What's the verdict so far on Project Fi?


#1

Does it seem to match Verizon for coverage? Any issues? Considering a Nexus of some ilk when the current contract ends, but I’m a bit reluctant to leave Verizon (great coverage in eastern US + even out in the piney woods backpacking).


#2

I’m loving Fi. I got myself on it mid-year last year, and got my wife on it earlier this month. Love the phones, love the prices.

The coverage is good, but not perfect. Since you have Sprint and T-mobile, you generally have good coverage in most urban and suburban areas. My experience in more rural areas is that it varies – but I had the same experience with Verizon and other carriers in the past (for example, when we were on vacation in the Smoky Mountains last summer, I didn’t have coverage – but neither did anyone else, and we had all 4 major carriers covered by members of the group). I think ultimately it depends on where you are.

That said, I’ve got two lines on Fi now, and I’m paying less for the two of them than I was for one line on Sprint – and my line on Sprint cost less than a line on Verizon. While you’re paying for the phones out of pocket, I got my wife the Nexus 5X (which is super cheap right now) and she says it’s the best phone she’s ever had.


#3

Works great for me in the Cincinnati area, but I’m mostly on wifi during the day. Love the Nexus 6P and love my $25 bill!


#4

I’ve had it since the Nexus 6p came out when I upgraded my phone and I am a fan.


#5

Ordered a 16G Nexus 5X, had a change of heart and decided I wanted a 32G, but the order got hosed as the fi.google.com and the store.google.com sites had issues of some sort. Got a fi.google.com support rep on the phone who was easily able to clear it out and let me place another order. New phone arriving later this week.

I’m no longer bedazzled by smartphones and doubt the new phone will be a game changer for me, but at least it’ll address all the issues I’ve been having with charge cable connections and random shut-offs. And the bill should be a lot cheaper.

I’m switching over from Sprint, which has pretty good coverage in my area.


#6

fi uses Sprint and T-Mo, so you should do as good or better with fi.


#7

Yup. The only potential coverage downside, according to a colleague, is that coverage could be iffy if a given tower is loaded to or near to capacity (regular Sprint/T-Mo customers get priority).

I’m surprised the Sprint rep I spoke with today hadn’t heard anything about fi before.


#8

Works fine with me in NYC, but T-mobile coverage is pretty good in NYC anyway.

You get a little app called Project Fi which tracks your data usage. I’ve paid $56, $38, $40. The reason it jumps around is because you get credited for unused usage! It’s $10 per GB, but you get partial refunds so if you used 2.1 GB that would be $21 in data fees, plus the base $20, plus ~$5 in taxes.

I don’t go out in the sticks, I assume AT&T and Verizon have superior coverage there. I also have not connected into these “open wifi” networks afaik. You’re supposed to see a lock icon, and data usage would not be metered.

Tethering is enabled. I switched out of straighttalk recently because they disabled tethering.

Somewhat related, be careful of USB-C cables! Amazon recently said they’d remove the dodgy ones from the market, but I’d still check reviews: https://www.reddit.com/r/Nexus6P/comments/3robzo/google_spreadsheet_for_usbc_cables_with_benson/

There’s one google engineer that’s been testing cables and chargers. The bad ones will burn the power bricks or hubs. I already have a burnt power adaptor (The original one that costs $40 to replace ugh!)


#9

My 6p with Google Fi has been rocking so far. I have yet to have any coverage issues on the east coast, the Seattle/Tacoma region, or Hawaii.


#10

My 5x has arrived and I’ve finished setting it up, but it takes 1-2 business days to activate so I’m still sort of coasting until next week. :(

Thanks for the USB-C heads-up, wisefool. I remember reading about that. Sucks to have to repurchase a bunch of cables again (yeah, I’m picking up adapters too) but I’m looking forward to ditching micro-USB for good. The last two phones I’ve owned both had major issues with faulty charge connectors.


#11

They say it takes 1-2 days. My wife’s staying working in less than an hour. Good luck and enjoy!


#12

Any heavy data users that have switched: are you finding you use less data now? With how much data I use (and no wifi to piggyback off of at work) the $10/gb is a real dealbreaker.


#13

So I used to use ~7GB/mo. Most of that was just while sitting in my home office, where I didn’t bother to connect to my WiFi network, or other locations (client sites, etc.) where I didn’t bother to connect to wifi. Since switching to Fi, I am more conscientious about using WiFi, and have cut my data usage to under 2 GB/mo – and under 1 GB in several cases.

I don’t know about anyone else, but, at least for me, not being on an unlimited plan made me a little more conscious of my data usage.


#14

Nexus 5x is up and running now. Seems that the “1-2 business days” really meant 1-2 days, as my number transferred on Saturday afternoon, about 24 hours after initiating the transfer on Friday night. And the phone was behind on updates by a few months and required a few updates/resets to become fully up-to-date.

Strangely, data wasn’t working on the phone despite being turned on, until I worked with a rep and turned on/off airplane mode and reset the device today. She wasn’t sure what the cause was. Hope that’s just a one time / first time thing.

Perhaps ironically, the fi.google.com site isn’t fully responsive on smaller screens: lots of scrolling around to see content, modal windows appear outside the viewport depending on where you are scrolling around on the screen, and other little things.

On the positive front, I love the minimalist implementation: very small number of apps included on the home page and secondary page, interfaces very clean and uncluttered, and everything is very intuitive and seems to work as you’d expect. Pretty happy with it so far.

Question: Have any 5X users found a good docking cradle? I’d like to install one on my beside table that can connect to a power outlet. The ones I’ve seen on Amazon all seem to have various issues according to reviews, and the ones that look like a good risk seem to be intended for use with desktops or laptops (unclear if they terminate in USB connectors or have 2-prong plugs).


#15

I think you’re saying you looked at this, but check under settings, data usage that cellular data is enabled. I actually had the same issue the other day; I wonder if an update modified this, since I don’t remember toggling it.


#16

I’m happy with my 6P thus far. Mostly I’m thrilled that the pack came with a pre-bent official Google paperclip.


#17

The person who bent that paperclip has an IQ of 170!


#18

There’s a man in California getting paid $200,000/year plus stock options to fold paperclips!

What a time to be a live :)


#19

Yeah, cellular data was enabled but still not working until I toggled on/off airplane mode and rebooted the phone.


#20

So I wasn’t going to switch to Fi for another 9-12 months or so because I felt like I could still get some good life out of my Samsung Galaxy S3 which is only about a 12-15 months old. As fate would have it I dropped it last week, shattering the screen. I managed to replace the glass using one of the cheap kits listed at Amazon, but the glass feels really funny and seems to be much more prone to smudges. That, timed with the promotion on the 5x is making me reconsider, but I had a question.

For those who have gone through the ordering process at fi.google.com during the promotion, when does the first month’s service charge kick in? My service through Virgin Mobile just renewed several days ago, so I’d like to possibly order the 5x, but wait until the end of the month to actually swap the number to Fi. And can you use the 5x on wifi before activating the service?

Ideally I’d like to:

  1. Order the phone during the promotion period from fi.google.com.
  2. Turn it on to check it out for a few weeks without activating it, maybe setting up some apps and such.
  3. Activate it to port my current number and start my plan/monthly billing.

Is that possible?