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My wife and I recently got married, and finally got on our own cell phone plan. Welcome to the real world, I guess? Prior to that, we were on Verizon with our crappy iPhones. We have been on the hunt to find the best provider for our traveling lifestyle. We travel about every other month. Now, we are using Google Fi with our brand new Google Pixel 3 phones and we couldn’t be happier. Here is a full Google Fi Review of what it is, and why I couldn’t recommend it enough, especially for travelers!
Google Fi Review
Google Fi (formerly known as Project Fi) is a full cell phone service offered by Google. While nearly all major cell phone providers have in-person storefronts, Google Fi is done completely over the internet. While this may give some people anxiety, it gives me great relief! Ever since I got my first cell phone at 13 years old, going to the Verizon store was always a 2 hour ordeal for some reason. I hated it.
The largest reason my wife and I made the switch is the lack of flexibility with overseas usage with Verizon. Verizon charges a boatload for international usage. And many people have said the service is pretty weak when overseas. And I’ve heard the same thing with T-Mobile. With Google Fi, they use a variety of towers from other large carriers including Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, and Three. Their website says it is usable in 170 countries, and the price basically stays the same!
Google Fi Review – The Plan
Other than flexibility while traveling, I love how Google Fi has structured their plan. There is one plan for every Google Fi phone. Here is the plan pricing for a 1 phone plan for 1 month.
- $20 for unlimited calling and texting
- $10/GB for data. Once you go past 6GB in a month, the rest is free! But it will be slowed after 15GB.
I love this type of plan for many reasons.
1. It gives an incentive to be more wary of your cell phone use. Before Google Fi, I had unlimited data, talk and text, so I could be on my phone as much as I wanted. Now, I’m more conscious of time I’m spending on my phone using data.
2. It’s practical. If you work a typical 9 to 5, and you spend time at home, you probably have access to Wi-Fi. With Wi-Fi, you aren’t using data. So when you are out and about in the world with no access to Wi-Fi, it makes you think twice of using your data because your bill will go up.
Now, this may sound like a hassle to keep track of your data. However, it is all available real time in your Google Fi App!
It is extremely intuitive and user friendly for anyone wanting to monitor their data usage to reduce their data usage and bill.
Google Fi While Traveling
While you are seeing the world, your cell phone experience shouldn’t change. With Google Fi, it doesn’t change all too much.
- Voice Calls (non Wi-Fi) – $0.20 cents/minute
- Data – $10/GB. After 6GB, data is free.
- Texting – Unlimited
I haven’t personally use my Google Fi just yet overseas, but I’ve heard great reviews from other people about it.
However, one piece of advice is if you are needing to make phone calls while overseas, is purchase a local SIM card. It will prove to be much cheaper than $0.20/minute.
I find that a cell phone is one of the best travel gadgets out there. My wife and I both have found ourselves become less “planners” per se when it comes to activities. We will typically find activities & restaurants when we reach our destination. If it wasn’t for our cell phones, we wouldn’t be able to have that luxury.
Knowing that our carrier works in so many different countries is alleviating, and having a great company like Google to support it is even better.
If you are interested in signing up, you can get $20 credit towards your bill using our link here.
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I used my new Google fi service with a
new Google phone over Christmas break in Mexico. I loved the ability to use data overseas. It was especially useful for Uber and Uber eats!
I use Google Fi to get around the firewall when I’m in China, but I still keep my Verizon iPhone – because Verizon is still better and Google Fi’s iPhone support is not complete
I believe the international roaming partner for Google Fi is TMobile. So you’ll end up on TMobile towers or their roaming partners. I have no idea if this is different than using TMobile in the USA as your primary carrier and using some international package from them. We have used Fi internationally in Iceland, UK, Denmark, The Netherlands, France, Switzerland, Spain & Japan with excellent service. The hard part about Fi is domestic use if your not where coverage is good.
In the last three months I have used Google FI in Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, and Singapore. It has worked flawlessly within seconds of landing in all 4 countries. I have an app that indicates that FI is using local cell phone companies for service.
In additional to my Pixel 2, I also carry an iPhone 6S which I use with a local SIM. Google FI gives me fast service and my regular USA phone number. The local SIM gives me LTE data that costs far less than Google FI.
You say a local SIM is often the cheapest solution for mobile use in foreign lands. If you have an unlocked phone or can get one cheaply, the only reason for Google Fi is to keep your number overseas. It would be unusual for a small business to call you back on a N American number.
Without the need for your US number many airports and train stations have shops where you can buy the SIM installed and working on your phone.
A bit of web searching will help you locate the local SIM and plan you want.
T-Mobile is the best for Europe. $25c/min calls, texting and Wi-Fi calls are free.
I have TMobile One plan for $50/mo. I’ve been T-Mobile customer since 2000, never had any issue. In rare cases of technical problems, they compensate. For $5 you can get international “unlimited calling for 24 hours in more than 210 countries and destinations”.
I really think you should have provided this info after you had experienced using google fi internationally. Too much I think and I heard. Also, no discussion about eSim which would be helpful.
No one is talking about the US Cellular option with Fi????