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Google Fi: Phones, plans, pricing, perks, and more explained

Project Fi, a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) compatible with Nexus and Pixel smartphones (and the Motorola Moto X4). Three years later, the company announced the project had been brought directly under Google’s branding with a name change to “Google Fi.” Since then, Google’s MVNO has gone from strength to strength, and today, it is compatible with the majority of Android devices, and it even works with iPhones.

the Google Fi website, but now you can also head to Best Buy and get a SIM card off the shelf. The downside to that, however, is that you’ll pay $10 for the Best Buy SIM cards. When you sign up online, Google will ship the SIM card to you for free. You can also port your phone number from the existing service you use, rather than having to use a new one.

Google Fi’s 5G coverage map. It uses T-Mobile’s 5G network, so make sure your phone supports that network. You can find a list of compatible models on Google Fi’s FAQ.

two plans as part of Google Fi: An Unlimited plan and a “Flexible” plan. The Flexible plan is Google Fi’s traditional plan, allowing users to pay for the amount of data they use at the end of the month. The new Unlimited plan, however, is probably better for those that use a lot of data each month and don’t want to have to worry about limiting their use.

People Line cost Total
1 $70 ($35 for the first 3 months) $70 ($35 for the first 3 months)
2 $60 x 2 ($30 for the first 3 months) $120 ($60 for the first 3 months)
3 $50 x 3 ($25 for the first 3 months) $150 ($75 for the first 3 months)
4 $45 x 4 ($23 for the first 3 months) $180 ($92 for the first 3 months)
5 $45 x 5 ($23 for the first 3 months) $225 ($115 for the first 3 months)
6 $45 x 6 ($23 for the first 3 months) $270 ($138 for the first 3 months)

any unlimited data plan these days, there is some fine print. For example, you’ll get high-speed data for 22GB, but after you use up that allotment, your speed may be throttled. Not only that, but Google says video may stream at 480p. You can also opt to pay $10 per GB of data you use beyond the limit.

50+ countries and territories. In other words, you’ll be able to just continue using your data the same way you otherwise would. There is a fee for international calling outside of those allowed territories though, and calls to those countries will cost you 1¢ per minute.

People Line Cost Data Cost Total
1 $20 $10 per GB per user $20 per month + data
2 $18 $10 per GB per user $35 per month + data
3 $17 $10 per GB per user $50 per month + data
4 $17 $10 per GB per user $65 per month + data
5 $16 $10 per GB per user $80 per month + data
6 $16 $10 per GB per user $95 per month + data

Republic Wireless, for example, offers talk, text, and up to 5GB of 4G LTE data for $40 per month — $30 per month cheaper than the equivalent Google Fi plan. Cricket Wireless’ $55 plan has unlimited talk, text, and data. FreedomPop’s 5GB tier starts at $35 per month.

Bill Protection,” which gives you unlimited data for $80 (if you only have one line). That’s because Google will no longer charge for more than 6GB of data — so if you use 10GB, you will still only be paying for 6GB. The caveat is that Google says users might experience slower speeds after 15GB of data. Bill Protection kicks in at different levels for group plans — and you can see where here. You should also be aware that the 6GB cap is for one-person plans. The cap increases to 10GB for two people, 12GB for three users, and 14GB for four people. Five- and six-person plans are capped at 16GB and 18GB, respectively.

Group Plans let users add other people to their subscription for an additional $15 per user per month. Group Plans let plan managers view data usage by each member, set data notifications, add monthly allowances, and pause members’ data usage. A more recent feature, Group Repay, automatically calculates each of the members’ shares of the monthly bill and allows payments in fixed amounts based on an individual’s total usage, or only for data usage above the standard allotment.

 Fi’s support page for the full list of supported carriers and countries). International data costs the same rate as Google Fi data in the U.S., and text messaging is free. Calls start at 20 cents per minute.

Wi-Fi Assistant, a background service that automatically connects to “more than a million” public hotspots. It’s a seamless transition between the networks — calls aren’t interrupted when the phone switches from cellular to Wi-Fi — and the connection is secured through a virtual private network that routes traffic through Google’s servers.

full list of supported devices below:

Google Fi’s compatibility page.

Google Fi FAQ.

5G-enabled phones. But all of that means nothing if the networks aren’t also capable of putting out a 5G signal for those phones.

Family Link app, you can manage the content that your children see — at least insofar as their apps are concerned. You can set some ground rules for your children — whether they’re younger or teenagers — by limiting screen time, or locking your children’s phones when it’s bedtime, homework time, or mealtime. Parents can also set filters in Chrome, search, and other Google services to protect their children from online dangers and encourage them to explore and learn about the internet in a safe way.

full list of Google Fi phones.

the excellent Pixel 4a at just $15/month, with device protection and an upgrade after two years. That’s a strong deal, and one worth looking into if you want a good phone with all of Google Fi’s features.