (AT&T) to Fi.

Smokey21
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Re: Project Fi experience?

Post by Smokey21 » Sun Mar 20, 2016 10:21 am

Does anyone know if there is a cost to make a local call while traveling in another country. For example, if you are in Dublin Ireland and want to call a local restaurant, is that free or is there a charge?

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munemaker
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Re: Project Fi experience?

Post by munemaker » Sun Mar 20, 2016 12:23 pm

Smokey21 wrote:Does anyone know if there is a cost to make a local call while traveling in another country. For example, if you are in Dublin Ireland and want to call a local restaurant, is that free or is there a charge?
Google is your friend! Your answer is here:

https://fi.google.com/about/rates/?country=IE

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munemaker
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Re: Project Fi experience?

Post by munemaker » Sun Mar 20, 2016 12:27 pm

munemaker wrote:I moved from Verizon to Project Fi about 3 months ago.

I like that the Nexus phones gets the Android updates before other Android phones, and that the Nexus phones are not loaded with bloatware like the phones from Verizon. I like that voice calls default to WiFi when available, and can seamlessly switch from WiFi to cell towers as you move. I like the very simple approach to billing, and that you are refunded for all unused data. I like the really nice integration with all the Google stuff. The monthly charges are WAY less than Verizon. The fingerprint reader for security is really fast and slick, so no reason not to have good security! The camera in my Nexus 5 works better than other phones I have had...not sure how it compares to the latest and greatest. Free tethering to my other devices is a nice plus, considering Verizon would charge you out the wazoo for that.

The only negative is the T-Mobil and Sprint networks used by Project Fi do not have as good as coverage as Verizon. I was recently traveling in Mexico. Voice coverage was pretty good, but data was non-existent unless you had WiFi access. A guy I was traveling with had Verizon, and he had good data coverage most of the time. Most of my phone use is at work and at home, so the coverage is usually not that big of a deal to me.
I was recently in the Domincan Republic and Project Fi worked great! Voice was fantastic with good coverage. To get the data to work, I had to go to Cellular Networks settings and change the preferred setting from 4G to 3G.

forevernaive
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Re: Project Fi experience? [WiFi from Google]

Post by forevernaive » Sun Mar 20, 2016 6:53 pm

One technical point is that Project Fi runs on the new 700mhz band 12 frequency that T-mobile acquired from AT&T. But not many phones can support this band, hence the limited it to the two newest Nexus phones (5x/6p). You can get this band on T-mobile using the newest iPhone (see their list of supported devices).

This band provides a wider area of service and better service inside buildings in many cases. But it still isn't as good a coverage as AT&T in my case, so I ruled out upgrading. Too bad, because the 5x was discounted to nearly what I could sell my Nexus 5 for used.

Some MVNOs, like Cricket, may run on AT&T's "network" but I have found that AT&T's "network" has better after I purchased a plan from AT&T. This is because AT&T's network includes additional contracted towers which are not included in the MVNO coverage. To me, the difference in coverage is worth the $15 a month more I pay, but I live in a mountainous area. YMMV.

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munemaker
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Re: Project Fi experience? [WiFi from Google]

Post by munemaker » Mon Mar 21, 2016 9:33 am

forevernaive wrote:One technical point is that Project Fi runs on the new 700mhz band 12 frequency that T-mobile acquired from AT&T. But not many phones can support this band, hence the limited it to the two newest Nexus phones (5x/6p). You can get this band on T-mobile using the newest iPhone (see their list of supported devices).

This band provides a wider area of service and better service inside buildings in many cases. But it still isn't as good a coverage as AT&T in my case, so I ruled out upgrading. Too bad, because the 5x was discounted to nearly what I could sell my Nexus 5 for used.

Some MVNOs, like Cricket, may run on AT&T's "network" but I have found that AT&T's "network" has better after I purchased a plan from AT&T. This is because AT&T's network includes additional contracted towers which are not included in the MVNO coverage. To me, the difference in coverage is worth the $15 a month more I pay, but I live in a mountainous area. YMMV.
The coverage on Fi is not that good around the area where I live. However, with Project Fi, you can make and receive cell phone calls over WiFi which can offset the coverage issue to a degree.

arf30
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Re: Project Fi experience? [WiFi from Google]

Post by arf30 » Mon Mar 21, 2016 9:51 am

I switched to Fi from the Cricket $35 plan a few months ago (Nexus 5 and 6P), bills have been in the low $20s and I haven't noticed a difference in reception. The global roaming and WiFi calling is a nice feature, but if I ever start using more data again I'll probably switch back to Cricket.

jordank
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Re: Project Fi experience? [WiFi from Google]

Post by jordank » Mon Mar 21, 2016 4:15 pm

Mixed experience so far, but probably due to a faulty nexus phone...

Switched to GoogleFi a month ago, bought the Nexus 5X. Was with Verizion previously, with montly bill off a family plan somewhere in the vacinity of 60-65 per month (though that does include the phone itself, technically). Based on my very little cell data usage, I expect my googleFi bills to be somewhere around $25 per month, for a saving of $40 per month. The 5X was $380 (with taxes, shipping, etc), so I expect i'll be breaking even after 10 months...

Now, to the experience. Got the phone, and sim card quickly, migration of the number from VZ was painless... However, it would frequently not make/receive calls, with 'no cellular network available' message. After multiple days of troubleshooting with GoogleFi - I finally convinced them to RMA the phone itself... New phone arrived, and the last week has been great. So hopefully that will continue going forward. I'm in a major metro area, so coverage has been good.. haven't been out of town to test out how it compares with verizon's better coverage outside of the main cities.

Their first level support is good, you get a call back within minutes. Their 'escalation' to next level is non-existent. It took me 2 weeks and 5 separate calls to finally get a call from a 'service specialist', who authorized the RMA. I was told multiple times I would get a call back within an hour, to then wait 2 days before I called them again... Seems Google is hiding behind the 'beta' service status once again..

Summary - first level support is prompt, next level doesn't exist. After my phone was replaced, seems to be working well.

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reriodan
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Re: Project Fi experience? [WiFi from Google]

Post by reriodan » Mon Mar 21, 2016 4:25 pm

munemaker wrote:The coverage on Fi is not that good around the area where I live. However, with Project Fi, you can make and receive cell phone calls over WiFi which can offset the coverage issue to a degree.
You know you can do that without Project Fi as well, right? At least they aren't charging you to make calls over wifi like Republic wireless :oops:

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munemaker
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Re: Project Fi experience? [WiFi from Google]

Post by munemaker » Mon Mar 21, 2016 6:45 pm

reriodan wrote:
munemaker wrote:The coverage on Fi is not that good around the area where I live. However, with Project Fi, you can make and receive cell phone calls over WiFi which can offset the coverage issue to a degree.
You know you can do that without Project Fi as well, right? At least they aren't charging you to make calls over wifi like Republic wireless :oops:
I could not do that with my Verizon account.

Also, a friend of mine has Republic Wireless. Calls over WiFi do not work nearly as good as with Project Fi.

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wander
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Re: Project Fi experience? [WiFi from Google]

Post by wander » Mon Mar 21, 2016 9:16 pm

It seems project Fi reviews is still not perfect. I would say AT&T and Verizon still have upper hands on coverage. I traveled to one of the small cities in Iowa and only Verizon worked there. I was not sure about AT&T and Sprint, but T-Mobile was out of luck. I change carrier quite often, but my wife stays with Verizon so we can always have alternative: Verizon+.

miles monroe
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Re: Project Fi experience? [WiFi from Google]

Post by miles monroe » Mon Mar 21, 2016 11:47 pm

if you're on the fence about project fi, new subscribers can get $150 off the 5x if the phone is activated within 30 days of purchase. and if ya decide ya don't like (so far its great for me) its unlocked so take it to any att, t-mobile, or any gsm reseller (cricket, straighttalk, etc),

clutchied
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Re: Project Fi experience? [WiFi from Google]

Post by clutchied » Tue Mar 22, 2016 8:29 am

RE GPS using data. GPS uses zero data. It's the mapping behind the GPS that uses data. IF you have google maps you should be able to download your local area map onto your phone and use zero data that way.

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munemaker
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Re: Project Fi experience? [WiFi from Google]

Post by munemaker » Tue Mar 22, 2016 1:50 pm

miles monroe wrote:if you're on the fence about project fi, new subscribers can get $150 off the 5x if the phone is activated within 30 days of purchase. and if ya decide ya don't like (so far its great for me) its unlocked so take it to any att, t-mobile, or any gsm reseller (cricket, straighttalk, etc),
I love Project Fi (and most things Google), but I would say that it is a work in process, not a mature product. This is really obvious when using it in other countries.

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