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We haven’t written about Google’s Project Fi since we switched three of our phones to their service in December, 2015. During that time, we’ve received a few questions on our experiences with it.
For those who don’t know what Project Fi is, here’s some background:
- $30 a month (unlimited voice and text from anywhere in the world plus 1GB of data)
- $10 for each additional gigabyte of data regardless of where you are
- Unlimited tethering
- Credit back for any data you don’t use at dollar increments for every 100MB.
- 3G speed (256Kbps) when roaming internationally
- No contract
When we wrote about it, we pointed to a few downsides:
- Slow connecting to networks when roaming internationally (can take up to 5 minutes to connect)
- Only available on three Android phones
- Requires a personal Gmail account
- No family plans
In the last 14 months, we think Google has improved Project Fi.
- Connecting to networks when roaming is a lot faster now. It’s still not as fast as AT&T, Verizon or T-Mobile, but definitely a lot faster. You don’t have to wait 5 to 10 minutes when you land in a new country for it to find a network.
- 4G/LTE when roaming – this is great because you can tether for free. We stopped carrying our global mobile hotspot when Google upgraded their roaming speeds.
- Data only SIMs for an additional $10 – add a data only SIM for your tablet etc for $10/month per 1GB of data
- While Project Fi does not have a true family plan, you can add an additional line for $25/month. It comes with unlimited voice, text and 1GB of data. Each additional gigabyte is $10/month.
The service is still a work in progress. In our 14 months, we have been to Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Ecuador, Germany, Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland, Japan, Macau, Malaysia, Martinique, Mexico, Portugal, Sri Lanka, Spain, Sweden and Thailand with our Project Fi phones. Only in Ecuador did we have issues – it worked fine around the airport but as we ascended to a higher altitude in Quito, there was no service. That brings us to the next point, in general, Google’s Project Fi works very well in urban areas, but as your go into the countryside, service is spotty or non-existent.
(If you follow us on Instagram, you know we were also in Mynamar. We didn’t list it above because Google Project Fi does not have any roaming partners in Mynamar.)
If you travel with any frequency internationally, at the moment, Google’s Project Fi is the best option if you are not married to Apple products. It is better than T-Mobile because Google’s Project Fi will always be in 4G/LTE mode regardless of phone/country combination while T-Mobile steps down to lower speeds quite often.
If you are interested in signing up, use our referral link and save $20. (We will also receive a $20 credit). Thanks in advance if you do use our link to sign up.
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