Why Google’s Project Fi is Our Favorite Phone Service for International Travel

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We have been using Google’s Project Fi as our main phone service since December 2015. We originally switched from Verizon because of its reasonable pricing for international travel — $10 per GB with 3G speed, regardless of where we are. Last year, Google increased the speed and now it is 4G, wherever it is available. At the moment, we have 3 lines with Project Fi.

We still consider this one of the best values out there in contrast to T-Mobile or Sprint’s international roaming, which is only 2G. 2G is basically good for sending messages via iMessage, WhatsApp, and extremely light map usage. With Project Fi though we have no problems with Snapchat and Instagram.

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 with 1GB of data)
    • Voice calls outside of the US will not have any charges if on WiFi calling – make sure to enable airplane mode, then WiFi call to ensure there are no charges.
  • $10 for each additional GB of data, regardless of where you are
  • Unlimited tethering
  • Credit back for any data you don’t use
  • While Project Fi does not have a true family plan, you can add an additional line for $15/month
  • 4G/LTE when roaming – this is great because you can tether for free. We stopped carrying our global mobile hotspot when traveling because of this feature.
  • Data only SIMs for an additional $10 – add a data-only SIM for your tablet, etc. for $10/month per 1GB of data
  • Pause and restart service through the app – let’s say you are using this just for travel; turn it on for travel and when you return, pause it for up to 3 months and you won’t be billed
  • All Project Fi phones purchased directly from Google are unlocked – so in countries that do not have roaming, like Vietnam, pop out the Project Fi SIM and you can use a local SIM without any hassle
  • No contract

In the last 24 months, we have been to Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, the Czech Republic, Ecuador, England, Germany, Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland, Japan, Liechtenstein, Macau, Malaysia, Martinique, Mexico, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Portugal, Qatar, Sri Lanka, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, 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.

The downside is phone selection on Project Fi is limited and there is no official support for iPhones. Only four phones on sale right now are officially supported: Pixel XL, Pixel 2, Pixel 2XL, and the Moto X4. Older phones, like the Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P and Nexus 6, also work.

Conclusion:

If you travel with any frequency internationally, Google’s Project Fi is the best option if you are not married to Apple products. It is better than T-Mobile or Sprint because Google’s Project Fi will always be in 4G/LTE mode, regardless of the phone/country combination.

If you are interested in signing up, use our referral link and save $20. (We will also receive a $20 credit). Thank you in advance if you do use our link to sign up.

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6 Responses to "Why Google’s Project Fi is Our Favorite Phone Service for International Travel"

  1. Melanie says:

    How well did it work in New Zealand? Were you able to use Google maps with no problems? We’ll be going there in April and this sounds like a great way to have internet whenever we need it!

    Reply
  2. Kavil Chheda says:

    Your information is incorrect. It’s not unlimited voice from anywhere in the world. Voice has some charge.

    Reply
  3. Rigoberto Rayon Jr. says:

    I just started with Google Fi, and I used your referral. I like the overall service I get from Google. Thanks. 🙂
    Merry Christmas & Happy New Year.

    Reply
  4. Michael Newman says:

    I am glad to see this review. I have been using Project Fi for about two years now for my personal phone. It is absolutely great!

    Reply

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