Posts Tagged project fi

Project Fi is now Google Fi and is available for most Android phones and iPhones

What is Google Fi

Google Fi previously known as Project Fi is Google’s attempt at offering its own cellular service. With Google Fi your phone will get access to 3 different 4G LTE networks, unlimited calls + texts, no roaming fees in 170+ destinations, and access to over 2 million secure Wi-Fi hotspots. In theory, this means your phone should hop between network to network and Wi-Fi hotspots ensuring you have the fastest available connection and best coverage.

What Phones are Available for Google Fi

For the past 3 years in order to take advantage of this service, you were required to use one of the Project Fi approved phones. Today that all changes as Google rebrands the service to Google Fi and opens it up to most Android phones and even iPhones. To see if your phone is supported refer to this compatibility checker from the Google Fi site.

Unfortunately, there is a catch, as Google states only phones designed specifically for Fi such as the Google Pixel 3 and select others will take full advantage of the service. This includes seamlessly switching between cellular networks, support for Wi-Fi calling, access to Google Fi’s VPN service, and automatically connecting to secure Wi-Fi hotspots.

Other phones designed for Google Fi besides the Pixel include the LG G7, LG V35, Moto G6, and Moto X4. They can be purchased through the Google Fi website where for November 28 only Google is celebrating by offering travel gift cards with purchase. The gift cards will match the same amount spent on the phone and are available from Airbnb, Delta Air Lines, Hotels.com, and Southwest Airlines.

How Much Does Google Fi Cost

While the service has opened up to more phones the plan itself has gone unchanged. As in the past, the plan starts $20 for unlimited minutes and texts for the first person and $15 for each additional person. Data is charged separately at $10 per gigabyte until you reach 6GB where Bill Protection kicks in and data is free for the rest of the month. However, once you hit 15GB your speeds will be throttled.

Should you Switch to Google Fi

If you’ve ever been interested in the Fi service in the past and you are a frequent traveler, today would be the best day to buy a phone through them. If you’ve been curious about the plan in the past but don’t own a Fi specific phone, then you’ll have more to contemplate. Google Fi offers one of a kind coverage but without a Fi specific phone, you won’t be able to take full advantage of the service. The pricing is also not that competitive when compared to some other networks.

Join Google Fi

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Google Fi now supports most phones, including iPhone

Google on Wednesday renamed its mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), Project Fi, to Google Fi. In the process, it also drastically expanded its list of compatible phones.

Effective immediately, Google Fi is no longer restricted to a short list of select devices. Indeed, pretty much any unlocked phone is now compatible with the service.

Not only does Google Fi support a much wider net of Android phones, but it also now allows for iPhone, too. Compatibility for iPhones is considered beta and requires the use of an iOS app, but it’s a huge step forward.

As far service and rate plans are concerned, Google Fi remains unchanged from its Project Fi days. The network operates on the backs of T-Mobile, Sprint, and US Cellular towers, hopping between them based on best coverage. Additionally, it relies on WiFi when and wherever possible.

Google Fi runs $20 per month for unlimited voice and text; high-speed data is $10 per month for each gigabyte. There are no fees for going over your expected or allotted data plan as billing is pro-rated at the same amount.

Google also provides peace of mind in its Bill Protection which doesn’t charge heavier users for going over 6GB per month on a single line. In a related note, any unused data is refunded to the user in the following bill. Multiple-line accounts are also available.

Google Fi recently added VPN protection to its service for cellular connections, mirroring what it also does for WiFi. This gives subscribers an added layer of protection and security.

If you are interested in signing up for Google Fi, click here to learn more. Note that we’ve attached a referral link which could result in a credit for both AndroidGuys and those who sign up and complete 30 days of service.

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Unreal Mobile review: How good can a $10/month cell phone plan be?

How much does your cell phone line cost every month? $50? $75? $100?

How does $10 sound?

If you think that sounds too good to be true, you’ve never heard of Unreal Mobile. Unreal is an offshoot of FreedomPop, another low-cost carrier. Unreal started quick on the back of incredibly cheap lines of service and now its here to disrupt the industry.

Carriers like FreedomPop or Unreal are commonly referred to as MVNOs or Mobile Virtual Network Operator. These companies aren’t as big as the major carriers in the United States like Verizon, Sprint, AT&T, and T-Mobile, but they are gaining popularity. You’ve probably heard of at least of a few of these MVNOs like Metro by T-Mobile (formally MetroPCS), Project Fi, Virgin Mobile, Cricket, or Boost Mobile.

These carriers generally offer cheaper prices than the big four in exchange for some trade-offs. But, how can they do that? Well, in Unreal’s case, the company leases tower space from both AT&T and Sprint. Since carriers build more capacity than they need, they can lease unused space to smaller carriers. Unreal then sells cheap plans to its customers using those same towers as AT&T and Sprint customers.

What are the tradeoffs?

via InsideTowers.com

The first and most noticeable is data speeds. Your phone won’t be able to pull those blazing speeds that carriers advertise, but it should still be enough to surf the web, upload pictures to Facebook or stream music. In my testing, I saw around 10 Mbps down and 1 Mbps up. That’s nothing compared to the 100 Mbps down that I’ve seen on T-Mobile’s network, but I had no problem with these speeds, especially when you consider that Unreal’s service is about 20% of the cost of T-Mobile’s.

Service can be spotty too. Since you’re relying on Sprint’s and AT&T’s towers, you’re at their mercy. If you opt for a CDMA phone and Sprint’s service isn’t great where you live, you’re just out of luck. Luckily, Unreal recently added AT&T as a partner, a carrier with a superior network.

If you don’t own your own unlocked device, Unreal offers a slate of devices for you to pick up. In the month that we’ve been testing Unreal, the selection has greatly expanded and there are now more and better options.

We have been testing the service with a Samsung Galaxy S6 from 2015. It’s pretty terrible. At the time our review started, it was one of the best options along with the Apple iPhone 6S and Samsung Galaxy S7. Now, you can pick from the Samsung Galaxy Note 9, Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus, S8 Active, LG G7 ThinQ, and plenty of selections from Apple.

If you’re looking for something a bit cheaper, Unreal offers an LG X Charge or Motorola Moto E4 for $120 or a Samsung Galaxy J7 (2017) for $160. Most of the offerings from Unreal are CDMA only devices which is something to keep in mind. If you want to use the carrier but Sprint doesn’t have great service in your area, you may want to pick up a cheap GSM unlocked device from Amazon or Swappa.

How much does it cost?

This is where things get really enticing.

You can get Unreal’s service for as low as $10 a month, but they offer more than just that tier. Here’s how things break down.

The base subscription nets you unlimited talk, texting, and 1 GB of LTE for $10/month. Once you roll through that 1 GB of data, you’re limited to 2G speeds, according to Unreal.

If you’re looking for a little more, Unreal offers Unlimited + 3 GB for $20/month or Unlimited + 5 GB for $30/month.

Unreal also says that all plans come with VPN service, an ad blocker, data rollover, and live agent support. Normally support is one of those trade-offs you have to make when going with a low-cost option so be prepared to wait on hold if you have any problems. FreedomPop’s CEO has stated in interviews that this is one of the areas the carrier is working to improve.

Back to the prices, those are almost eye-wateringly good. It’s hard to find anything of quality for $10, especially cell service. If you’re sitting there thinking “there’s no way I could get by on just 5 GB a month of LTE” then you’re not the target demographic.

No, Unreal isn’t going after the typical glued-to-their-phone 20-something professional. They’re going after your mom and dad. They’re going after your little brother and sister. Those who aren’t on phones all the time and need just enough to check some emails, send a few text messages, and get directions. Those who rely on WiFi anyway.

Conclusion

So, is Unreal right for you? Are you looking to save a few dollars a month in exchange for your sites loading a little slower and being conscious of what kind of network you’re connected to? Only you can decide that, but we’re sold on Unreal Mobile.

The service is easy to sign up for, easy to use, and dirt cheap. That’s a recipe for success.

We do wish there were a few more cheaper options in the store, but that can be remedied by picking up a device on another site. If you decide to go with one of Unreal’s premium options, the prices don’t seem too crazy and you can pay with PayPal, which is a huge plus for us.

We give Unreal two thumbs up.

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When and where you can buy the Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL

Google took to the stage unveiling their much-leaked Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL phones today in New York City. Thanks to all of the leaks we were already aware of almost everything there is to know about both of these phones.

A Little About the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL

In case you’re in need of a refresher the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are both packing a Snapdragon 845, 4GB of RAM, come with either 64GB or 128GB of storage, include a 12MP rear camera with dual 8MP cameras on the front, and are launching with Android 9 Pie.

Where the two phones differ comes down mostly to the size of the screen and battery. The Pixel 3 offers a 5.5-inch display with stereo front-facing speakers. While the Pixel 3 XL has a larger 6.2-inch display with an obnoxiously large notch but also includes stereo front-facing speakers. Due to the size difference between the screens, it is only natural the Pixel 3 contains a smaller 2915mAh battery and the Pixel 3 XL features a larger 3430mAh battery.

If you’d like to know more about either of these phones have a look at our article on the official launch of the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL.

Where to Buy the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL

Project Fi

Project Fi is one of two carriers that sells the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL directly. The 64 GB Pixel 3 starts at $799 and 64GB Pixel 3 XL starts at $899. You will need to add another $100 to both if you want to jump up to the 128GB model. Both models come in Just Black, Clearly White, and Not Pink. Pre-orders are available starting today.

Promos

With the purchase of a Pixel 3 or Pixel 3 XL from Project Fi and activation of a new line, you will receive a $799 credit.

Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL

Verizon

Pre-order for the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are available right now from Verizon. The 64GB Pixel 3 will start at $33.33 per month for 24 months or $799.99 total. While the 128GB Pixel 3 will start at $37.49 per month for 24 months or $899.99 total.

The 64GB Pixel 3 XL starts at $38.74 for 24 months or $929.99 total. While the 128GB Pixel 3 XL starts at $42.91 or 1029.99 total. Both will be available in Just Black, Clearly White, and Not Pink and can be found in stores beginning on October 18.

Promos

For a limited time, Verizon is running a buy one get one deal on the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL. When you purchase one of the new Pixel 3 phones and add a new line of service you will receive a 64GB Pixel 3 for free or $799 off any other Pixel 3 or Pixel 3 XL phone.

Verizon is also offering a free Pixel Stand if you purchase through the My Verizon app on October 9.

Pixel 3 Google Pixel 3 XL

Unlocked

Both the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL can be bought unlocked directly from Google and will work on AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and associated MVNOs. If the full price is a little steep for you then you have the option to finance through Google and you can also trade in an old phone for a discount.

The 64GB Pixel 3 will start at $799 or $33.29 per month with Google Store financing. The 128GB Pixel 3 will set you back $899 or $37.46 per month if financed through the Google Store.

The 64GB Pixel 3 XL starts at $899 or $34.46 per month with Google Store financing. While the 128GB Pixel 3 XL costs $999 or $41.63 per month if financed through the Google Store.

Pre-orders have already begun and you can choose between all three colors including Just Black, Clearly White, and Not Pink.

Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL

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Deal: Take $250 off a Pixel 2 XL or $300 off an LG G7 or V35 with this Project Fi

If you’ve been in the market for a new phone and want to give Project Fi a try then you’re in luck. Lately, Project Fi has been running some great promos such as the deal from last month for LG, Moto, and Pixel phones. Not only is this new deal great, but it is for some of the best phones you can get on Android making it even sweeter.

Pixel 2 XL Deal

Project Fi’s latest promo will save you $250 on a Pixel 2 XL. In order to get the discount, you must purchase the device from Project Fi’s site and activate it within 30 days. Activating within 30 days is an important step here because the $250 discount comes in the form of service credits.

The phone will also need to keep service for 30 consecutive days within 60 days of purchasing and is for full service, not data only plans. This deal is also limited to one per customer but if you happen to be on a group plan each person counts as an individual customer.

LG G7 and V35 Deal

 

This next discount will get you $300 off both the LG G7 ThinQ and V35 ThinQ effectively dropping the price to $449 for the G7 and $599 for the V35. There are far fewer terms for this deal and unlike with the Pixel 2 XL it does not come in the form of service credits. Instead, you get the discount all up front.

However, you must activate the phone on Project Fi within the first 30 days. If you fail to do so the remaining amount for the phone will be charged to your account. There is no minimum activation time but you must activate for full service including voice and data.

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Project Fi is offering $200 off the Pixel 2 XL and deals on Moto and LG phones

Google’s back to school sale isn’t the only way to get a deal on a Pixel 2 XL. Starting August 12 until the 31 Project Fi has some discounts for you as well. Starting with the Pixel 2 XL, LG G7 ThinQ, LG V35 ThinQ, and Moto G6 for some pretty steep discounts.

Pixel 2 XL

The Pixel 2 XL is still one of the best Android phones around and one of the few running the official release of Android Pie. The $200 discount through Project Fi is for all current and new customers. With the discount, this effectively drops the price of the 64GB model to $649 and $749 for the 128GB model. However, it will require you to activate a line within 30 days or your account will be charged the additional $200 and is limited to 1 per customer.

LG G7 ThinQ and LG V35 ThinQ

For this pair of LG phones, Project Fi is offering a bill credit of up to $899 when you purchase two of them. You can purchase two G7 ThinQ, two V35 ThinQ, or mix and match. However, the bill credit will be for the amount of the cheapest phone. In order to receive the credit, both phones must be activated on the shared group plan within 60 days of purchase. They must also remain active for 30 consecutive days, only then will you begin to receive the bill credits.

Moto G6

The Moto G6 is one of the best budget phones around and with this Project Fi deal you can snag it for $50 off. In this case, just as with the LG phone deal, the discount comes in the form of a bill credit. The Moto G6 must also be activated within 30 days of purchase and remain active for 30 consecutive days before you’ll receive your credit.

If you’re interested, you might want to jump on these deals quickly. Even though they run through August 31 the terms also state they are only good while supply lasts.

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Refer people to Project Fi and win a Moto X and Chromecast

The holiday season is just around the corner, so Google wants to make the winter celebrations even sweeter. Remember Project Fi’s referral program which awarded subscribers who referred friends and family a $20 gift card? Well, things have gotten a lot better with the new “Fi it Forward” challenge. Now when a Project Fi subscriber […]

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Which Android One smartphone is better? Moto X4 vs Xiaomi Mi A1

This year there have been some exciting developments in relation to the Android One initiative. For starters, Google has teamed up with some interesting new partners to produce affordable Android One handsets. Secondly, it has finally brought the program to the US. In what follows, we take a look at two smartphones from the new […]

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Project Fi gets its first Android One phone; Moto X4 available for $399

Google today confirmed that it will begin offering the Motorola Moto X4 as part of its Project Fi-ready smartphones. Moreover, it also formally introduces the Android One initiative to the United States. Available in Super Black and Sterling Blue color options, the Android One Moto X4 is available for $399. Interested parties can begin placing […]

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Google Home is now able to make phone calls in the US and Canada

Back in May during its I/O 2017, Google announced you’ll soon be able to make calls using the Google Home speaker. Well, the functionality is rolling out as we speak, but for the time being, only users in US and Canada will be able to take advantage of it. Now you can simply say “Ok […]

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