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Google Fi: Anyone care to post their experience?

Old Sep 3, 2017, 6:37 am
FlyerTalk Forums Expert How-Tos and Guides
Last edit by: Zorak
Which countries are supported?

https://support.google.com/fi/answer...intl_countries

Note that in some locations Hangouts (and Gmail) are not available (e.g., China, Russia, Thailand, South Korea, Mexico, Argentina, and more: see link below for full list of excluded countries), so you will need a VPN to access them (or to make VOIP calls via Hangouts Dialer)

https://support.google.com/hangouts/answer/3205646

Exceptions:

Listed, but no/spotty service:
  • Ukraine (Aug 2018) - no service, all providers listed as "forbidden". Post #660
  • Alaska (Jul 2018) -- had voice service, but inconsistent/spotty data (try forcing Sprint)
  • Peru (Sep 2016) post 341, 360
  • Grand Cayman Island (Jan 2018) post 547

Not listed, *did* have service
  • Belize (Jan 2018) post 547 Belize now appears on the "supported" international list
If you are having trouble connecting, level 1 Fi reps recommend you try the following steps before they will escalate. Try each step in the order listed below to see if it fixes your issue - if not, move on to next step.

1- Reboot phone
2- Toggle "airplane mode" on/off. Wait five seconds after toggling off (it resets phone modem).
3- Try manually connecting to each available network (rather than using the auto select feature).
4- Toggle down from 4g to 3g (removing the recommended 4g option) and then try manually connecting to each available network.
5- Toggle down from 3g to 2g and then try manually connecting to each available network.
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Google Fi: Anyone care to post their experience?

Old Oct 12, 2015, 11:45 am
  #76  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 4,531
3 months in w/ 2 GB data plan.
So far, I'm pleased. I'm consistently below 1,0 gb/month.
I've had minor issues switching from WiFi to the Fi network.
I'm not smart enough to hard-wire the phone to only use TMobile
I prefer to use Hangouts for texting (even before this plan) and sometimes can't initiate texts there ( have to use messaging feature first). An OK workaround.
Nexus 6 phone itself is okay, I'd prefer something more compact.
Saving $35/month over Verizon is priceless, however.
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Old Oct 12, 2015, 12:14 pm
  #77  
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 102
in phone dialer use short code *#*# Fi TMO #*#* or "34866" pushes phone to tmo.

I signed up for 2gb plan at first but switched to 1gb. Don't see a point now to sign up for more data as it's always the same price/rate.
vletnguyen is offline  
Old Oct 16, 2015, 8:56 am
  #78  
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: NY
Posts: 233
I'd love Project Fi if they opened it to more phones and Verizon was a partner instead of Sprint. I just can't give up my unlimited data on Verizon. Luckily, I just used all of our upgrades so our contracts end late 2017. Once that happens, and the data plans get bumped to $50/month, I think Project FI or T-Mobile will be where we end up.
JerMah is offline  
Old Oct 16, 2015, 10:07 am
  #79  
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: ORD
Programs: AA-GLD
Posts: 27
I've got fi and I have placed my order for the 6p. It gets here about 10 days before I leave for Hong Kong and Beijing. I hope it works well over there!

So far around the US I've had no problems. I still have my verizon phone with unlimited data but now that I hear they are raising the price I might switch to Fi full time.
IceZ is offline  
Old Oct 18, 2015, 6:15 pm
  #80  
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 341
I've been using Project Fi for a few months now and really like it. I was with Sprint before and had little to no signal in some areas I spend a significant amount of time, and now I always have service in those areas.

I mainly wanted it for international travel. No more waiting in long lines at an airport kiosk for a SIM card. My first int'l trip I couldn't get service but Fi support told me to, "clear the cache and data in the Project Fi app, turn airplane mode on/off and restart the phone" and after doing that it's been working when getting to a new country.
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Old Oct 19, 2015, 1:12 pm
  #81  
TA
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: if it's Thursday, this must be Belgium
Programs: UA 1K MM
Posts: 6,477
Thanks for all these pieces of information.

Can anyone generally comment on how the Android OS is as a user experience for someone who is accustomed to Apple iOS? I am strongly considering switching one of my parents' phone over to this because of the international travel roaming benefits, and the lower cost of plans. But they are getting comfortable with iPhones so this is yet another headache that you have to choose between giving away your allegiance to one system or another...

On the other hand, my dad is not too familiar even with iOS yet, so this would be like a blank slate starting. He probably will use the phone in a very basic mode, barely messaging, etc.
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Old Oct 19, 2015, 1:28 pm
  #82  
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Free invites today.

https://fi.google.com/about/
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Old Oct 19, 2015, 1:30 pm
  #83  
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Originally Posted by TA
Thanks for all these pieces of information.

Can anyone generally comment on how the Android OS is as a user experience for someone who is accustomed to Apple iOS? I am strongly considering switching one of my parents' phone over to this because of the international travel roaming benefits, and the lower cost of plans. But they are getting comfortable with iPhones so this is yet another headache that you have to choose between giving away your allegiance to one system or another...

On the other hand, my dad is not too familiar even with iOS yet, so this would be like a blank slate starting. He probably will use the phone in a very basic mode, barely messaging, etc.
The nice thing about Android is that you can strip down the home screen to as few "buttons" as possible. For example, on the top half of the screen, a weather widget to show your parent what the weather is outside. Then, at the bottom of the screen, you can have a phone button and a messaging button, and that's it.
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Old Oct 19, 2015, 9:38 pm
  #84  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Somewhere in Florida
Posts: 2,550
Originally Posted by TA
Thanks for all these pieces of information.

Can anyone generally comment on how the Android OS is as a user experience for someone who is accustomed to Apple iOS? I am strongly considering switching one of my parents' phone over to this because of the international travel roaming benefits, and the lower cost of plans. But they are getting comfortable with iPhones so this is yet another headache that you have to choose between giving away your allegiance to one system or another...

On the other hand, my dad is not too familiar even with iOS yet, so this would be like a blank slate starting. He probably will use the phone in a very basic mode, barely messaging, etc.
After much anxiety from both of my parents, I've put both of my technophobe parents on Android phones.

My mother, who had difficulty operating a simple flip phone, absolutely loves her little Samsung S4. I stripped down the home screen to show a weather applet, a Google search bar, and icons she uses (email, web, camera, games) and locked it down so she can't go dragging things everywhere or change settings she shouldn't be playing with. She actually finds this phone MUCH easier to use than the flip phone and I've not had to help her much with it. She used to get confused as to which way to hold a flip phone (she'd put the microphone up to her ear) and she never could figure out the menus or T9 texting with the flip phone. All easy-peasy with the S4.

My dad's been a die-hard Blackberry user. Finally threw in the towel last year after rebuilding his beloved BB 9650 for the last time, exhausting my supply of spare parts. Ended up getting him a Note 3. While not as business-friendly as a Blackberry, I mimicked the app layout he had going on the Blackberry and did beef up the e-mail app a bit. He's become friends with it, especially once he found Candy Crush, Coin Dozer, and Sudoku. He uses the stylus extensively.

You won't find either one of my parents away from their phones for more than an hour. Invariably they're usually there poking away on them with their styluses.

One other option: If your parents have unlocked iPhones (you didn't mention which carrier & iPhone generation they're using), you might want to consider switching them over to T-Mobile. If they've got the right phones it's a simple SIM card switch and you'll have even better international benefits than Google Fi.
KRSW is offline  
Old Oct 20, 2015, 12:46 am
  #85  
TA
 
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Originally Posted by KRSW
....

One other option: If your parents have unlocked iPhones (you didn't mention which carrier & iPhone generation they're using), you might want to consider switching them over to T-Mobile. If they've got the right phones it's a simple SIM card switch and you'll have even better international benefits than Google Fi.
Thanks for all the information --

This was my other thought, as I myself have a Tmo plan. But it's a minimum of $60/month, and the attractive thing about Google Fi is the $20 price tag. I'll consider it though.
TA is offline  
Old Oct 20, 2015, 6:40 am
  #86  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Somewhere in Florida
Posts: 2,550
Originally Posted by TA
Thanks for all the information --

This was my other thought, as I myself have a Tmo plan. But it's a minimum of $60/month, and the attractive thing about Google Fi is the $20 price tag. I'll consider it though.
Not sure if you would be interested in doing a family or business plan but in doing so you can often get the cost down to $10-$30/mo per line on TMO. Poke around their business website for special offers. I have 4 lines of 10gb per line for $120/mo on my tmo business plan, which has rollover data.

4 lines on Fi is $80 with no data. Use just 1gb a month per phone and you're at $120. For reference my technology impaired parents use about 2gb between the two of them. Even with tethering I've never used 10gb in a month myself.
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Old Oct 20, 2015, 9:30 am
  #87  
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Originally Posted by KRSW
Not sure if you would be interested in doing a family or business plan but in doing so you can often get the cost down to $10-$30/mo per line on TMO.
I have a plan where it costs just $5/mo to add a line, and an extra $10/mo for 3GB of data with Data Stash. You don't even need the $10 add-on. After 30MB, it's simply throttled 128kbps for the rest of the month. Naturally not probably acceptable for most, but it works for Miss Swede.
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Old Oct 20, 2015, 10:41 am
  #88  
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Miami, FL
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Posts: 6,003
Does anyone who currently uses Fi also use Tmo global plan? Sort of a comparison of the two? I'm on TMo's Int'l plan where you get free data, sms and $.20 calling w/o changing SIMs. Loving it - but wondering if the switch is worth it ($ savings and possibly better domestic service due to toggle with Sprint?)
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Old Oct 20, 2015, 11:56 am
  #89  
TA
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: if it's Thursday, this must be Belgium
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Posts: 6,477
Thank you all -- can anyone point me to these business plans (relevant to say, 3 lines)? I have only found from brief looking their offers for 10+ lines:

https://business.t-mobile.com/landin...ess-plans.html

For reference, I have my parents on Ting, where together they pay something like $25 per month for both phones. That is pretty hard to beat, and only Google Fi has come close for the benefits it offers (intl roaming for cheap).

Edit:

Although, just now looking at the family plans, $90 for 3 lines is not too bad, considering I already pay $50 for my own. But there is no way my parents need 1GB each...

Last edited by TA; Oct 20, 2015 at 12:24 pm
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Old Oct 26, 2015, 3:58 pm
  #90  
ayg
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
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Posts: 157
Originally Posted by vletnguyen
I do have xfinity account and boingo account (amx plat) though, xfinity gets picked up a lot. Im surprised at how many people lease their modems through comcast.
Do you have to log into each Boingo hotspot? Do you just auto login once the Boingo app is on your phone? I also have Amex Plat and will have Fi here shortly on a 6P. Just curious how this works. I've never downloaded the Boingo app.
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