Today’s life lesson is about saving money on your wireless phone bill. Is this knowledge going to profoundly change your life like much of the wisdom of Solomon you find elsewhere on this blog? Ah, probably not. But who said helpful wisdom has to always be profound? Sometimes just a bit of practical knowledge can be enough to make the difference between a good day and a frustrating one. Speaking of frustrating, if you are growing more and more disillusioned with your wireless carrier and disturbed by the ever-rising cost of cell service, then this article is for you – today I’ll give you 10 reasons why you should strongly consider switching to GOOGLE FI (aka Project Fi) as you new cell provider. I did and I couldn’t be happier. Here’s why…
1.SAVE MONEY – since most people nowadays rarely bother to read an entire blog post, I’m starting with the most important reason first. Switch to Google Fi and I’d wager you’ll save a nice little chunk of change. My average bill with Verizon Wireless was over $60 a month – that was on a family plan that was supposed to be saving me money on my portion and even included a 22% employer discount. It was a fairly basic plan with unlimited talk/text and I averaged 1GB data or less per month. Can you say “screw-job?” Yeah, that’s what I thought too, so I decided to try Google Fi. So what’s my average bill with Google Fi for similar coverage (unlimited talk/text and 1GB data)? $29 – inclusive of all fees. I don’t think it takes a math whiz to realize which one is the better deal.
2. GET REFUNDS ON UNUSED DATA – what’s better than rollover data? How about getting an actual refund on the data you don’t use? It’s pretty much a flat fee of $10 per GB, but the catch is that with Google Fi you only pay for the data you actually use and get a refund on what you didn’t use. How’s that for consumer friendly?
3. BETTER COVERAGE INSIDE BUILDINGS – My job takes me inside a lot of big buildings (hospitals, hotels, etc) for extended periods of time. With Verizon I was always frustrated to be without service on many an occasion. My colleagues with AT&T, T-Mobile, etc also seemed to have similar issues. Since I switched to Google Fi this hasn’t been an issue. Why? Because as long as you can connect to wifi inside, you’ll have coverage.
4. A COMBO OF WIFI AND CELL TOWERS – what makes Google Fi unique is that the coverage for your service is provided by a combo of wifi and cell towers (specifically those of Sprint & T-Mobile at the time of this writing). I know, I know – Spring and T-Mobile networks? That sucks, right? I too was concerned but it hasn’t been an issue. The reason why is because your phone will automatically switch back and forth between wifi or cell towers to provide you the best network coverage – it’s silent, seamless, and happens without you even knowing. This means less dropped calls and better coverage overall. Google’s massive scale also means you don’t have to worry about having every wifi password stored in your phone to connect – Google has an ever-growing list of (public) wifi networks coded into your phone’s service so you’ll phone connects to many of them automatically.
5. INCREDIBLE INTERNATIONAL DATA “FOR FREE!” – that same $10 per GB you paid for in the US also applies in 120 other countries for no additional fee. This is simply amazing if you travel internationally even a couple times a year. With Verizon I used to have to pay $2 per MB or else call them and add a crappy little temporary international plan for either $10/day or an extra $40 a month (for a generous 100MB of data and 100 mins of talk and 100 texts) – gee thanks, Verizon. With Google Fi there is no need to call or notify them and you don’t have to fear international roaming charges if you are in one of the 120 counties on the list. Just use your phone like you do in the US – what could be simpler?
6. GOOGLE USERS UNITE – assuming you have a google account already (perhaps for your gmail or youtube usage), then you basically already have a Google Fi account since Google Fi is simply an extension of your already existing google account. This allows you to manage everything with one google account. Again simple. If you are one of the few people in the world who somehow doesn’t have a google account, signing up is easy, quick and simple – just click on that login button in the top right hand corner of your Google search page and join the rest of us.
7. SAVE EVEN MORE IF YOU DON’T WANT DATA — if for some reason you don’t want data, that’s A-OK with Google Fi. Believe it or not, you’re actually allowed to have a plan with Google Fi ex-data if you so desire. That puts your bill down in the $20/month range. Try doing that with Verizon or another carrier!
8. LOW RATES FOR INTERNATIONAL CALLING – when you call another country from the US, (depending on the country you call), average rates are in the 1-4cents per minute range. Awesome! How about when you call the US from another country? Once again you’ll enjoy low rates with Google Fi. If you’re calling over wifi, those rates are often in the 4cents/minute range (as it was for us while travelling in South Korea recently). Wifi not available? Need to call over your cell network while in another country? You’ll be looking at approx 20cents/minute – that may not sound as awesome, but keep in mind there are no roaming charges either. Ahhhh…
9. NO CONTRACTS – you heard me right. With Google Fi, you do not have to sign any contract. Not happy? Leave. No early termination fees. No hidden fees. Nothing to come back and bite you later. Once again, consumer friendly.
10. USE YOUR OWN PHONE – This is the only one that could be a bit of a problem. You can indeed use your own phone with Google Fi, HOWEVER that phone must be compatible with the Google Fi system – as of this writing that list is very short and includes only the Nexus 5x, 6 and 6P. Another phone or two are rumored to be launched soon (for example the Nexus 7), but even still until something changes, you’re options are limited. Is this a big deal? Obviously it could be – especially if you are an Apple fan. Personally I’m an Android guy and have been for some time. I used to be hooked on Samsung phones (had a Note before I switched), however I bit the bullet and gave the Nexus phones a try. I chose the 6P (which is about the size of a Note or iPhone 6s) and I couldn’t be happier. Here’s a pic (from L-R: iPhone 6s, Nexus 6P (my phone), and Samsung Note 5).
The Nexus 6P is fast, offers the android customizations I love so much, and has a really long battery life. If I want to leave Google Fi I can use this unlocked phone with another carrier because (as I said above) there is no contract (however I don’t see myself switching any time soon!). And let’s keep something else in mind — because the phones used for Google Fi are android-specific, not only will you enjoy automatic system updates for your phone, but you’ll quickly discover that there are less bugs to worry about. With my old samsung phones I used to dread installing a new system update because it invariably meant problems while Samsung and Google worked out the inevitable bugs. With Google Fi, I haven’t noticed a problem with any update so far because these updates are pretty much built with the Google Fi phones in mind. And best of all, using a Google Fi phone means you also get first access to new Google updates (for example the Android N system which is due out this fall and loaded with cool things such as virtual reality) and exclusive features (for example, Nexus phones are rumored to soon be getting UNLIMITED STORAGE on Google Photos) – all of which is pretty cool, huh?
So what’s the bottom line?
I’ve just given you 10 reasons to switch to Google Fi. I can honestly tell you that since I switched Google Fi has exceeded my expectations. I’d encourage you to learn more by checking out https://fi.google.com/about/faq/ and see if it’s right for you as well. Was this info helpful to you? If so, let us know.