Google Rebrands Project Fi and Opens it to More Devices

Discussion in 'HardForum Tech News' started by AlphaAtlas, Nov 28, 2018.

  1. AlphaAtlas

    AlphaAtlas [H]ard|Gawd Staff Member

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    Project Fi, which previously only worked on a narrow selection of Android phones, has been rebranded to "Google Fi." The service now works on a wide range of phones from Apple, HTC, Samsung, Motorola, LG and others. However, Google still recommends that customers use phones that are "designed for FI," as other phones won't necessarily support Fi's network switching or other specific features.

    Fi for iOS is in beta, so not all Fi features will be supported on this Phone. Setup also requires a little extra attention, but we'll walk you through it. Before switching, make sure this phone is unlocked.
     
  2. oROEchimaru

    oROEchimaru [H]ardness Supreme

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    yay but it sucks for me (2 years). AFter two pixel xl (fail from firmware update, other from water) and two moto x4 (two failed from their OTA updates) , poor coverage in major cities (due to network switching like Milwaukee), often failing to use wifi at home (seems like an intentional glitch to earn them $$).. .and best of all "3g/4g coverage" where i go hunting which is 1x speeds and only works 5 minutes every hour and kills your battery... im about done with project fi after the last moto 4 is paid off.

    It has been a crappy experience for me, often 60-90$ per month due to abnormally high "Data usage" from reddit and the browser (often even at home) in comparison to using the same services on att. Project fi also has 0 customer retention. if you write a complaint, or need support good luck (will take at least 5-10 contacts to them and 0 contacts back). They will not offer discounts or new products to current customers either. Google of the past is gone.
     
  3. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    Does anyone know the details involved in supporting Googles network switching? Is it just a matter of a phone having both GSM and CDMA hardware, and using software to switch between them, or does the switching require some sort of specialized hardware?

    Ideally once all networks move to Voice over LTE technologies, and we move away from 3G and lower with LTE and 5G, CDMA will be put out of its misery, and all phones will just have to support the same few standard LTE and 5G bands, not an unholy mess of GSM and CDMA technologies.

    CDMA should ahve been put out of it's misery 20 years ago.
     
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  4. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    My experience has been different. I switched from Verizon to Fi 2.5 years ago when I got my Nexus 5x (a few months later I switched to a first gen Pixel which I am still using. I found that coverage with Fi has been just as good as Verizon just about everywhere I have gone. In fact, my work is a notorious dead zone for everyone on the major networks, but my Fi works just fine.

    Since getting it 2.5 years ago I have only been to one place where I didn't have coverage, and that's the middle of BFE in rural Connecticut. My Fiance even brought her Pixel on Fi (She switched from iPhone on Sprint after she liked mine) to Brazil when she had to travel there, and had perfect coverage with free roaming the entire time she was there (in urban Sao Paulo)

    I guess your mileage may vary.
     
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  5. travisty

    travisty Gawd

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    Fi's been great. Have two Pixel 2's under the same account. Data usage is low thanks to favoring wifi connections and traveling to the Grand Canyon last week only had problems connecting at the rim of the canyon, everywhere else had coverage.
     
  6. Darunion

    Darunion 2[H]4U

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    Where I live (in BFE ohio) There is an ATT tower close to me but sprint and verizon have no presence. :/
     
  7. ir0nw0lf

    ir0nw0lf [H]ardness Supreme

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    Totally love Fi. Started with a Nexus 6P then moved to a Moto X4. I am mostly on WiFi so all the big stuff happens over it. Bill is sub $30, wayyyyy cheaper than when I was on AT&T. Only found one or two very small dead zone areas here in town, otherwise good cell signal.
     
  8. Ocellaris

    Ocellaris Ginger @le, an alcoholic's best friend.

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    Google needs to stop changing the names of shit.
     
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  9. PiERiT

    PiERiT 2[H]4U

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    Fi worked great for me in Milwaukee. Had none of the problems you were describing. Though coverage in the Janesville area was really bad.

    I wish this supported the Pocophone F1; I'd get that in a heartbeat. Stuck with an LG G7 for now.
     
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  10. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics I don't get it

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    Sucks that $30 for a MVNO is considered a good deal
     
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  11. biggles

    biggles [H]ard|Gawd

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    I wonder how well an unlocked LG G6 (model us997) would work on Project Fi?
     
  12. Bankie

    Bankie [H]ard|Gawd

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    I used Project Fi a couple of years ago when I had a Nexus 5x. The two main issues I had were:

    1) Coverage - In the Cincy, OH region it was only usable within the city. Once I was a few miles out it was dead.

    2) Pricing - Other MVNOs are usually equally priced at worst and cheaper at best. See Cricket, Boost, Ting, Mint, etc.

    After my experience with Fi I went to Cricket which is $25/m for unlimited talk/text + 2GB Data, $35 with 5GB, and has WAY better coverage. I just used the current Mint Mobile deal plus a rebate site to get 3 months of unlimited talk/text and 5GB of data for about $1/m assuming the rebate works; regardless it's $7/m if it doesn't. After that I'll probably be back on Cricket.
     
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  13. Decibel

    Decibel 2[H]4U

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    I'd be more interested in this if I didn't know that Net10 is doubling their data pool for the $40 ($37.04 with auto-refill including e911, taxes and fees) to 8gb next month...

    Works with either AT&T or Verizon depending on phone and sim.
     
  14. ButtonPuncher

    ButtonPuncher Limp Gawd

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    Ditto. Fi has been pretty much flawless for me. I signed up a few years ago and originally had a 5X.

    Their additions have also been great. The free data SIMs are great! Stick a SIM in everything.

    This is AWESOME that they will now allow a much larger range of phones. That has been my biggest gripe. The Pixel phones are great but are really expensive. I'd much rather have a good $300 phone instead of a oh-my-God-I'm-terrified-to-drop-it $800 phone.

    BP
     
  15. horskh

    horskh Limp Gawd

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    Fi for iOS...would that be Fios?
     
  16. kirbyrj

    kirbyrj [H]ard as it Gets

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    I agree. T-mobile/Mint/Google Fi is a lot better than it used to be, but the coverage is still lacking compared to AT&T and Verizon in a lot of rural areas. That being said. It was "almost" good enough the last time I tried it, especially with easy to configure Wifi calling.

    Pricing is terrible compared to other MVNOs unless you use hardly any data or travel internationally a lot. I mean if you happen to use 5 GB of data, you're looking at $70. Where you can get 5 GB from most MVNO's with unlimited talk/text for $30-35. If you pay for a year in advance (Mint or Red Pocket) you're in the $25 range.
     
  17. iissmart

    iissmart [H]Lite

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    But is it pronounced "Google Fi" or "Google Fi"?
     
  18. Darunion

    Darunion 2[H]4U

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    Pronounced ˈɡo͞oɡ(ə)l 'spī
     
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  19. DPI

    DPI Nitpick Police

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    I've used both Project Fi and other MVNOs extensively. Unfortunately Fi's data is overpriced compared other MVNOs. But if you're on WiFi 99% of the time it'll matter less.

    As for signal, that's always going to be subjective and anecdotal.

    Where Fi really shines is if you do even occasional international travel - land in Canada or Europe or pretty much anywhere and "it just works". Try doing that with most other MVNOs and you're basically screwed.
     
  20. toast0

    toast0 Gawd

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    It's not just having the hardware, there's a firmware hook too, and I think registration on the CDMA network with the device ESN, and probably device whitelisting, because CDMA carriers love pulling that. Unfortunately LTE seems to be all about diversity of frequency plans; GSM had only 4 bands for worldwide service, but lte has 43 (they're missing 32, so it goes up to 44); so you have to pick a phone based on what your carrier currently uses, and what carrier you might switch to uses, and what rumors about bands are out there, plus if you travel internationally it's even worse. Ugh.
     
  21. nightanole

    nightanole [H]ard|Gawd

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    Also BFE ohio, I had to drive 10min to find a virgin mobile signal, it was at that point i had to re evaluate some choices....
     
  22. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics I don't get it

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    I dunno, seems pretty horrible even if you use very little data, there's a base of $20 per line. Then $10 per gig? Now do they charge in fractional amounts? i.e. use 500MB get charged $5, or do they charge to the nearest gig so it'd cost $10, in which case $30/month is kind of pricey unless you literally have no other options, i.e. Xfinity Mobile, FreedomPop (or one of it's off shoots), etc.
     
  23. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    I rarely use more than a gig in a month. When I signed up 2.5 years ago, the $30 per month the was the best deal in town, which is why I went with it.

    I haven't reassessed it since, but maybe I should.
     
  24. nightanole

    nightanole [H]ard|Gawd

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    Its $20 a month for unlimited text/voice and $10 per gig, billed at .01gig increments. So if you use 100 meg, your bill is now $21.
     
  25. Jaymzkerten

    Jaymzkerten Limp Gawd

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    Like nightanole said they don't prorate data usage anymore, when I first signed up they still did prorated but gave you a credit back for unused data at the end of the month (none of that "rollover data" crap), now you just get billed per MB as you use the data.
     
  26. Aioeyu

    Aioeyu [H]Lite

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    I tried Fi for a year on a pixel XL. Honestly, it was great, minus data caps. Fi runs on TMO, so I switched to TMO for $45/month, after taxes and fees, unlimited everything. No contract because I brought my own phone. I miss being able to make calls from my computer through Hangouts, but since Google for some stupid reason decided to basically kill Hangouts I don't really miss that feature. If Fi was unlimited everything for $30-$45 per month it would be worth it. Otherwise, it's just dumbed down TMO for about the same price with a 3GB data cap.
     
  27. JavaLava

    JavaLava [H]Lite

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    Signed up for Project Fi in its first year and haven't looked back. Never had an issue with it...love that Fi favors Wifi over cellular, and its cheap. Just sign into Gmail/Inbox and all my SMS messages are there and I can make calls from my laptop/computer headset and not need the phone. When the wife and I travel internationally, they also don't bend you over on international data/cellular/sms fee's either. Yeah its a little more, but none of that 500MB of international data for $30 bucks nonsense (at least that was Verizon a few years ago). Highly recommend it!
     
  28. oROEchimaru

    oROEchimaru [H]ardness Supreme

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    all android phones are now supported but its based on sim card (no switching) i believe it would work on tmobile with project fi:)
     
  29. PiERiT

    PiERiT 2[H]4U

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    Perhaps, but they don't list it as being officially supported and I'm wary of dumping $350 on the phone only to find that it doesn't work. :(
     
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  30. omegatotal

    omegatotal Gawd

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    https://fi.google.com/about/faq/#coverage-3
    https://fi.google.com/about/faq/#switching-plans-7

    I agree TDMA/CDMA should have died off long ago.

    The FCC Also needs to step up and ensure providers have more network interop for voice/txt as so many more people dont have landlines anymore and signals can vary so wildly


    Fi doesn't use ATT and TMO's bands are similar but not the same (I litterally just took my ATT phone to TMO and did a lot of research on this when buying my current phone to try and get the best support for both if I ever switch back). Last I checked Fi doesn't support roaming to ATT even tho a lot of devices can use LTE between both with varying speed/signal quality.

    https://www.frequencycheck.com/models/AZK8k/lg-us997-g6-lte-a
    https://www.gsmarena.com/lg_g6-8466.php
    https://support.google.com/fi/answer/6224695#supported_model


    Due to the bands that TMO and Sprint are using these days, they have terrible propagation and penetration.

    This is where ATT has been better for years. but they have lower speed because of the bands and subscriber count (plus ATT is a pile of hot garbage I just left for a lesser pile of hot garbage known as TMobile)

    Verizon sorta has the best of both worlds, but you dont always get data however will at least get text and lower quality calls (1x).

    https://www.frequencycheck.com/carriers/at-t-united-states
    https://www.frequencycheck.com/carriers/t-mobile-united-states
    https://www.frequencycheck.com/carriers/sprint-united-states
    https://www.frequencycheck.com/carriers/verizon-wireless-united-states
     
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  31. omegatotal

    omegatotal Gawd

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    noooooooo :: https://support.google.com/fi/answer/6224695#supported_model


    Yeah if its not supported they wont even try it last I checked. I will be investigating as I left ATT and switch to TMO, and in the first 3 weeks with TMO, I have been on the phone with them nearly every day for something on their end they F**ked up and their 'team of experts' which are far from anything more than human IVR's.

    And this is AFTER finding out that the retail rep lied to me on 2 separate issues at the time of purchase....
     
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  32. Bankie

    Bankie [H]ard|Gawd

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    Yeah, once you're out in BFE US you basically have two choices; Verizon or AT&T. In my experience Verizon is generally a little better but they both have some areas where only one or the other (or neither) will get service. The problem with VZW and ATT is that they're both fairly expensive (in relation to MVNOs) and have mastered the art of bending you over. Of course there are trade-offs to the cheaper MVNOs but I've found that dealing with their pricing and support is less annoying than the big companies. The biggest downside for me is that there seems to be a bit of a stigma if you're not using VZW or ATT as I've been told by multiple people that "only drug dealers use Cricket/Mint/Boost"... :rolleyes:
     
  33. Darunion

    Darunion 2[H]4U

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  34. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics I don't get it

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    Ewwwww, you using GhettoPCS service what are you poor or something? :D
     
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  35. TheMadHatterXxX

    TheMadHatterXxX 2[H]4U

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    It's really not that great of a deal, it all depends on how much data you use...anything over 3Gb a month and you're total bill comes close to $60 which is not far off other carriers.
    I'm paying $52.40 a month for 9Gb on AT&T ($10 off for autopay and 19% company discount) after cancelling my grandfathered unlimited plan for $105 a month.
     
  36. oROEchimaru

    oROEchimaru [H]ardness Supreme

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    ya i think i misread all that. "more phones" not "all". project fi sucks from my personal expeirence. its usually 70$ mo for me even when i rarely use data it will find a way to consume 4-6gb. it has crap signal in milwaukee area (others say they dont) and i have no signal hunting in wisconsin where they advertize 3g/4g. i spent 6 weeks sending 30+ bug reports with their support to be told "nothing we can do" . 4 crappy devices all broke from their store (firmware updates) im not a happy customer.
     
  37. omegatotal

    omegatotal Gawd

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    I am just fed up with companies allowing their reps to make promises and not following through or fixing it after the fact.

    Not training up and holding their reps (retail and phone) to that knowledge/skill. instead they just hire a 'team of experts' that literally know nothing and just attempt whatever they see in some KB.