(Topic ID: 249526)

Anyone using Google Fi?


By harryhoudini

6 months ago



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  • Latest reply 6 months ago by harryhoudini
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    #1 6 months ago

    They claim to be using the "top 3 LTE" providers. We have to use Verizon for coverage in our area but I'm wondering if Fi would provide the same coverage. The map in our area is sort of iffy... none of the providers have a good presence here. The maps look like a checkerboard in our area with the various coverage areas and levels in different colors. Once you get to the freeway it is solid but in the boonies it's iffy. So I don't think we'll be getting any better coverage, but it looks like they offer a lot more of what I'd like compared to Verizon. Pricing seems better, they have a deal on Pixel 3s right now (I know 4 is coming out) and we need new phones. I'm half tempted to try it out.

    #2 6 months ago

    I switched to Google Fi a few years ago. I live in an area that is very iffy for coverage with all the providers, but the phone just uses the WiFi connection if it has no signal, so it has become a non-factor for me. My wife has Verizon and in fairness, there have been a handful of times over the years where she has had a signal when I did not... but a very rare occurrence. With Google Fi, the pricing is better, the deals on the phones are usually great... and as far as I know (other than the phone purchase) you aren't locked into a long contract. You can also save a bunch of money if you stick with WiFi whenever possible. I'd say give it a shot, see if you like it.

    #3 6 months ago

    I transitioned everyone over to Fi from Verizon over the course of 1.5 years, two users at a time. We too lived in a spot where everything other than Sprint sucked with avg of 1 bar so I had nothing to lose. Service has been fine, and as they added more homes to this area the cell providers added better coverage so I'm still as well off as my neighbors.

    Saved a ton of $$ over the last 18 months by taking advantage of promos which give you $$ credits on your bill when you add a line and port a number. They bundle that perk with discounts on their phones (purchased outright) so it's a win-win. I'm not exaggerating when I say that due to the credits I had either nothing to pay or a bill under $40 for 18 months. That $$ credit finally fizzled out on me this summer so we're paying for what we use. No biggie, it's still less than what I was paying for four persons on the large plan with Verizon. I have one last family member to migrate; I'm waiting till black-Friday weekend because they usually have a great deal on their current flagship (will be Pixel 4) and again, it comes with credits to your account. Lookin forward to that again.

    Good luck.

    #4 6 months ago

    I was going to switch to Fi a while ago but I got spooked by the data plans. i wound up getting Mint Mobile - $25 a month with unlimited everything but there is a data cap of 12 g a month. I'm a relatively medium data user (love my YouTube for music videos during the day) but I never go over the cap. Yes, you have to prepay - but I was happy to pay $300 for a years service! I've used it in Northeastern Ohio and on a drive from Fort Lauderdale to Atlanta and never had an issue.

    They have a special running now if you can live with 8 gig a month - 6 months service for $60.

    #5 6 months ago

    Google Fi is great if you spend 95% of your time in Wifi capable areas (which most do). The only time I use data is if I'm in the car by myself, but usually we use the Wife's phone which is on Verizon for navigation and such (she gets a discount from work). Google also reimburses you for data not used throughout the month so my bill usually hovers around $26 a month inclusive of the data back. The only downside for me was having to purchase a phone outright. Other than that is been great and seems to be getting better all the time, but Im an old school bare-bones phone guy so I don't need bleeding edge features.

    #6 6 months ago

    Google Fi is using networks of T-Mobile, Sprint and US Cellular. Of those three US Cellular does not operate in PNW and Sprint's network coverage is pretty bad in general regardless of the location resulting in T-Mobile network being the primary carrier. Google does not have it's own Wi-Fi hotspots either, but the Fi service will automatically connect to any and all open WiFi hotspots. Any phone can connect to those same Wi-Fi hotspots, so it's not really that big of an advantage IMHO

    When looking at plan pricing, Fi plans have flexibility but do get expensive quickly especially if you use a decent amount of data. If you don't really use data that much, then it might make sense. E.g. T-Mobile unlimited plans for 4 people are $40 per line vs Fi plans seem to be $20 + $10 for each GB of data used (but max out at $80 per month if you use >6GB, which is not that hard).

    The Fi service requires a specific phone making the selection more limited and you have to pay it outright.

    So, if you use a lot of data I'd suggest giving T-Mobile a try but if you are ok with the Fi phones and don't really use much data it might be better for you cost wise especially if you need only one line. My guess is service wise you'll end up in T-Mobile's network in Fi most of the time anyhow since you live in WA.

    Btw, network coverage (especially T-Mobile) has improved tremendously in previous years but to get full benefit of that you need a pretty recent device. T-Mobile is in a process of deploying new low band coverage layer which will improve coverage even further. So if you are going to buy a new phone, make sure it supports 600MHz...

    #7 6 months ago
    Quoted from Kkuoppamaki:

    Google Fi is using networks of T-Mobile, Sprint and US Cellular. Of those three US Cellular does not operate in PNW and Sprint's network coverage is pretty bad in general regardless of the location resulting in T-Mobile network being the primary carrier. Google does not have it's own Wi-Fi hotspots either, but the Fi service will automatically connect to any and all open WiFi hotspots. Any phone can connect to those same Wi-Fi hotspots, so it's not really that big of an advantage IMHO
    When looking at plan pricing, Fi plans have flexibility but do get expensive quickly especially if you use a decent amount of data. If you don't really use data that much, then it might make sense. E.g. T-Mobile unlimited plans for 4 people are $40 per line vs Fi plans seem to be $20 + $10 for each GB of data used (but max out at $80 per month if you use >6GB, which is not that hard).
    The Fi service requires a specific phone making the selection more limited and you have to pay it outright.
    So, if you use a lot of data I'd suggest giving T-Mobile a try but if you are ok with the Fi phones and don't really use much data it might be better for you cost wise especially if you need only one line. My guess is service wise you'll end up in T-Mobile's network in Fi most of the time anyhow since you live in WA.
    Btw, network coverage (especially T-Mobile) has improved tremendously in previous years but to get full benefit of that you need a pretty recent device. T-Mobile is in a process of deploying new low band coverage layer which will improve coverage even further. So if you are going to buy a new phone, make sure it supports 600MHz...

    Ah thank you, that helps a ton. Reconsidering now.

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