Just like any other carrier, Google Project Fi is not perfect. As much as it comes with its own goodies when compared to a host of other service providers out there, Fi has a number of major downsides.
Google Project Fi was born in 2015 and up to now, it has been around for over two years now. Over this period, the service has gained more users, but not everyone who first joined the platform is still on it. As for those who are still on board, they are definitely seeing the good side of the service, but for those who left, they have their own reasons.
The focus of this article is on the latter case, which incorporates the major downsides of Project Fi and so far, we’ve narrowed down to three major ones.
First, Project Fi, unlike many other carriers out there, only has a handful of phones that are supported. In order to activate Fi services, the SIM card must first be inserted into any of these five major devices – the 2014 Google Nexus 6, 2015’s Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X or last year’s Pixel and Pixel XL. If you don’t have any of these three, Fi is not your place to be.
The good side of the story is that once you’ve activated the Fi service on any of the five supported phones, it’s possible to use this SIM card on other non-Google phones. However, you won’t be able to enjoy the full power of Project Fi, including seamless switching between cellular and Wi-Fi hotspots, which is one of the major USPs of Fi as it helps save data and costs in general. Also, reports have been doing rounds that Google is taking down accounts that it suspects are being used on non-Google phones.
The second major drawback of using Project Fi is that it has no room for unlimited plans. Unlimited plans are increasingly becoming a thing of today. U.S. carriers are now offering users with unlimited plans, something you won’t find on Fi. On the brighter side, the charges for data and phone services on Fi are not so expensive, where you only pay $30 per month for Fi Basics. This earns you unlimited calls and SMS alongside 1GB of data that costs $10/GB.
If you use less than 1GB of data per month, Project Fi will refund you the overpayment and if you go overboard, you’ll also pay for the extra usage at a cost of $10/GB. This brings us to the third major downside of Fi and it’s that data can actually be expensive for those who can’t keep their usage down.
As much as you may end up paying just $30 per month or even less, those who use in excess of 3GB per month will feel the pinch of using Project Fi. For instance, if your usage is 4GB per month, you’ll have to part with $40 for data and an additional $20 for calls and SMS, totaling to $60 per month.
At the moment, for instance, you can get the same package of 4GB data and unlimited calls and text on T-Mobile at $45. Up this amount to $55 and you have an additional 2GB of data per month. Given the number of carriers available today, shopping around patiently could get you much better plans than what Project Fi has to offer.
Until this week, Project Fi only allowed new sign-ups through the normal Gmail accounts, however, it’s now possible to create a new account on the service using a G Suite account. This was another drawback, especially since many who use a G Suite account have actually customized it and also use it as their main Google account, something that meant they had to create another normal Gmail account in order to sign up for a Fi account.