It’s so hard to find a great service provider for your smartphone. Most people want unlimited data for the sake of not having to worry about incurring extra costs, but unlimited plans are expensive.
Google Fi offers three affordable plans, two of which include unlimited data in some way and one that puts you in control of how much data you’re allowed. Let’s check them out!
What Is Google Fi?
Put simply, Google Fi is an MVNO telecommunications service offered by Google, and was first known as Project Fi when it launched in 2015. MVNOs in the US essentially resell service largely provided by the three major network carriers in the country: AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon. Google Fi uses networks operated by T-Mobile and U.S. Cellular.
Just like Cricket Wireless, Mint Mobile, Tracfone, and many other MVNO services, Google Fi assigns you a cell phone number, or uses your previous number, and provides telephone calls, SMS text messaging, and mobile broadband service. Right now, Google Fi is only available to US residents.
Available Google Fi Plans
When it comes to choosing a Google Fi cell phone plan, you have three main options: Simply Unlimited, Unlimited Plus, and Flexible. There are features that span across all three Google Fi plans, but each plan varies in price as well as which combination of special features it offers.
First, we’ll break each plan down by its unique features and price per line, and then help you decide which plan is right for you.
The biggest selling feature of Google Fi’s Simply Unlimited plan is unlimited data in the US, Canada, and Mexico at a relatively affordable price. Data isn’t natively included for tablets and other devices, but the Simply Unlimited plan gives users 5GB of data for hotspot tethering every month.
As with many other services offering unlimited data, it’s a well known fact that data is throttled after a certain point. Google gives you that info up front: your data is slower after 35GB has been used.
In the US, Canada, and Mexico, you’ll also be able to text and call anyone within those countries for free. International calls aren’t free with Simply Unlimited, but you can make affordable calls from the US to over 200 destinations for a low price. This plan also doesn’t support data or texts while traveling outside the US, Canada, and Mexico.
The Simply Unlimited plan usually retails for $30 per line, per month, but at the time of writing it is discounted to $20 per line, per month. For four people on one Simply Unlimited plan, it would be $80. Keep in mind that this price doesn’t include taxes and government fees.
Just like the Simply Unlimited plan, Google Fi’s Unlimited Plus plan allows for unlimited calls and texts within the US, Canada, and Mexico, as well as data that slows down after you hit 50GB. That’s pretty much where the similarity stops.
Whereas Simply Unlimited only gets 5GB of data for hotspot tethering, the Unlimited Plus plan allows for unlimited hotspot tethering data. Plus, this plan includes data for tablets and other devices, and it’s the only Google Fi plan that includes 100GB of cloud storage with Google One.
Unlimited Plus also provides a lot more international features. You can use your data while traveling outside the US, Canada, and Mexico, and it’s free in over 200 destinations.
Then, you can make free calls from the US to over 50 destinations, including Canada and Mexico, and pay the same affordable rate as Simply Unlimited for calls from the US to over 200 destinations. While you’re traveling outside the US, Canada, and Mexico, you can text for free and make calls for 20 cents per minute.
Right now, the Unlimited Plus plan is discounted from $45 per line, per month to $40 per line, per month. So before government fees and taxes, it would be $160 for four people on one Unlimited Plus plan.
The Flexible plan is meant to be the most affordable plan available, but it’ll only work that way if you don’t go over your allowed data. Each line on the Flexible plan costs $17 per month before taxes and government fees, and every 1GB of data costs $10.
For four people on the Flexible plan, it would cost $65 per month just for the lines and then $10 for every GB of data that you’d need. If you’re worried you’d always accidentally go over the data limit you set for yourself, you can set a level with Bill Protection through Google Fi.
Data is available at the rate of $10 per GB in the US, Canada, Mexico, and over 200 international destinations. If you need to use hotspot tethering or use data on a tablet or another device, it also costs $10 per GB, but your data will be slower after reaching 15GB in total.
In the Flexible plan, texts are free within the US, Canada, and Mexico, and at a low cost to 200 other destinations. Calls can also be made while traveling outside the US, Canada, and Mexico, but it’ll cost you 20 cents per minute.
Which Google Fi Plan Is Best For You?
There’s a Google Fi plan that’s best for everyone, but no matter which option you choose, you’ll have access to a ton of perks simply by choosing Google Fi. All Google Fi plans include built-in VPN and spam blocking, 24/7 customer support, no contracts or activation fees, and unlimited calls and texts within the US, Canada, and Mexico.
Because there are no contracts, you’re never locked into anything. You can add someone to your plan, pause it, or cancel it with no hidden fees. You can even switch your plans once a month at no extra cost. So if you’re going out of the country and want the best international plan, you can swap to Unlimited Plus, and then swap back to your regular plan after your trip.
Best For Data-Heavy Users: Simply Unlimited
If you typically use a lot of data, the Simply Unlimited Plan is the best and most affordable plan for you. That said, data isn’t supported for tablets and other devices or internationally, so the Simply Unlimited plan is only the smartest option if you primarily use data through your smartphone and you stay within the US, Canada, and Mexico on a regular basis.
Best For Travelers: Unlimited Plus
For anyone who finds themselves traveling a lot outside of the US, Canada, and Mexico, the Unlimited Plus plan will easily pay for itself. You have access to unlimited data and free texts in over 200 destinations, and free calls to over 50 destinations.
The Unlimited Plus plan is also great for anyone who typically uses data on devices other than their smartphone. You’ll have unlimited hotspot tethering and can use your data with your smartphone, a tablet, or another device.
Best For Data-Conscious Users: Flexible
For anyone that knows they don’t use much data every month, the Flexible plan might be the smartest option. You can set a threshold within your plan so you never go over the amount you expected to pay, but it’ll be frustrating if you always run out of data in the first ten days of the month.
If you know that you’re always at home or somewhere else that allows you a steady Wi-Fi connection, you might not even use that much data every month and can save some money with the Flexible plan.
Which Phones Can You Use With Google Fi?
There are phones specifically designed with Google Fi in mind, like the Google Pixel 7, Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4, and Motorola Moto G Stylus 5G. These phones provide smarter coverage by automatically shifting between multiple mobile networks and secure Wi-Fi connections.
Or, you can probably bring your existing phone. You can check your phone’s compatibility on the Google Fi website.
Will You Make the Switch to Google Fi?
There are a ton of different cell phone providers to choose from, so what makes Google Fi stand out from the rest? Well, the most unique aspect of Google Fi is not requiring contracts. Google wants your business, but the company also wants to offer you a flexible way out if you ever need one.
With that, and the multiple other features we’ve described, Google Fi seems to be a worthy contender among other cell phone providers.