GoogleFi - yea or nea?
June 11, 2015 7:06 AM   Subscribe

I received my GoogleFi invite this morning, but now I'm confused about whether I should take the plunge. Does anyone have any experience with this yet?

I'm currently on a Sprint Unlimited plan (costs about $80/month) which, according to my usage history, is massive overkill. I average around 500 MB/month data usage, peaking rarely to 2 GB when I'm traveling. I am off contract at this point, so it seems like a good time to scope out other options.

I've seen a couple of first impressions on Reddit and elsewhere, and the general outlook seems to be that GoogleFi is decent enough, the automagic WiFi connections are pretty slick, etc. The "perks" with the plan are also appealing to me - stuff like free tethering and free international roaming.

I think I'm hesitating because of Google's track record at the launch of some of their other products (the Nexus phones in particular) and the fact that I've never really done the early adopter thing before. Is it worth trying GoogleFi out? Does anyone have any real world experience with the service yet? Any trouble getting in touch with tech support, or any billing issues, or any other major problems with it? If you've tried it out, let me know!
posted by backseatpilot to Technology (10 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
It looks like it only works with the Nexus 6 right now. I hate to ask, but do you have that phone (I ask in particular based on your hesitation for Nexus phones)?
posted by wocka wocka wocka at 7:20 AM on June 11, 2015

No, I'd be buying a new phone for this. I only mentioned the Nexus because of the originally poor support that was offered by Google when it first rolled out - I don't have any particular problems with the Nexus 6 (unless it's a really terrible phone and I'm just not aware of that).
posted by backseatpilot at 7:22 AM on June 11, 2015

Have you compared it to something like Ting? We switched to them from Sprint and are saving about 30-40 per month compared to our previous bill.
posted by odinsdream at 8:39 AM on June 11, 2015

Would you like the Nexus 6 phone? It's a phablet, and I tried using it, switching over from moto X, and it was so big that I actually switched back, even though the Nexus 6 has way better hardware and software. It was so big that my hand hurt holding it. It was so big that I considered buying a new purse to hold it.

With that caveat, I would try GoogleFi.

If you like it, great.

If you don't like it, you can stick a t-mobile sim card in it. It's cheaper and no plans needed. Or if you're like my husband, share the plan with family and pay around $20/line/month. This includes 4G of data a month and international data. (International calling is extra, though.)

But for me, the dealbreaker would actually be the phone requirement.
posted by ethidda at 8:51 AM on June 11, 2015

I'm pretty sure that they give you a new Nexus 6 as part of the package - I've seen photos on Reddit of the package and it comes with an external battery and some accessories, all Fi branded.

The Nexus 6 is a fine phone. It's the same size as a iPhone 6 Plus for comparison. I know a bunch of people that have it, they all like it. As a service Fi seems fine, but I haven't personally used it.
posted by GuyZero at 9:15 AM on June 11, 2015

I'm just testing it out now, but so far it's been compelling enough to swap over to. The Nexus 6 is solid (big, yes), and the cost saving has been great for me. (My usage is usually about where yours is, so $25/month on average).

Can't really speak to the tethering/international perks yet. Something I did really like that they did, though: While my Nexus was about to ship, they announced a $150 price drop. When they did so, they automatically back-credited me that value, without having to ask.
posted by CrystalDave at 10:25 AM on June 11, 2015

I have been in Project Fi for the last two days and I like it. Here are my thoughts:
The Nexus 6 is a large phone but not to the point that it's unwieldy. The large display is awesome for these middle-aged eyes. The external speakers sound better than my bluetooth speaker brick.
I was having a lot of one-way audio issues with my older Galaxy S4 on Sprint, sometimes multiple times per call, and so far I haven't had that once.
My old Sprint account was costing me $89/mo, my Fi bill will be $32/mo.
Battery life on the Nexus 6 is *so* much better than my S4. I'm currently at 90% after six hours w/o any charging. My S4 would be close to dead at this point.
All this plus built-in wireless charging.
posted by djeo at 10:51 AM on June 11, 2015

Alright, I'm convinced. The phone is arriving in 3-5 business days.
posted by backseatpilot at 11:01 AM on June 11, 2015

Actually, I have a follow-up question - does anyone know if my Sprint-based Galaxy S3 can be unlocked to work on my wife's Verizon plan?
posted by backseatpilot at 11:03 AM on June 11, 2015

No, Sprint CDMA and Verizon CDMA are not compatible.
posted by jozxyqk at 5:52 PM on June 11, 2015

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