What is it and should you subscribe? | #android | #security


If you’re like most people, you tied to one of the three major carriers. While AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon all have excellent coverage, that coverage often comes with a high price tag. Google Fi is one of the dozens of Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) in the US, meaning tit leases service from other carriers. Google has its own MNVO, called Google Fi, that has some unique features that set it apart from the competition. Here’s everything you need to know about Google-Fi’s service, special features, and compatible devices.

What is Google Fi?

Google Fi is Google’s mobile carrier. It uses T-Mobile and US Cellular’s LTE and 5G networks for coverage. If you use one of Google’s Phones Designed for Fi, the service switches between the two networks and leverages open Wi-Fi networks to offer the best coverage. Phones that aren’t part of Designed for Fi use T-Mobile’s network. Since US Cellular is only in a handful of states and has limited spectrum, you’ll probably be on T-Mobile’s network most of the time.

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Google Fi provides talk, text, and data in Canada and Mexico on its Flexible and Unlimited Plus plans. It also offers affordable international calling and free text messages to many countries.

What plans does Google Fi offer?

Google Fi has three different plans: Flexible, Simply Unlimited, and Unlimited Plus. On the Flexible plan, you pay a fixed rate for unlimited talk and text; data comes in at $10 per Gigabyte. Taxes and fees are tacked on to your monthly bill. You can share data with other people on your account with the Flexible plan.

The other two plans are variations on an unlimited data plan. The Simply Unlimited Plan has unlimited talk, text, and data in the US, If you opt for the Unlimited Plus plan, you’ll get unlimited talk, text, and data in the US, Canada, Mexico. 100GB of Google One storage is included in Unlimited Plus too.

The Flexible and Unlimited Plus plans both include hotspot tethering, allow for data-only SIM cards, and have included data and texts while traveling internationally as well as affordable cellular and free Wi-Fi calling to over 200 countries. The Flexible plan has slower data speeds after 15 GB while the Simply Unlimited and Unlimited Plus have slower data speeds after 22 GB.

Here is a summary of the differences between pricing for these plans per line. Although single-line plans are very expensive, Fi offers discounts for each additional line. For example, if you sign up for four lines on Unlimited Plus, you’ll pay $225 per month plus applicable taxes and fees.

Lines Flexible Simply Unlimited Unlimited Plus
1 $20 + $10/GB $60 $70
2 $18 + $10/GB $45 $60
3 $17 + $10/GB $30 $50
4 $17 + $10/GB $30 $45
5 $16 + $10/GB $30 $45
6 $16 + $10/GB $30 $45

Google Fi also includes 24/7 online customer support and has no contracts or activation fees. You can cancel your plan at any time with no additional fees.

Since Google Fi uses T-Mobile as its primary network for most of the country (US Cellular is a regional carrier), coverage is pretty solid. T-Mobile has a solid wall of sub-6GHz 5G coverage across the US along with Band 71 for excellent rural LTE coverage. If you want to see what coverage is like in your area, just enter your address into Fi’s coverage map.

Google-Fi-US-Coverage

What features does Google Fi Offer?

Google Fi has some neat features that set it apart from other carriers. The carrier puts a lot of emphasis on privacy and security, adding VPNs with its plans. There’s also automatic end-to-end call encryption for Android devices when you’re chatting with Google Fi other Google Fi customers. Lastly, Fi has a built-in Spam call filtering feature, which automatically stops incoming calls identified as spam.


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Google Fi also has some features that help make managing multi-line accounts easier. In the Google Fi app, you can view a snapshot of the people on your plan, how much data each person uses, and can create data alerts. If you have children on your account, you can block calls and texts from strangers, create a budget for data usage, and set rules for digital activity. Ground rules you can set include content filters, screen time limits, app download approval, and device location tracking.

You can also make calls, send texts, and check your voicemails from your computer, even if your phone is turned off. Unfortunately, you can’t Google Messages’ RCS features when your phone is turned off.

What Phones does Google Fi offer?

Fi sells a variety of phones from Google, Motorola, and Samsung on its site.You can also bring your own device if it’s supported on Fi’s network.

The phones Google sells on the Fi site have the Designed for Fi designation, meaning they use eSIMs and are optimized for to take advantage of the network’s unique architecture. Many modern Android phones have this distinction and get the best out of Google Fi. Other Androids, and all recent iPhones also the network, but cannot take advantage of Fi’s network-switching and Wi-Fi optimization capabilities.

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Like most carriers, Google lets you buy your phone outright or pay for it over 24-months. The carrier also offers discounts and promotions on most of its inventory. If you’re interested in Google Pixel 6 or Pixel 6 Pro, Google Pixel Pass is especially enticing for Fi customers.

Google Pixel Pass is an all-in-one solution that includes a device payment plan as well as subscriptions to Google One (200GB), Google Play Pass and YouTube Premium. You’ll also get $5 off your monthly Fi service.

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