Google Project Fi

Google Project FiProject Fi has been around now for a little over a year now and has been gaining more and more popularity, especially among those who like to have Google’s flagship phones.  I’ve personally been using Fi since August 2015, and I have to say that I’ve been overly impressed with all aspects of my experience from the phone itself to the reliability and flexibility of the service down to the support behind the service.  My previous carrier, Sprint, was very disappointing in most of these aspects.

My journey with Fi began with my first order consisting of the Project Fi SIM Kit.  Because Fi worked with the Nexus 6 at the time, you didn’t have to purchase a new phone if you already owned one.  I was still using my Moto X with Sprint at the time and had not yet obtained a Nexus 6, but I wanted to go ahead and get the kit to be ready for switching once I did.  The kit was free, so I figured why not.  I also went ahead and began the number porting process in order to port my existing Sprint number over to Fi once I got a Nexus 6 and Fi service activated.

A few days later I received my SIM Kit and, to my surprise, the kit didn’t contain just a SIM card.  It actually contained three little plastic containers, each a different color from the Fi logo.  In one of the containers was a plain white phone cover for the Nexus 6 with the Project Fi logo imprinted on the back.  It was very simple, and I ended up not using it as it didn’t seem to offer much protection apart from scratches, but it was still a nice gift.  Another container included a Project Fi branded set of earphones with a mic and volume control built inline with the cord.  I still use these to this day, despite the rather obnoxiously large 3.5mm plug due to having a built-in splitter for connecting a 2nd set of earphones to share the listening experience with a friend.  And then in the third container, of course, was the actual SIM card.  This kit was a special introductory kit for early adopters and unfortunately is no longer provided.  I’ve learned that Google likes to throw in special little perks for early adopters.

A couple weeks after getting my SIM kit, I purchased a used Nexus 6 locally on Cragislist.  I promptly inserted the SIM card, booted it up, signed into my Google account (using Wifi of course) and downloaded the Project Fi app.  The app offered to activate my service and within a few minutes, I had a working phone using Project Fi.  Over the next few days, I continued to use my Moto X with Sprint using my current number alongside my Nexus 6 with Project Fi and a temporary number.  I wanted to make sure that Project Fi was going to work for me before I switch numbers and was dissatisfied.  After a few days, I was convinced, so I completed the number porting process.  I was told that this would take up to 24 hours to complete, but by the following morning my number had ported and I was now fully on Project Fi.

A few months passed and then Google released the new Nexus 5X and 6P phones.  Having just purchased my Nexus 6 (though used and already a year or so on the market) I didn’t want to upgrade, but I eventually gave in and purchased through the Project Fi site.  It was very easy to do.  Just a few clicks and I had my phone ordered.  And being a Project Fi user, there was a decent discount on the phone making it much more affordable. I also went ahead and added on the device protection for only and extra $5/mo. which extends the phone’s warranty beyond the manufacturer’s 1-year warranty and also adds protection for all accidental damage including cracks, spills or any other damage that you can cause to your phone.  Lost phones are not covered in case you are wondering.

At this point, I still had my deactivated Nexus 6 and my current Nexus 5X.  I saw that they were now offering data only SIM card at no additional cost.  This is primarily for non-Phone devices that need a SIM card for mobile data access (ie. Laptops, tablets, etc.).  However, I figured I’d give it a try with my Nexus 6.  I wouldn’t have phone or text, but I could still use data on it and it would just go against my regular data usage.  The SIM card, as with the initial Project Fi SIM Kit, was free (including shipping).  I got my SIM within a few days, and as with activing my service originally, it was as simple as downloading the Project Fi app and allowing it to activate.  Within minutes, I had working data on my Nexus 6, which I still use occasionally.

Last month, my Nexus 5X took a dump on me with absolutely no warning.  I was using my phone, put it down, and when I picked it up a few hours later it was just off.  I tried turning it on, but during it’s boot sequence, it just froze and then rebooted.  It ended up in this loop indefinitely.  I tried everything I could possibly think of, but couldn’t get it to boot up.  So I finally got on a support chat with Project Fi.  I only had to wait about 2-5 minutes before a support rep was responding to me and offering me some troubleshooting steps which involved a factory reset and a few different boot options, all of which continued to result in a boot loop.  Eventually, I was offered a replacement.  Because it was less than 1 year, it was still covered by the manufacturer’s warranty,  so there was no cost to me.  My new device was shipped the same day and arrived the following evening.  In the meantime, I swapped my SIM cards between my phones and was able to get my Nexus 6 activated with my Project Fi phone number.  I got my replacement in about 24 hours, swapped my SIM cards again, and was back up and running.

That about sums up my satisfied journey with Project Fi so far.  I hope that this extended testimonial will help you make a decision if you have considered switching to Project Fi.  I also hope that anyone else with the service has had as great of an experience as I have had so far.  Since switching from Sprint, I’ve never even considered looking back.  And to help get you started, from now until the January 11, 2017, you can use this link to sign up for Project Fi and get a $20 credit after having active service for 30 days.  I’ll also go ahead and give you a few of the best features of Project Fi here to help you see the benefits.  Thank you for reading, and please leave your comments below, especially if you are a fellow Project Fi user.

  • Unlimited calling and text included in the base price: $20/mo.
  • Data cost is $10/GB — Pay only for what you use.  For example, if you pay for 1 GB ($10) and only use 500MB, you will get a $5 credit on your next bill.  Likewise, if you pay for 1GB ($10) but use 1.5GB, then you’ll pay the extra $5 on your next bill.  You can change your expected data usage anytime in the Project Fi app.
  • Wi-Fi Assistant — Project Fi automatically searches for available open Wi-Fi networks.  When connected to one of these open networks, your phone will automatically connect to Google’s VPN service so that your data is secured, even when on an open network.
  • Excellent 24/7 support via phone, email or chat available directly through the Project Fi app or on any computer at
  • Mobile service is provided via Sprint, T-Mobile and US Cellular giving you more coverage wherever you may be.  Your phone will automatically switch between networks to keep you on the strongest and fastest service available.
  • Family plans now available (up to 6 total members).  The first line is the standard $20/mo. and each additional line is $15/mo.  Data is charged the same at $10/GB for the account as a whole.  Data limits can be placed on each line as needed preventing members from over-using their data.
  • International data roaming at no additional cost.  When travelling abroad, you can still use your Project Fi phone in most countries.  You most likely won’t be able to get LTE speeds, but I have read that users have been able to use their phones on available 3G networks satisfactorily.  (More information about international usage and costs here:  Texts are free, but calls to the US will incur a $0.20/min. charge.  Wi-Fi calling to the US is still free.

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