Huge shout-out to Google for finally offering a phone plan for world travelers. I took a leap of faith and signed up shortly before leaving for New Zealand, hoping for the best. Turns out this was the best move I could have made.
Prior to a few months ago, I had never heard of Project Fi. I was planning on doing as I did for my last extended trip to Rome:
- Suspending my current phone plan
- Buying a burner in the country
It (barely) worked for me last time, but instead of having my smartphone everywhere, I had an ancient flip phone. It could do basic texting and calling, and not much else.
For those of you who have spent any time in Rome, you know that it is not a city to navigate without GPS.
Needless to say, when I saw the commercial for Project Fi, I was very intrigued.
So What is Project Fi?
Lets break it down between Domestic (United States) and International
|Connects to nations top networks and transitions from WIFI to wireless network to optimize coverage and connection||
|Data costs the same, in any country at $10 USD/GB||X||X|
|$20 Base fee for calls/texts||X||X|
|Non-wifi calls cost $0.20/minute||X|
|Any unused data gets credited to account (ex: 3 GB plan, but only 2.1 GB’s used, $9 will be credited)||X||X|
Note: for exact international coverage, check the 135+ countries included in the phone plan: https://fi.google.com/about/rates/
Once I learned this, I would have signed up even if I was not going to be traveling (though the travel pack is easily the best part of this phone plan). I am a pretty minimal data user (~3 GB/Month) so my bill would not be higher than $50/Month (making this about $20 less than my Verizon plan was).
How It’s Been Working
The transition was seamless. It takes a few days to process the paperwork if you keep your old cell phone number, but luckily Google takes care of all of it. Once the order was placed, all I had to do was enter my Verizon account information and they did all the rest. They set it up to close my old account (as soon as the new phone was activated) and transferred over my cell phone number.
When the cell phone arrived, all I had to do was turn it on, connect it to my WIFI and Google took care of the rest. If you have your old cell phone, you can connect that as well and it will transfer over all Applications (and even log you into them), photos and music.
Domestically: I did not notice any differences in coverage – which is wonderful.
Internationally (in New Zealand): It took about a minute for my phone to connect after getting off the airplane and connection is as seamless as it was in the states.
My experience with Google Project Fi have be all 10’s! Would strongly suggest to everyone.
- If you are a large data user, I would not suggest Project Fi for usage in the united states. $10/GB can add up very fast.
- Keep watching, they might start offering a package deal for more GBs
- Cell phone options are limited, options are:
- Google Pixel 2 (Pixel 2 XL)
- Google Pixel (Pixel XL)
- Motorola One
- All cell phones are android based, so might run into some errors when transitioning from the Iphone to the new one.
“It isn’t all over; everything has not been invented; the human adventure is just beginning.”
― Gene Roddenberry