Second Opinion

Second Opinion is a reviews show about anything and everything under the sun. If we can experience it, we can review it.

Project Fi Review

Episode #13The Fringe #409

After using Project Fi in several situations, including working at camp and living in St Paul, Buck and Decker are ready to analyze the service. We talk about the coverage, price, special features, and more!

UPDATE 2018-12-26

Google made some major changes to Project Fi in 2018!
  • Way back in January: Bill Protection puts a cap on how much money you can spend on data.
    Bill Protection on Project Fi: data when you need it, and savings when you don’t
  • VPN is now always on, not just on unsecured public wifi
    Project Fi’s enhanced network brings faster, more secure connections
    • Successfully gets around the school block list!
    • Sometimes causes apps to be confused about the nature of the connection; I’ve had Pocket Casts and YouTube refuse to download content because they think I’m not on wifi.
  • Project Fi has been renamed Google Fi; you can think of this as their “coming out of beta” moment, Fi is now ready for prime time
  • Addressing Fi’s biggest drawback: more phone options! You can now activate a Fi account with any unlocked Android or iOS phone (Android 7 and up, iOS 11 and up, and support LTE bands 2 and 4.) If it isn’t one of the few that is “designed for Fi,” you’ll be limited to T-Mobile’s network, and you won’t get the VPN.
    Bringing Google Fi to more people on Android and iOS


      • Project Fi
      • Cellular service through Google.
      • Inherits some of Google Voice’s coolest features:
        • Access calls, SMS, and voicemails from all your devices via Hangouts.
        • Wifi calling.
        • Voicemail transcription.
        • Cheap international calls.
        • Any money you put in your Google Voice wallet goes into paying for Fi.
      • Adds some new features:
        • Uses T-Mobile, Sprint, US Cellular, or wifi, whichever is the best option at the time.
        • “Multi-network operator.”
        • Wifi assistant has a huge database of open, high-quality hotspots that it will connect to automatically. It also encrypts all your traffic, so it can't be monitored. Very nice for accessing Facebook at school.
        • Tethering isn't limited, just counts as data used.
      • Pricing:
        • $20/Mo for unlimited talk and text.
        • Family plan lets you add more accounts for $15/Mo.
        • $10/GB of data.
          • It's actually measured on a per-megabyte basis.
          • When you sign up for your plan, you choose how much data you expect to use, and that much money gets added to your first bill. At the end of the month, any data you went over/under your expected amount gets added/subtracted on the next bill.
      • Coverage:
        • Much better than just T-Mobile, especially when you get out into rural areas or leave Minnesota.
        • Verizon has the leg up on places where coverage sucks for just about everyone. Other than that, I’ve never really noticed me losing service with either of those two providers.
      • International
        • In 135 countries.
        • Data is still $10/GB.
        • SMS is still unlimited.
        • Calls are 20¢/minute.
      • Phones
        • Nexus 6, 5X, 6P, Pixel Phones.
        • You can get a data-only SIM card for your secondary devices.
        • Easily the weakest thing about Fi is that they limit your phone options severely.
        • At the moment the situation is okay, as they cover every price point from $200 to $900. But since they are not continuing the Nexus line, what phones will they have next year? Just expensive Pixel phones?