Google Fi Cell Phone Plans Review 2022

Cindy F. Cape

The Google Fi Flexible cell phone plan places No. 11 in our Best Cell Phone Plans of 2022 rating, No. 5 in our Best Prepaid Plans of 2022 rating, and No. 8 in our Best Family Cell Phone Plans of 2022 rating. For those looking for an unlimited plan, the Google Fi Unlimited plan places at No. 7 in our rating of the Best Unlimited Cell Phone Plans of 2022.

Google, Inc., most known for its search engine, has expanded into a variety of Internet-related services from cloud computing to advertising. The company ventured into the telecommunications space by launching Google Fi (called Project Fi at the time) in 2015. Google Fi is a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) service that provides calls, short message service (SMS) which is also known as text messaging, and mobile broadband using cellular networks and Wi-Fi. As an MVNO, Google Fi operates on T-Mobile and U.S. Cellular networks but is not owned by those companies. Currently, Google Fi only serves customers in the United States.

Popular Cell Phone Plans

Pros:

  • 22 GB of high-speed data each month

  • Option to purchase more high-speed data during the month

  • Virtual Private Network included

  • Parent controls come standard with the plan

Cons:

  • No hotspot data allotment

  • No data while traveling internationally

Google Fi is best experienced on an Android device, and select Android devices are “designed for Fi,” which offers additional coverage benefits. With 100GB of storage space on Google One included with the Unlimited Plus plan – if you’re already using Google services and have an Android phone, Google Fi makes a lot of sense.

However, Google Fi’s service does have some weaknesses compared to other plans elsewhere. Google Fi will throttle your data speeds after 15 GB on its entry-level Flexible plans, and 22 GB for its Unlimited plan. Compare this to other carriers like T-Mobile, Verizon, or our No. 1 in Best Unlimited Plans of 2022 carrier, Mint Mobile, which all offer 50 GB of unthrottled data.

You may have a bit of difficulty getting an iPhone to work on Google Fi. Google Fi works with phones running iOS 12 and higher. However, you won’t have access to 5G when using the iPhone series 12 or 13. The carrier does offer support to get your iPhone working with the service. Also, phones from CDMA carriers like Verizon or old Sprint phones will not work, since Google Fi uses T-Mobile’s GSM network.

Although it is called the Unlimited plan and does include unlimited calling, texting, and data, Google Fi will begin to throttle heavy data users at 22GB of data when towers are busy. 5G is available for phones that are “designed for Fi.”

The standard Unlimited plan doesn’t include hotspot usage. The Unlimited Plus plan, which is an additional $10 per month, provides hotspot usage and offers 100 GB of Google One storage. All plans offer 24/7 customer support, and there are no contracts or activation fees.

The Google Fi Unlimited Cell Phone Plan costs $60 per month for a single line of service, $90 per month for two or three lines, and $30 additional per line up to a total of six on the plan. The Unlimited Plus plan costs $70 per month for one line, $120 for two lines, and $30 per line for each additional line, up to six. If you’re interested in other unlimited plans, visit our Best Unlimited Cell Phone Plans of 2022 to see more options.

International Services

International Service is available for $10 per GB for data on the Flexible Plan and includes texting and calling while traveling outside the U.S., Mexico, and Canada. There is no additional charge for international data usage in the Unlimited Plus plan. Calls and texts to and from Canada and Mexico are included in all plans. Unlimited Plus customers can also call up to 50 countries as a part of their plan.

Cloud Storage

100 GB of Google One storage is included at no additional charge with the Unlimited Plus Plan. If you’re already a Google One member, Google Fi will reduce your Unlimited plan’s bill by $1.99 per month, which is the cost of 100 GB of Google One storage if you purchased it separately.

Family Features

If your child uses an Android phone, you can set up rules for them using Google Family Link. Parents can keep an eye on their children’s screen time, remotely lock their device, and locate your child with GPS if they are carrying their phone. Parents can also set a limit on the amount of data family members use in their plan, regardless of phone model.

Data Add-ons

For the unlimited plans, there is no limit to the amount of data you can use, however as we’ve noted previously, Google Fi does throttle data on an as-needed basis during times of heavy network use. For those on the Flexible plan, data is charged at $10 per GB.

To prevent hefty overage charges, Google Fi has a feature called Bill Protection. Bill Protection works by stopping data charges after a certain level. For one line plans, it’s 6 GB and for two lines 10 GB, increasing by 2 GB up to 18 GB for six lines. Any data after this is free, although it’s subject to a lower data cap of 15GB.

Coverage is dependent on 5G availability in your area, but due to its many networks, the Google Fi plans have vast 5G coverage. Customers will have 4G LTE service when 5G is unavailable.

To check 5G coverage in your area, visit the Google Fi coverage map. Note that you must have a compatible device to access the 5G network.

T-Mobile Magenta  »

T-Mobile Magenta

Best Nationwide Coverage for 5G

Monthly Cost
$70 (note: $50 for senior citizens)

Plan Type
Postpaid

Data
Unlimited

Some restrictions may apply.

Google Fi vs. T-Mobile

Google Fi uses T-Mobile’s network for a portion of its coverage, so you won’t notice much of a difference there. Google Fi also uses US Cellular towers too, which gives Google Fi better coverage where there are towers available from both carriers. Phones “designed for Fi” can switch between these towers automatically. If you bring a phone that isn’t “designed for Fi,” you’re only limited to 5G coverage from T-Mobile.

Plans from either carrier are similar with some key differences. While Google Fi offers international data and texting on its cheapest plans, you must be on either the more expensive Magenta or Magenta MAX plans to use your phone abroad with T-Mobile. T-Mobile’s data caps on full speed data are also much higher: 50 GB for the entry-level Essentials plan, and 100 GB in either Magenta or Magenta MAX.

We’d recommend heavy data users choose T-Mobile instead. However, if you live/work in an area where US Cellular has 5G towers, primarily in the Midwest near Chicago westward, you may benefit from better 5G service with a phone with Fi’s network-switching technology.

Google Fi vs. Mint Mobile

Like Google Fi, Mint Mobile uses T-Mobile towers for its network. However, Mint Mobile does not have any other network partners, so Google Fi’s coverage may be a bit better, especially in the Midwest, where Google Fi’s other partner, US Cellular, is based.

However, Mint Mobile’s prepaid plans are far cheaper for unlimited data. At $90 for three months of data or $30 per month, it’s half the cost of Google Fi. Mint Mobile also gives you more data – 35 GB – before the network throttles your speed during busy times.

However, if you use Google services heavily, Google Fi offers the benefit of cloud storage and a better network. You’ll find that Google provides a better overall network for these Google Fi-optimized phones: the Google Pixel, Moto G7, Moto G6, LG G7 ThinQ, LG V35 ThinQ, and Android One Moto X4.

Similar Cell Phone Plans

How Do I Get Google Fi Cell Phone Service?

Getting a Google Fi plan is an easy process done completely online. Visit the Google Fi website to sign up and select the plan and number of phone lines that work best for you.

It’s important to note that group plan owners must be at least 18 years old. As long as the group plan owner is above the legal age, those under 18 can still join the account.

To make matters easier, Google Fi allows you to bring your current phone number with you if your previous carrier allows it. Phone number transfer will start once you activate service on your phone, and most transfers take less than 15 minutes.

Does Google Fi Offer a Trial Period?

Due to Google Fi’s contract-free plans, customers won’t receive a trial period. However, plans are paid monthly with no long-term commitments, so canceling is simple.

Does Google Fi Offer a Money-Back Guarantee?

Google Fi currently doesn’t offer a money-back guarantee to customers. If you’re unsure whether Google Fi will work for you and have a number you’d like to bring to Google Fi, you can choose to port the number later after testing out the service.

How Do I Cancel My Google Fi Cell Phone Service?

One of the key benefits of Google Fi is that it’s free of a major commitment. Customers can terminate their plan at any time and face no termination fees – a huge plus when you compare many other carrier plans. Follow these steps to cancel your Google Fi service:

  1. Go to the Google Fi website and choose Customer Support.
  2. On the Customer Support page click the drop-down menu under “Account.”
  3. Choose “Pause or cancel service.”
  4. If you’re a participant in a group plan, before beginning the cancellation process you must ask the Google Fi group owner or a group manager to remove you from the group. If this applies to you, you can choose the “remove from group” option at this step.
  5. Next click “Cancel your Google Fi service.” If you don’t want to cancel for good, you can choose to stop your service temporarily.
  6. If your cell phone is financed with Google Fi you’ll be charged the remaining balance for the device when you cancel your account.

If you need more information, you can contact Google Fi via its Help Center on its website. There is also a tutorial on the website available to help walk you through the steps.

Other Cell Phone Plans

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