A cell phone has been part of my life since June 2003 as I got one as a high school graduation gift and have been a Sprint customer ever since then. All in all the service was usually decent and usually substantially cheaper than the other carriers. With the T-Mobile purchase of Sprint and our vastly more at home than not status I decided to give Google Fi a shot.
My wife and I have 2 devices, a Samsung S8 and a Google Pixel 3a XL. We had the unlimited plan but since we were home for 2 months when I switched with the expectation of staying home a good deal longer I figured we could make the switch and save a few bucks.
Previously under Sprint our bill was $110 a month both phones bought unlocked not through our carrier so no issues taking them with us.
Google Fi uses a mix of networks: T-Mobile, Sprint and US-Cellular while moving seamlessly between them depending on coverage and where you’re at. They also offer two plans one that is $20 per month per device plus $10 per GB of cellular data used. The per-device price goes down with each additional device and with our two is $36 a month for both plus tax, fees and data.
Changeover to Google Fi was seamless for the Pixel, I signed up ported my number and downloaded an e-sim in about 10 minutes without ever having to talk to a person. My wife’s S8 required a sim to be ordered which showed up in 2 days and the changeover was similarly seamless otherwise for her device.
Cheap - it’s added up for me so far. For three months my cell bill has been under $50!
Good for me here - a bit better than Sprint used to be. Not equal to Verizon (can compare against work phone) but good for what it is. Wandered out into rural Missouri once here and my cell worked further going down the road than it used to.
There are two kinds of devices in Google Fi - those ‘made for’ it and those ‘supported by’ it. The difference mostly doesn’t matter but it does have a quirk in voicemail. On my pixel I get visual voicemail, transcriptions and access to voicemail in my dialer app. My wife’s S8 she gets transcriptions but if she wants to listen to a voicemail she has to call the system. They’re supposedly working on it but it’s an annoyance if you have a Samsung phone for now. iPhones let you access voicemail in an app like the Pixel though.
This has been a complete shift in usage for me as we’ve always had an unlimited data plan since we’ve had smart phones starting circa 2008. If I was traveling a lot of driving a lot this would be different but with likely a year in our current state of limited travel this makes sense to me. I find adjusting a few things in habits I can use next to zero data. I set my podcast app to download the three latest episodes of the shows I listen to most and same with my frequently listened to music. I also carry my flash modded ipod in the car which gives me a ton of other music too.
I’m happy with this and don’t think I’ll migrate back to another carrier anytime soon as if I plan on taking a road trip month to month you can go from an unlimited plan and back with no additional cost and if in a given month your data usage runs rampant they don’t charge past 10gb usage so my largest bill could be $136 (plus tax).
I want to do this too:
If you’re stuck home and have a compatible device I’d recommend it. This change has definitely saved me money while giving me better service and that’s hard to beat right now. If you want to do it too - here’s a referral link that’ll give each of us a $20 credit on our bills. I will not be offended if you don’t use this and I’m not advocating, but if you want to do so it’ll save you $20.
Thanks for reading my not-very-interesting take on a cell phone plan!